PM-elect Modi holds talks on India’s new right-wing govt

NEW DELHI, May 18, 2014 (AFP) – Prime minister-elect Narendra Modi summoned senior figures from his Hindu nationalist party on Sunday for talks on forming a new government that is set to steer India sharply to the right. Top BJP leaders were also meeting in Delhi with the right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu nationalist organisation seen as the ideological fountainhead of the BJP.

A senior BJP leader denied they would be taking orders from the RSS on who should be appointed to the new cabinet.

“We come to the RSS headquarters and meet seniors, it is part of our life,” M. Venkaiah Naidu told reporters as he arrived there.

The BJP secured 282 seats in the 543-member parliament, the biggest victory since 1984. Congress was devastated, holding just 44 seats — a quarter of its tally at the 2009 election.

The defeat raises questions about the future of the Gandhi political dynasty after 43-year-old Rahul, who was leading campaigning nationally for the first time, suffered such a resounding rejection.

Congress is holding a meeting on Monday in Delhi at which the election outcome and the party’s future direction are expected to be discussed. Local media have speculated that Rahul and