Cong picks Singh for PM’s post

NEW DELHI: Newly elected Congress lawmakers formally chose Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as their leader for a second term on Tuesday, clearing the way for the swearing in of his new government this week.

Sonia Gandhi, the Congress Party chief, proposed Singh’s name, and lawmakers approved it without a vote amid clapping and the thumping of desks, said party spokesman Janardhan Dwivedy.

Singh is expected to meet President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday to set a date for his swearing in. The

president administers the oath of office to the new prime minister and Cabinet ministers.

The Congress-led coalition captured 261 seats in India’s 543-seat Parliament, far more than most analysts predicted, but still 11 short of a majority.