NEW DELHI – Narendra Modi took the oath of office as India’s new prime minister at the sprawling presidential palace on Monday, a moment made more historic by the presence of the leader of archrival Pakistan.
Modi’s inauguration is the first to which India invited leaders from across South Asia.
Heads of government from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Maldives, Nepal and Afghanistan attended, and Bangladesh was represented by the speaker of its parliament.
But most eyes remained on Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose visit could signal a thaw in relations between the often hostile neighbors.
Modi and Sharif are to hold formal talks today.
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee administered the oath to Modi and his Cabinet as thousands of guests, including politicians, business leaders and movie stars, watched. Outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was seated next to Sharif.