Polls close in the first phase of Indian elections

(19 Apr 2024)
RESTRICTION SUMMARY:

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Chennai – 19 April 2024
1. Wide of a woman voting
2. Close of voter’s finger being inked
3. Wide of voters registering to vote
4. Woman voting
5. Close of an official checking seal on machine
6. Election official removing voting compartment enclosure, voting machines on table
7. Election officials checking papers
8. Various of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) being put in a box
9. Election official closing box containing EVM
10. Boxes containing EVMs and election material kept on ground
STORYLINE:
Polls in the first phase of a six-week long general election in India closed on Friday evening, with voters casting their ballots across 21 states and union territories.

The first phase of voting was held for 102 of the 543 total constituencies, with nearly 166 million voters casting their ballots, according to Election Commission of India.

Nearly 970 million voters — more than 10% of the world’s population — will elect 543 members to the lower house of Parliament for five years during the staggered elections that run until June 1.

Earlier in the day, millions of Indians starting voting in a six-week election that’s a referendum on Narendra Modi, the populist prime minister who has championed an assertive brand of Hindu nationalist politics and is seeking a rare third term as the country’s leader.

This election is seen as one of the most consequential in India’s history and will test the limits of Modi’s political dominance.

If Modi wins, he’ll be only the second Indian leader to retain power for a third term, after Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister.

Most polls predict a win for Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, who are up against a broad opposition alliance led by the Indian National Congress and powerful regional parties.

The votes will be counted on June 4.

AP Video shot by Shonal Ganguly

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