5 pm-5.55 pm
Stage IS set
As guests started arriving, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son, Rahul, were followed by outgoing PM Manmohan Singh at 5.40 pm. The first SAARC leader to arrive was Bangladesh Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhary, followed by Pakistan President Nawaz Sharif at 5.50 pm. Sharif was heard telling industrialist Anil Ambani that 99 per cent of Pakistanis want better relations with India.
5.58 PM-6.05 pm
As the sun faded, Narendra Modi made his entry from the North Gate. The crowd rose to greet him. Loud applause and chants of “Modi, Modi, Modi…” were heard from the section where the BJP leaders and their families were seated.
President Pranab Mukherjee arrived at 6.05 pm and made his way to the podium, after which the band played the national anthem.
6.05 pm-7.05 pm
As Narendra Modi took oath, the BJP section in the audience started chanting his name again. The crowd settled down after the first four ministers were sworn in. Many moved towards the refreshments even before all the 45 ministers had been sworn in. Many first time ministers signed in the first column,which is meant for the Cabinet Secretary.
The new ministers gathered on the stage for photographs. The heads of SAARC countries were escorted inside Rashtrapati Bhawan. With security easing a bit, many went to greet BJP patriarch L K Advani. Governors Sheila Dikshit, H R Bhardwaj and Shivraj Patil were seen mingling with BJP leaders. Among other Congress leaders were Abhishek Singhvi and Ashwini Kumar.