President Patil set to invite UPA, PM to meet her Monday

May 17th, 2009 - 9:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil is set to invite the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, which has emerged as the largest alliance with 262 Lok Sabha seats, to form the next government. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to call on her Monday after a cabinet meeting.
Patil Sunday met former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan - the second constitutional expert she has spoken to after a clear verdict emerged in favour of the UPA.

The president met Ashok Desai, a constitutional expert and also a former attorney general of India, Saturday evening to seek his advice on constitutional niceties about the formation of the next government.

The Congress-led UPA, which is over 100 seats ahead of its nearest rival, the BJP-led NDA, is falling short of 10 seats from the 272 half-way mark in parliament.

The Congress is planning to approach the president with letters of support from at least 20-30 more MPs that will obviate the need for a confidence vote in parliament.

A three-member Election Commission (EC) team headed by Navin Chawla will formally submit the list of newly-elected Lok Sabha members to President Patil on Monday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to call on the president Monday after a cabinet meeting and offer his resignation - a mere formality till he is invited by Patil to form the next government within two weeks.

With widespread predictions of a hung parliament, it was projected to be Patil’s toughest test since she assumed office 22 months ago. But a clear verdict for the UPA and the BJP conceding defeat publicly, has left no one in doubt who Patil will call to form the next government.

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