- Over 40 ministers will take oath with PM Modi at Rashtrapati Bhawan, as per sources
- With over 8,000 guests scheduled to attend, the ceremony is likely to be the largest of its kind yet
- The 90-minute swearing-in will begin at 7 pm on Thursday
With less than 24 hours remaining now for the oath-taking of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his second term in office, all eyes have turned to what the composition of the Modi government's cabinet is likely to be.
Two meetings were held on Tuesday and Wednesday between PM Modi and BJP party president Amit Shah at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, between which Shah also met with key NDA ally and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, with the meeting purported to be about cabinet berths for allies.
Now, sources have told Republic TV that over 40 ministers may take oath along with the Prime Minister on Thursday, with preparations underway for the biggest swearing-in ceremony - comprising an estimated 8,000 guests - that Rashtrapati Bhawan has ever hosted.
As per sources, the formula being used to decide the distribution of ministers for the second Modi government is as follows:
For BJP: One minister for every six MPs. This means that with 303 MPs in the Lok Sabha, about 50 leaders from the party will become Ministers and Ministers of State (MoS)
For NDA allies: One minister and one MoS for every 6 MPs. This means that with 50 MPs in the Lok Sabha, around 8 Ministers and 8 MoSs will be appointed from the allies. Here is the break-up of the allies and their performances:
- The Uddhav Thackeray-led party repeated its 2014 performance by winning 18 seats in Maharashtra.
- Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) won 16 Lok Sabha seats, up from what was two in 2014 when it had fought against NDA.
- Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) won all of the six seats it contested in Bihar.
- BJP’s other traditional ally, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), managed to win just two seats in Punjab amid a serious campaign led by Congress’ Amarinder Singh there.
- In Uttar Pradesh, BJP ally Apna Dal won two seats.
- One of BJP’s new allies — the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) — managed to win just one seat in Tamil Nadu.
- In Jharkhand, BJP ally All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) won one seat.
- In Rajasthan, Hanuman Beniwal-led Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLD) won one seat.
- In Nagaland, Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) won one seat.
- Mizoram's Mizo National Front (MNF) and National People's Party (NPP) also bagged one seat each.
The swearing-in ceremony will be of about 90 minutes, with over 8,000 guests including leaders of all the BIMSTEC countries scheduled to attend. About 4,500-5,000 guests have attended such ceremonies earlier.