Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes oath; Rajnath, Sushma, Jaitley, Gadkari sworn in as ministers
Narendra Modi was on Monday set to take oath of office as India's 15th prime minister along with 45 ministers, including key leaders Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj and former army chief VK Singh, sources said.india Updated: May 26, 2014 23:18 IST
Narendra Modi on Monday took the oath of office as India's 15th prime minister in a high-profile ceremony attended by top leaders of neighbour countries.
Dressed in a white full sleeve kurta, a beige waistcoat and a white pajama, Modi arrived at Rashtrapati Bhawan for the event around 6pm.
A day after the PM designate's office indicated a smaller size of the next government and clubbing of ministries for smarter governance, a total of 44 ministers excluding Modi will also be sworn in, according to sources.
The list of ministers reportedly include leaders such as Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj and former army chief Gen VK Singh.
The list was dispatched to Rashtrapati Bhawan earlier in the day.
There would be 24 cabinet ministers comprising former BJP presidents Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu, senior party leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, LJP's Ramvilas Paswan, Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan and former union minister Maneka Gandhi, sources added.
There will be 10 ministers of state with independent charge, including former VK Singh and BJP MPs Santosh Gangwar, Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goel.
The 11 ministers of state include Upendra Kushwaha, Kiran Rijju and Sanjeev Kumar.
Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, M Venkiah Naidu, DV Sadanand Gowda, Ram Vilas Paswan, Gopinath Munde, Kalraj Mishra, Maneka Gandhi, Ananth Kumar, Ravishankar Prasad, Ashok Gadpati Raju, Ananth Geete, Harsimarat Kaur, Narendra Singh Tomar, Juall Oram, Thavarchand Gehlot, Smriti Irani, Uma Bharti, Najma Heptullah, Radha Mohan Singh, Dr Harsh Vardhan
MoS (Independent charge)
Gen (retd) VK Singh, Santosh Gangwar, Sripad Naik, Dharmendra Pradhan, Sarbanand Sonwal, Prakash Javdekar, Piyush Goel, Jitendra Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Rao Inderjeet
GM Siddeshwara, Manoj Sinha, Upendra Kushwaha, Radhakrishnan P, Kiren Rijuju, Krishan Pal Gujjar, Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Mansukhbhai Baswa, Rao Sahab Danwe, Vishnudev Sai, Sudarshan Bhagat
Based on TV reports the following ministers are likely to get the following portfolios:
Sumitra Mahajan – Speaker
Piyush Goyal – Oil and Power
Ravi Shankar Prasad – Law & Telecom
Nitin Gadkari – Transport
Smriti Irani – HRD
Venkaiah Naidu - Agriculture
Arun Jaitley – Finance, with additional charge of Defence
Nirmala Sitharaman - Commerce
Ahead of the oath-taking ceremony, Modi had indicated he would not like to have a large cabinet, and that the focus would be on consolidation of portfolios.
"Keeping our commitment to 'Minimum Government, Maximum Governance' -- we have made an unprecedented and positive change in ministry formation," he had tweeted late on Sunday.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in New Delhi to attend Modi's swearing-in ceremony.
"Pakistan wants good relations with India and I am going to New Delhi with a 'message of peace'", Sharif was quoted as saying by the PTI before he left Pakistan.
Modi and Sharif will have a "short, courtesy" meeting on the morning of May 27 and are expected to steer clear of any acrimonious issues leaving long-standing disputes to be tackled in later formal bilateral talks.
The Pakistan PM is accompanied by wife Kulsoom Nawaz and son Hussain Nawaz.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa also arrived in New Delhi for Modi's swearing-in ceremony.
Rajapaksa, a nationalistic leader, was among the first leaders to reach out to Modi after election victory. But after an invitation was extended to him, Tamil Nadu erupted in protest.Watch: Modi begins his big day with visit to Rajghat
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders such as Ravi Shankar Prasad, Nirmala Sitharaman, Uma Bharti, Najma Heptullah, Ananth Kumar, Maneka Gandhi, Harsh Vardhan also met Modi at the Gujarat Bhawan in Delhi.
"It was just an informal meeting over tea," said Najma Heptullah after the meeting.
Leaders of BJP allies too met Modi. Among the allies were leaders of Rashtriya Lok Samata Party and Ram Vilas Paswan of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).
Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has decided to stay away from the event to protest his presence.
MDMK chief Vaiko, who on Friday met BJP president Rajnath Singh and lodged his protest against an invitation extended to Rajapaksa for Modi's swearing-in ceremony, led protests on Monday as well.
Vaiko was the first to raise the demand that Rajapaksa not be allowed to participate in Modi's swearing-in ceremony.
India's ties with Sri Lanka had always been swayed by the domestic politics of Tamil Nadu.
But Modi, given the BJP majority in Parliament, is not dependent on Tamil parties to run the government and is expected to follow a more independent policy on Lanka.
The India-Sri Lanka ties, which had hit a rough patch over India's vote against Colombo at the UN Human Rights Council, have been on the mend.
Last time, India had abstained from the vote, much to the satisfaction of Sri Lanka.
On Thursday, the DMK, too, criticised the invitation and said it will hurt Tamil sentiments.
Mauritius Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam and Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala also reached Delhi to attend the ceremony.
Ahead of being sworn in, Modi paid a visit to the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi and spent around 10 minutes at the Rajghat.
Outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi besides leaders of various other parties and chief ministers of a number of states will be present during the ceremony.