Modi seeks a third term in world’s biggest election

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a third term.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a third term. Photo: AAP

A large number of Indians have voted in the first phase of the world’s largest election as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks a historic third term on the back of issues such as growth, welfare and Hindu nationalism.

The vote pits Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against an alliance of two dozen opposition parties that promise greater affirmative action and more handouts while stressing what they call the need to save democratic institutions.

Three hours before polls closed on Friday, figures from the Election Commission showed voter turnout ranged between 40 per cent in the sprawling northern state of Bihar and 68 per cent in the small northeastern state of Tripura.

Almost a billion people in the world’s most populous nation are eligible to vote in the entire exercise running through the peak of summer until June 1, with results set for June 4.

Modi aims to win 370 of parliament’s 543 seats, up from 303 in 2019, hoping for a two-thirds majority that some analysts and opposition members fear could let his party usher in far-reaching constitutional changes.

The BJP campaign focuses on Modi’s guarantee to deliver on promises to voters.

“It is an election to secure the future of generations that come after you.”

India needed a “strong” government at a time when “clouds of war are hanging over the world”, he said.

Victory for Modi would make him only the second Indian prime minister to be elected three times in a row, after post-independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru.


Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.