Tuesday, April 29, 2014

India election: Modi to vote as millions go to polls in seventh phase

Modi supporters at an election rally in Gujarat's Vallabh Vidyanagar, some 85 kms from Ahmedabad on April 28, 2014. Many in Gujarat want to see Mr Modi leading India
Narendra Modi, the man tipped to be India's next prime minister, is set to vote in his home state of Gujarat in the seventh phase of India's poll.

He will cast his vote at a school in the city of Ahmedabad. All 26 seats are up for grabs in the state on Wednesday.

Transport hubs in the city are bursting with people returning to their homes to vote, says the BBC's Sanjoy Majumder.

Andhra Pradesh also goes to the polls for the last time as a united state before it is divided.
It is among nine states and union territories sending 139 million eligible voters to make their choice between some 1,300 candidates contesting 89 seats on Wednesday.


  • 7 April - 2 states, 6 constituencies
  • 9 April - 5 states, 7 constituencies
  • 10 April - 14 states, 91 constituencies
  • 12 April - 4 states, 7 constituencies
  • 17 April - 12 states, 121 constituencies
  • 24 April - 12 states, 117 constituencies
  • 30 April - 9 states, 89 constituencies
  • 7 May - 7 states, 64 constituencies
  • 12 May - 3 states, 41 constituencies
  • Counting of votes - 16 May
India's general election, with 814 million eligible voters, is the world's biggest exercise in democracy and the governing Congress party is battling the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for power.

But it is the BJP's Mr Modi who is ahead in all the opinion polls.
Although he will cast his vote in Ahmedabad, he is standing for election in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, as well as from Vadodara in Gujarat. If he wins both seats, he will have to relinquish one.

Our correspondent in Ahmedabad says everyone in the city is talking about Mr Modi, their chief minister for more than a decade, and the man they want to see lead India.
Andhra Pradesh - where voting for state assemblies is also taking place - is a key battleground for the general election.

The 17 parliamentary constituencies going to the polls on Wednesday will be part of the newly created state of Telangana next time round. Voting for the remaining 25 parliamentary seats which will constitute Andhra Pradesh after the state is split in two will be held on 7 May.
Supporters hold a placard as they watch Congress Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi speak at an election rally in Hyderabad on April 25, 2014. The governing Congress party is being led by its vice-president Rahul Gandhi
Uttarapally Yadamma Uttarapally Yadamma, who lives in Telangana, has high hopes from the election because the region will be recognised as a separate state from 2 June
A supporter of Kashmir's ruling National Conference (NC) party, at an election rally being addressed by Farooq Abdullah, the president and a candidate of NC, near Srinagar, on April 28, 2014. Voting is also due in Srinagar on Wednesday and the constituency has seen huge turnouts at campaign rallies
The main contest in the state is between the Congress party and the regional Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) - both are taking credit for the creation of Telangana and both are likely to benefit from the general belief that they helped set up the new state, BBC Hindi's Zubair Ahmed reports from Hyderabad.

"We will have jobs for our children. We will have uninterrupted supply of safe drinking water and electricity. We will have schools. The future of our children and grandchildren in the new state will be bright," Uttarapally Yadamma, a resident of an impoverished village near Hyderabad city, said.

Voting in phases The marathon general election, which began on 7 April, will conclude on 12 May. Votes will be counted on 16 May.

The main contest is between the Congress, led by Rahul Gandhi, and Mr Modi, the charismatic and controversial Hindu nationalist leader under whose watch Gujarat witnessed one of India's worst anti-Muslim riots in 2002. He has overseen impressive economic growth in the state which the BJP hopes will translate into votes nationwide.

Several smaller regional parties are also in the fray and if no single party wins a clear majority, they could play a crucial role in the formation of a government.

This includes the party of Arvind Kejriwal, at the helm of the anti-corruption Aam Aadmi (Common Man's) Party, which secured a spectacular result in Delhi local election last year.
Any party or coalition needs a minimum of 272 MPs to form a government.
Map of India's electoral stages 7 April-12 May


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