Kharge likely to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony 

Initial confusion arose when Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh stated that no party leaders had received invitations for the ceremony, with invites being extended only to international dignitaries.

| Updated: 09 June, 2024 3:26 pm IST
Mallikarjun Kharge likely to attend Modi's swearing-in ceremony

NEW DELHI: Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge is likely to attend Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday, June 9. This decision follows a series of discussions within the Congress party and the INDIA bloc, despite earlier conflicting reports about the invitation status.

Initial confusion arose when Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh stated that no party leaders had received invitations for the ceremony, with invites being extended only to international dignitaries.

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Ramesh expressed his frustration, saying, “The person taking the oath has lost his personal, political and moral authority. Mandate was sought in his (Modi) name, he did not get it, and we don’t understand why this drama of swearing-in is being undertaken.”

However, sources later confirmed that an invitation was indeed extended to Kharge by BJP leader Pralhad Joshi. Following consultations with the INDIA bloc members, Kharge decided to attend the event.

West Bengal Chief Minister and INDIA bloc ally Mamata Banerjee, on the other hand said, “We have not got an invitation yet. Even if we do, we will not attend the ceremony.”

Banerjee added, “This government is forming undemocratically and unconstitutionally. We cannot give our best wishes to this government. We give our best wishes to the country and the people of the country.”

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Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi is set to be sworn in for a third consecutive term, equaling the record of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The BJP won 240 seats in the recent Lok Sabha elections, while the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) secured 292 seats out of 543. This victory, though substantial, did not allow the BJP to secure a majority on its own.

The swearing-in ceremony, scheduled for 7:15 PM, will see attendance from leaders of India’s neighboring countries and the Indian Ocean Region. Dignitaries expected include Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, among others.

Security measures have been intensified for the event, with five companies of paramilitary forces deployed to ensure the safety of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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