Guwahati: The oath-taking ceremony of BJP’s first government in the crucial northeastern state of Assam did not turn out to be a mega NDA show as two major alliance constituents – the Shiv Sena and the PDP – didn’t turn up for the event.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had invited all leaders of the National Democratic Alliance’s parties to attend the oath-taking ceremony of Sarbananda Sonowal.
Among those present were Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal of the Akali Dal, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who heads the Telugu Desam Party, and union ministers Ram Vilas Paswan, head of the Lok Janshakti Party and Upendra Kushwaha, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief.
However, only Badal and Naidu were allowed to speak on the occasion.
A Shiv Sena leader said that they were invited by party chief Uddhav Thackeray “was not in the city. So he could not reach there”.
Anil Desai was deputed by the party to attend the oath-taking ceremony but he didn’t turn up.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who heads the Peoples Democratic Party, also gave a miss to the mega show.
“As the assembly is in session from tomorrow, Mehboobaji could not go. She has appointed her minister Naeem Akhtar to represent her but he couldn’t reach Guwahati as he missed his flight from Delhi,” said a minister in the coalition government.
He, however, added that Mufti’s absence will not give a good signal to NDAs unity.
Among the BJP chief ministers, only Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was allowed to speak, while Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana), and Devender Fadnavis (Maharashtra) could not get an opportunity to speak.
BJP president Amit Shah while giving his speech also focussed on unity of NDA.
“NDA is ruling in 14 states and it’s a matter of pride that Assam has got an NDA chief minister,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meanwhile said his government is strengthening cooperative federalism by strengthening states.