New Delhi (CNN)Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was formally sworn in Thursday for a second straight term in office, following a landslide victory in national elections that cemented his grip on power in the world's largest democracy.
Narendra Modi sworn in for second term as India's Prime Minister
Modi, his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and their allies won a total of 349 seats out of 545 in the Parliament's lower house earlier this month. The resounding win followed a seven-week long election that saw the Prime Minister adopt an increasingly nationalist posture -- a marked departure from the focus on economic reform during his first campaign back in 2014.
The result defied even the most optimistic predictions by BJP supporters. Modi is the first Indian leader since the 1970s to secure a second straight term with a clear parliamentary majority.
He took his oath of office for the second time at New Delhi's imposing Presidential Palace, known here as the Rashtrapati Bhavan, along with several members of his new council of ministers.
Modi's new team includes Amit Shah, his closest political ally and the BJP party president credited with engineering the party's electoral wins, who makes a formal entry into government with his appointment as a minister.
The government hasn't yet announced which specific portfolios will be held by each minister.
Another new entrant, S Jaishankar, a former top civil servant in India's foreign ministry, was also sworn in as a minister.
One of the highest profile names that will be missing from the new government is Arun Jaitley, who was finance minister in Modi's first term, but bowed out of office owing to health reasons.
In a letter to Modi earlier this week, Jaitley said, "I am writing to you to formally request you that I should be allowed a reasonable time for myself, my treatment and my health and, therefore, not be a part of any responsibility, for the present, in the new government."