The sprawling forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan ‘“ the venue for prime minister designate Narendra Modi’s scheduled oath taking ceremony on Monday ‘“ will do a rehearsal of the ceremony today.
The sprawling forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan – the venue for prime minister designate Narendra Modi’s scheduled oath taking ceremony on Monday – will do a rehearsal of the ceremony today. Dozens of workers gave their finishing touch to the arrangements to receive around 3,000 guests including the SAARC leaders.
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Modi.
The list of high profile dignitaries include Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Maldives President Abdulla Yameen, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, Bangladesh Parliament Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam.
Each dignitary is allowed to bring four attaché with them.
All BJP and NDA MPs will also attend the ceremony but they will be coming solo, without their spouses or any family. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi, and former PM HD Deve Gowda have also been invited to the ceremony.
The seating arrangement in the middle of the red sand covered rectangular ground is semi-circular facing the square shaped dais. The stage stands at a height of about one foot and has the magnificent edifice of Rashtrapati Bhavan as a backdrop.
Around 30 edestal fans and dozens of desert coolers have been placed at equal distance from each other in front of the chairs to provide respite from the searing heat in the open. Placed around are dozens of wooden boards painted in white have directions written in red colour to help those attending the event. The area is covered in red carpet.
A huge media stand has been set up to the right of the stage, covered in a green coloured carpet.
In the lawns behind the forecourt, several maroon coloured tents have been put up as this is where the dignitaries would be treated to a vegetarian high tea.
Being a high profile event, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has stationed a couple of mini vans to fumigate the whole premises after regular intervals to tackle the threat of dengue.
Around 18 million deaf Indian citizens will be able to follow all details of Modi’s swearing-in ceremony with three sign language interpreters on duty to ensure that the oath-taking and other ceremonies of prime minister-designate Modi are made available to deaf citizens of India.
An “impregnable” air defence system in the sky and about 6,000 security personnel, from paramilitary commandos to police sharpshooters, on the ground will be deployed to guard heads of state and government who will be present at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
All roads leading Raisina Hill will be barricaded, while mobile security teams will be deployed along the route. Paramilitary and Delhi Police commandos would also be deployed to secure the area. Dog squads and bomb disposal squads will sanitise the venue in advance.
The security agencies are on high alert especially in the wake of the terror attack on the Indian Consulate in Afghanistan’s Herat province Friday morning.
(with inputs from agencies)