Modi Checks In, Singh Checks Out

PM-elect roars into Delhi on first visit after victory with a motorcade of more than 250 cars, gets rousing welcome, receives public felicitation; BJP announces he would be formally anointed as its parliamentary party leader on Tuesday.

Published: 18th May 2014 07:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2014 09:02 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Amidst thunderous welcome by party workers during Narendra Modi’s first visit to Delhi after getting elected, the BJP on Saturday announced that he would formally be anointed as the leader by his party MPs on Tuesday, the final formal step before he is sworn as the PM.

Though no date has been fixed for the swearing-in ceremony, it is likely to be held in the Rashtrapati Bhavan courtyard as it happened during the Vajpayee regime. The ornamental Ashoka Hall inside the Presidential Palace may not accommodate all the MPs and over 3,000 invitees. In the run up to the swearing in, sources said hectic parleys were on to decide Modi’s Cabinet for which lobbying was on. The clear majority means Modi would get to pick his own team of “performers” so that he can start delivering at the earliest. But before the backroom drama over likely members of Modi’s dream team takes over, it was time for the man himself to savour the moment.

As he landed at the Delhi airport, Modi was given a grand welcome by BJP president Rajnath Singh along with Delhi’s seven MPs. He rode into the city with his motorcade swelling to over 250 cars. Despite the new elite SPG cover around him, he stood in his car waving and shaking hands with hordes of people lined along the route meandering through Lutyens’ Delhi. The BJP had asked its cadre to be present at four places along the 15-km route till the party headquarters.

Air travellers were inconvenienced a bit, as swelling crowds at the airport meant roads were blocked.

Dressed in a grey kurta with sky blue jacket, Modi got a hero’s welcome at the party office as well, where he was showered with petals with slogans, dhols and crackers adding to the deafening sound.

Later, he along with Rajnath released white balloons. Addressing party workers ahead of the parliamentary board meet, he thanked them for the poll victory, in which the BJP single-handedly won 282 seats, and said it belongs to the cadre and not to him.


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