India's Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi received a hero's welcome in Delhi after he trounced the ruling Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in India's election, giving his party a mandate for sweeping economic reform.
The landslide win for his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party gives the former tea-seller ample room to advance reforms, including profound economic changes.
A brass band struck up early in the morning at the capital's airport as thousands of supporters awaited Mr Modi's arrival from the western state of Gujarat, where the night before he had addressed a sea of jubilant voters chanting his name.
Modi's landslide win for his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) closes off a chapter of fragile coalition governments, giving him ample room to advance reforms started 23 years ago by current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but which have stalled in recent years.
Reuters reports that despite his party's pasting, Mr Singh was magnanimous in his final address to the nation on Saturday, wishing the incoming government success.
"I am confident about the future of India," he said in his televised message. "I firmly believe that the emergence of India as a major powerhouse of the evolving global economy is an idea whose time has come."
Unlike Singh and his predecessors, Mr Modi will not have to deal with unruly partners to implement reform. That could usher in profound economic changes, with some supporters imagining him as India's answer to former British leader Margaret Thatcher.
With more than six times the seats of his closest rival, Narendra Modi's is the most decisive mandate for a leader since the 1984 assassination of Congress party prime minister Indira Gandhi propelled her son to office. Starting with the subsequent election in 1989, India has been governed by coalitions.
With almost all seats declared by Saturday morning, Mr Modi's BJP looked set to win 282 seats, 10 more than the majority required to rule. With its allied parties, it was heading for a comfortable tally of around 337.
The desire for change among the youthful electorate after a slump in economic growth, years of policy drift and a spate of corruption scandals appears to have overridden concerns about Narendra Modi's Hindu-centric politics and a spasm of violence against Muslims that occurred on his watch in Gujarat 12 years ago.
In his victory speech on Friday, Mr Modi addressed concerns that his pro-Hindu leanings would sideline minorities, declaring that "the age of divisive politics has ended - from today onwards the politics of uniting people will begin".
In Washington, the Obama administration congratulated Mr Modi, and said he would be granted a visa for United States travel. Washington denied Mr Modi a visa in 2005 over the sectarian riots three years previously in Gujarat state, where he was chief minister.
Mr Modi is expected to try to replicate his success in attracting investment and building infrastructure in Gujarat, the state he has governed for more than 12 years.
Betting on a Modi win, foreign investors have poured more than $16 billion into Indian stocks and bonds in the past six months and now hold over 22 percent of Mumbai-listed equities - a stake estimated by Morgan Stanley at almost $280 billion.