Veteran Congress leader and former Nagaland Chief Minister Senayangba Chubatoshi Jamir was today sworn-in as the Governor of Odisha even as the Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh left the ceremony alleging “protocol violation”.

As Jamir was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of Orissa High Court Justice C Nagappan at Raj Bhavan, Singh left the venue in a huff, voicing unhappiness over seating arrangement and alleging non-compliance of protocol.

“I had to leave the function mid-way as protocol was not maintained. I was offered a seat in the third row. The state government must apologise for the mess,” the senior Congress leader told reporters later.

Singh also raised the issue in the Assembly terming the episode as “unfortunate” and claiming that no proper invitation was extended to MLAs for the swearing-in function of the state’s constitutional head.

BJD legislators including Bhagirathi Badajena, however, claimed they had received proper invitation.

“I wonder as to what prevented the government from conducting the ceremony in a dignified and proper manner,” Singh said.

The 82-year-old Jamir, who has been appointed the 44th Governor of Odisha, succeeded Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare, whose tenure had ended on August 20 last year but continued in office till appointment of the new head of state.

Soon after taking oath, Jamir said he has come to Odisha “with a mission... of serving the people.”

Considered as an architect of modern Nagaland, Jamir had also served as the Governor of Maharashtra and Goa, besides being the chief minister of the north-eastern state five times.

Jamir was first nominated a member of Lok Sabha in 1961 and appointed parliamentary secretary to the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was also in-charge of external affairs.

He was later elevated as deputy minister of railways and also served in other ministries at the Centre – Labour and Rehabilitation, Community Development and Cooperation, and Food and Agriculture.

A host of dignitaries, including Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, attended the swearing-in ceremony.

(This article was published on March 21, 2013)
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