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Bhajan Lal Sharma Takes Oath as Rajasthan CM

Bhajan Lal Sharma Takes Oath as Rajasthan CM

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NEW DELHI, Dec 15: Twelve days after the elections results were declared giving the BJP absolute majority in the 200-member Rajasthan Assembly, the first time MLA Bhajan Lal Sharma was on Friday sworn-in as the Chief Minister with two others as his deputies at a ceremony in Jaipur in the presence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the top brasses of the BJP,

Mr Sharma, a BJP state general secretary, took charge of the State on the day he turned 57. Along with him, Diya Kumari and Prem Chand Bairwa were sworn in as the Deputy Chief Ministers by Governor Kalraj Mishra. All three took the oath in Hindi. The outgoing Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot attended the ceremony held in front of the historic Albert Hall here. A large gathering of BJP MLAs and workers from across the state witnessed it.

A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-backed leader, Mr Sharma was elected the leader of the BJP legislature party on December 12. Besides Modi, the swearing-in ceremony was attended by BJP president J.P. Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and several other senior leaders of the party and some chief ministers of the BJP-ruled states.

As the three took the oath, BJP supporters raised slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Modi-Modi.’ Ashok Gehlot, who was among the leaders who reached the programme early, sat next to Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and was seen talking to him. Mr Gehlot has been repeatedly targeting Union Minister Shekhawat, accusing him of being involved in the Sanjivani Credit Co-operative Society ‘scam’. Mr Shekhawat, in turn, has filed a defamation case against Mr Gehlot in Delhi.

Shortly before the oath ceremony, a brief commotion took place at an entry point in Ramniwas garden where people forcibly entered the venue. Several people jumped over the barricades before police managed to stop them. Mr Sharma, a Brahmin face of the party, is from Bharatpur district and won the Sanganer constituency of Jaipur with a margin of 48,081 votes. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science.

He is the third in a series of lesser-known MLAs who have been elevated by the BJP to the Chief Minister’s post after the recently held assembly elections. The others are Vishnu Deo Sai and Mohan Yadav who recently took oath as the Chief Ministers of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh respectively.

(Manas Dasgupta)

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