Modi set to lead coalition government as NDA secures victory.

Newly elected lawmakers of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) gathered in New Delhi on Friday for their first meeting, during which Modi will be formally elected as their leader. This step is a precursor to presenting his claim to form a new coalition government.

Although Modi is set to become prime minister for a record-equalling third consecutive term, this marks the first instance where his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) requires support from regional parties to form the government. The BJP secured 240 seats, falling short of the 272 needed for a majority on its own. In total, the NDA won 293 seats in the 543-member lower house of parliament, while the opposition INDIA alliance, led by Rahul Gandhi’s Congress party, won over 230 seats, surpassing forecasts.

Reports indicate that Modi’s allies, primarily the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Janata Dal (United), are vying for the position of speaker in the lower house. Meanwhile, the BJP is expected to retain key ministries, including foreign affairs, defense, interior, and finance.

This coalition negotiation resembles the pre-2014 era, before Modi achieved an outright BJP majority, where alliance partners negotiated for positions and benefits.

After meeting with party lawmakers early on Friday, Modi will attend a meeting of the NDA to be formally elected as the leader. He is expected to meet President Droupadi Murmu later in the day to stake his claim to form the government, according to an NDA leader.

The swearing-in ceremony for the new government, with Modi as prime minister, is anticipated to take place on Sunday.

In a related development, Rahul Gandhi has called for an investigation into significant stock market movements towards the end of the elections, alleging on Thursday that Modi provided misleading investment advice.