While Bharati cited pre-engagements as a reason, axed minister Sanjeev Balyan was one of the first few to reach, showing no semblance of loss even as a section of the party is still figuring out reasons for his exit. His apparent nonchalance over his ministerial berth may well have been a factor for his being out of favour.
Senior BJP leader Kalraj Mishra, who emphatically claimed to have resigned in view of the 75-year age cap for “active” assignments, was equally sporting as he reached in time and was seen sitting in the front row which he shared with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah.
Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahendra Pandey, the two others to quit as ministers, were also present.
Pandey has been appointed UP BJP chief. This meant only Bharati and Rajiv Pratap Rudy were not to be seen. Veteran BJP leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi also skipped the occasion.
The oath taking, however, was slightly delayed as railway and coal minister Piyush Goyal’s mother-in-law had a spell of ill health.
Even as doctors in the council of ministers, Jitendra Singh and Mahesh Sharma, attended to her, medical help was on its way.
She was shifted to the hospital wing of Rashtrapati Bhavan and it was found that her sugar level had sunk. The incident happened when Goyal was slated to take oath after oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Goyal’s wife Seema accompanied her mother and returned later.
Among the four ministers to be promoted, Pradhan was the first to be sworn in. Pradhan made a small mispronouncement in his oath, prompting President Ram Nath Kovind to ask him to re-read just as he was heading to sign the register.
Surprising the audience, MP from Uttara Kannada in Karnataka, Anant Kumar Dattatreya Hegde, took oath in Hindi at a time when certain quarters of the state, including the capital city Bengaluru, have witnessed anti-Hindi campaigns after a few signages in Hindi were put up.
Interestingly, NDA allies, including Shiv Sena and JD(U), were absent from the oath-taking whereas AIADMK’s M Thambidurai was present as an invitee as the deputy speaker of Lok Sabha.
Source : timesofindia