Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi will take the oath of office today (30 May) at Rashtrapati Bhavan in an event that is expected to witness the presence of more than 6,000 guests. Those attending this 'mega' oath ceremony includes all prominent Opposition leaders, Chief Ministers of all the states, Governors of all the states, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, members of both the Houses of Parliament and senior BJP functionaries in states. Former prime ministers and presidents have been sent invitations for the event.
Apart from this, several Heads of State including that of BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries, have also been invited for the swearing-in ceremony. The oath ceremony will take place in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan and not in the Durbar Hall.
This will be the fourth time in Independent Indian history that a Prime Minister will take oath in the forecourt — the stately path between the main gates and the main building, which is used for the ceremonial reception of visiting heads of state and heads of government as also for the Change of Guard ceremony. "The only two other Prime Ministers, who have been sworn in with the grand Rashtrapati Bhavan edifice as a backdrop, are AB Vajpayee and Chandrashekhar," reports The Indian Express.
According to a report in The Economic Times, the size of the gathering may mirror the scale of BJP’s landslide victory in the elections, but the ceremony will be kept simple and solemn as per the wishes of President Ram Nath Kovind and Modi.
Reports have said that the oath-taking ceremony will be held mostly the way it was conducted in 2014. Seating will be slightly elevated towards the rear this time to ensure that everyone gets a reasonably good view of the ceremony, officials have been quoted as saying.
Rashtrapati Bhavan will serve a light dinner for the visiting dignitaries besides high tea after the 7 pm ceremony. While the high tea will serve vegetarian fare ranging from samosas to Rajbhog and lemon tarts, the dinner will include both vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare. High tea will be served to the top 600 dignitaries inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan, while for the rest of the guests it will be spread in the Forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
In 2014, when Modi won his first term, the oath ceremony was held at the forecourt. Modi took the oath along with 24 Cabinet and 21 Ministers of State. In 2014, at least 3,500 dignitaries, including the heads of SAARC countries (Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives ) were present at the event. Several celebrities from the field of art and culture, especially the Hindi film industry along with bigwigs from corporate and industry, media and sports were also part of the oath ceremony.
This time too representatives from the film industry, corporate and media are expected to be present at the event.
The stage for the ceremony will be six feet high. Up to 6,000 guests are expected to be present. An informal ‘group of ministers’ referred to as 'GoM' has been entrusted with the task of seeing to the event's progress. This GoM includes Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of Urban Development.
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Updated Date: May 30, 2019 08:20:36 IST