Leaders of 7 neighbouring nations to attend swearing-in
Sr BJP leaders consult allies on Ministries

NEW DELHI, June 8:

Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi is set to take oath on Sunday for a third straight term, equalling the feat of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, as the head of a coalition Government after two full tenures in which the BJP enjoyed a majority on its own.
Hectic parleys involving BJP leadership and allies were on over the share of berths of different constituents of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the new Government.
Senior BJP leaders such as Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh besides party president J P Nadda have been consulting the allies, including Telugu Desam Party’s N Chandrababu Naidu, JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar and Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde, to finalise their share of representation in the Government.
There is a view that heavyweight portfolios like Home, Finance, Defence and External Affairs besides Education and Culture, two Ministries with strong ideological hues, will be kept by the BJP, while its allies can get anywhere between five to eight Cabinet berths.
While leaders like Shah and Singh are seen within the party as a certainty in the new Cabinet, former Chief Ministers who have won the Lok Sabha polls like Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Basavaraj Bommai, Manohar Lal Khattar and Sarbananda Sonowal are strong contenders for joining the Government.
Ram Mohan Naidu of the TDP, Lalan Singh, Sanjay Jha and Ram Nath Thakur of the JD(U), and Chirag Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) are among the allies who may be a part of the new Government, sources said, adding that either Singh or Jha will be accommodated from the JD(U) quota.
Maharashtra, where the BJP-Shiv Sena-NCP alliance has fared poorly, and Bihar, where the opposition has shown signs of revival, may be in the focus during the Government-formation exercise.
Assembly polls are due in the western State in October, while polls will be held in Bihar next year.
Impending changes within the BJP’s organisation will also be on the mind of its brain trust in finalising the names of Ministers from the party.
Nadda’s term was extended due to the Lok Sabha polls, and organisational imperatives will be an important consideration for the party as the poll results have sent signals that all may not be well within its vast machinery.
This opens the possibility of some seasoned hand being sent to the party and Nadda being given a berth in the Government, the sources said.
The desertion by a section of voters, especially from the Scheduled Castes and other deprived sections of society, may also be a guiding factor in Government formation even though Modi had made a point to increase their relative representation in his outgoing term.
Nehru is the only Prime Minister who held the post after three consecutive elections after independence.
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.
The Government has announced that leaders of several neighbouring countries, including from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Mauritius, will be attending the swearing-in ceremony slated to take place at 7:15 PM on Sunday at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Meanwhile, India on Saturday announced that leaders of seven countries from its neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean region including Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi on June 9.
Hasina and Vice-President of Seychelles Ahmed Afif have already arrived in Delhi.
Besides Hasina and Afif, the other leaders attending the ceremony are Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
“The visit of the leaders to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his third consecutive term is in keeping with the highest priority accorded by India to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and ‘SAGAR’ vision,” it said.
India has been cooperating with the countries of the Indian Ocean region under the broader policy framework of SAGAR or Security and Growth for all in the Region.
“The swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Council of Ministers following the General Elections 2024 is scheduled on June 9 2024. On the occasion, leaders from India’s neighbourhood and Indian Ocean region have been cordially invited as distinguished guests,” the MEA said.
In addition to participating in the swearing-in ceremony, the leaders will attend a banquet hosted by President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan, it said.
Shortly after Hasina arrived in Delhi on Saturday, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said on X: “This visit of one of our most valued partners will further strengthen India-Bangladesh close and deep-rooted bonds of friendship.”
Jaiswal also welcomed the visit of Afif to India.
“The visit will impart further momentum to India-Seychelles bilateral ties,” he said.
The invitation by New Delhi to Muizzu to attend the swearing-in ceremony assumed significance as it came amid frosty ties between India and the Maldives.
The ties between India and the Maldives came under severe strain since November last year when Muizzu, known for his pro-China leanings, took charge as Maldivian President.
Within hours of his oath, he had demanded the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from his country. The Indian military personnel were replaced by civilians earlier this month.
The leaders of regional grouping SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries attended Modi’s first swearing ceremony when he took the reins as the Prime Minister after a massive electoral victory for BJP.
Leaders of the BIMSTEC countries attended Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, in 2019 when he became Prime Minister for the second consecutive term.
Though the BJP could not get a majority on its own in the recent Lok Sabha polls, the party-led alliance secured 293 seats out of 543. The majority mark in the Lower House is 272. (PTI)


Shaharbeen News Service Kashmir is a news service which covers, gathers, writes, and distributes news to newspapers, periodicals, radio and television broadcasters, government agencies, and other users. We at SNS Kashmir believe in fair and independent journalism to inform our masses or subscribers and readers about the happenings around the world. The prime focus of the news gathering and reporting is focused on Jammu and Kashmir state.

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