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India elections: Voters line up for third phase of polling

May 7, 2024

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among millions of voters heading to the polls in the third round of India's mammoth general elections.

Women in India line up to cast their vote in national elections
More than 1,300 candidates are contesting in the third phase of elections in IndiaImage: Subhadip Basak/DW

Polling for the third phase of Indian elections got underway on Tuesday. Millions of Indians are casting their vote across 11 states for 94 seats in the lower house of Indian parliament.

Voting began at 7 a.m. local time (0130 GMT) and will continue until 6 p.m. 

More than 1,300 candidates are contesting in this phase of the election, local media said.

In the third round of voting, some crucial seats are up for contest in states, including Karnataka, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.  

So far, voter turnout in the first two phases saw a significant slump compared to the last national election in 2019.

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Modi votes in home state Gujarat

In the third phase, Modi, along with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, cast their votes in their home state of Gujarat. Modi is a registered voter in the Gandhinagar constituency, while Shah voted at a polling booth in Ahmedabad.

"In the grand ritual of democracy, everyone contributing their share deserves congratulations," Modi told reporters as he walked out with his finger marked with ink.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, shows the indelible ink mark on his index finger after casting his vote
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi voted in his home state of GujaratImage: Ajit Solanki/AP Photo/picture alliance

Modi urged citizens to come out in large numbers to vote.

Although Modi is largely expected to win a third term, the prime minister has nonetheless been accused by the opposition of trying to drum up more voter support by using incendiary language in speeches. 

Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is aiming for an ambitious majority of than 400 seats out of the 543 up for grabs in India's lower Parliament.

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mfi/wmr (AP, AFP)