Ranchi: The divide in the ranks was clearly visible at Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren's swearing-in as several parties and key leaders skipped the event which was earlier touted as a mega display of unity.

No senior leader from UP - Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) or state Congress, attended the event. While SP chief Akhilesh Yadav was addressing a press conference at the time, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress general secretary of the state, was in Lucknow.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who was personally invited by Soren, and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not turn up at Mohrabadi Ground in Ranchi. The party, which won 16 seats in the state, was represented by Rahul Gandhi.

From Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray also gave the event a miss.

Chief ministers of as many as six non-BJP ruled states had confirmed their presence but only half of them graced the occasion. Chief ministers Kamal Nath of Madhya Pradesh, Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi and Uddhav Thackeray of Maharashtra chose to stay away.

A galaxy of other leaders including Congress' P Chidambaram, a strong critic or the Centre's economic policies, KC Venugopal, Harish Rawat, Ahmed Patel and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu also remained absent on the occasion.

However, chief ministers Mamata Banerjee, Bhupesh Baghel and Ashok Gehlot graced the swearing-in ceremony. DMK chief MK Stalin, MP Kanimozhi, Sharad Pawar, Tejashwi Yadav, CPI's D Raja, CPM's Sitaram Yechury and others were present.

The swearing-in was expected to turn into a big display of unity, similar to the gathering in Bengaluru in May 2018 when JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy took office as Karnataka chief minister.

Hemant Soren took oath as 11th chief minister of the state, unseating BJP's Raghubar Das.