1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

India election to begin on April 19

March 16, 2024

Around 970 million voters, over 10% of the world's population, are eligible to cast their ballots. To ease the logistical burden, voting is staggered over six weeks.

Chief Election Commissioner of India, Rajiv Kumar announce dates for the national elections
Almost 1 billion voters, over 10% of the world's population, will elect members for India's lower house of parliament Image: Manish Swarup/AP/picture alliance

The election authority of India announced on Saturday that the country will start a phased voting process beginning on April 19 to select a new parliament.

"Date of polling would be 19th of April" for the first phase of the vote, which is staged over several weeks, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said.

The election will be held in seven phases over six weeks, with different states voting at different times

Voting in the final phase will take place on June 1, and nationwide ballots will be counted on June 4. Results are normally announced on the same day. 

It is considered the world's biggest election, with almost a billion people eligible to vote.

India election to start on April 19

Modi's BJP favored to win

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), are seeking a third term in power against a broad alliance of opposition parties led by the Indian National Congress.

The BJP is widely expected to win the election due by May, with Modi remaining a popular leader thanks to his overtures to India's Hindu majority.

Published opinion polls are rare in India but a Pew survey last year found Modi was viewed favorably by nearly 80% of Indians. 

"I have full confidence that we will get the full affection and blessings" of the voters he said in a series of posts on X, formerly Twitter.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves to supporters from an open vehicle as he arrives for an election campaign rally for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Hyderabad, India
A victory will make Modi, 73, only the second prime minister after Jawaharlal Nehru, India's independence hero and its first prime minister, to win a third straight termImage: Mahesh Kumar A./ASSOCIATED PRESS/picture alliance

Government critics and human rights groups accuse Modi's administration of using law enforcement to target political rivals.

His main opposition, the Congress party, which ruled India for decades, has formed a 28-party alliance called INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) to fight the BJP together. 

Disputes over seat-sharing deals have plagued the opposition alliance, which has so far been unable to publicly agree which of its leaders will be its prime ministerial candidate.

Rahul Gandhi is the most prominent Congress politician but he has already led his party to two successive defeats against Modi.

"This will perhaps be the last chance to save democracy and our constitution from dictatorship," President of the Indian National Congress Mallikarjun Kharge wrote on X. "We the people of India will together fight against hatred, loot, unemployment, price rise and atrocities."

India's Congress Party hopes to make comeback

lo/sms (AFP, AP, Reuters)