by Harish Gupta, National Editor, Lokmat Group
Swearing-in in Forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan, will be a mega affair
Search for new Lok Sabha Speaker begins
New Delhi, May 27
Immediately after his return from the two-day tour of Gujrat & Varanasi, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi got down to the highly cumbersome task of government formation.
While the preparation for the Swearing-in-ceremony in the forecourt of the at the Rashtrapati Bhawan will be held on May 30 as was held on May 26 in 2014. The difference will be the timing of the ceremony, 7 pm when the guests will not have to suffer due to extreme weather conditions. This time, the Rashtrapati Bhawan is likely to install coolers in large numbers for the comfort of the guests. The fact that the ceremony will be held in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan indicates that it will be a mega affair unheard of in the Independent India. Global leaders from across the continent are likely to be part of the ceremony and since Darbar Hall cannot accommodate the guests from India and abroad, it will be held in the Forecourt.
Modi is reportedly busy giving final touches to the guests list so that proper arrangements may be made for their stay and protocol.
The massive mandate has brought added problems for him as experienced and veteran leaders are not around due to one reason or the other. His first task is to find the new Speaker of the Lok Sabha as Sumitra Mahajan is not around. Senior BJP leader Hukumdev Narayan Yadav didn't contest.
There are indications that 4 term MP from Karnataka Prahlad Joshi is being considered. He is in the panel of the presiding officers since 2014 and had wide experience in Karnataka too.
Another name under the consideration is of Santosh Gangwar who is a 7 term MP. He is rated high and Labour Minister in the outgoing government.
Of course, Narendra Singh Tomar, Parliamentary & Rural Development Minister continues to be in the list of those being considered.
Interestingly, the Shiv Sena may be offered the post of Deputy Speaker as AIADMK's M Thambidurai has lost the Lok Sabha polls. Anandrao Adsul has been on the panel of the presiding officers in the Lok Sabha and is considered a
good choice for the post.
Efforts are now on to persuade BJP president Amit Shah to join the government as Arun Jaitley is not fit enough to take up ministerial assignment. Amkit Shah may continue to hold the post of the party president until alternative arrangements are made. In 2014, even Rajnath Singh held the twin posts- Home Minister and party chief- for several month.
Modi has a tough task to find hidden talent among the 303 Lok Sabha MP s and 73 Rajya Sabha MP s.