Modi sworn in as India’s prime minister for third term

Modi expected to face coalition challenges for first time.

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NEW DELHI (Reuters): Narendra Modi was sworn in as India’s prime minister on Sunday for a third term, after a shock election setback that will test his ability to ensure policy certainty in a coalition government in the world’s most populous nation.
President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office to Modi at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the president’s palace in New Delhi, attended by thousands of dignitaries, including the leaders of seven regional countries, Bollywood stars and industrialists.
“Honoured to serve Bharat,” Modi posted on X, minutes before he was sworn in, referring to India’s name in Indian languages.
Supporters cheered, clapped and chanted “Modi, Modi” as the 73-year old leader, dressed in a white kurta tunic and blue half jacket, was called to take his oath.
Modi was followed by senior ministers in the previous government: Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari, Nirmala Sitharaman, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and Piyush Goyal, among others. Their portfolios were expected to be announced after the swearing-in.
Midway through the inauguration, news came that at least nine people were killed and 33 injured when a bus carrying Hindu pilgrims plunged into a gorge after a suspected militant attack in the federal territory of Jammu and Kashmir, drawing criticism of the security situation from the opposition Congress party.
Modi, who started as a publicist of the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of his Bharatiya Janata Party, is only the second person after independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru to serve a third straight term as prime minister.
Modi secured the third term in after multi-stage election that concluded on June 1 with the support of 14 regional parties in his BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. In the previous two terms his party had won an outright majority.
The outcome is seen as a big setback to the popular leader as surveys and exit polls had predicted BJP would secure even more seats than in 2019.

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