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Modi to be sworn in on Tuesday, says he is not bigger than the party
December 24, 2007 13:06 IST
Last Updated: December 24, 2007 16:00 IST
Narendra Modi [Images], who pulled off a stunning repeat win for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Gujarat assembly elections, will be sworn in as Chief Minister on Tuesday for a third consecutive term.
Modi (57) will be sworn in by Governor Naval Kishore Sharma at 12:50 pm at the Sardar Patel stadium after he was unanimously elected on Monday as the leader of the Gujarat BJP Legislature Party.
As a formality, all the 117 newly-elected BJP MLAs held a meeting at the Town Hall in Gandhinagar, where they chose Modi as their leader. The meeting was also attended by senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley, who is party's in-charge of Gujarat, and Venkaiah Naidu.
Modi's swearing-in ceremony will coincide with the birthday of senior leader and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Earlier, Modi was scheduled to be sworn in on December 27. He single-handedly ensured that the saffron party came close to a two-third majority, winning 117 seats in the high-profile elections.
After he was elected, an emotional Modi addressed the issue of his perceived larger-than-life image when he told his legislators he was not bigger than the party.
"Those who say Modi is bigger than the party do not know what the history of the BJP and Jan Sangh is. A son cannot ever be bigger than a mother", an emotional Modi said.
While talking on the issue, Modi appeared to be touched and was almost in tears.
"It is vikrut manskita (perverted mindset) to say that Modi is bigger than the party", he said and attacked the media saying, "My image appears to be bigger because of the limitation of your lenses which stop at me".
"But if you were to widen your focus, you could see thousands of BJP workers who have lifted me up on their shoulders," Modi said in an apparent dig at a section of the media, which has been projecting him as bigger than the party.
Modi also said, "In the days of Jan Sangh, candidates of the party used to lose their deposits in most of the elections. At that time, many dedicated workers and families sincerely worked for the party".
Modi first became Chief Minister in early 2001 after Keshubhai Patel was asked to quit following the state government's alleged mishandling of the post-earthquake situation in the state. His second stint started in 2002 when he led the party to a thumping victory, winning 127 seats in the elections held a few months after the communal riots.
Earlier, Modi handed over the resignation of the entire state-cabinet to Governor Naval Kishore Sharma after the present term of the government ended on Monday.
While accepting the resignations, Sharma asked Modi to continue as the 'care-taker' chief minister till the new government is formed.