Saturday, October 16, 1999 Published at 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
World: South Asia
Vajpayee promises tolerance
Mr Vajpayee's government was sworn in on Wednesday
India's newly re-elected Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, says he plans to concentrate on improving the economy and implementing social reforms to build a strong, prosperous and tolerant country.
In his first speech since his BJP-led coalition won the election nearly two weeks ago, Mr Vajpayee said he would tackle government corruption and operate what he called a "zero tolerance" policy towards terrorism.
BBC Delhi correspondent Daniel Lak says the latter point is a reference to fears in India of a resurgence of militant activity in Indian-administered Kashmir following the army coup in Pakistan.
In the speech broadcast across India, Mr Vajpayee said his coalition, the National Democratic Alliance, had representatives from all over the country and from most walks of life.
Mr Vajpayee said he wanted his government to build a strong, prosperous and tolerant India, free from discrimination and insecurity.
Our correspondent says the speech shows the prime minister is keen to assert his own moderate liberal values over some of the more hardline Hindu nationalist feelings of many of his BJP colleagues.
He also talked about the need to create jobs for all Indians.
On the economy, he said his government would increase the pace of free market economic reform and introduce a modern regulatory framework for the financial markets.
Years of unstable coalition governments and political uncertainly have undermined confidence in Indian financial markets.
Mr Vajpayee now appears set to head one of the strongest and longest-serving governments in recent Indian history.
But our correspondent says it remains to be seen whether his large coalition will allow him to implement measures that will inevitably have opponents, even among his allies.