Biharís Modi to skip Gujarat CM function

Even as Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is yet to respond to Gujarat poll verdict, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi appears to be treading cautiously by deciding not to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi. Bihar BJP president C P Thakur, however, will attend the function.

Sources said the Bihar deputy CM would not go to Gujarat because "he has not received a personal invitation" from Narendra Modi. This is the second time that the Bihar deputy CM might have felt being ignored by the Gujarat CM. After the 2010 resounding victory for the JD-U-BJP combine (the BJP won 91 seats), the Gujarat CM did not congratulate Sushil Kumar Modi.

Thakur said: "I have received a big invitation card through post to attend Narendra Modi's swearing-in. I am going to attend it. I do not know which other Bihar BJP leader is going there. Nitish Kumar should have shown a large heart and congratulated Narendra Modi."

The Bihar government is not sending any representative to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi, who will take oath on Wednesday. Though Gujarat government sources said all chief ministers had been sent invitations on December 21, Bihar CM House sources refused to either confirm or deny having received any such invitation.

Sushil Kumar Modi's staying away from the Gujarat function might well comfort senior alliance partner JD-U. A senior JD-U leader said: "Media is reading too much into Nitishji's silence on Gujarat victory. But one must remember that Narendra Modi had also not congratulated Nitishji when he had got majority in the 2010 Assembly election."

JD-U national spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP Shivanand Tiwari told The Indian Express : "Though I have nothing to say on Nitish Kumar's silence on Modi's victory, the Gujarat BJP is going overboard with its third victory under Modi. There are other CMs like Sheila Dikshit and Tarun Gogoi who won for the third time. Even among BJP CMs, it is quite possible Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raman Singh may well win for the third time."

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