Narendra Modi, dressed in all white, visited Rajghat, the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, early on Monday morning. He then tweeted, “On my way to Atal ji’s residence to seek his blessings.” (Track Live Updates Here)
Mr Modi, 63, will be sworn in as Prime Minister at 6 this evening at the majestic presidential palace, the Rashtrapati Bhawan, in Delhi. He will be the BJP’s second Prime Minister; the first was Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who Mr Modi met a short while ago. (Read: Rashtrapati Bhawan All Set for Narendra Modi’s Swearing-In on Monday)
Mr Modi’s council of ministers will also take oath along with him this evening. Sources said he is unlikely to have more than 35 ministers in all, only 17 to 18 of them of cabinet rank and none older than 75. His office confirmed late last evening that he will head a lean government and will merge and restructure several ministries.
Among the nearly 4000 guests invited for the oath ceremony this evening are a number of heads of state of neighbouring countries, in a first. Eight have confirmed they will attend, among them Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is expected to land in India at about noon today.
Because Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is attending, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa could skip the event. Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has decided to send a representative. Outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will attend, as will Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi.
Mr Modi’s mother, Hiraben, 95, is expected to come down from Ahmedabad for the ceremony.
This evening President Pranab Mukherjee will host the visiting foreign dignitaries to a dinner. The new Prime Minister will also be there. (Read More)
Mr Modi will move into his Delhi residence, 7 Race Course Road, tonight. (Read: Narendra Modi to Shift to 7 Race Course Road)
There is massive security in the capital, with several dignitaries already here for the function this evening.