New Delhi, May 20 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil invited the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to form the new Government at the centre after he claimed that he had the support of 322 members of Parliament.
On Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi called on President Pratibha Patil to stake the claim to form the government.
The President handed over to Manmohan Singh the letter to form the Government. He and the new Council of Ministers will take oath of office and secrecy on May 22.
After meeting the President, Dr. Manmohan Singh said that apart from its 274 seats, the UPA has the support of Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Bahujan Samaj Party.
The outside support of RJD, SP and BSP takes the UPA's tally to 322 seats.
Earlier, the crucial UPA meet to decide Cabinet berths concluded at 10 Janpath, the residence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. All the key pre-poll partners of the Congress attended the meeting.
National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, DMK chief M Karunanidhi, NCP president Sharad Pawar and leader Praful Patel were present. Senior Congress leaders who attended the meeting included, Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Pranab Mukherjee, P. Chindambaram, A.K. Antony and Rahul Gandhi.
Sonia Gandhi was re-elected UPA chairperson during the meeting. Her name was proposed by Karunanidhi and seconded by Mamata Bannerjee .
All eyes are now on the likely candidates who would head some of the most important ministries in the next Congress-led UPA government.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development, headed by Congress leader Arjun Singh could throw up a surprise. Pranab Mukherjee has indicated that he would like to remain as the Finance Minister. Kapil Sibal's name is doing the rounds as the new Foreign Minister. Rahul Gandhi has stated that he would like to remain outside the Government but speculation is rife that he may agree to join the Cabinet. (ANI)