D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Pralhad Joshi, Suresh Angadi and Nirmala Sitharaman from Karnataka to make it to Modi Ministry
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take his oath of office and secrecy this evening along with his Ministers, for the second consecutive term at the Rashtrapati Bhavan after his party BJP witnessed a massive victory in the national elections.
PM Modi and his Council of Ministers will be administered the oath by President Ram Nath Kovind. The dazzling oath-taking event will be held at the Presidential Palace Rashtrapati Bhavan at 7 pm and will be attended by world leaders, celebrities and politicians.
Ahead of the glittering swearing-in ceremony, PM Modi visited the memorials of Mahatma Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee this morning, where he paid tributes to the late leaders.
This will be the fourth time that a Prime Minister takes oath at the Rashtrapati Bhavan’s forecourt — the T-shaped path that leads to the main building from the main gate. The ceremony, traditionally, takes place at Durbar Hall. The first PM to be administered the oath here was Chandra Shekhar in 1990. Atal Bihari Vajpayee also took oath here in 1998.
Modi was sworn in as PM in May 2014 at the forecourt with heads of State from SAARC nations in attendance in a ceremony attended by nearly 5,000 guests. This time, a record number of 8,000 guests are likely to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony. The guest list includes heads of several neighbouring countries, chief ministers of most of the States and Bollywood stars. Outgoing Finance Minister Arun Jaitley opted out of the new Cabinet citing ill health.
The families of BJP workers who were allegedly killed in political violence in West Bengal in the last one year have also been invited to the ceremony.
So far as the Opposition is concerned, Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi have confirmed their attendance.
A day after stating that she would come to Delhi to attend the swearing-in at Rashtrapati Bhavan, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee did a U-turn today and said she would not be attending the ceremony. In a message, the Trinamool Congress Chief slammed the BJP for spreading lies about political murders in West Bengal.
Modi and BJP President Amit Shah held a marathon meeting for the second consecutive day today during which they are learnt to have finalised the broad contours the new ministry that is expected to have some new faces besides retaining most of the senior ministers.
Though there is an intense buzz that Shah, credited for crafting the political strategy for the BJP, may be part of the new government and be given a plum portfolio, there was no clarity yet on him making a ministerial debut. There was also speculation that Shah might continue as BJP chief since Assembly elections in some key states are due to be held in the next one year.
Senior members like Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Narendra Singh Tomar and Prakash Javadekar are likely to retain their place. Irani, who defeated Rahul Gandhi in his home turf of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh to earn the tag of giant killer, is expected to get a key portfolio.
Ministers from Karnataka
Three MPs from Karnataka including Minister in the outgoing cabinet D.V. Sadananda Gowda will be sworn in as they have got a call from Amit Shah confirming their posts.
Others who have received the call from BJP chief are Pralhad Joshi and Suresh Angadi. If the three make it to the Modi Ministry, from Karnataka, there will be four Ministers including Nirmala Sitharaman, a Rajya Sabha Member from Karnataka.
The menu and the special ‘Dal Raisina’
Rashtrapati Bhavan will serve a light dinner for the visiting dignitaries besides high tea after the 7 pm ceremony, according to reports. While the high tea will serve vegetarian fare ranging from samosas to Rajbhog and lemon tarts, the dinner will include both vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare.
The President’s kitchen has taken into consideration that many visiting dignitaries are from countries to India’s east whose cuisine is usually not very rich or heavy, and the timing of the event will make it rather a late meal for them when compared to their local time.
The signature ‘Dal Raisina’, which will be the highlight of the dinner, is already being cooked. The cooking of this speciality of Rashtrapati Bhavan takes 48 hours and the process started on Tuesday night.