Modi Swearing-in: A 'mini-India' descends at forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan

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Visitors and dignitaries wait ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of PM-designate Narendra Modi and other ministers, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, Sunday, June 9, 2024.

Visitors and dignitaries wait ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of PM-designate Narendra Modi and other ministers, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, Sunday, June 9, 2024.

New Delhi: From Uttarakhand to Karnataka and Gujarat to Nagaland, people from various parts of the country converged at the grand forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan to witness the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union council of ministers, bringing with them the vibrancy and diversity of India.

Close to 8,000 people packed into the forecourt as Modi was sworn in as prime minister for a third consecutive term, equalling the feat of the first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, who won in the 1952, 1957 and 1962 general elections.

Braving summer heat, many guests had started trickling in by 5 pm when the sun had still not settled behind the magnificent dome of the edifice.

Among them were doctors and politicians -- Dr Tejashree Patel, a former MLA of Gujarat, and Dr Nirmala Wadhwani, an ex-minister for Women and Child Development in Gujarat.

"Two days ago, we received the invite, and soon we decided to attend the event, as Modiji has become PM for the third consecutive term, the first time since 1962. We landed in Delhi this morning, there were so many Gujaratis in our flight. And, here at the venue too," Patel told PTI.

She and Wadhwani both concurred that it felt like a "mini-India" at the ceremony as people from different parts of the country were both on the dais and in the audience.

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

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

The swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Modi and the Union council of ministers 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 Wadhwani and Patel chatted in Gujarati, near them a duo from Karanataka spoke in Kannada, their subject of discussion being the same -- the return of Modi as prime minister.

"As he belongs to Gujarat, people in our state are feeling a bit down after the election results as BJP has not got a majority this time," Patel added.

A festive atmosphere prevailed at the venue as men and women and many from the transgender community joined the celebrations.

Earlier in the day, Sonam Kinnar from the UP BJP unit had said she along with 50 members of the community had come to Delhi to give blessings to the new government.

Keshava Prasad, an MLC in Karnataka Assembly, came to attend the event from Bengaluru, along with a party colleague Ramapriya, both sporting a saffron scarf, while sitting in an enclosure.

"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," he told PTI.

Ramapriya, a BJP functionary, said during elections the slogans in Karnataka was 'E bari nanuru meeri' which meas '400 this time' in English.

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

Rohan Khaunte, Goa Tourism Minister, another guest, said the moment he witnessed was just "historic". "This government will pave the way for a Viksit Bharat, we all want," he told PTI.

There were many who came from Dehradun in Uttarakhand or Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, whose chief minister Yogi Adityanath also attended the ceremony.

Linda Newmai, a Nagaland native attended the event in a traditional Naga attire.

"A lot had been done for women in the last 10 years and the people of the Northeast by the Modi government," she said.

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