Modi takes oath as India’s 16th Prime Minister

2019-05-30 at 19:56

Narendra Modi has been sworn in for a second term as India’s prime minister after his party won a landslide majority in the recent election.

Thousands were invited to the ceremony in Delhi, including regional leaders and Bollywood stars.

But notable names were excluded, including Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan, and some opposition leaders stayed away.

The election was seen as a referendum on Modi, who is adored by many but also accused of stoking divisions.

He ran a campaign dominated by his personal image and national security after tensions with Pakistan spiked in February in the disputed region of Kashmir.

The ceremony is taking place at the presidential palace, a colonial-era building in the centre of the capital.

An alliance led by Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party swept the general election last week, winning 354 seats in the 545-member lower house, known as the Lok Sabha.

Modi retained his seat of Varanasi by a margin of nearly half a million votes. He has become the first leader since 1971 to secure a single party majority in back-to-back elections.

His government will be under pressure to deal with a slowdown in India’s economy and provide more jobs.

A new cabinet is also being sworn in. The new government suffered a blow on Wednesday when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said he was standing down for health reasons.