Monday, 30th October 2017

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Guessing game over guests of PM Modi's swearing-in ceremony

Several world leaders including US President Donald Trump have reached out to Modi since Thursday

By TT Bureau in New Delhi
  • Published 26.05.19, 2:18 AM
  • Updated 26.05.19, 2:18 AM
  • a min read
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi on April 26, 2019. (PTI)

Officials on Saturday played down media reports from Colombo about Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena attending the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying nothing had been firmed up yet.

After a phone conversation between Sirisena and Modi on Friday, the Sri Lankan media had quoted officials there as saying the President would attend Modi’s oath-taking.

Since the election results were declared on Thursday, there has been speculation whether the spectacle that marked Modi’s 2014 swearing-in would be repeated this time.

Modi had in an unprecedented move invited the heads of states and governments of all the Saarc member countries, including Pakistan, to his May 2014 swearing-in.

“At the moment, we have no information on this matter,” a government source said, asked about these speculations.

Several world leaders including US President Donald Trump have reached out to Modi since Thursday, not just with tweets but with telephone calls, to congratulate him.

PM caution on media

Modi asked BJP leaders and the newly elected MPs on Saturday to avoid shooting their mouth before the media, even off the record, and shun “VIP culture”. He stressed that the people would be watching their conduct.

The Prime Minister also accused the media of running “false reports with ill intention” about possible cabinet selections and asked his flock not to believe them. He prodded them to call up media houses and deny any speculative report that names them.

“The country hates VIP culture. Why can’t you stand in line for an airport security check?” he said.

He cited how the late Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar had won hearts with his humility.

“You have seen what Manohar Parrikar used to do; follow him and don’t fall into this trap of showing off that you are an MP,” he said.

Modi said the people were very vigilant these days and any excesses by politicians got captured on mobile phones and went circulating on social media.