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Rashtrapati Bhavan and India gear up for mega Modi swearing-in

Prime Minister- designate Narendra Modi’s oath ceremony has built up to become a mega event and perhaps the biggest to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 26th, 2014. Among the guest list comprising of 4000 people were all the SAARC nation leaders or their representatives, the MPs from LS and RS along with their family members, industrialists, top bureaucrats, Bollywood celebrities, dignitaries along with the President, Vice-President, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, CMs, Governors and the representatives from the media. This is the first such instance of such an opulent display for the swearing-in ceremony of the PM and his team at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Mr. Modi had been lodged at Gujarat Bhawan in the New Delhi spending the last few days screening cvs of NDA parliamentarians to pick his best possible team of council of ministers or cabinet. While allocating portfolios the business interests of each of the MPs had been considered. The upcoming government wants to send out a clear message that its council of ministers will be taint-free. There has been avid speculation that Mr Modi is also looking to induct some talented technocrats. As he prepares to take charge as India’s 15th PM he wants to be supported at the helm with a compact and smart cabinet. Modi has signaled from day one that he alone would pick his ministers while his colleagues and the Sangh Parivar could at best be approached for suggestions and consultations. Hence entry had been banned for all except party leaders and government officials summoned by Mr Modi at the Gujarat Bhavan.

Military bands were heard rehearsing for the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan’s forecourt. About 6,000 security personnel will be defending over a two-km periphery around the presidential palace during the ceremony having many VVIPs and VIPs on May 26, 2014 at 18:00 hrs IST. The security personnel include paramilitary commandos to police sharpshooters from the ground to the air to guard heads of state and government who will be present at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Modi and his team. Delhi police will throw a net around Raisina Hill on which Rashtrapati Bhavan stands. Even the travel plans of the VVIPs had been considered and all top buildings in the surrounding area will be covered. Dog squads and bomb disposal squads will sanitize the venue in advance.

The dignitaries who would be present are Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Nepali Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam. Bangladesh will be represented by Speaker Shirin Chaudhury. It was assumed that Modi’s cabinet would also take oath along with him on May 26 in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Some senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders including Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Shourie, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Ananth Kumar are expected to find a place in the cabinet. Meanwhile, Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has alleged that he has not received any invitation for the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi at New Delhi. Meanwhile also ending the suspense West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee decided to send the state’s finance minister Amit Mitra and party general secretary Mukul Roy to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Modi. CM Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa has also renounced the ceremony due to the presence of the Sri Lankan President at the ceremony.

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