Modi Sworn in for Third Term as India’s Prime Minister

Narendra Modi was inaugurated for his third term as India’s prime minister on Sunday following a surprising electoral setback that will challenge his ability to maintain policy stability within a coalition government in the world’s most populous country.

President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office to Modi at a ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace in New Delhi. The event was attended by thousands of dignitaries, including leaders from seven regional countries, Bollywood celebrities, and business magnates.

“Honoured to serve Bharat,” Modi posted on X just minutes before his swearing-in, using the indigenous name for India.

The crowd erupted in cheers, applause, and chants of “Modi, Modi” as the 73-year-old leader, dressed in a white kurta tunic and blue half jacket, stepped forward to take his oath.

Following Modi were senior ministers from the previous administration: Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and Piyush Goyal, among others. Their specific roles are expected to be announced post-ceremony.

Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured 240 seats, falling 32 seats short of a majority in the 543-member lower house of parliament, marking its weakest performance after a decade of political dominance.

The 15-member coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), provided the necessary numbers for Modi to govern for another five-year term. Coalition negotiations began earlier this week in New Delhi.

Coalition members, particularly the larger parties, are anticipated to have demanded concessions from Modi, including cabinet positions. Modi’s previous cabinet included 81 ministers.

The Hindustan Times reported “hectic talks,” while The Times of India noted that the BJP aimed to “pare down” their partners’ demands.

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