Lok Sabha Elections: The journey of Indian ballots — by boat, afoot, atop hills
Updated : April 17, 2019 12:35 PM IST
Election officials sailed boats and ships, trekked through dense forest and summited mountains to carry voting machines to even the most remote parts of India for national elections. The mammoth vote that began on April 11 ends May 19, and counting will he held on May 23. In most places, the atmosphere was festive during the phase I elections with men and women in colorful traditional attire heading to voting stations to cast ballots on electronic voting machines. The elections are widely seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has been credited by supporters with India's booming economy but criticised for engendering anti-Muslim sentiment. With 900 million of India's 1.3 billion people registered to vote, it is the world's largest democratic exercise, and the largest-ever election. Over the seven phases of voting, 543 Lok Sahba seats will be decided at about a million polling stations across India.