Modi set to take oath for a third time at the weekend as allies pledge support
HYDERABAD/NEW DELHI: (Reuters) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) formally named him on Wednesday to lead a new coalition government for a third straight term, a day after it regained power with a surprisingly slim majority.

Modi, a populist who has dominated Indian politics since 2014, will for the first time head a government dependent on the support of regional allies whose loyalties have wavered over time, which could complicate the new cabinet’s reform agenda.

A day after the humbling election outcome for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), following a strong performance by the opposition ‘INDIA’ bloc, Modi’s 15 alliance partners met at his New Delhi residence and named him as their leader.

The BJP-led NDA won 293 seats in the 543-member lower house of parliament, more than the simple majority of 272 seats needed to form a government. The INDIA alliance led by Rahul Gandhi’s centrist Congress party won 230 seats, more than forecast.

Modi was set to meet President Droupadi Murmu on Friday to present his claim to form a government and the swearing-in could take place over the weekend, an NDA leader said on condition of anonymity.

Here’s Modi after the results were in: “We Indians will walk together toward the development of the country and in this third term, the country will write a new chapter of big decisions.”

Modi has said he wants to lay the groundwork for India to become a fully developed nation by 2047, the 100th year of independence from British colonial rule.