Narendra Modi Set To Take Oath For Record Third Term As Prime Minister, All Eyes On His New Team

Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi is set to take the oath of office on Sunday for a third consecutive term, a milestone that equals the record held by Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister. This comes after two full tenures where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) enjoyed a majority on its own. Modi will now lead a coalition government, and intense negotiations are believed to be underway between the BJP and its allies regarding the distribution of ministerial positions.

The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for 7:15 PM on Sunday at Rashtrapati Bhavan and will be attended by leaders from several neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, and Mauritius.

Senior BJP leaders Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, along with party president J P Nadda, are actively consulting with allies, including Telugu Desam Party’s N Chandrababu Naidu, JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar, and Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde, to finalise the new cabinet lineup, news agency PTI reported. Key portfolios such as home, finance, defence, and external affairs, as well as the education and culture ministries, are expected to remain with the BJP, while allies could secure between five to eight cabinet berths, PTI’s report stated.

Notably, Rashtrapati Bhavan was illuminated on Saturday ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of PM-designate Narendra Modi.

Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh Likely To Retain Ministerial Roles In Modi 3.0 Cabinet: Report

PTI cited sources as indicating that while Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh are likely to retain their ministerial roles, former Chief Ministers such as Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Basavaraj Bommai, Manohar Lal Khattar, and Sarbananda Sonowal are strong contenders for inclusion in the cabinet. From the allied parties, notable figures such as Ram Mohan Naidu (TDP), Lalan Singh, Sanjay Jha, and Ram Nath Thakur (JD(U)), and Chirag Paswan (Lok Janshakti Party) are expected to be part of the new government.

Maharashtra and Bihar are likely to be significant focal points in this government formation. The BJP-Shiv Sena-NCP alliance underperformed in Maharashtra, where assembly elections are scheduled for October, while Bihar, showing signs of an opposition resurgence, will hold elections next year. The BJP’s internal dynamics will also influence the ministerial selections, especially considering the extended term of J P Nadda due to the recent Lok Sabha elections.

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NDA 3.0: Opposition I.N.D.I.A. Leaders Predict Mid-term Elections

Meanwhile, the opposition is signalling potential instability for the new government. The Congress, during its working committee meeting on Saturday, suggested the possibility of mid-term elections. Congress’s Jorhat MP-elect Gaurav Gogoi expressed doubts about Narendra Modi completing his five-year term. Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel called the NDA government unstable and predicted its imminent collapse. More On It: ‘Narendra Modi Won’t Be PM For 5 Years’: Congress Leaders Hint At Mid-Term Polls Ahead Of CWC Meeting

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee echoed this sentiment, stating that while the I.N.D.I.A. bloc did not stake a claim to form the government immediately, it remained a future possibility. “Ultimately, the INDIA bloc will form the government in the coming days,” she asserted, suggesting a strategy of “wait and watch” regarding the BJP-led administration.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of TMC MPs and senior leaders, CM Banerjee said that the unstable and weak NDA government won’t last long. “The NDA government to be formed will be unstable. BJP has not secured a majority; they are dependent on allies. Let’s see how long they can get along with their allies,” she remarked, as per PTI.

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Congress Dismisses KC Tyagi’s Claim On I.N.D.I.A’s ‘PM Offer’ To Nitish Kumar

In a related development, JD(U) leader K.C. Tyagi claimed that Nitish Kumar was offered the Prime Ministerial post by the INDIA bloc, but he refused the same.

Responding to claims, Congress leader K.C. Venugopal denied any such offer, stating, “We have no information about this.” Congress leader Digvijaya Singh dismissed these claims outright, saying, “They are lying.”

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar cemented his position as the ‘kingmaker’ as his JD(U) secured 12 seats in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections 2024. KC Tyagi told ABP News that the I.N.D.I.A. bloc offered Nitish Kumar the Prime Minister’s chair while Nitish Kumar is not one to be swayed at this point and will stay with the BJP-led NDA.

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