The Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar was the only non-NDA CM who shared the front row seats with other members like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP leader L K Advani. The Janata Dal (United) withdrew from the National Democratic Alliance in the year 2013 against Modi’s PM candidate-ship. However, Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal got no seat at all.
According to Indian Express, the JD(U) had separated itself from the Opposition parties in order to support Ram Nath Kovind’s Presidential candidature. When PM Modi walked into the Central Hall minutes before Kovind’s oath-taking ceremony on Tuesday, Nitish was among the very few members who did not stand up from their seats. Nitish seat in the front row in the swearing in ceremony could or could not be of political significance but after the ceremony was over, Amit Shah walked over to Nitish to shake hands with him. Minutes later, PM Modi was also seen having a brief conversation with Mamata Banerjee, IE reports.
As reported by Indian Express, Modi and Mamata briefly talked about the Gujarat and West Bengal floods wherein Modi advised her to notify Home Minister Rajnath Singh of the current scenario prevailing in West Bengal.
There was no room made for Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal who did not get a seat in the ceremony after arriving 15 minutes late, IE reports. Later, he was escorted by TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien near his seat. As soon as the new President and the ex-President walked out, the band played the song “Anando loke mongola loke” by Rabrinath Tagore. Indian Express reported quoting Mamata Banerjee, “They are doing this with Tagore, so we wanted to make a point.” This was a reference to the RSS-affiliated Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas’ recommendations of having Tagore and his thoughts removed from school textbooks.