Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi was sworn in as the country’s prime minister for a second term on Thursday at a large gathering of national and international dignitaries and leaders at Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath of office to Modi and 24 Cabinet ministers.
“Honoured to serve India!” Modi tweeted after taking the oath for the second consecutive term. The saffron party got a decisive mandate in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, winning 303 seats on its own.
Former Union ministers such as Rajnath Singh, Sadananda Gowda, Nirmala Sitharaman, Ram Vilas Paswan, Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Irani, Prakash Javadekar, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Piyush Goyal, Giriraj Singh, Narendra Singh Tomar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Dharmendra Pradhan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Mahendra Nath Pandey and Thawar Chand Gehlot took oath as Cabinet ministers for the second time.
BJP President Amit Shah, who won a resounding victory from the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat, was also sworn in as a Cabinet minister. Former Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, the BJP’s Dharwad MP Pralhad Joshi, former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda were also inducted into the Cabinet.
Babul Supriyo, Sanjeev Balyan, Anurag Singh Thakur, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Faggan Singh Kulaste also took oath. Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena, BJP’s ally, was also sworn in to the Cabinet.
The leaders who took oath as minister of state with independent charge are Kiren Rijiju, Shripad Naik, Prahlad Singh Patel, Rao Inderjit Singh, Jitendra Singh, Santosh Gangwar, Hardeep Singh Puri, RK Singh, and Mansukh Lal Madaviya. Twenty four ministers of state were also inducted into the government.
The Janata Dal (United) will not be part of the NDA cabinet at the Centre, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said moments before the oath-taking ceremony. Kumar said the decision was made after only one ministerial berth was allotted to the ruling party in Bihar, which would have been “just a symbolic participation”.
Key ministers from the previous government such as Sushma Swaraj, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Maneka Gandhi were not given any post. Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday had ruled himself out of the government because of health problems.
Dignitaries at the ceremony
Several Opposition leaders, including Congress President Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, chief ministers, film personalities were present at the ceremony.
Leaders of BIMSTEC countries, including President of Bangladesh Abdul Hamid, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, President of Myanmar U Win Myint and Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, were part of the nearly 8,000 guests present at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Current chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, and Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth also attend the ceremony.
Jagan Mohan Reddy, who was sworn in as Andhra Pradesh chief minister earlier in the day, skipped the event to host his Telangana counterpart K Chandrashekhar Rao. Both chief ministers had accepted the Centre’s invitations to the ceremony. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also skipped the event citing party-related matters.