First Phase of Marathon Indian Election Underway as Modi Seeks Third Term | Latest Updates on India’s 2024 Election

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Millions of Indian voters participated in the first phase of the largest elections in the world as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks a third term, focusing on issues such as growth, welfare, and Hindu nationalism. The voting saw Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) face off against an alliance of opposition parties promising affirmative action and more benefits while emphasizing the importance of preserving democratic institutions.

Before the polls closed, the Election Commission reported voter turnout ranging from 40 percent to 68 percent in different states. Modi urged voters to participate in record numbers, while the Indian National Congress party called for an end to “hatred and injustice”.

Over 969 million people, including many first-time voters and young adults, are eligible to vote in the six-week election period. The voting process began peacefully, with voters lining up to cast their votes using electronic voting machines.

While the BJP is confident of winning a majority, concerns over unemployment, inflation, and attacks on minorities, especially Muslims, are likely to impact the election results. The opposition INDIA alliance has criticized the BJP for rising unemployment and corruption, but struggles to unite amidst legal challenges and allegations of government interference.

The second phase of voting will take place on April 26, with subsequent phases scheduled until June 1. The outcome of these elections will determine the future leadership of India and the direction of the country’s policies and development.

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