STORY: India will hold a general election starting on Thursday (April 11) in the world’s largest democratic exercise, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a second straight term.
The election will held in seven phases until May 19 and votes will be counted on May 23.
Ahead of the first phase of voting, officials across the country were seen taking electronic voting machines (EVM) to polling booths and security was heightened to prevent any untoward incident. The election commission has set up about one million polling stations, 10 percent more than in 2014.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora made an appeal urging citizens to cast their votes to “strengthen the bedrock of democracy”.
In the first phase of the election, 1,279 candidates are contesting 91 constituencies, but only 7 percent of candidates are women. Of the 8,251 candidates in the last election, only 668 were women.