Outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said serving India has been his privilege and he has always tried to do the "right thing" as he addressed the nation on his last day in office.
Singh, 81, later met President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan and submitted his resignation and that of his council of ministers.
Earlier in the morning, he was addressing the nation before bowing out of office for the last time, saying the electoral verdict should be respected by all.
"Each one of us should respect the judgement you have delivered", he said the brief address.
The 13th prime minister of India has helmed the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government through its two successive terms from 2004.
Often attacked by critics over corruption scams that hit his government and a downturn in Indian economy in the last few years, he said, "My life and tenure in public office are an open book. I have always tried to do my best in serving this great nation of ours."
Before submitting his resignation, Singh chaired his last cabinet meeting in the morning.
As a saffron wave swept most of India, Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi wrested the top job in the country on Friday.
Congress party has been reduced to a double-digit figure in parliament and is struggling to reach the number required for it to have a leader of opposition status.
"I wish the incoming government every success as it embarks on its task and pray for even greater successes for our nation," said the economist-PM, the architect of India's economic reforms in early 1990s.
He added India was a "far stronger country" than it was a decade ago.
Singh, the country's first Sikh PM who served in the top post for ten years since May 2004, thanked the people saying as an underprivileged child of India's partition, he owes his success to the country which gave him a chance to reach the highest office.
"I owe everything to this country, this great land of ours where I, an underprivileged child of Partition, was empowered enough to rise and occupy high office. It is a debt that I will never be able to repay."