Stage set for Nitish's swearing-in; Lalu's son Tejashwi to be deputy CM?

The stage is set for the oath-taking ceremony of chief minister-designate Nitish Kumar in Patna on Friday in the presence of important leaders and chief ministers of several states.

Stage set for Nitish's swearing-in; Lalu's son Tejashwi to be deputy CM?

Patna: The stage is set for the oath-taking ceremony of chief minister-designate Nitish Kumar in Patna on Friday in the presence of important leaders and chief ministers of several states.

Also, RJD chief Lalu Yadav's son Tejashwi Yadav is likely to be Bihar's deputy chief minister, CNN-IBN reported.

All arrangements have been made for the function at the Gandhi Maidan at 2 PM, Patna Divisional Commissioner Anand Kishore, who is supervising the arrangements, said. 

Kishore said considering arrival of so many VIPs, more than 2,000 security personnel would be deployed at the venue. 

Two canopy shaped dais had been prepared for VVIPs and those under SPG cover. In the main dais, Nitish Kumar, his new sets of ministers and VVIPs would sit. 

In the adjacent dais, all newly elected MLAs would be accomodated. 

There would be a separate gallery for women who would be coming to attend the ceremony, he said. 

Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Vikash Vaibhav on Thursday supervised the security drill to escort VVIPs from Airport to the Gandhi Maidan. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had accepted invitation from Nitish Kumar but would not be able to attend the function due to prior engagements. He has deputed Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu to represent the Union Government at the ceremony. 

The Chief Minister's Office has released a list of guests which include Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister H D Devegowda, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, his National Conference counterpart Farooq Abdullah and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. 

The official guest list has names of nine chief ministers including West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal and UP CM Akhilesh Yadav. 

Six chief ministers of Congress ruled states would also attend. They are Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah, Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, Sikkim CM P K Chamling, Manipur CM O Ibobi Singh and Arunachal Pradesh CM Nabam Tuki.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, 

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, D Raja of CPI and T M K Stalin of the DMK have also confirmed their participation. 

BJP ally Shiv Sena has accepted invitation and decided to send two Maharashtra Ministers Ram Das Kadam and Subhash Desai to the function. 

The event would also be graced by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah besides Sheila Dixit, Bhupendra Singh Hooda, Ajit Jogi, Babu Lal Marandi, Hemant Soren of the JMM and Shankar Singh Baghela. 

President of National Lok Dal Ajit Singh and former Union Minister and NCP leader Praful Patel would also be present on the occasion. 

Abhya Chautala of the INLD, BBM leader Prakash Ambedkar, eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani, Raj Babbar and H K Dua are among the confirmed guests in the list. 

Along with these guests from across the country, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and his JD(U) counterpart Sharad Yadav would also be present at the ceremony. 

The Chief Minister's Office said that high tea would be held for VVIPs at the official residence of the chief minister after the oath function. 

Nitish Kumar, who is looking after arrangements for tomorrow's function himself, supervised preparation for the tea party at his residence today, CMO officials said. 

JD(U) General Secretary K C Tyagi said there was no need to see politics in the oath ceremony. Inviting guests at a function was part of healthy political etiquette. 

State JD(U) President Basistha Narayan Singh and party spokesman Ajay Alok echoed similar views.

(With inputs from PTI)

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