BIMSTEC leaders invited for Modi’s swearing-in on May 30

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PM Narendra Modi and the BJP are most likely to get away without any blushes | File Photo: PTI

India has invited the leaders of BIMSTEC countries, Kyrgyzstan President and Mauritian premier for Narendra Modi’s swearing-in as Prime Minister on May 30, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Monday.

President Ram Nath Kovind will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Modi and other members of the Union Council of Ministers during a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan at 7 pm on Thursday.

The government has invited the leaders of the BIMSTEC member states for the swearing-in ceremony, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to questions on the invitations for the swearing-in ceremony.

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“This is in line with government’s focus on its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy,” the MEA said.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional grouping comprising Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.

In 2014, the leaders of SAARC countries were invited for Modi’s swearing-in. This included former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. However, this time, India has not sent an invitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had congratulated the BJP leader on his party’s massive victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov, who is the current chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, who was the chief guest at this year’s Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, have also been invited, the ministry said.

Modi is the first BJP leader who has been elected for a second term after completion of his five-year tenure, a feat so far achieved only by three Congress leaders – Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Manmohan Singh.

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