Narendra Modi swearing-in: Celebrities, honchos, stars steal the show

Narendra Modi swearing-in: Celebrities, honchos, stars steal the show

A wide spectrum attends swearing-in.

Though each Minister being sworn in at the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt on Thursday received applause from their respective States, S. Jaishankar, formerly Foreign Secretary, received a special applause from the foreign dignitaries and the Ambassadors gathered in the front rows.

Right at the end, however, the crowd let out a big roar and furiously clapped for Pratap Chandra Sarangi. Many have been inspired by the story of the long-bearded, khadi-wearing thin bespectacled 64-year-old man from Balasore, famous for having lived on railway platforms and eaten meals from street vendors. One of the simplest candidates, the two-time MLA was often seen taking rickshaws during the 2019 election campaign. His story from penury to political position is now legendary, and invitees seemed delighted by his elevation as a Minister of State in the new Ministry.

Another Minister, clearly as enthusiastic about the occasion as the crowds from his home state of Telengana, was G. Kishan Reddy, the newly elected Member of Parliament from Secunderabad, who wore a traditional turban to the ceremony.

At the end of taking oath, he shouted “Bharat Mata Ki Jai (Victory to Mother India) much to the consternation of the Rashtrapati Bhavan officials. According to protocol, Ministers are not supposed to add even a word to the oath.

The film world crowded into the audience at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, with everyone from newly elected MPs Hema Malini and Sunny Deol, stars like Kangana Ranaut, Vivek Oberoi (who played Narendra Modi in the recently released biopic), Anupam Kher, and director Karan Johar. Actor and politician Rajinikanth was also at the ceremony. However, none of the stars were included in the Cabinet. The business world was represented by Ratan Tata, Gautam Adani, and Mukesh Ambani accompanied by his wife and children.

Compared with 2014, when the foreign leaders included Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, Afghanistan President Karzai, Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa of SAARC, the leaders attending from the BIMSTEC nations were not quite as well known to the crowds.

Several television channels ran the wrong pictures for the Bhutanese PM and the Thai Agriculture Minister, leading to a strong protest on twitter by the former Bhutan PM Tshering Tobgay, who said it was “an insult” that Indian TV ran pictures of him (Tshering Tobgay) and the Bhutanese Chief Justice as PM rather than the actual, recently elected Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering.

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