23 May 2009

India's new government takes office

6:45 am on 23 May 2009

India's new government, with Manmohan Singh as prime minister, has taken the oath of office in the capital, Delhi.

Mr Singh, 73, is taking charge for a second time. He is only the second prime minister after Jawaharlal Nehru to be returned to power following a full five-year term.

The BBC reports the Congress party won a decisive mandate in recent polls and Mr Singh has emerged politically stronger.

When votes were counted last weekend, Congress and its allies had 262 seats in parliament, compared to the BJP alliance's 158.

Mr Singh and a 19-member cabinet took the oath of office from Indian President Pratibha Patil at a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace, in Delhi on Friday.