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President's Office Says Sharad Pawar was to be Seated among VVIPs, Not 5th Row, at PM's Oath Ceremony

President Ram Nath Kovind's press secretary provided the clarification in response to 'inaccurate reports' and 'media queries' his office had received after Pawar decided to skip the swearing-in ceremony on May 30.


Updated:June 5, 2019, 6:08 PM IST
President's Office Says Sharad Pawar was to be Seated among VVIPs, Not 5th Row, at PM's Oath Ceremony
File photo of NCP chief Sharad Pawar. (Reuters)

New Delhi: Putting an end to the controversy surrounding Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar skipping Prime Minister Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony on May 30, the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Wednesday clarified that the senior leader had been provided seating in the VVIP section.

Pawar had reportedly refused to attend the ceremony after he was allotted a seat in the fifth row.

Ashok Malik, press secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind, said on Twitter that Pawar had been designated a seat in the first row of the VVIP section.

"At the swearing-in ceremony on May 30, Mr Sharad Pawar was invited to the 'V section', where the most senior guests sat. Even within 'V', he had a labeled first-row seat. Somebody in his office may have confused V (for VVIP) for the Roman V (five)," he said.

Malik provided the clarification in response to "inaccurate reports" and "media queries" received by his office on the issue.

Modi and his Council of Minister were sworn in on May 30 at a grand ceremony organised in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan. It was attended by leaders from BIMSTEC nations, political leaders from across the country, businessmen, media professionals, Bollywood celebrities and civil society front-runners.

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