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Narendra Modi appointed as India's prime minister

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
updated 9:13 AM EDT, Tue May 20, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Modi will officially be sworn in May 26
  • His party won more than half the seats in the parliament's lower house
  • The new prime minister promised to fight against poverty, create jobs

New Delhi (CNN) -- India's president appointed Narendra Modi as the new prime minister of the world's largest democracy Tuesday, the presidential palace said in a statement.

Modi succeeds Manmohan Singh, whose Congress party suffered its worst-ever defeat in the recent general elections.

President Pranab Mukherjee will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Modi on May 26, the statement said.

Earlier in the day, Modi made his maiden visit to the national parliament as a federal lawmaker. In a traditional gesture of supplication to what Indians call their temple of democracy, he bowed down on the first step of the building's entry stairs.

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After he was officially named leader of his Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) parliamentary group, Modi made a passionate speech in Hindi.

In his televised address to BJP lawmakers, he broke down briefly as he hailed both the nation and his party as his "mother."

"I have done no favor. Can serving the mother be called a favor?" he asked, pausing to sip water. "India is my mother and so is the BJP. You do no favor to your mother. You only serve her," he said, his voice choked with emotion.

Modi vowed to increase efforts to eradicate poverty, create employment opportunities for the country's young workers and provide a safer environment for women.

The BJP has swept the five-phase national elections that concluded on May 12, winning 282 of the 543 seats of the parliament's lower house on its own in what has been a historic mandate for any single party in decades in India.

Together, the BJP-led coalition -- called the National Democratic Alliance -- comprises 335 elected members in the lower chamber called the Lok Sabha, or the House of People.

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