India’s Election Marathon Enters Its Sixth, Penultimate Phase

This time, 111.3 million voters will have to choose from about 900 candidates

In un’intervista alla TV indiana NDTV, il premier, Narendra Modi (nella foto), ha dichiarato di essere “assolutamente convinto” che il Dio l’aveva mandato sulla Terra per guidare il Governo indiano.

The sixth, penultimate, phase of elections to the revamped Lok Sabha, the People’s House, as the lower house of the Indian parliament is called, began on Saturday, May 25 in India. In 58 constituencies across eight states and union territories in India, 111.3 million voters have been called to the polls and will have to choose from about 900 candidates.

Of the 28 states and eight union territories, 22 vote in one stage; the rest require two to seven stages. More than one million polling stations have been opened in the country, with a total of 968.8 million eligible voters called to the polls. Voting is done under a majoritarian system. There are 543 candidates elected in 543 single-mandate constituencies. Four states – Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, and Orissa – are also voting for the renewal of legislative assemblies, while 13 states are voting for by-elections for 26 assembly seats.

In the sixth phase, voting in Haryana and New Delhi Capital Territory is being held in a single phase. For the states of Jharkhand and Orissa (also voting for state assembly elections), it is the third phase, while for Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal it is the sixth phase. Finally, Anantnag-Rajouri constituency in Jammu and Kashmir (fifth phase) votes, where there was a postponement for logistical reasons from the originally scheduled date (May 7).

The last phase is scheduled for June 1, and the vote counting will take place on June 4. The election marathon, typical of India, a country of more than 1.4 billion people, will have to end on June 6, i.e., before the current legislature ends.

In the outgoing House, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Indian People’s Party (BJP), has 346 seats. Even in the current elections, opinion polls predict the NDA will win between 373 and 399 seats. The Indian National Congress (INC), the main opposition force and leader of the Indian National Development Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), will be able to win between 113 and a maximum of 155 seats.