National security is our priority, will leave no stone unturned for India’s integrity: Modi

JK Bank

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that his government will leave no stone unturned to safeguard India’s unity and integrity.

“India is proud of all those brave men and women martyred in the line of duty,” Modi said after visiting a war memorial near parliament on Thursday. “Our government will leave no stone unturned to safeguard India’s unity and integrity. National security is our priority.” Reuters quoted him as saying.

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Modi will take his oath of office on Thursday along with his ministers, though he suffered a setback at the start of his second as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley opted out of the next government.

The swearing-in ceremony will be attended by thousands of guests including Bollywood stars and leaders of neighbours including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Modi won a massive mandate in the general election that ended this month after focusing his campaign on national security.

Pakistan was not invited to the inauguration.

Many ministers who are also senior members of the ruling alliance are expected to keep their place in the government. But changes in their departments are likely, especially after Jaitley wrote to Modi on Wednesday asking to be kept out due to health reasons.

Modi and Amit Shah, could also promote many fresh faces to reward good electoral performance, mainly in the east of the country where they have traditionally been weak.

Shah himself is tipped to take up a role in the government, though some political analysts say he could stay on as BJP president to steer the party towards a majority in the upper house of parliament after dominating the lower house.

The BJP now controls 303 of the 545 seats in the lower house of parliament, paving the way for Modi to possibly attempt controversial land and labour reforms amid concerns that Asia’s third largest economy is faltering.

This week, two major industrial bodies called on the new government to urgently take steps to bolster the economy, which grew 6.6% in the three months to December – the slowest pace in five quarters.