Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vasundhara Raje, who led the party to a landslide victory in the Rajasthan Assembly elections, was sworn in as Chief Minister for the second time at a grand ceremony here on Friday.
Governor Margaret Alva administered the oath to her on the Assembly premises in the presence of thousands of people. Ms. Raje, 60, clad in a saffron sari, took the oath of office and secrecy in the name of god in Hindi.
A galaxy of BJP leaders, including party president Rajnath Singh, senior leader L.K. Advani, the former president Nitin Gadkari, the former Union Minister Jaswant Singh and Rajya Sabha member M. Venkaiah Naidu were present.
BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and other Chief Ministers Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh) Shivraj Singh Chauhan (Madhya Pradesh) and Parkash Singh Badal of the Akali Dal (Punjab) were special attractions at the ceremony. The huge crowd on Janpath, in front of the Assembly building, greeted the leaders with loud slogans.
Members of the royalty, including former Jodhpur ruler Gaj Singh, queen mother of Jaipur Padmini Singh, whose daughter Diya Kumari has won the Assembly election from Sawai Madhopur, and Ms. Raje’s sister Yashodhara Raje were among the special guests.
Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu, an invitee, cancelled his Jaipur visit in view of the Telangana Bill coming up in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.
Later, Ms. Raje drove to the Chief Minister’s Office at the Secretariat, a short distance from the Assembly building, and took charge.
Mahim Pratap Singh reports:
The swearing-in was a grand show of strength for the BJP, with the magnificent domes of the Vidhan Sabha making for an imposing background.
The ceremony was beamed through large LCD screens for the convenience of those who thronged the venue.
The sudden arrival of the former Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot on the stage drew cheers which grew louder when the Congress leader embraced Mr. Modi, Mr. Rajnath Singh and Mr. Advani. He then exchanged greetings with Ms. Raje.
Film stars Vivek Oberoi and Hema Malini were present on the stage.