Manmohan Singh, the Oxford-educated economist who crafted India's economic liberalization policies, was sworn in as prime minister Saturday, placing the Congress party and its allies back in control of the nation after eight years on the sidelines.
The South Asian nation has endured several weeks of political turmoil, starting with five-phased polling and the surprise upset of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's National Democratic Alliance, and culminating with Congress leader Sonia Gandhi's refusal to take the top post herself.
After several days of bargaining with coalition partners over key ministerial posts, the 71-year-old technocrat took the oath of office, dressed in a light blue Sikh turban and white, high-neck cotton tunic.
An estimated 68 other key allies also prepared to be sworn in by Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, in an elaborate ceremony at his imposing, pink sandstone presidential palace in the heart of New Delhi.