PM Modi meets Amit Shah ahead of government formation

PTI

PM Modi meets Amit Shah ahead of government formation

PM Modi meets Amit Shah ahead of government formation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a final round of consultations with BJP president Amit Shah and is learnt to have given shape to his council of ministers ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of his new government in the evening.

Capping a landslide election victory, Modi will take oath along with a new council of ministers for a second term at 7 pm.

Modi and Shah have held several rounds of discussions in the last two days ahead of government formation.

Sources said Modi government is likely to have representation from most allies and showcase the party’s newfound strength in different regions.

BJP allies like Shiv Sena, JD(U), AIADMK, LJP, Akali Dal and Apna Dal are set to be represented in the government. Each NDA ally is likely to get one cabinet berth, sources said.

The Shiv Sena has confirmed its leader Arvind Sawant, who defeated Congress heavyweight Milind Deora from Mumbai, will be its nominee in the council of ministers.

The Lok Janshakti Party has already passed a resolution recommending its president Ram Vilas Paswan as the party’s representative in the Modi government.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s decision to opt out on health grounds has fuelled speculation about who will get his coveted portfolio. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, who filled in for Jaitley and presented the populist pre-election budget, is being seen as a key contender.

The swearing-in ceremony in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan is expected to be grand affair with about 8,000 guests, including leaders from the BIMSTEC countries, opposition leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, chief ministers, corporate honchos and film stars, watching as President Ram Nath Kovind administers the oath of office and secrecy to 68-year-old Modi and his ministerial colleagues.

(PTI)