Narendra Modi will be sworn in as India’s Prime Minister on Sunday evening in the national capital for a record-equalling, consecutive third term, along with a council of ministers that will look to carry forward the economic, political and social agenda of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).The oath-taking ceremony will take place in what’s being conceived as a grand event at Rashtrapati Bhavan that will be attended by personalities from different walks of life and overseas leaders. As part of a neighbourhood-first policy, invitations have been extended to the heads of state and government in the region.

Apart from film stars, businessmen and leaders from across the political spectrum, invitations have also been sent to beneficiaries of various central government welfare schemes. More than 200 workers engaged in the construction of the Central Vista, and especially the new parliament building, will also be guests. They will have tea at the residence of Mansukh Mandaviya, a member of the outgoing cabinet, who will accompany them to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Cabinet berth talks held

  • All
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Maharashtra
  • Tamil Nadu
  • West Bengal
  • Bihar
  • Karnataka
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Telangana
  • Kerala
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Rajasthan
  • Delhi
  • Other States

Invitations have also been extended to those involved in the Vande Bharat high-speed train project as well as the building of various metro systems around the country.

Ahead of the oath-taking event, hectic parleys among the BJP leadership and its NDA allies were on over berths in the new government. With the BJP falling short of a majority on its own this time, it will have to give more portfolios to its allies than it did in the last two NDA governments at the Centre.

Senior BJP leaders including Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and party president JP Nadda have been consulting allies — including the Telugu Desam Party‘s N Chandrababu Naidu, the JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar and Eknath Shinde of the Shiv Sena faction that he heads — to finalise their representation in the government.

The BJP is keen to keep with itself the four top portfolios of home, finance, defence and external affairs as well the key ministries of education and culture, said people with knowledge of the matter. It’s expected that those who are to be inducted as ministers will start getting phone calls by late evening Saturday or Sunday morning, they added. Modi is expected to invite those who will be members of the council of ministers to tea at his residence before the oath-taking ceremony.

BJP rejig likely
Impending changes within the BJP’s organisation and upcoming assembly polls could also be taken into consideration before finalising the names of ministers from the party.

Nadda’s term as party president had been extended due to the Lok Sabha polls. Choosing his successor and other organisational imperatives will be an important consideration for the party as the poll results signalled that all may not be well within its vast machinery, said people with knowledge of the matter. This opens the possibility of some seasoned hand being sent to the party and Nadda being given a berth in the government, they said.

The BJP is keen to send out a message of continuity and ward off any impression of political vulnerability following its surprising below-par show in the Lok Sabha polls as its seat tally fell to 240 from 303, considerably short of the majority mark of 272.

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