Sonia Gandhi to attend PM Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony tomorrow

Sonia Gandhi's decision to attend PM Modi's swearing-in ceremony is significant especially after a bitter Lok Sabha election campaign that saw BJP and Congress trading relentless barbs at each other.

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi will attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony tomorrow. The grand event will take place at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Sonia Gandhi’s decision to attend PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony is significant especially after a bitter Lok Sabha election campaign that saw BJP and Congress trading relentless barbs at each other. The election results though came as a huge setback for the Congress party which reduced the grand old party to just 52 seats.

The poll debacle led to Congress president Rahul Gandhi offering to resign from the post of party chief. He is also known to have blamed senior party leaders for the loss in the recent polls.

Meanwhile, the guest list for PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony, according to officials, includes visiting heads of state from BIMSTEC countries, the Kyrgyz Republic and Mauritius, and political leaders, diplomats, chief ministers, academics, writers, celebrities, sportspeople, film personalities and achievers. The one notable absentee from last time will be the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

The Ministry of External Affairs confirmed the participation of Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Kyrgyz Republic President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, Myanmar President U Win Myint, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli, Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and Thailand’s Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Grisada Boonrach as a special envoy.

The ceremony will be followed by a vegetarian High Tea for guests and a small private banquet hosted by President Ram Nath Kovind for visiting dignitaries where Dal Raisina, an in-house innovation that takes 48 hours to cook, will be served.

This is the fourth time that a Prime Minister will be sworn-in at the forecourt. The preferred swearing-in venue usually is the Durbar Hall. The only two other Prime Ministers, who have been sworn-in with the grand Rashtrapati Bhavan edifice as a backdrop, are AB Vajpayee and Chandrashekhar.

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