Modi or Rahul Gandhi? A guide on how to choose whom to vote for

What is remarkable about the 2019 Lok Sabha election is that the very nature of the contest is under contest.

On the face of it, the BJP is asking people to give Narendra Modi a second term as prime minister, while the Congress and other opposition parties are campaigning to topple him. Yet below the surface, the BJP is essentially running a presidential campaign in a parliamentary election, as if the Lok Sabha were an electoral college that will place Narendra Modi in the chief executive’s seat. This is not surprising. Having run a nearly presidential government for the past five years, Modi quite likely wants to continue in the same fashion.

If the BJP wins again India is quite likely to have a government that is parliamentary in form, but presidential in substance. This would be quite a radical departure from the constitutional scheme that sees the prime minister as the first among equals.

Read more