Modi to take oath as PM on May 30

Gautam Lahiri

27 May, 2019 12:00 AM printer

NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi will take oath as the Indian prime minister for a second term on May 30 (Thursday) following his party’s crushing victory in the general election.

President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Modi as the premier on Saturday as newly-elected lawmakers led by BJP close him for the post.

The swearing-in will be held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan at 7:00pm, President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted.

PM Modi had met President Kovind and staked claim to form government at the centre last evening.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance won a resounding majority in the Lok Sabha elections on Thursday, securing 352 seats in the lower house of parliament.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will not be able to join the oath-taking ceremony for her Japan visit.

Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury is preoccupied. Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque is expected to be present on the occasion.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday phoned Narendra Modi and congratulated him for his electoral victory.                

But it is not sure whether any representative of his government will join the oath event.

Apart from Modi, members of his cabinet will take oath on Thursday.

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 - they included Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan.

But PM Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, his closest aide, are believed to be keen on inducting new faces into the council of ministers.

West Bengal, where the BJP has made phenomenal career advancement, jumping from two to 18 seats, could get big representation.

The PM and Shah have so far not indicated a decision on the “Big 4” - Home, Finance, External Affairs and Defence either.

A closely-watched call will be whether to keep senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley as Finance Minister despite his poor health, or assign Railways and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal to the job of leading Asia’s third-largest economy.

Goyal, 54, had stepped into the role twice when Jaitley was ill. 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.

Gandhi himself was elected thrice from Amethi. It took 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 on Saturday 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.