"Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam is also attending the ceremony. "
New Delhi, May 24 - The electricians were busy connecting the wires of dozens of white coloured pedestal fans and desert coolers while a group of labourers unloaded rolls of red carpets from a waiting tempo even as municipality vans criss-crossed all of them, busy fumigating the sprawling forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan -- the venue for prime minister- designate Narendra Modi's scheduled oath taking ceremony Monday.
Dozens of workers were Saturday toiling tirelessly to put finishing touches to the venue as arrangements were being made to receive around 3,000 guests who include the leaders of seven South Asian nations including Pakistan and Mauritius, that has a large ethnic Indian population.
The seating arrangement in the middle of the red sand covered rectangular ground is semi-circular facing the square shaped dais, which has a white base and maroon coloured borders. The stage stood at a height of about one foot and has the magnificent edifice of Rashtrapati Bhavan as a backdrop.
Around 30 white coloured pedestal fans and dozens of desert coolers were placed at equal distance from each other in front of the chairs to provide respite from the searing heat in the open.
Rolls of red coloured carpets were kept in a corner and so were dozens of wooden boards painted in white which had directions written in red colour to help those attending the event.
A huge media stand has been set up to the right of the stage, covered in a green coloured carpet.
In the lawns behind the forecourt, several maroon coloured tents have been put up as this is where the dignitaries would be treated to a vegetarian high tea.
Being a high profile event, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has stationed a couple of mini vans to fumigate the whole premises after regular intervals to tackle the threat of dengue.
Narendra Modi, who will be sworn-in as India's 14th prime minister May 26, will be the third prime minister to take oath in the expansive forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The list of high profile dignitaries include Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Maldives President Abdulla Yameen, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Bangladesh Parliament Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury.
Mauritius Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam is also attending the ceremony.
It is the first time in India's history that leaders from neighbouring countries have been invited to the swearing-in ceremony of an Indian prime minister.