Modi's 'coronation' fit for a king!

Modi
Highlights

Modi\'s \'coronation\' fit for a king! The only worry is that rains may dampen spirits at the event. In the event of unexpected showers, 850 VVIPs on the guest list would be ushered inside Rashtrapati Bhavan; the other guests would be stranded outside.

It is nothing less than the coronation of a king at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. More than 3,000 guests have been invited for Monday's grand ceremony -- Narendra Modi's swearing-in as the Prime Minister of India -- at the forecourt of the Presidential palace.

The only worry is that rains may dampen spirits at the event. In the event of unexpected showers, 850 VVIPs on the guest list would be ushered inside Rashtrapati Bhavan; the other guests would be stranded outside.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's senior general secretaries JP Nadda, Ananth Kumar and Ramlal are coordinating with Rashtrapati Bhavan officials to stage a grand show like never before.

Delhi is reeling under temperatures of 38 degrees Celsius. The swearing-in ceremony is at 6pm on Monday evening, so no tents would be erected for the event.

It would be an open-air ceremony, which would provide for a perfect photo-op for Modi with President Pranab Mukherjee against the backdrop of the majestic red-stone structure.

Soon after Modi takes the oath, the new Prime Minister would interact with his guests from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations. Outside the Saarc the invite has gone to Mauritius PM Navin Ramgoolam also.

The expense of the event would run into hundreds of thousands of rupees, as the best arrangements are being made. The event would be a treat for shutterbugs -- Rashtrapati Bhavan looks magnificent from every angle.

The sprawling forecourt lawns of the Rashtrapati Bhavan are being readied for the gala swearing-in ceremony and workers were seen polishing iron gates of the Bhawan.

The lawns have been filled with chairs and arrangements are being made for visitors to brave the summer heat in the national capital at this time of the year.

Following the footsteps of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Modi has expressed his desire to be sworn at the forecourt so that a large number of visitors can be accommodated. Former Prime Minister Chandrashekar too had taken oath at the same venue.

The historic 'Durbar Hall' at the Rashtrapati Bhavan can accommodate only about 500 people but given the fact that BJP would be inviting all its allies and other close friends, the forecourt would be a better venue. Reports say coordination meetings were being chaired by Omita Paul, secretary to President Pranab Mukherjee, with security agencies, Delhi Police and officials of various ministries for the gala event on Monday at 6 PM.

At a glance

• Modi's mother Hiraba, 95, and his brothers are expected to attend the ceremony.

• Every minister designate will be allowed to invite a maximum of four guests. The ceremony will begin at 6pm and will last for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

• All members of Parliament, from both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha are invited, but their spouses are not.

• All BJP national executive members are on the guest list. So are leaders of allied parties.

• Former Presidents APJ Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil have been invited.

• Former Prime Ministers Dr Manmohan Singh and HD Deve Gowda are expected to attend. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi will attend the ceremony.

• Modi has also invited leaders of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation). Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has given his consent to attend the ceremony. Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has confirmed he will attend as has Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is traveling to Japan but she is likely to send the country's speaker.

• A three-layered seating arrangement has been made in the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt.

• A stage will be erected just beyond the steps that lead down from the Presidential palace to its forecourt.

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