May 27, 2014 By

Narendra Modi sworn in as Indian PM


Narendra Modi was sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of India in a ceremony held in the forecourt of the Presidential Palace in Delhi on Monday.   Mr Modi took the oath before thousands of guests, including his Pakistan counterpart, Nawaz Sharif and Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajpakse. It is the first time since the two countries won independence in 1947 that a prime minister from one state has attended such a ceremony in the other. Mr Modi led his BJP party to a landslide win in the recent election. The BJP won the biggest victory by any party in India for 30 years, gaining a majority in parliament and trouncing the outgoing Congress Party.

“I, Narendra Damodardas Modi, swear in the name of God that I will maintain the integrity of India,” Mr Modi said in Hindi.

“I will work without fear, anger or hatred and will do justice to all as per the constitution.”

Forty-five MPs, including seven women, from Mr Modi’s BJP party and their allies have also been sworn in as ministers, although they are yet to be allocated their ministries.

Monday’s grand outdoor ceremony was attended by the leaders of all seven South Asian countries as well as Mauritius.

But all eyes were on the presence of Mr Sharif, who is expected to hold bilateral talks with Mr Modi on Tuesday.

The two nuclear-armed rivals have fought three wars in the past 60 years, and Mr Modi’s BJP party advocates a tough stance on Pakistan.

The Pakistani prime minister said the neighbours should use their cultural and traditional similarities to help improve ties.

“We should remove fears, mistrust and misgivings about each other… Both countries should rid the region of instability and insecurity that has plagued us for decades,” he added.

Tight security and traffic restrictions was imposed in Delhi and all offices around the presidential palace were closed five hours before the event, according to the Press Trust of India.

Given the margin of victory, the BJP will be able to govern without coalition partners – 272 MPs are required for an absolute majority.

The Congress party finished with just 44 of the 543 seats and under 20% of the vote in what was its worst-ever performance.


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