Modi becomes PM as Saarc leaders witness

- Associated Press, New Delhi
Modi becomes PM as Saarc leaders witness

May 26, 2014-

Narendra Modi took the oath of office as India’s new prime minister at the sprawling presidential palace on Monday. Modi’s inauguration is the first to which India invited leaders from across South Asia. Heads of government from the Saarc nations of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan attended while Bangladesh was represented by the speaker of its Parliament.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee administered the oath to Modi and his Cabinet as thousands of guests, including politicians, business leaders and movie stars, watched. Outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was seated next to Sharif. Analysts said the presence of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signaled an easing of tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours. Pakistan and India have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947.

Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party won 282 seats in the 543-member lower house of Parliament, well ahead of the 272 it needed for a majority. Analysts say that gives Modi a free hand in choosing his priorities without being constrained by coalition partners.

Modi promised during the campaign that his goals would be good governance, job creation and fighting corruption, a message that struck a chord with voters.

In an early indication that he plans to streamline the government, Modi’s office said several ministries, especially those dealing with infrastructure, will be combined to make them more efficient and reduce red tape.

Published: 27-05-2014 08:34

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