India to vote in general elections between April 19 to June 1

(Xinhua) 09:15, March 18, 2024

NEW DELHI, March 16 (Xinhua) -- India's Election Commission on Saturday said the country's forthcoming general elections will be conducted in seven phases starting April 19.

India's Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar announced at a press conference the complete schedule of the elections which will run through June 1.

According to Kumar, the vote counting would be carried out on June 4.

Officials said nearly 970 million people are expected to cast their votes at over 1 million polling stations across the South Asian country.

Kumar said the use of money, muscle, misinformation and violation of model code of conduct are the major challenges before the poll body.

In the coming elections, incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is seeking a third term. He is facing challenge from an alliance of around two dozen opposition parties, namely Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), led by the main opposition Congress party.

Modi's BJP has set a target of 370 seats for itself and 400-plus for the alliance it leads, known as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

In the last elections held in 2019, the BJP won 303 seats in the 543-member lower house of the Indian parliament. That was the party's best-ever performance since its formation in 1980.

India's Congress party, which was in power in the majority of years since the nation's independence from the British rule in 1947, is struggling hard to make a comeback.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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