Patnaik invited to BJP govt swearing-in ceremony in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar, Jun 11 (PTI) The BJP, all set to form its maiden government in Odisha, on Tuesday invited BJD president and outgoing chief minister Naveen Patnaik for the swearing-in ceremony scheduled on June 12.

The first invitation card for the ceremony was, however, given to Lord Jagannath in Puri, and it was delivered at the 12th-century shrine by some newly elected MLAs.

A five-member delegation led by the BJP Odisha unit president Manmohan Samal, went to Naveen Niwas, the residence of Patnaik, and formally invited him to attend the swearing-in ceremony to be held at 5 pm on Wednesday.

Senior leaders such as Suresh Pujari, Basanta Panda, Samir Mohanty and Nityananda Gond accompanied Samal.

"Naveen Babu has accepted the invitation and assured us that he would attend the ceremony," Samal told reporters.

Meanwhile, a group of MLA elects comprising Pravati Parida, Prithiviraj Harichandan, Irashish Acharya and Ashrit Patnaik went to the Jagannath temple in Puri with one card, two coconuts, betel nuts and rice placed on a thali to invite the Lord for the ceremony.

"It is our Odia tradition to invite Lord Jagannath on all auspicious occasions. Therefore, we have come to invite the Lord. The party seeks his blessings," Parida said.

The BJP state president said that the party would also invite the president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) and other political parties to the swearing-in ceremony.

This apart, Samal said all the people who have earned name and fame for the state will also be invited.

Preparations are in the final stage at the Janata Maidan park, the venue for the oath-taking ceremony. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, central ministers and chief ministers of many BJP-ruled states are likely to attend it.

Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Bhupender Yadav have already reached Bhubaneswar to attend the BJP legislature party meeting as observers to elect the next chief minister, paving the way for the formation of the first-ever government of the saffron party in the state. PTI AAM SBN AAM SBN

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