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HindustanTimes Fri,28 Nov 2014

Modi meets President, to take oath as PM on May 26

HT Correspondent and Agencies, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 20, 2014
First Published: 16:19 IST(20/5/2014) | Last Updated: 00:38 IST(21/5/2014)

Narendra Modi, the Gujarat strongman who steered the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections, was on Tuesday appointed the Prime Minister, ushering in a new era of a non-Congress government with an absolute majority on its own in 30 years.

Modi called on President Pranab Mukherjee after he was unanimously elected leader of the BJP parliamentary party and later at a combined meeting of the BJP and its allies constituting the NDA as leader of the coalition.

"I came to call on the President. The President has given me a formal letter (of appointment as the PM) and has invited me for oath-taking ceremony on May 26 at 6pm as we had earlier decided," Modi told reporters after his meeting with the President.

Later, a Rashtrapati Bhawan communique said as Modi has been elected leader of the BJP parliamentary party and the saffron has majority support in the House of the People, the President appointed him the Prime Minister of India and requested him to advise the names of members of the council of ministers.

Watch: President invites Modi to form government, oath taking ceremony on 26th May

"The President will administer the oath of office and secrecy on May 26 at 6pm at Rashtrapati Bhawan," President's spokesperson Venu Rajamony said.

In his brief interaction with the media outside Rashtrapati Bhawan, Modi displayed the President's letter appointing him to the top post.

Earlier the President greeted Modi on his landslide victory.

"Welcome, welcome, welcome," Mukherejee said, receiving a bouquet from Modi.

Offering a bunch of flowers, he congratulated him on his "grand victory".

Before that, a 15-member delegation of the NDA, led by party veteran LK Advani, called on Mukherjee on Tuesday afternoon to convey to him that Modi has been elected as the leader of the alliance.

According to reports, as the race for key posts in the Modi government intensified the BJP president may get the home portfolio while Arun Jaitley could be the new finance minister.

Reports also said that Joshi could be chosen as the defence minister and Advani could be asked to guide the party.

Amid a flurry of meetings, Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar also paid a visit to Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday morning.

On Monday, hectic consultations were on in the BJP for the second consecutive day ahead of the government formation in New Delhi. A stream of leaders met Modi, Singh and senior RSS functionaries.

Swaraj, who is tipped to be one of the four top ministers of the next government, reportedly conveyed her readiness to work in a "respectable position" in his team.

Watch video: Narendra Modi meets President Pranab Mukherjee

The PM-designate, however, has not revealed anything about who his cabinet colleagues will be.

"He is hearing everyone out and will make his mind known at the right time," a BJP leader considered close to Modi said.

Earlier, he held an emotional meeting in Parliament, his first since his triumphant victory, urging his party colleagues to dedicate themselves to serving the nation.

The 63-year-old leader bowed and kissed the steps of the building as he entered for a meeting of the BJP and its political allies, which elected him as leader.

Speaking in the Central Hall of the complex in New Delhi, Modi had to hold back tears in a rare public display of emotion by the hardliner known to his supporters as the "Lion of Gujarat".

"I said this earlier and I say it again: that 125 crore (1.25 billion) Indians' hopes and aspirations are embedded in this temple of democracy," he said.

The BJP, elected on promises to revive the economy, is expected to steer India sharply towards the right after a decade in power by the Congress party, which has dominated India since Independence.

(With PTI and AFP inputs)


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