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Modi casts its votes as Indian election reaches to its third phase

Modi casts its votes as Indian election reaches to its third phase

Modi casts its votes as Indian election reaches to its third phase

Modi casts its votes as Indian election reaches to its third phase

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  • India’s general election is halfway through, with over 968 million registered voters.
  • The polls are held in seven phases from April 19 to June 1.
  • The total number of parliamentary seats up for grabs is 283 out of 543.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his chief opponent Rahul Gandhi urged voters to cast their ballots on Tuesday as India’s massive general election reached its halfway mark with a turnout lower than expected.

More than 968 million people have been registered to vote, and the polls are being held in seven phases from April 19 until June 1. Some of India’s 28 states and eight federally governed territories are completing the process on a single day, while others are spreading it out.

The first two phases of the election, held on April 19 and April 26, covered 190 constituencies, with a voter turnout of 66.1 percent and 66.7 percent, respectively — about 4 percent lower than in 2019.

In the third phase on Tuesday, citizens from 94 constituencies in 12 states went to the polls, including in Modi’s home state of Gujarat.

“Urging all those who are voting in today’s phase to vote in record numbers. Their active participation will certainly make the elections more vibrant,” the incumbent prime minister said on X after casting his ballot.

Modi is aiming for a rare third consecutive five-year term in power, targeting 400 seats for the National Democratic Alliance led by his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which has been in power since 2014.

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He faces a challenge from an alliance of two dozen opposition parties — the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, or INDIA, led by the Congress Party, which has ruled the country for close to 45 years since its independence in 1947.

Gandhi, Modi’s key contender and Congress leader, comes from a lineage of prominent political figures. He is the son of Rajiv Gandhi, a grandson of Indira Gandhi, and a great-grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru — all of whom served as prime ministers of India.

Congress experienced a historic low when the BJP swept it out of power in the 2014 election, and it secured its second-lowest number of 52 seats in 2019.

As the turnout exhibited a declining trend in the first and second phases of the ongoing poll, Gandhi also utilized social media to urge voters to show up.

“I request all of you to come out in large numbers and vote to protect your rights,” he said. “Remember, this is not an ordinary election, it is an election to protect the democracy and constitution of the country.”

More than 498 million people, constituting 60 percent of all registered voters, were eligible to vote in the first three phases. The total number of parliamentary seats up for grabs is 283 out of 543.

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The party or coalition that secures at least 272 seats will form the government.

Although surveys suggest Modi will easily win a majority in parliament, analysts indicate that a repeat of his landslide victories in 2014 and 2019 is unlikely.

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