India’s President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday evening appointed Narendra Modi as prime minister, minutes after leaders of the 40-member national coalition NDA called on him after electing the prime minister as the coalition’s leader.
President Kovind’s office tweeted that PM Modi had been asked to indicate the date of the swearing in ceremony to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan and list the names of his council of ministers, according to a Hindustan Times report.
Standing at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan, PM Modi told reporters that his government wouldn’t waste a moment to get down to work for the people. “President today gave me a letter designating me as the Prime Minister… The country has given me a huge mandate and the mandate comes with the expectations of the people,” PM Modi said.
The prime minister is expected to take oath early next week after visiting his home state Gujarat to seek his mother’s blessings and then fly down for a quick thanksgiving trip to his constituency Varanasi which sent him to Lok Sabha.
The NDA swept the Lok Sabha elections, winning 349 of the 542 seats for which polls were held and garnered almost 45 per cent of the votes across the country. Earlier Saturday, President Kovind dissolved the 16th Lok Sabha with immediate effect on recommendation of the Union cabinet, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a statement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to hit the ground running with a 1,000-day agenda that will run up to the first half of 2022 which will also mark the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said on condition of anonymity.
The 1000-day agenda will include several initiatives, from empowering women in agriculture to sending an Indian into space as part of Modi’s promise of creating a “New India” in his second term.