President invites Manmohan to form new government

President invites Manmohan to form new government
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First Published: Wed, May 20 2009. 01 59 AM IST
Updated: Thu, May 21 2009. 12 05 AM IST
New Delhi: Prime Minister-elect Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday his coalition had support for a clear majority in Parliament after he formally sought approval from the President to form the next government.
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“President has invited me to form the new cabinet,” Singh, 76, told reporters after meeting President Pratibha Patil.
Singh said his Congress-led coalition had the support of 322 members of the lower house of Parliament, well above the half-line mark of 272 required to rule.
The coalition’s strong majority, free of pressures from its former communist allies, has boosted hopes that it would pursue reforms to spur sagging growth in Asia’s third-largest economy.
Patil will swear in the new government on Friday.
The coalition was just 10 seats short of a parliamentary majority in the election when the results of the election were declared on Saturday.
Since then several regional parties have offered their support to the Congress-led coalition, bolstering the prospects for a stable government.
The Congress has support of three powerful parties: the Bahujan Samaj Party, led by Mayawati, the Samajwadi party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, who together account for 48 lawmakers in Parliament.
“We are in a very happy situation,” said Janardhan Dwivedi, a Congress party leader.
Earlier, Congress party head Sonia Gandhi and Singh met their allies to lay out a blueprint for governance.
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First Published: Wed, May 20 2009. 01 59 AM IST