Narendra Modi sworn in as Prime Minister of India

Narendra Modi was sworn in as India’s prime minister for a third term in a grand ceremony at the presidential palace in Delhi.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader took oath and said he would “do good to all types of people without affection or ill will”.

The National Democratic Alliance led by Modi’s BJP won the general election with 293 seats, a much smaller margin than exit polls predicted.

The election saw a resurgence of India’s oppositionwhich obtained 234 seats.

Thousands of guests attended his inauguration at the presidential palace in Delhi. They include the heads of neighboring Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, but not Pakistan or China.

Strict security measures have been implemented in Delhi, which was declared a no-fly zone, with more than 2,500 police officers deployed around the site.

Taking oath before President Draupadi Murmu, Modi said he would defend India’s sovereignty and integrity and govern with “true faith and loyalty to the constitution”.

He said: “I will do right by all kinds of people according to the constitution and the law, without fear or favor.”

A council of ministers of Modi’s new cabinet were also sworn in during the ceremony.

Modi, 73, is only the second Indian leader to win a third consecutive term after the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Exit polls had projected an outright victory for his Hindu nationalist party BJP, which ruled India for a decade but lost its parliamentary majority in the general election.

His NDA bloc relied on two key allies, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Janata Dal (United) JD(U), to cross the 272-seat mark needed to form the government.

On Friday, elected MPs voted Modi as leader of the Lok Sabha (the lower house of parliament), leader of the BJP parliamentary party and leader of the NDA.

It is unclear what concessions his allies may have negotiated in exchange for their support. Indian media reports that several are seeking key ministerial positions.

The opposition alliance INDIA, led by the Congress Party, has called the elections a mandate against the Modi government.

Modi, however, responded to this on Friday by saying, “The opposition tried to present the 2024 Lok Sabha results as a loss for us. But we did not lose, we never lost, we will never lose.”

Modi thanked voters for his rule and said he would “do everything possible” to eradicate corruption and poverty.

“Our priority is to empower the poor and the middle class,” he said.

During his election campaign, Modi and his party were accused by critics of using hate speech, attacking the country’s Muslim minority and jailing opposition figures.

On Friday, the prime minister-elect said the NDA alliance was “committed to the principle of ‘sarva panth sambhava’ (religious equality).

The INDIA alliance has said it will do its duty in Parliament by keeping the government in check and protecting the constitution.

Leave a Comment