President Droupadi Murmu on Friday invited Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi to form the government for the third time.

Murmu formally appointed Modi as the prime minister and asked him to advise her on appointments to the Union Council of Ministers.

Earlier in the day, Modi was elected as the Leader of the Lower House of Parliament by Lok Sabha MPs of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, paving the way for him to take oath as the prime minister. He will be sworn in on Sunday.

Modi thanked the people of the country for placing their faith in the National Democratic Alliance for the third time. “NDA will form a strong, stable and growth-oriented government,” he said.

The BJP won 240 Lok Sabha seats in the general election, 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 is forming the government with the support of its partners in the National Democratic Alliance. The final tally of the National Democratic Alliance parties is 292 seats.

Opposition tried to mislead, divide people: Modi

Modi, addressing the leaders of National Democratic Alliance parties after staking claim to form the government, accused the Opposition INDIA alliance of “constantly misleading and dividing the people”.

He alleged that the Opposition had conspired to sow mistrust about the country’s electoral processes.

Modi claimed that the National Democratic Alliance is the “most successful pre-poll alliance” in the country’s history, adding that the coalition was in power in seven out of ten states that have a large Adivasi population.

“The NDA is also in power in states that have a large Christian population, such as Goa and states in the North East,” Modi said.