The National Democratic Alliance on Wednesday unanimously elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the leader of the coalition, reported ANI. This paves the way for him to stake claim to form the government for the third time.

The news agency quoted unidentified sources saying that Modi will take oath on June 8.

The alliance passed the resolution electing Modi as its leader at a meeting of the leaders of its constituent parties at the prime minister’s residence in Delhi.

“The NDA government under the leadership of Shri Modi ji is committed to serving the poor-women-youth-farmers and exploited, deprived and suffering citizens of India,” the resolution read. “The NDA government will continue to work to improve the standard of living of the people of India for the all-round development of the country by preserving the heritage of India.”

Nitish Kumar and Chandrababu Naidu, the leaders of two key allies of the BJP – the Janta Dal (United) in Bihar and the Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh – were in attendance at the meeting, seated next to Modi.

Both regional parties are likely to play a crucial role in government formation and have reportedly sought key portfolios in the incoming Union cabinet. The two leaders are also likely to seek special status for their states.

The resolution was passed a day after the Lok Sabha election results were declared, with the National Democratic Alliance securing the majority by an unexpectedly narrow margin.

Earlier on Wednesday, Modi submitted his resignation to President Droupadi Murmu after chairing the last meeting of the Union Cabinet, during which dissolution of the 17th Lok Sabha was recommended. The president later issued an order dissolving the Lok Sabha.

The BJP has won 240 Lok Sabha seats this year, a significant dip from its tally of 303 seats in 2019.

A party or alliance requires 272 seats in the 543-member Lower House of Parliament to form a government at the Centre.

With the BJP falling 32 seats short of the majority, it will need the support of its partners in the National Democratic Alliance to remain in power for a third term. The final tally of the National Democratic Alliance parties is 292 seats, allowing them to lay claim to the next government’s formation.

The Congress won 99 seats this year, significantly improving its 2019 tally of 52 seats. The Opposition INDIA bloc collectively won 232 seats.

The INDIA coalition also held a meeting on Wednesday at Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence. At the meeting, Kharge said that the mandate was decisively against Modi and his style of politics.

“It is a huge political loss for him personally apart from being a clear moral defeat as well,” the Congress president said. “However, he is determined to subvert the will of the people.”