Tradition broken, swearing-in turns lavish

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: Simplicity which was often stressed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi was not visible during the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma on Tuesday.

Breaking the tradition, the swearing-in ceremony of the Chief Minister was held at the sprawling lawn of the Raj Bhavan instead of the Durbar Hall of the Raj Bhavan.

The lavish swearing-in ceremony, resulting in wastage of public money, raised a few eyebrows.

According to sources, the expenses for the swearing-in ceremony are being borne by the State Government.

“The Raj Bhavan Secretariat has not funded this particular swearing-in ceremony. The Raj Bhavan staff have only assisted in organising the ceremony,” the sources said.

The catering for the snacks and tea were taken care of by The Shillong Club. The swearing-in ceremony was attended by scores of Congress members and supporters including relatives of the newly elected legislators.

Later, the Chief Minister, who is known for his late arrivals, appeared at the news conference at the Main Secretariat conference hall an hour later than scheduled.

The press conference was supposed to start at 3 pm, but the Chief Minister turned up at 4pm. He, however, apologized for his late arrival.

The Chief Minister brought all the Congress legislators and the Independents along with him during the news conference, quite similar to what he had done when he was first sworn in as the Chief Minister in 2010.