Modi swearing-in ceremony: Temperature hovering above 43 degrees hardly had any impact on the evident excitement and buzz as over 8,000 guests watched Narendra Modi take oath as India’s Prime Minister for the second consecutive term on Thursday at the sprawling forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Narendra Modi was administered the oath of office and secrecy along with his team of ministers by President Ram Nath Kovind.
Others who took oath with Narendra Modi included Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal, Narendra Singh Tomar, Prakash Javadekar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Dharmendra Pradhan and Smriti Irani. The portfolios of these ministers are yet to be decided.
The guests included leaders of BIMSTEC countries, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan in line with Modi’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. Opposition leaders Congress Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao, AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal were also present for the function which started at 7 pm. The A-listers of Indian film industry such as Karan Johar, Rajinikanth, Boney Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut also attended the ceremony.
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The swearing-in ceremony was held exactly a week after the Bharatiya Janata Party scripted resounding victory in the Lok Sabha election 2019. The BJP-led NDA bagged 352 seats, the Congress and its allies 91 and Others 99 seats in the general elections results for which were announced on May 23. The BJP won 303 seats on its own, 31 more than the magic figure of 272 needed to form the government. In 2014, the NDA had won 336 seats and the BJP 282.
From poll campaign to swearing-in, Modi-Mamata tussle lingers on
The month-long election campaign witnessed both Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee indulging in an all-out attack on each other. However, it was the BJP which had the last laugh as the party managed to dent Trinamool’s citadel West Bengal winning 18 of 42 Lok Sabha seats. Mamata’s party’s won 22 seats, a sharp decline from 34 seats that it won in 2014.
Earlier this week, Mamata received an invite for Modi’s swearing-in. The TMC chief announced in social media she will attend. However, the truce was shortlived as BJP’s invite to family members of over 50 BJP workers killed in political violence in West Bengal in the recent past irked Mamata.
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Terming BJP’s allegations of political murders as untrue, Mamata said she has been compelled not to attend the event in New Delhi.
“The ceremony is an august occasion to celebrate democracy, not one that should be devalued by any political party which uses it as an opportunity to score political points. Please excuse me,” a furious Mamata said in her tweet on Wednesday.
“I am seeing media reports that the BJP are claiming 54 people have been murdered in political violence in Bengal. This is completely untrue. There have been no political murders in Bengal. These deaths may have occurred due to personal enmity, family quarrels and other disputes; nothing related to politics,” Mamata went on to add in a series of tweets.