General election called
India is about to embark on the largest democratic exercise anywhere in the world as its general election was called today.
The numbers are staggering; there will be 930,000 polling stations across the country with a total of 814.5 million eligible voters. The whole exercise is such a logistical gargantuan that polling will take place over nine polling days between 7th April and 12th May. There will be two states voting on 7th April for six constituencies building up to 13 states and 122 constituencies on 17th April, with a final total of 543 constituencies electing members to the 16th Lok Sabha.
Counting will take place on 16th May and is expected to be completed within the day.
If that isn’t enough, the Indian Electoral Commission has also agreed to allow voting to take place for the Legislative Assemblies of the States of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim.
At this stage the opinion polls are suggesting a comfortable win for the main opposition centre-right National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which is led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). They will be facing the incumbent United Progressive Alliance (UPA) which is led by the Indian National Congress (INC).
You can find more details of the planning here.