Much has been said about India's parliamentary system, which believes in collective responsibility. It was this very idea that prompted our founding fathers to reject a Presidential form of government. However, the truth is that, steadily and under the able guidance of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, the power of an individual MP has eroded and the executive has become stronger. The Indian PM is possibly the most powerful PM in the Westminster-system democratic world because he has total control over the legislature - what bills can be introduced, what amendments can be accepted, even which motions may be put before the Speaker - as well as the executive, bringing two of three wings of Government under one individual. It is precisely because of this power than Manmohan Singh has been a failure, because in the absence of a strong leader to exercise those powers, there is simply no accountability and policy paralysis is but a natural result.
This election season, the Indian masses are tired and even disgusted with having a weak leader at the helm. Clearly, the diarchy of the UPA has proven to be a failure: the Indian PM is a political position and must enjoy political supremacy; it is not the realm of technocrats. And that is why the Indian masses are moving so strongly in favor of Narendra Modi, who is seen as a leader, no matter how tainted, who can deliver and who commands the loyalty of the his party. This is not just an asset but a requisite for Indian democracy, which is completely beholden to the party system, even though it is not mandated by the Constitution.
Perhaps the worst fear is for some half-baked Third Front to come to power with the support of the Congress, effectively creating another diarchy (which is actually just a system of power without accountability). That could explain why the Congress is not just losing but looking at its worst defeat since the days of the Muslim League - voters want to make sure that the Congress is not even in a position to lend any outside support to any formation. It must be said that it takes a particular form of incompetence for a government to perform so badly that the election is effectively being fought among the opposition parties.