PM Modi, Amit Shah take oath

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International Desk:

Amit Shah, BJP president, is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new government. He was sworn in today in a ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the presence of 8,000 guests including world leaders, dignitaries, politicians, celebrities and industrialists.The 54-year-old is likely to handle one of the top four ministries in the cabinet, reports NDTV.

The news emerged in a congratulatory tweet from a BJP leader to Amit Shah hours before PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan for a second straight term after the BJP’s incredible election victory.

Amit Shah’s phone-calls went to all new ministers in the government.

Besides Amit Shah, PM Modi’s government will include Nirmala Sitharaman, Smriti Irani, Sadananda Gowda, Arjun Meghwal, Kiren Rijiju, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar, Jitender Singh, Suresh Angadi, Babul Supriyo, Kailash Chowdhury, Prahlad Joshi and G Kishan Reddy.

Several first-timers have also made it to the government. Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Subrat Pathak, Rattan Lal Kataria, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, RCP Singh, G Kishan Reddy, Som Parkash, Deboshree Chaudhary are among them.

Amit Shah, who has led the party since 2014 and is credited with its spectacular run in elections, has been the PM Modi’s confidant for over two decades. He is widely seen as the man responsible for the BJP winning election after election, including the national election.

Smriti Irani, the “kingslayer” after she defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi in his family borough Amethi, is expected to be rewarded with a big ministry.

Who will be finance minister is a big question after Arun Jaitley wrote to the Prime Minister yesterday saying he did not want any responsibility in the government as he needed treatment. Mr Jaitley, who was one of the chief defenders of the BJP-led government in parliament, wrote in his letter:  “I am writing to you to formally request you that I should be allowed a reasonable time for myself, my treatment and my health and therefore, not be a part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government.” Mr Jaitley is a diabetic. His health worsened after he had a kidney transplant in May last year.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance returned to power with a massive haul of 352 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP won 303 seats on its own.

The swearing-in ceremony will take place at 7 pm in the presence of nearly 8,000 guests including leaders of BIMSTEC countries, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan.unb

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