NEW DELHI - Prime minister-elect Narendra Modi summoned senior figures from his Hindu nationalist party on Sunday for talks on forming a new government that is set to steer India sharply to the right.
Modi was holding meetings in New Delhi with aides, advisers and state and national leaders of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after storming to power at the general election with a strong mandate for economic reform.
A day after jubilant parties, street parades and religious ceremonies were held around the country to celebrate the BJP's landslide election victory, Modi was behind closed doors working to form his cabinet.
"All kinds of people are meeting Modi," senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar told AFP, declining to reveal who were frontrunners for the finance, foreign, defence and other key portfolios.
Modi, a former tea boy who has governed his home state of Gujarat for the last 13 years, is expected to take office later this week after securing the strongest mandate of any Indian leader in 30 years.
He and his right-wing BJP trounced the left-leaning Congress, which has ruled India for most of the years since independence in 1947, piling humiliation on the famous Gandhi family that dominates the party.
- Enormous expectations -
Modi faces enormous expectations from tens of millions of voters after pledging to create jobs and increase development to revive the economy, which is growing at the lowest level in a decade.
After his presidential-style campaign dominated the election, Modi reiterated Sunday his pledge to work with his BJP-led National Democratic Alliance coalition to make India a world leader "once again".