Preparations are underway at the Rashtrapati Bhavan for May 26 swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as the country's 15th Prime Minister which will be attended by heads of SAARC nations.
Rashtrapati Bhavan sources said coordination meetings were being chaired by Amita Paul, Secretary to President Pranab Mukherjee, with security agencies, Delhi Police and officials of various ministries for the gala event on Monday at 6 PM.
This is for the first time that heads of the states of SAARC nations have been invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the Prime Minister.
The External Affairs Ministry has received confirmation from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives.
Bangladesh will be represented by its Speaker Shirin Chaudhury as its Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is travelling to Japan on that day.
Arrangements are being made at the Rashtrapati Bhavan for all the visiting VVIPs who will be accompanied by their diplomatic team as well, official sources said.
There was a proposal to call all state Governors and Chief Ministers of all the states but the decision to this effect will have to be taken by the BJP leadership, they said.
The sprawling forecourt lawns of the Rashtrapati Bhavan is being readied for the gala swearing-in ceremony and workers were seen polishing iron gates of the Bhawan.
The lawns have been filled with chairs and arrangements are being made for visitors to brave the summer heat in the national capital at this time of the year.
Following the footsteps of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Modi has expressed his desire to be sworn at the forecourt so that a large number of visitors can be accommodated. Earlier, Chandrashekar was another Prime Minister who had taken oath at the same venue.
BJP chalked up a landslide victory in Lok Sabha polls to and crossed the magic figure of 272 in the 543-member House on its own for the first time in its history.
The historic 'Durbar Hall' at the Rashtrapati Bhavan can accommodate only about 500 people but given the fact that BJP will be inviting all its allies and other close friends, the forecourt will be a better venue.