Modi to take oath on Thursday as Prime Minister
Published : Sunday, 26 May, 2019 at 10:23 PM Count : 562
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was re-elected with a thumping majority for a second term, will take oath at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday. The ceremony will take place at 7 pm, President Ram Nath Kovind has tweeted, NDTV reports.
PM Modi had met President Kovind and staked a claim to form a government at the centre last evening. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance had won a resounding majority in the Lok Sabha elections on Thursday, securing 352 seats in the 545-member lower house of parliament.
Names of new ministers have been kept under wraps but President Kovind's tweet indicated that PM Modi's cabinet of ministers will join him in taking oath.
The government has also not announced the guest list for the swearing-in ceremony. In 2014, leaders of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) were invited and attended the ceremony - the list included Nawaz Sharif, who was then Prime Minister of Pakistan.
PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, his closest aide, are believed to be keen on including newer faces in the council of ministers. West Bengal, where the BJP has made a phenomenal career advancement, jumping from two to 18 seats, could get big representation.
The PM and Mr Shah have so far not indicated a decision on the "Big 4" - Home, Finance, External Affairs and Defence.
A closely-watched call will be whether senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley will be retained as Finance Minister despite his poor health, or Railways and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal will be given the job of leading Asia's third-largest economy. Mr Goyal, 54, had stepped into the role twice when Mr Jaitley was ill. Mr Goyal presented an interim budget before the election and a full budget is due after the new government takes office.
Smriti Irani, who was Textiles Minister, is expected to get a weighty reward for emerging as the BJP's crown jewel of the election season by defeating Rahul Gandhi in Amethi - the constituency held by his family for four decades. Mr Gandhi himself was elected thrice from Amethi. It took Ms Irani just five years to eject him - she ran against him unsuccessfully in 2014, then reversed that on Thursday.
PM Modi's previous cabinet met for the last time on Friday before handing their resignations to President Kovind. In keeping with procedure, the 16th Lok Sabha was dissolved by the President yesterday while the victorious NDA coalition met in the Central Hall of parliament to elect PM Modi as their leader. The Election Commission has handed a list of the newly-elected MPs to the President who will formally constitute the 17th Lok Sabha.
In his address to the lawmakers of the NDA, PM Modi emphasised policies of inclusion and an outreach to minorities. "We have worked for sabka saath, sabka vikas (everyone's support, everyone's development), now sabka vishwas (everyone's trust) is our mantra," the PM said.