Who will be the next Prime Minister of India?


Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :
India, the world’s most populous democracy, is being set to hold its general election over a seven-phase period, that will last 44 days.

On March 16, the Indian Election Commission announced that Indians will head to the polls between April 19 and June 1, with the results declared June 4.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a third term in power after his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), won a staggering 303 seats in the 2019 election.

Recent findings from the “Mood of the Nation Poll” by India Today suggest that voters continue to see Modi as a popular leader.

To take on the BJP, India’s main opposition Congress Party has formed a coalition bloc with more than two dozen other opposition parties called the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA).

India’s elections are the largest democratic exercise in the world, with nearly 970 million registered voters—of which 470 million are women—turning out to cast a ballot. This year, 18 million first-time voters will also be eligible to cast a vote.

This election will be the second longest polling exercise in India’s electoral history, after the country’s first-ever election, which was held over a five-month period between September 1951 and February 1952.

Electoral rules also mandate that a polling station must be within 1.2 miles of every home, and nearly every vote is cast electronically. In 2019, 1.74 million electronic voting machines were used across more than 1 million polling stations.

Nearly 15 million polling officials and security personnel will be tasked with manning polling stations during balloting.

To reach every voter, they travel to all parts of the country, including by trekking through glaciers in the Himalayas or wading through deep forested valleys in remote states like Arunachal Pradesh.

The voter turnout in India’s elections is historically high—the last election held in 2019 drew a 67% turnout, according to the Election Commission.

India is also known for having the world’s most expensive election, with political parties spending more than $7 billion in 2019, compared to $6.5 billion spent in the U.S. during the 2016 election.

That number is only expected to double in this year’s elections. Under the country’s parliamentary system, the party that wins the majority of the 543 seats in the more powerful Lok Sabha, or the lower house of Parliament, forms a government and appoints its candidate as prime minister.

As India’s general election enters its second month, most conventional expectations have already been upended. Many election surveyors made their survey that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would win comfortably.

But so far election completed, out of seven-phase election, the situation no longer looks quite that simple. India’s autonomous Election Commission prohibits the publication of any exit polls until all seven phases of voting have concluded.


But unofficial readings of voter sentiment strongly indicate that things are not going the BJP’s way.

The public, it seems, has simply not been given enough reason to vote for the party a third time. Those who put Modi in office in 2014 hoping that he would fulfill his promise to spur job creation have no reason to vote for him again.

Unemployment rose significantly under his leadership, and though it appears to have fallen more recently, there is good reason to believe that the real unemployment rate is much higher than official figures indicate.

Moreover, a staggering 80 percent of Indians have seen their incomes decline since 2014, and both purchasing power and household savings have collapsed.

The election battle of Lok Shaba 2024 is not an ordinary battle. It is a battle between David and Goliath.

It is a battle between an ideology that harbors luxuries of cult, communication, and capital, ferociously supported by a utopia and the “ordinariness of the other.”

No party in the memory of this country has been hallowed with so much cunningness and killer instinct to win an election, so much power in terms of resources, and willingness to resort to any course, with no compunction if the line between the moral and the immoral is blurred.

For the BJP, victory is the only value and power is the only currency. On the other hand, its opponents are cursed with fracture and disintegration.

Fragility is their only attire. Without resources and capital, they are united by a survival instinct, knowing full well that if they lose this time then there will be no second chance.

This election is not between the two political formations or between the two leaders and thought processes. It is between two instincts, one representing the “fight back of the original” and the other pretending to be the “real” successor of history.

Considering the significance and importance Lok Sabha elections 2024, the Indian people including the people of the world are facing the following questions. Will the Lok Sabha elections 2024 reflect the wishes or aspirations of the Indian general people or democracy?

Are the 2024 Lok Sabha Election and Indian Politics Pointing to a new future? How transparent will be the role of the BJP and its alliance in protecting national integrity and sovereignty? To what extent will the influence of Congress led alliance? Would liberalism or conservatism be reflected in the results of the Lok Sabha elections 2024?

How essential or inevitable is Modi for future of India? How strong is the anti-Modi front in India? In the light of the above questions, we can opine that a tolerant political will may make the foundation of India’s integrity stronger and stronger in the days to come. Otherwise, there will be conflict, violence and strife within the country.

Finally unity and solidarity of the country will be destroyed. Therefore, the flag of democracy and humanity should be upheld at all cost. India has a glorious past of its democratic culture. If there is any prevalence of wrong practice, the country’s unity and integrity will be destroyed and ultimately it will affect the undivided India.

The author is former Deputy Director General, Bangladesh Ansar and VDP; columnist and researcher.