Narendra Modi took oath as Prime Minister of India for the second time today after a spectacular victory in the national election. Over 50 ministers joined him in the swearing-in held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the presence of 8,000 guests including world leaders, dignitaries, politicians, celebrities and industrialists.
PM Modi, 68, walked to the podium for his oath to chants of “Modi, Modi” from the audience.
Amit Shah, who is credited with leading the BJP to magnificent victories in election after election, also joined PM Modi’s new government.
The 54-year-old is likely to handle one of the top four ministries in the cabinet. Amit Shah has been PM Modi’s confidant for over two decades.
Two big faces are not in the cabinet this time, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj. Ministers like Rajyavardhan Rathore, Jayant Sinha, JP Nadda and Anant Hegde were also missing.
In Mr Jaitley’s absence, who will be finance minister is a big question. Mr Jaitley had yesterday written to PM Modi that he wanted to opt out because of his poor health. “I am writing to you to formally request you that I should be allowed a reasonable time for myself, my treatment and my health and therefore, not be a part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government,” wrote the former minister, a diabetic who had a kidney transplant last year.
Smriti Irani, who defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi in his family constituency of Amethi, is expected to be rewarded with a big ministry.