Leaders of India's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party said Friday that voters had given them a mandate to govern and that they would soon form a coalition to lead the nation.

BJP leaders have sounded increasingly confident in the days since the bulk of vote-counting in nationwide parliamentary elections ended. No party won the 273-seat majority needed to control the 545-member lower house of parliament, but the BJP emerged as both the single largest party and, with its allies, the biggest bloc."We have a decisive mandate," BJP spokeswoman Sushma Swaraj told reporters after a meeting of the party's top leaders.

Jaswant Singh, another BJP leader, said his party would soon open talks with allies to shape a governing platform.