When is Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony as PM?
Modi’s swearing-in ceremony will make a major diplomatic statement. But will an invitation be sent to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan?
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In 2014, the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly cost the President’s Estate Rs 34 Lakh. All SAARC country heads were invited. Breaking away from the tradition of holding the ceremony in the comparatively small Durbar Hall, Modi took it to the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan. The message was loud and clear in home and abroad — this was the arrival of stronger leadership.
If this is our reference, the second swearing-in — some reports speculate this will be held on May 29 — is going to be grander — as in the last five years, India has made it clear that it is not any more an emerging power in South Asia.
It has already emerged.
But will Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan will be invited? While this remains to be seen, one can remember that Imran Khan’s predecessor Nawaz Sharif had accepted the invitation in 2014, which was apparently a signal for a new chapter to start in the India-Pakistan relationship. But things went rapidly downhill. And now, after Pulwama and Balakot, it is quite unlikely that Imran Khan, who congratulated Modi on his win, will be invited.
And if he’s not, that will also be a statement.
In 2014, China protested the invitation to the political head of the Tibetan government in exile, Lobsang Sangay. Though India shares no diplomatic relations with Taiwan, Taiwan's trade representative was also present in the swearing-in ceremony as India and Taiwan share trade relations — this, of course, irked China.
Guess List! The swearing-in ceremony will decide what lies ahead. (Photo: India Today)
This time, it’s a changed situation. China, it seems, wants to better its ties with India. India wants to give a strong message to China’s ally Pakistan that unless it stops sponsoring terror, there will be no talks.
Both these aspects will make the guest list of the swearing-in ceremony highly interesting.
In 2014, the results were declared on May 16. Modi met the-then President Pranab Mukherjee on May 20 and the swearing-in was held on May 26 at 6.13 pm to be specific.