All eyes are on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is seeking a second term as the nation’s leader.
Tensions with Pakistan over Kashmir, the economy and Hindu nationalism are key issues Modi faces in April’s election. Here’s what the experts are saying:
“The Prime Minister has cultivated this image of being a strong and decisive leader… When you cultivate an image, you have to show you are doing something and feeding that narrative,” said Salman Anees Soz, a member of India’s main opposition Congress party and author of the forthcoming book “The Great Disappointment: How Narendra Modi Squandered a Unique Opportunity to Transform the Indian Economy.”
“Modi is facing a tough re-election and is at a point where he can’t use the economy to unite the country,” said Madiha Afzal, a visiting fellow in the Foreign Policy and Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution.
“(We’ve seen) a large-scale transformation (of India) into a Hindu nation, not a secular nation,” said Rafia Zakaria, a columnist for Dawn newspaper in Pakistan.
“The impact of how Modi deals with Pakistan will have an effect on the elections but you can’t say that the Pulwama attack and consequently Modi’s decision will have an impact on the election. I think that’s quite far-fetched,” said Jyoti Malhotra, editor of National and Strategic Affairs at Indian digital news platform The Print.
Read more analysis from CNN’s Euan McKirdy and Manveena Suri.