Ministers take oath in Hindi, English, display sartorial diversity

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New Delhi, Jun 9 (PTI) From Assam's 'gamosa' to traditional 'galaband', those who were sworn in as ministers in the Modi 3.0 government on Sunday, took oath in Hindi or English while also displaying the sartorial diversity of the country on the dais.

The swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union council of ministers was held in the grand forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan which was attended by many heads of state, political veterans and debutants, business tycoons and a few film stars adding a dash of stardust to the event.

While Modi and most of the ministers took oath in Hindi, including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan, Giriraj Singh and Kiren Rijiju, many chose to do it in English such as Nirmala Sitharaman, S Jaishankar, H D Kumaraswamy, Sarbananda Sonowal, among others.

A majority of the ministers took oath in Hindi, and some of them like G Kishan Reddy received a loud cheer when they approached the podium.

Many of them who were sworn in also took oath in traditional wear or added an element of ethnicity to their sartorial choice.

Sonowal sported a 'gamosa', while LJP-Ram Vilas MP Chirag Paswan wore a black 'galaband' ensemble with a tricolour-theme pocket square.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was among those who returned to the Cabinet on Sunday, wore a black kurta-pyjama with a blue 'bundi' over it accessorised with a saffron-hue pocket square.

Giriraj Singh was also donning a 'bundi' bearing a saffron shade, and Hardeep Singh Puri wore a maroon turban with a matching waistcoat. Some also wore a colourful scarf while Arjun Ram Meghwal sported his traditional Rajasthani headgear.

Rijiju was donning a waistcoat with ethnic motifs.

Modi equalled the feat of the first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who won in the 1952, 1957 and 1962 general elections.

Besides him, 30 cabinet ministers and five ministers of state with independent charge were sworn in as were the members of his council of ministers.

Close to 8,000 people were present in the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt as Modi was sworn in as prime minister for a third consecutive term on Sunday evening.

Among the attendees was MLC in Karnataka Assembly Keshava Prasad who came from Bengaluru, and sported a saffron scarf.

"This is a historic occasion, and Modi has become a PM for the third consecutive time, so we are here. My daughter has asked me to preserve the invitation card as a memento," Prasad told PTI.

Tejashree Patel, a former MLA of Gujarat, and Nirmala Wadhwani, an ex-minister in the state cabinet also attended the ceremony. The swearing-in ceremony of the Modi 3.0 government unravelled against the backdrop of the magnificent sandstone dome of the colonnaded presidential palace lit in saffron, white and green. It was the final chapter of a 44-day election that saw the Modi-led BJP come to power with 240 seats, and now dependent on its allies in the NDA.

There were bugles, ceremonial guards, flowers and all the trappings of a grand spectacle as President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office.

However, there were not too many opposition leaders. Congress president and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge was present but several others skipped the ceremony.

Among those present at the swearing-in ceremony were seven top leaders from India's neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean region -- Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Bhutan’s Tshering Tobgay and Seychelles Vice President Ahmed Afif.

In 2014, when Modi took the reins as prime minister for the first time, the leaders of regional grouping SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries attended the swearing-in ceremony. In 2019, the leaders of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries attended the ceremony.

Also unmissable were the several religious leaders attending the ceremony.

Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan, Rajinikant, Akshay Kumar, Raveena Tandon also attended the event and Kangana Ranaut, the BJP's debutant MP from Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, was there of course.

Industrialists Gautam Adani, Mukesh Ambani and his family, including his sons and daughter, were there as were Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud. Former president Ram Nath Kovind also attended the event. PTI KND RPA

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