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Rediff.com  » News » Mamata, Nitish attend Pranab's swearing-in ceremony

Mamata, Nitish attend Pranab's swearing-in ceremony

July 25, 2012 17:59 IST

Key United Progressive Alliance ally Mamata Banerjee, who kept up the suspense till the last moment before backing Pranab Mukherjee in the Presidential elections, on Wednesday  attended Mukherjee's oath taking ceremony while no Chief Minister from Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states were present.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose Janata Dal-United broke ranks with the BJP to support Mukherjee's candidature, was also present. JD-U leader Sharad Yadav, however, as absent.

Banerjee, who arrived in the central hall of Parliament much before the ceremony began, took a seat in the last row after exchanging pleasantries with other party leaders including Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad.

The Trinamool Congress supremo and the West Bengal chief minister also had a brief interaction with Union Minister and NCP leader Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule, who walked up to her and exchanged greetings.

Most of the members of Parliament of UPA allies NCP and Trinamool attended the swearing in ceremony of Mukherjee at the central hall of Parliament putting the recent sparring Congress had with these parties behind.

Union Minister Rajiv Shukla received BJP chief Nitin Gadkari while Home Minister P Chidambaram welcomed L K Advani as they arrived for the event.

On the front row in the Left side, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was seated with former President Abdul Kalam to his left followed by Defence Minister A K Antony,  Sharad Pawar and  P Chidambaram.

On the first row in the right side, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish Chandra Mishra and former President Pratibha Patil's husband Devi Singh Shekhawat were seated with Sonia Gandhi. RJD chief Lalu Prasad sat just behind the Congress President. Rahul Gandhi was seated in one of the middle rows.

A number of chief ministers from Congress-ruled states including Sheila Dikshit(Delhi), Bhupinder Singh Hooda (Haryana) Ashok Gehlot(Rajasthan) and Prithviraj Chavan (Maharashtra) attended the cermony. National Conference leader and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was also present.

PTI
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