Narendra Modi sworn in as India’s PM (video)



India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in on Sunday for a third term after worse-than-expected election results left him reliant on coalition partners to govern.

Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled outright for the past decade but failed to repeat its previous two landslide wins this time around, defying analysts’ expectations and exit polls.

He was instead forced into quick-fire talks with the 15-member coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which guaranteed him the parliamentary numbers to govern.

Narendra Modi, flanked by top BJP officials and party leaders of his coalition, vowed in a ceremony marking his formal assumption of power to “bear true allegiance to the constitution of India”.

Honour guards lined the steps of the presidential palace where thousands gathered to watch Modi, dressed in a white kurta and with blue waistcoat, take the oath.

South Asian leaders from neighbouring Bangladesh, the Maldives and Sri Lanka attended the ceremony but neighbouring rivals China and Pakistan had notably not sent top leaders.

Bollywood and business tycoons

The cheering crowd also included adoring BJP loyalists, as well as celebrities such as Bollywood legend Shahrukh Khan and billionaire tycoons Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani, key Modi allies.

But with Narendra Modi yet to announce his new cabinet, the line of lawmakers also taking the oath of office was keenly watched as an indication of who will be in government.

Modi was followed immediately by top BJP aides Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah and Nitin Gadkari — the defence, interior and transport ministers in his last government respectively.

Tenth to take the oath, and first among the BJP’s coalition members, was H.D. Kumaraswamy from the Janata Dal (Secular) party.

Larger coalition parties have demanded hefty concessions in exchange for their support.

Other coalition leaders to take the oath included Ram Mohan Naidu of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the largest BJP ally with 16 seats, and which India media reports has extracted four cabinet positions.

Rajiv Ranjan Singh also took the oath, from the BJP’s next biggest ally the Janata Dal (United) with 12 seats, which has reportedly two minister posts.

( AFP)


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