As Modi reached the Rashtrapati Bhavan for swearing-in, he received a standing ovation and was loudly cheered. Soon after he took oath, there was yet another round of resounding applause along with chants of Bharat Mata Ki Jai, Modi, Modi, Modi…. and a subdued ‘Jai Shri Ram’. It was for the first time that the oath ceremony was attended by about 5000 guests. Vice-President Hamid Ansari, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, former President APJ Abdul Kalam, former President Pratibha Patil, Chief Justice of India RM Lodha, etc were also present. Seen among the audience were also Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita and two sons. His younger brother Anil Ambani, and his family and their mother Kokilaben. Other industrialists included Hinduja group chairman Ashok Hinduja, Essar group chief Shashi Ruia, Mittal brothers Sunil, Rajan and Rakesh and Gujarat industrialist Gautam Adani. From the world of sports cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar and Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni were also present.
It is for the first time that the saints in such a large number attended the oath ceremony of any Prime Minister. Many senior saints were seated in the front row. They included Sri Sri Ravishankar, Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Swami Rambhadracharya Maharaj, Shri Rameshbhai Ojha, Acharya Balkrishna, Shri Bhaiyyuji Maharaj, Didi Maa Sadhvi Ritambhara, VHP leader Shri Ashok Singhal, etc. Several Dawoodi Bohras from Gujarat were also seen at the ceremony. Also were present RSS Sahsarkaryavahs Shri Suresh Soni and Shri Dattatreya Hosabale, senior Pracharak Shri Indresh Kumar. —V Shanmuganathan