Modi-led alliance says it will form next Indian government

The Hindu-nationalist party of Narendra Modi agreed with allies Wednesday to form a government after a general election in which it failed to secure an outright majority for the first time in a decade.

The 15-member National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition — led by Modi's right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — has 293 seats in parliament, giving it control of the legislature.

"We all unanimously choose respected NDA leader Narendra Modi as our leader," a BJP-issued alliance statement said.

It said the NDA government would "preserve India's heritage" and work for the "all-round development of the country".

Election results released Tuesday upended conventional wisdom throughout the six-week election that Modi's Hindu nationalist agenda would power him to a landslide win.

Analysts said Modi's reliance on coalition partners means he faces the prospect of a far tougher-than-expected third term.

"It will force Modi to take the point of view of others — we shall see more democracy and a healthy parliament," said Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, who has written a biography of Modi.

"He will have to be a leader that he has never been; we will have to see a new Modi."

Indian media reports said Modi would be sworn in as prime minister on Saturday.

 'Strong opposition'

Rival China congratulated Modi earlier on Wednesday and said it was "ready to work" with its neighbour, while Japan also applauded the win.

Modi, 73, insisted on Tuesday night that the election results were a victory that ensured he would continue his agenda.

"Our third term will be one of big decisions and the country will write a new chapter of development," Modi told a crowd of cheering supporters in the...

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