Election FAQ: Here's how the PM of India is selected

Election FAQ: Here's how the PM of India is selected

With the 2019 Lok Sabha Election just days away, all political parties are in a race to the finish before April 9, when the EC's ban on political activities comes into force. While the BJP is projecting Narendra Modi as the face of the PM candidate again, the other parties are currently unclear on who to field. However, did you know you are not actually voting for the PM?

Here's how the PM of India is elected, and how your vote actually factors into it.


It all begins when the ECI announces the dates for the Elections. Soon after, the process of choosing candidates begins. Every party who wants to fight in the election chooses a candidate from any given constituency, who then files their nomination papers with that constituency's Returning Officer. Once all the nominations are received and scrutinised, the ECI publishes the list of candidates who will be contesting the Election.

While this is going on, political parties are free to engage in electioneering work, which may include public rallies, roadshows, release of manifestos, which is a document detailing the party's plan and vision, aimed at maximising the exposure and getting potential voters to choose them.


The election of your MP is where everything starts. India is divided into 543 constituencies for a total of 545 seats in the Lok Sabha. 2 seats are appointed by the President.

When you go to vote, you are actually only voting for a candidate who is fighting to represent your constituency in the Lok Sabha. Among several candidates, one typically wins when they get a majority and they become the Member of Parliament for that particular constituency.

India has dozens of political parties, all of which are vying for a piece of the pie that is a seat in the Lok Sabha.


Once the candidates have won from their constituencies, the Lok Sabha is formed. The condition to form the government is that any single party or a coalition should have at least 272 seats to claim, which is called a simple majority. After the single party or coalition has acquired the requisite numbers, the President invites them to form the government and they select the Prime Minister, who in turn elects their cabinet ministers.

In 2014, the BJP-led NDA swept the elections, taking 341 seats, of which the BJP alone holds 271 seats.