- Rahul Kumar Das for AT:
Narendra Modi would take oath on 26th of May 2014 and his inauguration would be a globally watched event. It would be a very significant in the history of India when a man used to earn his living by vending tea at a railway station in between his classes at school and used to roam around in the country to find his spiritual moorings would take oath as the 14th PM of India.
The heads of government of all SAARC countries except Bangladesh are attending the event in a signal that the countries in the neighbourhood were keen to script a new chapter in bilateral relations with a Modi-led government. It is seen as an indication of Modi’s rising stock as a leader in India and outside.
Nawaz Sharif confirmed he will attend the oath-taking ceremony of Modi, a move that has created anticipation among people in both countries. Bilateral relationship has been bedevilled by what India views as Pakistan’s hesitation in taking action against the perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
Apart from Sharif, the dignitaries who would be present include Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Nepali Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.
Bangladesh will be represented by Speaker Shirin Chaudhury, as Sheikh Hasina will be away on an official visit to Japan, while Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam will also be present, representing a nation with a large Indian ethnic population.
While, the list of Narendra Modi’s Cabinet was sent to the Rashtrapati Bhawan today morning, reports suggest that BJP president Rajnath Singh, who successfully stitched pre-poll alliance with other political parties and also pacified senior party leaders on contentious issues like appointment of Modi as BJP’s PM nominee, is expected to get the crucial Home Ministry. But internal security may be taken away from the home ministry and kept with the prime minister’s office.
Meanwhile, reports said that Modi, who often advocated for modernisation of the armed forces during his poll campaign, is expected to retain the crucial portfolio of Defence Ministry with himself.
Former Karnataka chief minister Sadanand Gowda and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan are expected to be bestowed with Railway Ministry and Consumer Affairs Ministry respectively. Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad is most likely to be the Law Minister. Earlier, reports said that the Deputy Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha will get the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
The biggest gainer is Smriti Irani, who is most likely to be given the charge of the key ministry, the Human Resource Development (HRD). Smriti considered to be a close aide of the BJP strongman, unsuccessfully contested against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi from Amethi constituency.