Narendra Modi takes oath as Prime Minister of India for a second term
Narendra Modi took over as the country's Prime Minister for a second term on Thursday after he was sworn in along with other Union ministers, including BJP president Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, and former foreign secretary S Jaishankar, a surprise pick.
Narendra Modi, 68, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Ram Nath Kovind at a glittering ceremony at the forecourt of majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"Honoured to serve India!" tweeted Narendra Modi after taking the oath for the second consecutive term.
Apart from Shah, Singh, Gadkari, the other top leaders who were sworn-in as Union ministers included D V Sadananda Gowda, Nirmala Sitharaman, and Ram Vilas Paswan.
While the inclusion of Shah, seen as BJP's key strategist who helped the party to expand its base after taking over the reins of the party in 2014, was much speculated, Jaishankar, considered close to Narendra Modi, was a surprise pick.
Some of the key ministers in the previous Modi government, including Sushma Swaraj, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, and Maneka Gandhi were not part of the new council of ministers.
Top opposition leaders including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, corporate honchos, film stars, chief ministers, and a galaxy of leaders from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand , Nepal and Bhutan (BIMSTEC) countries were part of the nearly 8,000 guests at the ceremony.
Others who took oath of office included Narendra Singh Tomar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Thanwar Chand Gehlot, Ramesh Pokhriyal, Arjun Munda, Smriti Irani, Harsh Vardhan, Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Prahlad Joshi, Mahendra Nath Pandey, and Giriraj Singh.
This is the second time Narendra Modi took the oath at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. He was sworn in by the then President Pranab Mukherjee in 2014 in the presence of over 3,500 guests including the heads of SAARC countries.
Earlier, Chandra Shekhar in 1990 and Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1999 were sworn in at the sprawling forecourt.
Leaders of BIMSTEC countries, including Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Myanmar President U Win Myint, and Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering also attended the gala event.
From Thailand, its Special Envoy Grisada Boonrach represented the country.
Current chair of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, and Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth also attended the event.