BJP state chief Vasundhara Raje was sworn in as chief minister of Rajasthan by Governor Margaret Alva Friday. This is the 60-year-old’s second stint as state CM, and with a 162-seat victory, she is expected to have a smooth five years in office.
The ceremony was attended by senior party leaders LK Advani, Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal. A separate seating arrangement on the main dais was made for religious leaders who attended the ceremony. Actors Vivek Oberoi and Hema Malini were among the several personal invitees of the CM. Over 80,000 party workers, supporters, legislators and special guests witnessed her take the oath.
Outgoing chief minister Ashok Gehlot also participated in the ceremony and congratulated Raje on her victory. The grand scale of the ceremony was in stark contrast to Gehlot’s oath-taking ceremony, which was held in the Governor House.
Soon after the ceremony, Raje made a bureaucratic reshuffle in which officiating chief secretary C S Rajan was shifted from his previous charge as additional chief secretary rural development to infrastructure. Rajan will continue to officiate as CS till further notice. Former CS C K Mathew was transferred to Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation. Director General of Police Harish Meena, who had proceeded on a two-month leave, was replaced by DG (Jails) Omendra Bhardwaj. Meena will now be in-charge of jails.
Sreemat Pandey, former principal secretary to the chief minister, was transferred to the Rural Development department as principal secretary while Govind Sharma, principal secretary (finance), was shifted as chairman, Indira Gandhi Canal Board. Niranjan Kumar Arya, secretary (Ayurveda), was transferred as the member of Revenue Board-Ajmer. Secretary to chief minister Rajat Kumar Mishra was posted as secretary (labour) and was replaced by Tanmay Kumar, who earlier held the post of finance secretary and will now be posted in the CMO. Praveen Gupta, secretary (education), will replace Kumar as secretary (finance). Mahendra Bhardwaj, who was earlier Raje’s press attaché during her stint as CM from 2003-2008, was appointed press adviser.