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India Celebrates Modi Sarkar 2.0

Seven days after scripting a landslide victory that set off a wave of celebrations in the country, Modi Sarkar 2.0 finally took office on Thursday. Celebrations all over India marked this occasion. The entire nation appeared in the festive mood on the return of the Modi government. As the second Modi Cabinet took charge after a grand swearing-in ceremony, Delhi was glittering. A record 8000 guests, including heads of many countries and several foreign nationals, became witnesses of this historic event. This time, Modi has not invited the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan while Nawaz Sharif had participated in his swearing-in ceremony in 2014.

DP Tripathi, General Secretary, NCP said, “The common man of this country hopes from Modi Sarkar 2.0 to address the issues like employment and inflation. The lack of unity among opposition parties was the main reason for a massive victory of PM Narendra Modi. Opposition parties were fighting against each other. On the other hand, PM Modi mobilised people in the name of nationalism.”

There were gossips that Mod led government might fall short of the majority mark of 272 in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections. Seeing the strong campaigning by the Congress and the party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra personally keeping an eye on booths, it was assumed by the common man that NDA was going to lose the elections. Amid speculations that Modi would not get a chance this time to form government at the centre, charismatic BJP leader registered a massive victory. The BJP alone won 303 seats while NDA got 353 seats in 542 seats which went to polls.

Ashok Parnami, former president of Rajasthan BJP unit, told Afternoon Voice, “During last five years, PM Modi made India strong, he held the head of the nation high in the entire world; he ensured the security and progress of the country. On account of these all, people of this country gave him mandate in the Lok Sabha elections. In the five years, India will be definitely free from corruption and terrorism. India will become stronger economically and each hand will get a job.”

Before the swearing-in ceremony at 7 pm, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and other top leaders of the BJP visited Rajghat, Sadaiv Atal Samadhi and National War Memorial in the morning. Nationwide celebrations were organised by BJP workers and the common man to mark the comeback of their beloved leader Modi.

The main Opposition Congress Party formally announced that its spokespersons would go off air for a month. As a precaution, no Congress leader was ready to speak to media. Shamina Shafiq, General Secretary, All India Mahila Congress commented briefly on new government at the centre. Shamina Shafiq said, “People want peace, progress, and prosperity from Modi Sarkar 2.0.”

A record number of 8,000 guests attended the swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi. In 2014, approximately 5,000 people had attended the ceremony. The guest list included heads of several neighbouring countries, diplomats of friendly nations, chief ministers of most of the states, renowned personalities of every field, including the entertainment world. The families of BJP workers who allegedly lost their lives in political violence in West Bengal in the last one year were also invited.

In the national capital, Delhi necessary security arrangements were also made by the administration. Across the city, at different locations over 10,000 security personnel from Delhi Police and paramilitary forces had been deployed.

Leaders of all BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries arrived in the swearing-in ceremony. Member countries of BIMSTEC include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand besides India.

According to MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, the President of Bangladesh Abdul Hamid, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister of Nepal KP, President of Myanmar U Win Myint and Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering attended the event. Mauritius’s Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov were also in Delhi. PM Narendra Modi is expected to hold bilateral meetings with most of the international leaders on the next day.

The chief ministers of all states were invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. However, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Singh Bhaghel had expressed inability to attend the event. All other CMs, including newly-elected Andhra CM Jagan Mohan Reddy, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, JD(S) leader, and Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao participated in the ceremony. From the Opposition, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi became a witness of the oath ceremony. It is customary for the previous presidents, prime ministers and veteran politicians from all parties to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

For the second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet has many old faces who were part of his first government. These names include Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Sadananda Gowda, Nirmala Sitharaman among others. While Sushma Swaraj who held the portfolio of external affairs is no longer a part of the Modi government due to health reasons. While Swaraj is not a member of the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha, she also did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Jayant Sinha and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore are two other names that are dropped from the Modi Sarkar 2.0 Cabinet. Former foreign secretary S Jaishankar, who is not a member of the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha, has also been inducted into the Modi government. The list states the names from the Modi Cabinet: Amit Shah (first time), Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Smriti Irani, Nirmala Sitharaman, Kiren Rijiju, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Dharmendra Pradhan, Dr Harshavardhan, S Jaishankar, Krishan Pal Gurjar, Shripad Naik, Narendra Singh Tomar, Suresh Prabhu, Rao Inderjit Singh, VK Singh, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Ram Vilas Paswan, Harsimrat KaurRita, DV Sadananda Gowda, Babul Supriyo , Prakash Javadekar, Ramdas Athawale, Jitender Singh, Niranjan Jyoti, Parshottam Rupala, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Rattan Lal Kataria (first time), Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (first time), RCP Singh (first time), G Kishan Reddy (first time), Suresh Angadi (first time), A Ravindranath, Kailash Choudhary (first time), Pralhad Joshi (first time), Som Parkash (first time), Rameshwar Teli (first time), Subrat Pathak (first time), Deboshree Choudhury (first time), and Rita Bahuguna Joshi (first time). Moreover, their portfolios will be known once they have been officially allocated.

– Rajesh Kumar Choudhary

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