Modi sworn in as PM: Will allies maintain power and seek speaker role?

Following a dramatic election outcome that necessitated the formation of a coalition government, Narendra Modi took the oath of office for his third consecutive term as India’s prime minister on Sunday. The ceremony, held at the prestigious presidential palace in New Delhi, saw Modi and his key allies, including prominent figures from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), reaffirm their commitment to governing the nation.

Modi’s choice of ministers for his council remained undisclosed as of late Sunday, but expectations are high for continuity rather than significant changes in personnel. Despite facing challenges in securing an outright majority, Modi’s familiar lineup of deputies suggests a continuation of his established governing style.

With analysts speculating on potential reshuffles within the government and the distribution of key positions among coalition partners, Modi’s leadership faces a pivotal moment. While his past terms were marked by a consolidation of power and the cultivation of a strong persona, the recent election results indicate a shift in the political landscape, compelling Modi to navigate a more complex governing environment.

In a departure from his previous rhetoric, Modi emphasized the inclusivity of his coalition government, acknowledging the diversity of India’s population and the contributions of various regions and communities. This shift in tone reflects a broader strategy to appeal to a wider spectrum of voters and foster unity across the nation.

The swearing-in ceremony, attended by dignitaries from neighboring countries and prominent figures from India’s business and entertainment industries, underscored the significance of the occasion. Key members of Modi’s previous cabinet, including Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh, renewed their oaths, signaling continuity in key ministerial positions.

Many analysts are observing whether Modi’s allies, especially Shah, will retain key positions of power, such as control over investigative and law enforcement agencies, which opposition parties claim have been used for the BJP’s political gain. Another question in the coming days is whether the smaller kingmakers in the NDA coalition will aim to become the Parliamentary speaker, a role that would allow them to defect to the opposition without facing censure, thereby maintaining their leverage over the BJP.

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