Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


India kicks off world's largest election

07 April 2014, 10:15

Gauhati - Indians began voting on Monday in the world's biggest election, with the opposition heading into the polls with strong momentum on promises of economic renewal.

Voting began on Monday morning in the remote north-eastern states of Assam and Tripura, with many travelling along highways, dirt tracks and rickety bamboo bridges to cast their ballots.

The country's 814 million eligible voters will vote in stages over the next five weeks - a staggered approach made necessary by India's vast size.

Results are due on 16 May.

Polls suggest a drubbing could be in store for the incumbent Congress party, which has been hobbled by a poor economy and corruption scandals. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, is expected to do well - but the party may fall short of a majority.

Modi has been chief minister of western Gujarat state for the past 11 years and is credited with turning it into an industrial haven. Critics question whether the Hindu nationalist chief can be a truly secular leader over India's many cultures.

Elections in India are generally considered free and fair, and even the powerful often fall to defeat at the hands of voters. But there are still challenges, with age-old traditions of caste loyalty, patriarchy and nepotism often influencing voting patterns.

And in a large swath cutting across the vast hinterland of the Indian subcontinent, rebels inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong have called for a boycott of the polls. The armed guerrillas always threaten to disrupt national elections, and this year is no different.

"Several ethnic insurgent groups and Maoist rebels may try violence to disrupt the polls. We are not taking chances and have deployed nearly 25 000 police and paramilitary men for smooth voting," AP Raut, Additional Director General of the Assam Police, told The Associated Press on Monday.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
New IEBC bosses to be named Novem...

New IEBC bosses will be named on November 30. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto has spoilt my name, activ...

DP William Ruto has spoilt my name, activist complains. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...