NEW DELHI, April 7 (Xinhua) -- India's general elections began Monday, with voting starting in two northeastern states of Assam and Tripura in the first of the nine-phase polling over six weeks.
Voting started at 7 a.m. (local time) in six constituencies -- five in Assam and one in Tripura -- and will end at 5 p.m. (local time).
Some 814 million people will exercise their franchise in 930, 000 polling stations across the country to elect a new government. The elections will end on May 12 with results due on May 16.
While Rahul Gandhi is the ruling Congress party's prime ministerial aspirant, Narendra Modi is the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's contender for the top post.
News Analysis: India's youth to play key role in general elections
NEW DELHI, April 4 (Xinhua) -- India has the largest youth population in the world, and these young voters are poised to play a key role in the general elections beginning next week.
This is the reason why both the ruling Congress party and the country's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as their prime ministerial aspirants, Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi have campaigned hard for the youth vote bank in this year's poll, experts noted. Full story
India's main opposition party to release manifesto on 1st voting day
NEW DELHI, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Though India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is predicted to win the most seats in the general elections, it will not release its manifesto until April 7, the first day of voting, party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told the media late Thursday night.
Sources say this is unprecedented in Indian politics, but this is due to internal differences within the party between veteran leaders and leaders close to 64-year-old Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, who want the already drafted manifesto by the former to be tweaked. Full story