Modi to take oath as Prime Minister on May 26, top bureaucrats asked to stay in country

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NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi, who steered BJP and the NDA to a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha election, was appointed Prime Minister on Tuesday, ushering in a new era of a non-Congress government with an absolute majority on its own in 30 years.

“I came to call on the President. The President has given me a formal letter (of appointment as the PM) and has invited me for oath-taking ceremony on May 26 at 6pm as we had earlier decided,” Modi told reporters after meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee.

Modi’s call on the President came after he was unanimously elected leader of the BJP parliamentary party and later at a combined meeting of the BJP and its allies constituting the NDA as leader of the coalition.

Later, a Rashtrapati Bhawan communique said: “… As Modi has been elected leader of the BJP parliamentary party and BJP has majority support in the House of the People, the President appointed him the Prime Minister of India and requested him to advise the names of members of the council of ministers.”

“The President will administer the oath of office and secrecy on May 26 at 6pm at Rashtrapati Bhawan,” the President’s spokesman Venu Rajamony said.

Top bureaucrats asked not to travel abroad

Cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth has written to secretaries of all ministries and departments asking them not to travel abroad this week unless it is to attend most important matters, officials sources said here.

Seth has called a meeting of all the secretaries on Wednesday to discuss the presentations prepared by the respective departments to appraise the new Prime Minister, sources said.

Seth has directed officials requiring to travel outside the country for pressing engagements, to seek prior written approval before travelling, they added.

In a separate communication, the Cabinet secretary has also asked all departments to keep a presentation ready for appraising the new Prime Minister of the achievements as well as failures of the outgoing government.

The presentation is also to list pending issues and steps that need to be taken soon.

Sources said Seth directed that presentations must include things like five important achievements, failures and steps the department would like to take in order to boost the country’s economic growth.

He has asked all central secretaries to write what shouldn’t have been done by the previous government and also provide “four or five practical goals/achievements” which can be pursued “for the next five years”, if “freedom is given” to the bureaucrats.

Officials have also been asked to furnish top achievements of their respective Ministry in the last 10 years and the gap between the actual result and the intended plan.

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