India's national election enters its last phase of voting
By Mubasshir Mushtaq, Monday, May 12, 2014
NEW DELHI - India’s national election will enter its ninth and final phase of voting when three states go to the polls for 41 parliamentary seats on Monday.
The world’s biggest and longest running democratic election for India’s lower house of parliament will come to an end after voting takes place in 41 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, India’s biggest and most populous state, Bihar and West Bengal
The last and the most crucial phase of the six-week long national election will see political heavyweights like the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi take on popular anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal in the town of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. However, the Congress party’s vice-president, Rahul Gandhi, held a massive roadshow in support of the party’s candidate, Ajay Rai, Saturday, the last day of campaigning.
Meanwhile, Election Commission officials have raided the Bharatiya Janata Party office in Varanasi seizing election campaign material. The raid comes days after a major standoff between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the election watchdog after the latter accused commission of being “biased”.
Elsewhere three polling booths in Muzzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh will hold fresh polls after complaints of irregularities were received from a regional party candidate.
There are over nine million registered voters in the final phase of voting in India’s national election spread across 18 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, 6 constituencies in Bihar and 17 constituencies in West Bengal.
The national election witnessed a record voter turnout of 66 percent in the earlier eight phases breaking the previous record in the 1984 election when the country recorded a turnout of 66 percent voting.
The election result will be declared Friday May 16 when a single-day pan-India counting session is scheduled to take place.
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