Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh
New Delhi: As the sun was setting in national capital on 26 May 2014, India witnessed the beginning of a new era at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Narendra Modi took oath as country`s 15th Prime Minister on Monday in a glittering ceremony witnessed by more than 4000 guests including heads of all SAARC nations and his predecessor Dr Manmohan Singh.
The moment was historic as for the first time in the history of Indian politics a party other than the Congress had secured an absolute majority on its own, first time the country was getting a PM who was born in Independent India and first time after 1984 the electorate had voted for a stable government.
Minutes after 6 pm today Modi, who led his party BJP back to power at the Centre after a decade, was administrated the oath to be the next PM by President Pranab Mukherjee. The entire event lasted for about 90 minutes. For the special moment Modi wore an off-white kurta-churidar and a fawn-coloured Nehru jacket.
Along with Modi, 45 other ministers also took oath with him, including Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Uma Bharti, Maneka Gandhi, Ananth Kumar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani and Harsh Vardhan.
Among those belonging to BJP`s allies who took oath today were Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Akali Dal), Anant Geete (Shiv Sena) and Ashok Gajapathi Raju (TDP).
Modi had sent special invitation to heads of SAARC countries to come for the oath-taking ceremony and most of them landed in Delhi today to grace the occasion. Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka, Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, Abdullah Yameen of the Maldives, Tshering Tobgay of Bhutan, Mauritius PM Navinchandra Ramgoolam and Sushil Koirala of Nepal were there at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Bangladesh was represented by Parliament speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury.
And of course there was Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose presence was hailed as a coup of sorts. Modi tweeted later on that he and Sharif shared some `emotional` moments together.
Apart from Congress president and vice president Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, members of the UPA like P Chidambaram, Meira Kumar, Pallam Raju, Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel were also seen at the ceremony.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, his son and UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, Assam CM Tarun Gogoi and Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda were there too.
Also present were a host of Bollywood stars and business tycoons like Salman Khan, Vivek Oberoi, Dharmendra, Anupam Kher, Javed Akthar, Anil Ambani and Mukesh Ambani, Kumarmangalam Birla, Sashi Ruia, Gautam Adani and VN Dhoot.
Senior BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi along with BJP MPs and the MPs of its allies too were in attendance at the President`s House.
The ceremony was watched live across the nation and in world capitals, on TV and also web casts.
Modi stormed to power on May 16, the day results for 2014 Lok Sabha polls were announced, in style. His party had got a majority on its own crossing the magical figure of 272 and the NDA had crossed the 300 figure mark, which meant that he would not have to look for support from the likes of Mamata Banerjee and Jayalalithaa to form the government.
The victory was perhaps sweeter for Modi and BJP as the Congress was decimated in the polls, ending with just 44 seats, its worst ever tally. In rallies after rallies Modi had taken on the UPA government over price rise, inflation, scams and corruption. He had also exhorted the voters to rid India of Congress and dynasty politics and appealed to them to give him 60 months.
And now that the voters have given him what he had asked for the countdown for Modi has begun. As he settles down in the PM`s seat he has multiple challenges ahead of him and the man of the moment made it more than clear that he was upto it.
Minutes after he took oath, the website of the Prime Minister`s Office carried Modi`s message to the people promising to "script a glorious future for India".
It said - “On 16th May 2014 the people of India gave their verdict. They delivered a mandate for development, good governance and stability. As we devote ourselves to take India`s development journey to newer heights, we seek your support, blessings and active participation. Together we will script a glorious future for India. Let us together dream of a strong, developed and inclusive India that actively engages with the global community to strengthen the cause of world peace and development.”