Narendra Modi sworn in for third term after narrow win

by Abbas Adil

Shafaqna India: Narendra Modi, leader of the Hindu Nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has taken oath as India’s prime minister for a third time.

The ceremony took place at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the Indian president.

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

The election saw a resurgence of India’s opposition, which won 234 seats.

Thousands of guests have been attending his inauguration at Delhi’s Presidential Palace. Among them are the heads of neighbouring Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives – but not Pakistan or China.

Tight security has been in place in Delhi, which was declared a no-fly zone, with more than 2,500 police officers deployed around the venue.

Mr Modi said he would uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India and govern with “true faith and allegiance to the constitution”.

He said: “I will do right to all manner of people in accordance with the constitution and the law without fear or favour.”

During the ceremony, President Draupadi Murmu has also been swearing in a council of ministers of Mr Modi’s new cabinet.

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

Exit polls had projected outright victory for his BJP party which ruled India for a decade, but it lost its parliamentary majority in the 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, the elected MPs voted Mr Modi as the leader of the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the parliament), leader of the BJP parliamentary party, and leader of the NDA.

 

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