Narendra Modi, the recently elected Prime Minister of India, swears in the position with great pomp and show on Monday, May 26. India will find its 15th President, Modi, surrounded by members of the Parliament, in what is poised to be the biggest swearing-in ceremony, the nation has ever seen. Rashtrapati Bhavan has seen.
Narendra Modi, who started as a tea maker in Gujarat, was elected to lead the nation after the national exit polls, that happened in April earlier this year. The former Chief Minister of Gujarat, who led the state into progress and development for over four terms, caused a major upset in the elections. Modi, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), became the first party in over three decades to achieve the first BJP-party majority in the Lok Sabha. Defeating the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Modi now takes the reins of India, giving him and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the power to rule in 10 years.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan, which is the venue for Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, is the house of political power in India. The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. and is expected to go on for an hour. Modi is expected to visit Rajghat, the resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, to pay his respects before he arrives at the venue. The swearing-in ceremony will be the first to see over 4,000 delegates from foreign embassies and various high commissions in New Delhi. Narendra Modi has also surprised many national leaders, by extending an invitation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, of Pakistan, India’s formidable foe. Modi, who takes charge of the nation as it reels under the pressure of economic instability, has already outlined plans to deal with inflation with agriculture, even before he takes his seat. Other local political parties did not share the same camaraderie though. Another foreign dignitary that Modi invited, the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, led to boycotts from the local allies with the BJP. Protest against the invitation were mainly from the state of Tamilnadu, who do not share healthy relations, owing to the treatment Sri Lankan Tamils receive on the island. It is still unclear if Jayalalith, the chief minister of Tamilnadu, the BJP’s biggest ally down south, will make it to the event.
It is no surprise that Modi spent his Sunday at the Gujarat Bhawan, in meetings and discussions with several allies of the NDA. Sources confirmed that Modi focused on his cabinet, while another says that ministers from his alliance partners will be sworn in with him. The alliance partners were mentioned included, the Telugu Desam Party from Andhra Pradesh, and the Akali Dal from Punjab. Naveen Patnaik, the Odisha chief minister and Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, were not able to attend the ceremony, but promised to send representatives.
It is expected that dozens of security agencies and thousands of officials and workers will form the entourage at the event. To ensure that the event goes on, security has been tightened and a big cordon will be set up around the Rashtrapati Bhavan and its neighboring areas to keep it off limits from the general public. The event will be telecast live allowing the uninvited general public to see Narendra Modi swear in pomp and a huge display of the culture India hosts.
By Rathan Paul Harshavardan
The Times Of India