So, to sum up today’s crash course in comparative politics, in India, as in other parliamentary systems, general elections determine who will be prime minister. Sometimes the process of determining who the prime minister–and the rest of the cabinet–will be is rather indirect, based on the bargaining strengths in parliament that the election has directly determined. And the prime minister may not be from the party with the most seats (unless that party has a majority on its own).
That’s Matthew Shugart, trying his best to educate an NPR reporter. More is at Fruits and Votes.