The race is on… The 2014 India elections just kicked off with Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi taking a strong lead. What an honor to be selected as the main opposition candidate in the world’s biggest election, and to possibly win it, too. Over 800 million people are registered to vote over the next five weeks. To put that into proper perspective, the last elections in 2009 included 100 million people less.
Susmita Das (a first-time voter) says, “I am feeling great as I am voting for the first time. I came early to beat the rush at the polling booth, but as you can see there are already quite a few people gathered here.”
The election includes nine stages, with polling starting on the first day in six constituencies across two states in the northeast: Assam and Tripura. Assam is most known for it’s famous tea growing. In this region, when considering the main parties, voters have two choices: the ruling Congress or the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) opposition.
Umesh Kumar (a voter) says, “We have come to cast our vote, as we hope that a good leader is selected who forms a stable government and can provide solution to the problems which the country is facing.”
And that’s exactly what Modi’s BJP party has promised to do… The party plans to boost a weakening economy and completely eliminate the Nehru Gandhi dynasty. Narendra Modi and his allies should steal the biggest bundle of the 543 available parliamentary seats. But Modi and his clan will fall shy of a majority, as per pollsters.
If things go as pollsters predict, the BJP will lead a coalition government, an outcome that seems more than likely. But the Congress party still has a stronghold over Assam. It’ll be quite some time before the results are in. On May 12, the ballot ends, and the votes will be counted on May 16.