PM Modi oath ceremony: PM Modi will become India’s second three-term leader (File).

New Delhi:

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance – which won 293 seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha election to push past the majority mark of 272 – will form the new government Saturday, when Narendra Modi will be sworn in as the Prime Minister for a historic third consecutive term, sources told NDTV Wednesday. 

Mr Modi was unanimously chosen as the leader of the alliance this afternoon, and was congratulated for his “leadership” and “strides our nation has made under him”. They also appreciated his hard work and efforts in nation-building. The NDA partners said Mr Modi had a vision for ‘Viksit Bharat‘, and they remain partners in this goal. They lauded his role in increasing India’s status in the world.

Earlier today NDA leaders met at Mr Modi’s residence to review the election result and discuss government formation, after which a delegation of senior figures from the BJP and its NDA partners was supposed to meet President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan to stake claim to power.

That delegation was to include Telugu Desam Party boss Chandrababu Naidu and Janata Dal leader Nitish Kumar, whose combined 28 seats are needed to ensure the BJP’s coalition stays above water.

Mr Naidu’s TDP won 16 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh (and a simultaneous Assembly election to return as Chief Minister) and Nitish Kumar’s JDU picked up 12 seats in Bihar.

READ | BJP Short Of Majority, 2 Coalition-Era Veterans Will Be Key

There has been speculation Mr Naidu and Nitish Kumar could be approached by the opposition INDIA bloc, which finished with 232 seats (40 shy of majority) and is exploring a government formation bid.

To offset that, the BJP has secured written letters of support from the TDP and JDU bosses.

Mr Modi and the BJP are well-aware of their importance to the NDA; he made special mention of the TDP and JDU bosses during his victory speech Tuesday night at the party HQ in Delhi. 

READ | Modi Thanks Allies Naidu, Nitish Kumar In Victory Speech

As early as Tuesday evening, when it became clear the BJP would not be able to form the government on its own, sources had said Mr Naidu and Nitish Kumar – veteran leaders well-versed in the art of coalition politics – could be courted by the Congress in a bid to stake claim itself.

Neither has revealed their hand so far, but sources have said a variety of ‘demands’, including special status for their states and a pick of ministerial berths are on the table.

On Tuesday the INDIA bloc defied exit pollsters to mount a real challenge to the BJP in a national election – a first since the ‘Modi wave’ swept it to power in 2014. 

The opposition alliance finished with 232 seats – 40 short of the 272-majority mark.

INDIA leaders, including Congress boss Mallikarjun Kharge, have been coy about reaching out to either Mr Naidu or Nitish Kumar, but the intent is there, sources have said.

The Congress produced its best performance since 2009 to win 99 seats. In 2019 the party won only 52 seats (and Rahul Gandhi quit as boss), while it managed just 44 in 2014.

READ | Modi To Take Oath Saturday, Submits Resignation To President

Meanwhile, hours earlier Mr Modi met Ms Murmu to resign ahead of the dissolution of this government on June 16. Mr Modi was asked to continue till a new government is appointed. 

READ | “Winning, Losing Part Of Politics, Numbers Game Goes On”: Modi

This morning, he chaired the final cabinet meet of his second term, and downplayed any raised eyebrows over his party’s performance; “Winning and losing are part of politics…”

“We have done good work for the last 10 years. We will continue doing so.”

READ | “People Trusted NDA For Third Time, Historic”: Modi On Election Results

Addressing an adoring crowd at the party’s Delhi HQ late Tuesday, Mr Modi said the people of India had “placed their faith” in the NDA for a third time. “I bow to the people for this affection and assure them we will continue the good work done in the last decade to keep fulfilling aspirations..”

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