In a parliamentary democracy as practiced in India, it’s absolutely not necessary for a party to declare its Prime Ministerial candidate before the Lok Sabha Elections. Once the Lok Sabha election results are declared, the biggest party, in terms of Lok Sabha seats won, or the biggest coalition is invited by the President to form the Government. It’s exactly at that point, the members of biggest party or the coalition sit together to choose their leader or the Prime Minister of the country. At a time where no single party emerges as the party with majority (272+ Lok sabha seats), the question of announcing the PM Candidate becomes even more unimportant. The MP who all the parties in the coalition agree on after the Lok Sabha election results, becomes the PM.
The rationale behind, a political party announcing or not announcing its PM candidate before the Lok Sabha Elections is purely a matter of convenience. If the party hopes that by announcing a PM candidate it can rally in more votes, it makes a pre announcement; if it doesn’t, then it goes to polls on Party Symbol without a PM candidate.
At present, BJP sees Modi as its trump card, hence it has announced him as its PM candidate. Congress in contrast, wants to project itself different than the BJP, hence it chose not to disclose its. The Congress doesn’t want to make the Lok Sabha Polls 2014 as contest between two persons, hence it’s not disclosing its PM candidate.
In simple, the question of Announcing or nor announcing the PM candidate in advance can have both pros and cons. And political parties know about it.
I personally would have liked Congress announce its PM candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha polls now, as if it goes unannounced, then it can put itself in a backfoot among a particular voter demography. The demography of New young voters.
This new young voters is ambitious and outgoing. It wants its leader to challenge from the front. No matter if the leader sometimes looks indefensible or weak. they like their leader confronting the adversary. If Congress fails to announce its Pm candidate now, then it be blamed by the rivals for sheiling Rahul Gandhi. A fact which may or may not be true. But something which can make many young voters assume it as some weakness of Congress.