From the Carleton Newsroom…

Indian elections: Will India’s ‘divider in chief’ win again?

, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University

Spread over a month and a half and split into seven phases, the long and arduous election process in India has drawn to a close.

Now, the country and the world waits with bated breath to find out who will control the destiny of the world’s largest democracy for the next five years. Results are expected on May 23.

Incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s far-right Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), and the National Democratic Alliance coalition (NDA) it leads, is seeking a second term, while the opposition, led by the long-ruling Indian National Congress Party, is looking to unseat the Modi government, in alliance with a host of smaller parties.

Exit polls are predicting a comfortable second term for the Modi government. The BJP-led NDA coalition is expected to emerge victorious, though the BJP on its own is expected to fall short of the magic number required to form government (272 out of 543).

Given India’s fragmented politics and first-past-the-post electoral system, any single party obtaining an absolute majority has become a rarity. If the exit polls are proven wrong and the BJP and its allies fail to pass muster, the Congress, its allies, and possibly other regional parties will have a chance to cobble together a coalition government.

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