Modi, Vaghela, Keshubhai of RSS vintage come together in House
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It was an interesting sight in the Assembly when newly-elected MLAs took oath of office Tuesday. There was a calm and composed Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a seemingly disinterested CLP leadership candidate Shankersinh Vaghela and lone ranger Keshubhai Patel of the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) who had pinned high hopes of winning comfortable number of seats but won only two.
Out of the 182 MLAs elected in the 13th State Legislative Assembly, 178 took oath in the presence of pro-tem Speaker Dr Nimaben Acharya. The oath taking that went on for two and a half hours witnessed several interesting incidents and coincidences.
For the first time, two father-son MLA pairs took oath in the same House and in the same session. They are Shankersinh Vaghela (Kapadvanj) and son Mahendrasinh Vaghela (Bayad), and Vitthal Radadia (Jetpur) and son Jayesh Radadia (Dhoraji).
Another coincidence was the coming together of three leaders with RSS roots, Modi, Vaghela and Patel, from different parties. At one time, they were in the same party, BJP. But today, while Modi remains with the BJP, Vaghela represents the Congress and Patel heads the GPP.
There were no claps or thumping of desks when Patel took oath except from Congress benches. No BJP MLA would make even eye-contact with Patel. Modi and Patel on their part did not spare even a glance at each other. Going back to his seat, Patel, however, shook hands with Vaghela and had a few moments of chit-chat with Anandi Patel while going out of the House.
There were at least two MLAs — Manisha Vakil (Vadodara city) and Jawahar Chavda (Manavadar) — who took oath in English while Congress MLA Chandrikaben Baria (Garbdada) came with her head and face covered with sari, even while taking oath.
At 27, BJP MLA Harsh Rameshbhai Sanghvi (Majura) was the youngest MLA.
Among the absentees were Shahera MLA Jetha Bharwad, Bhavnagar MLA Parshottam Solanki and Tharad MLA Parbatbhai Patel who could not come due to the different reasons. Another member, Savita Khant of the Congress from Morva Hadaf constituency, had died after the election result was declared.
There were a number of MLAs who paid obeisance to the Chief Minister. They include Morbi MLA Kantibhai Amrutiya, Ravpura MLA Rajendra Trivedi, Chhatrasinh Mori (Jambusar) and Ishwarbhai Parmar. Amit Shah, known to be a confidant, stood with folded hands before Modi till he caught his attention before he proceeded to take oath.
Vaju Vala, the Speaker-in-waiting, let the House have some chuckles when he responded to a prolonged thumping of desks when he stood up to take oath. As it went on an on, he said: "Tame bandh karo to hun sharu karun (Please, can you stop so that I can start.)"
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