Prime Minister Narendra Modi to meet President Ram Nath Kovind to stake claim to form government today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to meet President Ram Nath Kovind around 8 pm today to stake claim to form government following the victory of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the 17th Lok Sabha elections. NDA has won 350 seats in the 543-member Lower House of parliament. A slew of NDA leaders have arrived in the national capital to attend the coalition meeting later today.

PM Modi and his council of ministers had resigned on Friday to pave way for formation of a new government. Accepting their resignation, President Kovind had requested them to continue in office till a new council of ministers is sworn-in. Modi is expected to take oath for his second term next week. In a statement on Saturday, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said President Kovind has dissolved the 16th Lok Sabha with immediate effect on recommendation of the union cabinet.

Earlier in the day, chief election commissioner Sunil Arora and election commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra called on the President and submitted a list of winners of the 17th Lok Sabha elections, which were held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19, 2019 in all the state and union territories. BJP swept the elections with 303 seats out of 542, while Rahul Gandhi-led Congress won 52 seats. 

At a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Saturday, Rahul Gandhi had offered to resign from the top party post following the election debacle but it was unanimously rejected by the CWC members. Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that CWC has given the Congress president the right to make changes to restructure the party and a plan in this regard will be brought soon. At the same meeting, Congress leader A.K. Antony disagreed that it was a disastrous performance, but said the party would discuss it in details in a later stage. He expressed hope that the party would be able to rise up to the expectations of the people.

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