350 applicants for coverage of new PM’s swearing-in!

The excitement of the media houses can be gauged from the number of applications received by Rashtrapati Bhawan for granting permission of the live coverage of the new prime minster’s oath taking ceremony. Sources in the government confirmed that for the first time in history of India, more than 350 applications for live coverage of new PM’s oath taking ceremony has been received. ‘The applications are still coming,’ said a Rashtrapati Bhawan official.

‘While decisions regarding the venue and coverage are prerogatives of the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the head of the state goes by the request of the incoming executive. As in case of Delhi government, the Lieutenant Governor acceded to the request to swear-in Arvind Kejriwal as chief minister in Ramlila grounds with several television channels covering it live. If the swearing in takes place outdoors, allowing private channels may be considered,’ said a senior official.

The oath taking ceremony of the prime minster usually takes place in the the Ashoka Hall of the majestic Rashtrapari Bhawan. However, when BJP came to power for the first time, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had taken oath in the front courtyard of the President’s house. Before him, Chandrashekhar first broke the convention and took oath in the open in 1990.

The Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhawan is used for holding ceremonial functions like swearing-in of ministers and receiving heads of missions of foreign countries. The Ashoka Hall has a dimension of 105 feet by 65 feet. So far, only government controlled broadcasters -- Doordarshan and All India Radio-are permitted. In addition to them 100 print media journalists accredited by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) of the Information and Broadcasting ministry are allowed.
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