Rashtrapati Bhavan is gearing up for the first cabinet reshuffle of the Modi government. Top sources told HT that it is likely to be a “big affair” and around 20 ministers are expected to take oath on Sunday afternoon.
Unlike the swearing-in ceremony which was hosted at the historic forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Sunday’s swearing-in ceremony of the new ministers will be held at the Durbar Hall.
“There was no request from the government for any other venue,” added a source.
Sources in the Rashtrapati Bhavan added that the list of ministers-to-be-sworn-in is yet to be handed over to the President’s office but Prime Minister Modi and President Mukherjee held a half-an-hour discussion Thursday morning when the former came for a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Sources added that workers have already been deployed to clean up the Durbar Hall. Altogether 400-500 guests are expected to attend the swearing-in function.
President Pranab Mukherjee is learnt to have held a meeting with key officials on Thursday over the programme. He will again meet his aides once he returns from Bhutan on Saturday evening.
The President’s Office will also issue e-invitation cards for a section of the guests.
The swearing-in ceremony is slated to start at 1.30 PM. A time slot of at least two hours had been set aside for the event by the President’s secretariat.
Earlier, swearing-in ceremonies were held at Ashoka Hall which had larger audience capacity. Since Pranab Mukherjee took over as President, many official functions including swearing-in ceremonies have been shifted to its original venue of Durbar Hall.