India calls elections in April-May
NEW DELHI: India announced yesterday that a general election will be held over nearly six weeks starting on April 11, when hundreds of millions voters will cast ballots in the world's biggest democracy. The poll will see right-wing Prime Minister Narendra Modi run for a second term against Mr Rahul Gandhi of the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty.
Some 900 million voters from across the country are eligible to vote for a new government for the next five years.
From April 11 to May 19, voters will elect 543 lawmakers to India's lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, which governs the Asian nation of 1.25 billion people from the capital New Delhi, the electoral commission said yesterday.
Counting will be completed and final results announced on May 23, it said.
Mr Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Mr Gandhi's left-leaning Congress are the two strongest challengers among hundreds of political parties from across the culturally and geographically diverse country.
Mr Modi enters the race in a strong position, with the 68-year-old remaining a popular figure and the BJP a well-oiled political machine. - AFP