Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s move to invite veteran BJP leader LK Advani and BJP Lok Sabha member Shatrughan Sinha to his oath-taking ceremony has raised many eyebrows.
Although the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) badly lost the assembly polls to Nitish Kumar’s Grand Alliance, Shatrughan Sinha has repeatedly publicly praised the chief minister. Advani is also said to have a soft corner for Nitish Kumar.
The oath taking ceremony is slated on November 20.
“Advani and Shatrughan Sinha have been invited to the event at Gandhi Maidan. We sent invitations to both of them,” said a Janata Dal-United leader close to Nitish Kumar.
However, no invitation has been sent to any other BJP leader, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah.
The event is expected to see a galaxy of top political leaders including Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, chief ministers Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi, Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal, Naveen Patnaik of Odisha and Akhilesh Yadav of Uttar Pradesh.
JD-U leaders say the event — where the star attraction will be RJD chief Lalu Prasad — will mark a new beginning of opposition unity in the country.
Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda is also likely to attend the oath-taking, besides former Jharkhand chief ministers Babulal Marandi and Hemant Soren and INLD leader Abhay Chautala.
Lalu Prasad and JD-U president Sharad Yadav will be the main guests.
According to JD-U leaders, Nitish Kumar will take oath as chief minister along with a 36-member council of ministers on November 20.
The RJD emerged as the single largest party in the 243-seat house with 80 assembly seats followed by the JD-U (71) and the Congress (27 seats).
There will be 16 ministers from the RJD, 15 from the JD-U and five from the Congress in the new government.
Critics opined that the oath ceremony might be the forum where a new ‘third front’ is expected to be incubated.
(With inputs from agencies)