India PM-designate Modi stakes claim to form gov't

Narendra Modi is to be sworn in on May 26 after a landslide election victory on Friday.

India PM-designate Modi stakes claim to form gov't

World Bulletin / News Desk

Narendra Modi was appointed as India's 14th prime minister by the country's President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday, four days after Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party won by a landslide in parliamentary elections.

Modi, who will be officially sworn-in next week, met Mukherjee alongside leaders of the BJP and its allies -- who collectively won 336 seats out the 543 in the Lok Sabha, Indian parliament's lower house.

Modi was earlier elected BJP leader by the party's new lawmakers, and L.K. Advani, a senior party founder, said Modi had done them a favor by taking up responsibility to take the helm.

"Can serving the mother be a favour? A son is only dedicated to serve the mother. The favour has been done by the party," said Modi, who broke into tears during his acceptance speech.

Modi said there is no need for "pessimism" and that his government will dedicate itself to the poor and disadvantaged.

"I am a very optimistic man and only an optimistic man can bring optimism in the country," he said. "People have voted for hope and faith. I will do everything to fulfil their aspirations."

Modi is likely to relinquish Wednesday his role as western state Gujarat's chief minister, which he has held since 2001. He has recommended his close confidante and state's revenue minister, Anandiben Patel, succeed him.

Modi met with senior party leaders and allies in New Delhi to discuss the allocation of cabinet portfolios. India media reports suggest BJP President Rajnath Singh will be given the Home Ministry while Arun Jaitley, a close-confidante of Modi, could become the finance minister despite losing the seat he contested.

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi offered to resign from their roles as party leaders but the Congress Working Committee rejected their resignations, ensuring the leadership remains in the hands of what critics describe as the Congress party's "dynasty."

India's largest state Uttar Pradesh's chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, fired 36 ministers in his state government in an attempt to reinvigorate his caste-based Samajwadi Party, which only won five seats in the election compared to 23 in 2009. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Mayıs 2014, 17:09
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