New Delhi, 26 May-2014(ANI): Narendra Modi is set to be sworn in as India’s 15th prime minister at the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt this evening. An unprecedented 4,000 guests, including heads of the government of eight countries (of which seven are from SAARC), all 777 MPs of both Houses, the outgoing PM and his council of ministers, all governors, CMs, ambassadors and other constitutional authorities like the chief justice of India will attend the event.
However, ahead of the grand event, the BJP leader visited Rajghat, to pay respects to Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial. He had tweeted about his visit earlier:
Tweet: Tomorrow, will begin the day by visiting Raj Ghat & paying my respects to Pujya Bapu.
Tweet: He followed this with a visit to Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s house to seek his blessings:
Apart from Raisina Hill, the entire New Delhi district has been put on high alert and except for Jantar Mantar, no gathering will be allowed at any other area in the capital. A Tamil group on Sunday protested against the invitation sent to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse at Jantar Mantar. The Delhi Police have also made special arrangements for the security of foreign delegates who will attend the swearing-in ceremony. “Security has been beefed up at the Taj Mansingh Hotel where Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif would be staying,” said a police officer.
This will be the third time when the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt will be the venue for the PM’s swearing-in ceremony. The previous instances were in 1990 when Chandrashekhar became PM after the fall of the VP Singh government and in 1998, when Atal Bhari Vajpayee was sworn in as PM of the BJP-led NDA government.
Omita Paul, secretary to the president, said the ceremony will start at 6pm and its duration would depend on the number of members in Modi’s cabinet and the ministers of state being sworn in. Each minister will take 1.5-2 minutes to complete the swearing-in procedure. As part of the procedure, the PM and the ministers will have to take two sets of oath, shake hands with the president, go to the table, sit down and sign in the register before returning to the special seating enclosure made for them.