Narendra Modi Makes History by Taking Oath as Prime Minister for the Third Consecutive Term

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10 Jun 24
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Gope Nath Bhatt*

Narendra Modi Makes History by Taking Oath as Prime Minister for the Third Consecutive Term

Narendra Modi created history by taking the oath as Prime Minister of India for the third consecutive term amidst a gathering of 8,000 invited guests under the Jaipur Column in the sprawling courtyard of Rashtrapati Bhavan. The event saw Modi, aged 73, being sworn in for the third time, having first assumed office in 2014 and then again in 2019. With this, he matched the record of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, becoming the second PM to hold the position for three consecutive terms. Modi was re-elected from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh for the third time.

Amidst thunderous applause and chants of "Modi-Modi," Modi arrived at Rashtrapati Bhavan at the scheduled time for the oath-taking ceremony. He greeted the guests from home and abroad with a bow before ascending the stage, walking confidently in a blue jacket, white kurta, and churidar pajama, his face beaming with confidence and enthusiasm. He sat next to Rajnath Singh in the front row of ministers to be sworn in and was seen conversing with him until President Murmu arrived. The swearing-in ceremony commenced with the national anthem at precisely 7:15 PM.

President Draupadi Murmu administered the oath of office and secrecy to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 72 other ministers. Modi's new team includes 30 Cabinet Ministers, 5 Ministers of State with independent charge, and 36 Ministers of State. The cabinet represents 24 states across the country, with 18 senior ministers leading various ministries. The council also includes ministers from 11 NDA allied parties. The cabinet accommodates all social groups, with 27 OBCs, 10 SCs, 5 STs, and 5 minorities. Several former chief ministers and 43 ministers who have served three or more terms in Parliament are part of the council, along with 39 who have previously served as ministers in the Indian government and 34 who have served in state legislatures or as state ministers in 23 states.

The Modi 03 cabinet mostly retains the ministers who were sworn in 2019, including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, and Nirmala Sitharaman. This time, BJP President J.P. Nadda and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan were also sworn in as members of the Modi cabinet. However, outgoing Union Ministers Anurag Thakur and Narayan Rane were not seen taking the oath, and reports suggest that Praful Patel declined to be sworn in as a Minister of State. Modi has formed a jumbo cabinet this time, compared to the 46 ministers in 2014 and 58 in 2019.

From Rajasthan, where BJP did not perform as expected in the Lok Sabha elections similar to Uttar Pradesh, Bhupender Yadav, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Arjun Ram Meghwal were sworn in, along with new face Bhagirath Chaudhary, a two-time MP from Ajmer. Previously, Kailash Chaudhary was the Minister of State for Agriculture but lost the election from the border constituency of Barmer.

This swearing-in ceremony saw the presence of key figures like TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu, JDU leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, heads of neighboring countries, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra, Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma, and Assembly Speaker Vasudev Devnani. The ceremony also sparked discussions about Om Birla possibly being reappointed as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and speculations about the future BJP President since J.P. Nadda's term ends in June.

Special guests included top leaders from neighboring countries and the Indian Ocean region, such as Maldivian President Mohammed Muizzu, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Bhutanese Prime Minister Shering Tobgay, and Seychellois Vice President Ahmed Afif.

Prior to the swearing-in, political activities in the national capital picked up pace following the election of Narendra Modi as the NDA leader and a series of meetings chaired by Amit Shah. By Sunday morning, calls were made to MPs slated to become ministers, inviting them to the PM's residence and party office. At 11:30 AM, Modi met with future ministers at his residence on 7 Lok Kalyan Marg for tea, discussing a 100-day roadmap and the upcoming minimum common program, instructing them to start their work immediately from Monday. For the first time, BJP has had to form a coalition government, falling 32 seats short of a majority with 240 seats.

It remains to be seen how well the jumbo cabinet of the Modi 03 government meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi's expectations.

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