Indian media: 'Modi era' begins

Media urge India's new PM to start delivering on his promises Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Media urge India's new PM to start delivering on his promises

Media in India see Monday's swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the opening of a new chapter but urge him to "get cracking" and deliver on his promises.

"Dawn of a new era", says The Times of India, while The Asian Age runs a similar headline: "India begins Modi era".

Some media find significance in the fact that Mr Modi's first official day as PM on Tuesday will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the death of Jawarharlal Nehru, the founder of modern-day India.

An article on the Firstpost website argues that the election that brought the opposition BJP to power "was not just a slap in the face of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty" but also a "rejection of the sort of top-down socialistic welfare economy that he has come to represent".

The Times of India agrees that half a century later, "Nehruvian formulas which emphasise big government can become outmoded in a vast and diverse nation such as India". Recalling the new PM's promise of "minimum government, maximum governance", it points out that "Modi, as captain, has been given the opportunity to run a tight ship". "He must utilise this opportunity to the fullest and will be held accountable for the results," says the paper.

"Now that Mr Narendra Modi has assumed charge as the country's Prime Minister, backed by a massive mandate, he must begin and hasten the process of change which he has promised," insists The Pioneer in an editorial entitled "With core team in place, he must get cracking".

'Balancing act'

Newspapers are saying that the new cabinet which took oath on Monday has the clear "imprint" of Mr Modi.

They point out that the 45 other ministers sworn in along with Mr Modi are significantly fewer than the 70-plus ministers in the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

"By dramatically whittling down his council of ministers to 45 from 70 in the outgoing UPA government, Mr Modi has sent out an unmistakable signal that his administration is going to be different," The Times of India says.

The Indian Express is also of the opinion that "this appears to be a purposeful cabinet streamlined for efficiency".

According to The Business Standard, the new prime minister has done a "fine balancing act to give representation to various regions and caste groups".

In its editorial, however, the daily says that overall, the cabinet is "a let-down". "More could have been expected," writes the Business Standard, referring to reports that a second round of ministerial appointments is being planned.

The paper also asks why "are some ministers likely to be given dual responsibility for unrelated and large ministries? Defence and finance, for example, have nothing in common".

The Times of India, meanwhile, welcomes the number of women ministers who were sworn-in. Seven out of the 45 ministers are women, with six of them in senior cabinet posts, reports the daily.

"Women may only account for 11% of all Lok Sabha (lower house of the parliament) MPs but they fared better when it came to representation in the cabinet… accounting for 25%," the paper writes.

And finally, Mr Modi' supporters and BJP activists celebrated across the country after he officially signed in as the 15th prime minister of India.

In Delhi, sweets were distributed as people watched the oath-taking ceremony on TV screens installed across the city, The Times of India reports.

The holy city of Varanasi, from where Mr Modi won elections with a huge margin, was also in a festive mood, the paper adds.

"There is no end of celebrations in this holy city… the city once again indulged in festive mood," exclaims the daily.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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