With 8,000 guests, Modi’s swearing-in to be biggest event ever at Rashtrapati Bhavan
New Delhi, May 29 (IANS): Nearly 8,000 guests will attend the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday, making it the biggest-ever event held in the historic premises.
While the guests attending the event will be treated to high tea, President Ram Nath Kovind will host a private dinner for the leaders from Bimstec countries as well as Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth – who have all confirmed their presence.
Steel magnate L.N. Mittal is also expected to be present.
“It will be the biggest-ever event at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. 8,000 people are coming,” Ashok Malik, Press Secretary to the President, told IANS.
The size of the gathering is seen as a reflection of the massive mandate received by Modi government in the Lok Sabha elections. Both the BJP and NDA have improved their tally compared to 2014.
The swearing-in will be held in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the same venue as in 2014. The event then was attended by about 5,000 guests.
The high tea will have snacks, including samosas, and paneer items apart from sweets, while at the President’s dinner, the visiting foreign dignitaries will be treated to “Dal Raisina” – a special delicacy of the Rashtrapati Bhavan that takes 48 hours to cook – among other delicacies.
The Prime Minister will also attend the dinner, along with some officials.
With the swearing-in scheduled for 7 p.m., dinner will be light as it will be served a little late in the evening.
The dinner will have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options and include soup, fish, chicken, vegetables and the “Dal Raisina” – a variant of popular ‘maa ki dal’.
“It is a speciality of our kitchen. Its special recipe was developed here in Rashtrapati Bhavan. It takes 48 hours to prepare. The process of preparing it started on May 28 and it will be ready by tomorrow (Thursday),” Malik said.
The Bimstec leaders attending the event include Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Myanmarese President U Win Myint, Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering.
Thailand will be represented by its Special Enovy Grisada Boonrach.
The event will also be attended by leaders of political parties, Ambassadors and diplomats and celebrities from various fields.
Don’t include me in new cabinet, Jaitley tells Modi
New Delhi, May 29 (IANS): Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to include him in the new cabinet, citing his health issues.
“During the last 18 months, I have had some serious health challenges. My doctors have enabled me to emerge out of most of them,” Jaitley said in a letter to Modi.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said he had already communicated his request to Modi before he left for Kedarnath.
“I am writing to you formally to request you that I should be allowed a reasonable time to myself, my treatment and my health and therefore not be a part of any responsibility, for the present in the new government,” he said.
Jaitley said that even though he was able to discharge the responsibilities assigned to him during the Lok Sabha election campaign, “I would in future, for some time, like to keep away from any responsibility. This will enable me to concentrate on my treatment and health.
“I would obviously have a lot of time at my disposal to undertake any work informally to support the government or the party,” he added.
Rahul, Sonia to attend PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony
New Delhi, May 29 (PTI): Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, besides former prime minister Manmohan Singh will attend the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday evening at Rashtrapati Bhavan, party sources said.
The Congress leaders are among those invited by the prime minister to the ceremony.
They have accepted the invite, the sources said.
A number of opposition leaders have been invited to the oath-taking ceremony and many of them are attending. It will be the first time that the leaders will be together after an acrimonious Lok Sabha election campaign.
But West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee has cancelled her plan to attend the ceremony after the BJP invited to the event the kin of 54 party workers it claimed were murdered in political violence in West Bengal.
A day after she told reporters that she has accepted the invite as a matter of “constitutional courtesy”, Banerjee termed as untrue BJP’s allegation of political murders in her state and said she is “compelled” not to attend the ceremony.
As many as 8,000 guests, including VVIPs, will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Modi and his council of ministers on Thursday. This is the highest number of guests attending such a function, the sources said.
The ceremony will be of about 90 minutes and after that dinner will be served to around 40 dignitaries, including Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and the prime minister, besides leaders of all BIMSTEC countries, Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson Ashok Malik said Wednesday.
Decided not to attend swearing-in ceremony due to false reports of killing of 54 BJP workers: Mamata
Kolkata, May 29 (PTI): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday decided not to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narenda Modi as prime minister citing ‘untrue” claims by BJP that 54 of the party workers were murdered in political violence in Bengal.
Banerjee had on Tuesday confirmed her presence at the ceremony to be held on May 30.
“Congratulations, new Prime Minister, Narendra Modiji. It was my plan to accept the “constitutional invitation” and attend the oath taking ceremony. However, in last one year, I am seeing media reports that the BJP are claiming 54 people have been murdered in political violence in Bengal. This is completely untrue. There have been no political murders in Bengal. These deaths may have occurred due to personal enemity, family quarrels and other disputes, nothing related to politics. There is no such record with us,” Banerjee said in a tweet.
“So I am sorry, Narendra Modi ji, this has compelled me not to attend the ceremony. The ceremony is an august occasion to celebrate democracy, not one that should be devalued by any political party which uses it as an opportunity to score political points. Please excuse me,” she wrote on Twitter.
The just concluded Lok Sabha polls witnessed a heated verbal duel between Modi and Banerjee who spearheaded the campaigns of their parties in West Bengal.
Besides winning 303 Lok Sabha seats on his own (the NDA tally being 352), the BJP came up with a surprising poll show in West Bengal by bagging 18 of the state’s 42 seats, only four less than the TMC’s 22.
The saffron party leapt from two seats in the state in 2014 to 18, while the TMC slided to 22 from 34.