New Delhi, May 26 IBNS | 5 months ago

Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party vice president Rahul Gandhi have been invited by President Pranab Mukhjeree to attend a dinner which he will be hosting for all the heads of states of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) on Monday.

A one-time have-not, today wielding colossal political power, hailed by patrons as a magic bullet and reviled by critics as a totalitarian despot, Narendra Modi will be sworn in as India's 15th Prime Minister, concluding the frenzy that has lasted for weeks in the world's largest democracy.

In the forecourt of the majestic Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, when the clock will strike six in the evening, Modi will be formally handed over the reins of the world's seventh largest, second-most populous nation in the presence of nearly 4,000 guests.

The President will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the 63-year-old Modi and his council of ministers in the presence of other leaders of this part of the world including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The ceremony that will witness a first-time attendance of nearly all SAARC leaders will be held in the forecourt instead of the historic Durbar Hall, as was in the time of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to accommodate the large number of visitors.

Manmohan Singh, and top leaders of the routed Congress party Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi will watch the one hour-and-ten minute-long ceremony as will Modi's mother Hiraben.

(Posted on 26-05-2014)

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