Friday, May 22, 2009

New Indian cabinet to be sworn in

Mr Singh will be taking charge fora second term, only the second PM after Jawaharlal Nehru to be returned to power after a full five-year term. The Congress party won a decisive mandate in the recent polls and Mr Singh has emerged politically stronger. However, a key ally of the Congress has left the governing alliance after disagreements over ministerial posts. The Tamil Nadu-based DMK party said its 18 members of parliament would not serve in the government but would still support the coalition in the house.

The move is seen as the first setback to the coalition, but analysts say it is unlikely to pose a serious threat to the government. The Congress party and its allies swept back to power when votes from the marathon five-phase general election were counted last weekend. Mr Singh and a 19-member cabinet will take the oath of office from Indian President Pratibha Patil at a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace, in Delhi on Friday evening. Mr Singh has displayed an ability to stand firm and outlast his most trenchant critics.

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