Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra ModiFile Photo | PTI

Sunday date for Modi to take oath

New govt to consider special financial package for Andhra, Bihar; NDA Parliamentary Party meet today

NEW DELHI: Amid intense negotiations for Cabinet berths among the NDA partners, it became known that Narendra Modi will take his third consecutive oath as prime minister at a glittering ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday. Over 800 guests, including foreign dignitaries, will attend. Apart from Modi, about 25-30 ministers are expected to be sworn in.

Though there was no official word, the BJP central office has already sent its list of invitees to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Significantly, the BJP leadership is learnt to have agreed in principle on the new government considering the demand for special financial packages for both Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. The demand by the TDP’s Chandrababu Naidu and JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar was part of the negotiations on ministerial berths.

Besides, a senior NDA source indicated that the TDP, which has 16 MPs, is likely to get one Cabinet and two ministers of state (MoS) in the Union ministry. As for the JD(U), it is expected to get one Cabinet and one or two MoS.

As for the post of Lok Sabha Speaker, sources said the BJP will have its own nominee while the Deputy Speaker could be from the TDP. The JD(U) already has the post of vice-chairman in the Rajya Sabha.

The NDA Parliamentary Party meet on Friday is expected to take the final call on quotas for allies in the Union ministry. “The final decision on the portfolios amongst the allies will be taken at Friday’s meeting,” said a source.

However, key ministries that are part of the Cabinet Committee on Security (defence, home, finance and corporate affairs, external affairs) are almost certain to remain with the BJP.

The BJP is learnt to have decided to accommodate almost all potential allies with one Cabinet berth and one MoS to both Chirag Paswan’s LJP (RV) and Eknath Shinde’s Sena.

Jitan Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha could get the ministry of social justice while the JD(U) may get rural development, water resources or agriculture ministry.

Meanwhile, JD(U) leader K C Tyagi said his party has demanded for a review of the Agniveer scheme.

Heads of seven neighbours get invites

Invites have been sent to the heads of neighbouring countries to attend the ceremony. Presidents Ranil Wickremesinghe (Sri Lanka), Mohamed Muizzu (Maldives), Wavel Ramkalawan (Seychelles) and prime ministers Sheikh Hasina (Bangladesh), Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ (Nepal), Tshering Tobgay (Bhutan) and Pravind Jugnauth (Mauritius) are on the list of invitees

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The New Indian Express
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