Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

India will start voting on April 19 for its legislative

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According to figures from the Election Commission of India, 1.05 million polling stations will be open and will employ 15 million electoral agents.

Agence France-Presse

India's parliamentary elections will take place from April 19, the Election Commission announced on Saturday, with Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi the favorite to be re-elected as leader of the world's largest democracy.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The date of April 19 has been chosen for the first phase of the vote, which will extend over several weeks, with the final phase being set for June 1, announced the chairman of the commission, Rajiv Kumar, during a press conference.

Results will be counted nationwide on June 4 and are usually announced immediately.

In total, 970 million Indians will be called to elect the 543 members of the Lower House, more than the total population of the United States, the European Union and Russia combined, in the largest democratic exercise in the world.

According to figures from the electoral commission, 1.05 million polling stations will be open and will employ 15 million poll workers.

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This is the largest peacetime logistics exercise in the world.A quote from Rajiv Kumar, Chairman of the Election Commission of India

Many consider the reappointment of Mr. Modi for a third term already a given due to both the strong popularity of the Prime Minister more than a decade after taking office and the clearly defined rules of the game unequal.

The opposition has been handicapped not only by infighting but also, according to rights defenders, by motivated judicial investigations policies intended to hinder any opponent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Narendra Modi, 73, and his Hindu nationalist party have already begun an unofficial campaign, seeking to repeat their landslide victories of 2014 and 2019.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (File photo)

In January, Mr. Modi presided over the inauguration of a grand temple dedicated to the deity Ram in Ayodhya, built on the site of ;a centuries-old mosque reduced to ruins by Hindu fanatics in 1992.

The construction of this temple, which fulfilled a long-standing wish of Hindu activists, was celebrated throughout India, notably through extensive television coverage and public festivities.

The Congress, the main opposition party, which led India's struggle for independence and then governed the country almost continuously for decades, does not x27;is more than a shadow of his former self and only participates in power in three of the country's 28 states.

Its leaders have sought to assemble an alliance of more than two dozen regional parties to present a united front against the well-oiled and well-funded electoral heavyweight the BJP.

However, disputes within the bloc over seat-sharing agreements led to the defection of one of its members to the government and an inability to agree on the choice of its candidate as prime minister.

Rahul Gandhi, 53, the most prominent opposition figure whose father, grandmother and great-grandfather all been prime ministers, is also the target of around ten legal proceedings which are slowly making progress, with BJP leaders accusing him of defamation for years.

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Rahul Gandhi, heir to the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty (Photo by archives)

He was briefly suspended from Parliament last year in connection with one of these cases.

His party also indicated in February that his bank accounts had been frozen by the tax service as part of an ongoing investigation into his tax return from five years ago.

Presented by Mr. Modi as being disconnected from Indian reality, Mr. Gandhi sought to get closer of the population by organizing two marches across the country.

He accuses the government of a certain democratic backsliding and criticizes its appeals to the majority faith of India, to the detriment of significant minorities , including 210 million Muslim Indians, worried about their future.

However, after two successive defeats against Mr. Modi, nothing has changed. ;indicates that his efforts to undermine the prime minister's popularity are successful.

An American Pew Research Center survey of the year The latter indicated that Mr. Modi was viewed favorably by almost 80% of Indians.

According to a February poll of urban voters by the ;polling institute YouGov, the BJP would comfortably win the elections with 47% of the votes, with the Congress coming second with just 11%.

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