Who will be India’s PM?
As election fever reaches its peak amid the counting of votes on Saturday, all eyes are now on which party will cobble up a majority and stake claim to form the new government. And who will be India’s new prime minister? Will it be –
The father of India’s economic reforms, Singh’s image of a compromise prime minister opened him up to criticism that he took orders from Congress party boss Sonia Gandhi and he has been criticised as a weak and directionless leader.
He regained stature by pushing through a civil nuclear deal with the United States, despite opposition from his left allies.
Singh, 76, takes a keen interest in economic issues — a rarity in India where prime ministers focus mostly on foreign affairs and domestic politics.
LAL KRISHNA ADVANI
Variously described as a hardliner, a hawk and a wily politician, Advani is a leading advocate of his Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) trademark Hindu revivalism.
Born in Pakistan when it was a part of undivided India — he is hawkish about ties with Islamabad — the 81-year-old is more of a career politician than technocrat.
When Advani’s own coalition government was in power in 1999-2004, it pushed pro-market reforms including privatisation of state-run companies.
A caste-based politician known as the “Queen of the Dalits”, Mayawati, who uses only one name, has emerged as a strong political force.
Based in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati, 53, has prime ministerial ambitions and she has played an important role in gathering opposition to the government.
If Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party does well, it could cast doubt on what economic direction a future government with her would take and further entrench caste politics nationally.
Will one of the three head the new government in the coming weeks? Or is there a dark horse waiting in the wings. Tell us who you are rooting for and why.