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  India   All India  30 May 2019  Stage set for Modi swearing-in

Stage set for Modi swearing-in

Published : May 30, 2019, 5:43 am IST
Updated : May 30, 2019, 6:17 am IST

Speculation is rife that senior leaders like Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj might retain their portfolios in the new government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: File)
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo: File)

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new team for his second term will be a mix of old and new faces and Thursday’s swearing-in ceremony will finally end the speculation over whether BJP president Amit Shah will join the council of ministers or not. Backed by a strong team of 353 MPs of the BJP-led NDA, Mr Modi will take the oath for a second term with his ministers on Thursday. Team Modi will have representation from almost all the BJP’s key allies and also from different regions of the country.

Around 8,000 guests, including foreign dignitaries, have been invited for the event, which will take place in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan at 7 pm. Ahead of taking the oath, Mr Modi is likely to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi as well as former Prime Minister and BJP patriarch Atal Behari Vajpayee, and also pay tribute at the newly-built National War Memorial, along with his party MPs.

Continuing their deliberations on who will be part of the new Team Modi, Mr Shah on Wednesday held another meeting with the Prime Minister. The two had held a marathon meeting on Tuesday as well. The RSS, it is learnt, wants Mr Shah to continue leading the party, which gained significantly under his leadership. After his meeting with Mr Shah, the PM met Union home minister Rajnath Singh and later Arun Jaitley, who has asked the PM not to be given any responsibility due to health reasons. Mr Singh held the home portfolio and Mr Jaitley the finance portfolio in the outgoing NDA government.

Putting all speculation to rest, Mr Jaitley wrote to the PM earlier in the day, saying he doesn’t want to be a minister in the new government due to health reasons. Mr Jaitley said he had informed Mr Modi soon after the BJP won the Lok Sabha polls with a thumping majority about his intention of taking time out for treatment of an undisclosed illness.

“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,” he wrote in his letter to Mr Modi. He added, however, that he will undertake any work informally to support the government or the party. Mr Jaitley, 66, was admitted to AIIMS last week to undergo tests and treatment for an undisclosed illness and was discharged on the day the Lok Sabha results were announced.

Speculation is rife that senior leaders like Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj might retain their portfolios in the new government. Ms Swaraj did not contest the Lok Sabha polls and could be accommodated in the Rajya Sabha. Another leader whose name is doing the round for Team Modi is Manoj Sinha, who lost the Ghazipur seat but could be accommodated in the Upper House. Other the old and new faces from the BJP, the council of ministers will also include the BJP’s allies, such as the JD(U), which snapped ties in 2013 and rejoined the NDA in 2017. JD(U) chief and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar met Mr Shah on Wednesday afternoon.

PMO principal secretary Nripendra Mishra and additional principal secretary P.K. Mishra also held a meeting with Mr Shah in the evening.

Tags: narendra modi, amit shah
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi