Gandhinagar: In a rare coming together, four former Chief Ministers of Gujarat, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were seen chatting with each other during the swearing in ceremony of the Vijay Rupani government here on Tuesday.
Before the swearing in ceremony, Modi along with Rupani welcomed and greeted the dignitaries invited to the function, held on the lawns of the State Secretariat, Gandhinagar.
While they came to the first row of dignitaries seated on a separate stage, Narendra Modi's face lighted up seeing three of the former Chief Ministers seated together in the front row, Keshubhai Patel, Shankersinh Vaghela and Anandiben Patel. When he joined them, all the three stood up and greeted him. He chatted for a while with Keshubhai Patel and Vaghela.
All the four former Chief Ministers played a vital role in spreading the BJP's deep roots in the state.
While, Anandiben stuck to the saffron party despite being dislodged from the top post, Keshubhai Patel unsuccessfully tried to form a third front (Gujarat Parivartan Party GPP) in 2007, after being removed from Chief Minister's post in 2001.
Shankersinh Vaghela too failed in his recent attempts at forming a third front (Jan Vikalp) during the recent state assembly elections after walking away from the Congress which had been his home for almost two decades. He had severed ties with the saffron party in 1995 and had joined the Congress then.
Vaghela or Bapu as he is known by his supporters was invited to the function along with other state Chief Ministers like Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh), Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Manohar Parrikar (Goa) and Nitish Kumar (Bihar).
Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, Ramvilas Paswan, Ravi Shankar Prasad and senior BJP leaders like L.K. Advani were also seen on the platform with other dignitaries. BJP national president Amit Shah was also on the stage.