The stage is set for the swearing-in of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister for a second consecutive term on Thursday evening at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The swearing-in ceremony will begin at 7 pm and last for around 2 hours. President Ram Nath Kovind will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Narendra Modi and members of the Council of Ministers in the presence of 8,000 guests which includes foreign dignitaries. Those who will grace the occasion include leaders of BIMSTEC nations, Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth. A host of opposition leaders including Congress president Rahul Gandhi and former PM Manmohan Singh will also attend the event. Chief Ministers of several states and Governors will also present on the occasion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah held a meeting today morning to finalise the names who will take oath in the evening. Those who have received a call from PM Modi so far include senior party leaders Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Narendra Singh Tomar, Prakash Javadekar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Dharmendra Pradhan and Smriti Irani, reports said. The others tipped to get a ministerial berth include Sadananda Gowda, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Jayant Sinha, Giriraj Singh, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Thawarchand Gehlot, Dilip Ghosh, Jitendra Singh and Purshottam Rupala.
According to ANI, all BJP allies including Shiv Sena, JD(U), AIADMK, LJP, Akali Dal and Apna Dal are set to get representation in the government. Each NDA ally will get one cabinet berth in the new government, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut informed. The Sena has confirmed its leader Arvind Sawant will take oath. Sawant defeated Congress heavyweight Milind Deora from Mumbai South. From SAD, Harsimrat Badal, who was Food Processing minister in the previous government, is likely to figure in the list of ministers who will take oath today. The Lok Janshakti Party has already passed a resolution recommending its president Ram Vilas Paswan as the party’s representative in the Modi government. The Apna Dal’s Anupriya Patel is likely to get a place in the new Council of Ministers once again. From Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), Ram Nath Thakur or Santosh Kushwaha’s names are doing the rounds.
The leaders of BIMSTEC nations have been invited for the swearing-in ceremony of the new Modi government. The BIMSTEC comprises seven nations including India — Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan. Besides, Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, the Chair of the SCO, and Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth will be present at the Raisina Hills when Modi takes oath as Prime Minister.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will not attend Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony as she is on a three-nation visit. Bangladesh President Mohammad Abdul Hamid will attend the event in her absence. In 2014 as well, Hasina had missed Modi’s oath-taking ceremony as she was travelling.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has extended invitation to all the non-NDA Chief Ministers for today’s swearing-in ceremony. Also, invitations have been given to a host of opposition leaders which include Congress president Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad. Leaders of all national and regional political parties have also been invited.
All four Congress Chief Ministers — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Punjab will not be attending the swearing-in of Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister on Thursday. While Madhya Pradesh’s Kamal Nath said he had several engagements in the state capital, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel cited prior commitments. Ashok Gehlot’s office said that no travel to the national capital has been scheduled for the Rajasthan CM. Punjab CM Amarinder Singh has also decided to giuve the event a skip. The attendance of Chief Ministers of all states, regardless of their party affiliation, was a customary tradition at the PM’s swearing-in ceremony. That tradition, it seems, will now be laid to rest.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday announced that she will not travel to Delhi to attend the swearing-in of Narendra Modi government because BJP was trying to gain political mileage from the event. Earlier, Mamata had confirmed that she would attend the event but later reversed her decision after BJP invited family members of over 50 BJP workers who lost their lives in incidents of political violence. In her message, Banerjee said that there have been no political murders in Bengal and their deaths may have occurred due to personal enmity, family quarrels and other disputes. “Nothing related to politics. There is no such record with us. So, I am sorry, Narendra Modi ji, this has compelled me not to attend the ceremony,” she said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has invited families of over 50 party workers who were killed in incidents of political violence in West Bengal, allegedly orchestrated by the ruling Trinamool Congress. The families reached New Delhi on Thursday morning. They will be taken to Rashtrapati Bhavan where Modi and his ministers will take oath of office and secrecy. The development is seen as a strong message for Banerjee from Modi that BJP will reach out to the locals to expands its base ahead of the 2021 Assembly elections. The BJP won 18 of the 42 seats in West Bengal in the Lok Sabha elections while TMC pocketed 22 seats, 12 less than its 2014 tally of 34.
Meanwhile, tight security arrangements have been put in place in view of the event. Madhur Verma, DCP, New Delhi informed that there are three-layer security arrangements. The first layer is of VIP security as well as Rashtrapati Bhawan, followed by a layer of Delhi Police. The third layer will comprise of paramilitary forces. Apart from security arrangments we have coordinated arrangement with traffic also. Around 8,000 to 10,000 police personnel along with traffic personnel have been deployed.
Nearly 8,000 guests have been invited for the swearing-in of Narendra Modi at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, making it the biggest-ever event held here. The government will host a high-tea party for all the guests. After the swearing-in, President Ram Nath Kovind will host a private dinner for the leaders from BIMSTEC nations, Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth. In 2014, around 5,000 people including SAARC countries’ heads had attended the swearing-in of Modi government.