Ahmedabad: The stage is set for the coronation of Narendra Damodardas Modi on Wednesday. The 62-year-old leader will be sworn-in as chief minister of Gujarat for the fourth straight time at a grand ceremony that will take place in presence of around 1 lakh people apart from a galaxy of political leaders.
Modi will be administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Dr Kamla at 11.15 am on Wednesday, a day after he was unanimously elected leader of BJP Legislature Party.
The Sardar Patel Stadium in Navrangpura, where the swearing-in will take place at around 11 am, has been turned into a fortress. Around 2,500 police personnel, including many senior officials, will be on guard at the venue.
Top BJP leaders, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray will attend the swearing-in ceremony.
"Top BJP leaders, including L K Advani, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu will be present for the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Minister Narendra Modi," Gujarat BJP spokesperson I K Jadeja said here on Tuesday.
"Chief Ministers of other BJP-ruled states and also of some non-BJP ruled states will be present," he added.
While Raj has decided to attend the ceremony at Ahmedabad, it is unclear whether his cousin Uddhav Thackeray, executive president of Shiv Sena, an ally of BJP, has been invited. Sena leaders remained tightlipped on the issue.
Modi had taken oath as Chief Minister for the first time in 2001 and then in 2002 and 2007.
Jayalalithaa is among the non-BJP Chief Ministers who will attend the ceremony today. Modi, who maintains a good rapport with the AIADMK chief, attended her swearing-in ceremony after her party swept back to power in Assembly election in Tamil Nadu last year.
This will be the record-equaling fourth term as chief minister for Modi, who is already the longest serving CM of Gujarat with a tenure of over 11 years. Modi will equal the record of Madhavsinh Solanki, who was sworn-in as chief minister four times. However, Solanki, who is unwell and underwent bypass surgery recently, had a total tenure of just over 5.5 years.
The swearing-in ceremony will also be shown live on www.narendramodi.com. The Modi-led BJP swept to power for the third straight term winning 115 out of 182 seats in the recently concluded elections, with the Congress party coming a distant second with 61 seats.
Only Modi will be sworn in at the ceremony at the stadium. Around 10 other ministers, most of them having Cabinet rank, will be sworn-in at a function at Town Hall in Gandhinagar later in the day.
(With DNA inputs)