NEW DELHI — India's Hindu nationalist government resigned Saturday after losing a confidence vote by a single ballot, a margin that signaled continued political turmoil as Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi prepared to try to form the next government.
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee gave his resignation to President Kocheril Raman Narayanan but agreed to stay on as caretaker until a new government is formed.
"I accept the house verdict with all humility," Vajpayee said.
The 270-269 vote ended the 13-month administration of the Hindu nationalist coalition government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Congress Party, which governed India for most of the years since independence in 1947, authorized Gandhi to decide on the shape of a future government.
Gandhi is the Italian-born widow of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and daughter-in-law of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, both of whom were assassinated. Indira Gandhi's father was India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.