Indian PM makes history with third term

Monday, 10 June 2024 00:44 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi with leaders of several countries including President Ranil Wickremesinghe (fourth from right) after being sworn in for his third term

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

The leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party took his oath, saying he would “do right to all manner of people without affection or ill-will”.

Modi’s BJP-led National Democratic Alliance won the general election with 293 seats, a much 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.

Speaking as he was sworn in by President Draupadi Murmu, 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.”

A council of ministers of Modi’s new cabinet was 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 outright victory for his Hindu Nationalist BJP party, which ruled India for a decade, but it 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.