7 leaders from India's neighbourhood, Indian Ocean region attend Modi's oath ceremony

NewsDrum Desk
New Update

New Delhi, Jun 9 (PTI) Top leaders from India's neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean region, including Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Sunday graced the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union council of ministers.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay and Vice-President of Seychelles Ahmed Afif also attended the glittering ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Modi took the oath for the third straight term, days after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance secured 293 seats out of 543 in the Lok Sabha polls.

Senior BJP leaders Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, S Jaishankar and Piyush Goyal were among those taking the oath as Union Cabinet ministers at the ceremony.

While Hasina and Afif reached Delhi on Saturday, Muizzu, Prachanda, Wickremesinghe, Jugnauth and Tobgay arrived on Sunday.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the leaders of the seven countries were invited to the ceremony in keeping with the highest priority accorded by India to its 'Neighbourhood First' policy and 'SAGAR' vision.

India has been cooperating with the countries of the Indian Ocean region under the broader policy framework of SAGAR or Security and Growth for all in the Region.

The leaders of regional grouping SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries attended Modi's first swearing-in ceremony when he took the reins as the prime minister after a massive electoral victory for the BJP in 2014.

Leaders of the BIMSTEC countries attended Modi's swearing-in ceremony in 2019 when he became the prime minister for the second consecutive term.

Besides India, the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) comprises Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan. PTI MPB IJT