Starting this week, almost 900 million people will be eligible to vote in the world’s largest democratic contest ever—a record that’s set and broken with each consecutive Indian election. After five years of rule by an alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the key question at play here is whether Narendra Modi will be able to keep his job as prime minister for another five-year term.
The BJP rose to power in a landslide electoral victory in 2014, from which it became the first party in thirty years to win a majority of seats in India’s parliament. Its campaign, run with Modi at its centre, was buoyed by towering public resentment towards the incumbent Indian National Congress-led government, which had been rocked by several corruption scandals.
In 2014, Modi built much of his campaign on the promise of boosting economic development, supporting business in India, and bringing about acche din, or “good days.” Indians today are divided over whether he managed to bring those good days at all, with many claiming that many of his pro-development promises have failed to materialise.