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 India election issues infographic
Graphic shows facts and issues facing India’s voters.
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POLITICS

Issues facing voters in India’s upcoming election

By Duncan Mil

April 9, 2024 - As many as 969 million Indians – of which 470 million are women, and 18 million are first-time voters – will decide who gets to sit in India’s lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha.

The sheer scale of this democratic exercise is awe-inspiring. Voters will utilize 5.5 million electronic voting machines at over one million polling stations. The Election Commission will mobilize approximately 15 million polling staff and security personnel to ensure the smooth conduct of the elections.

N Bhaskara Rao, chairman of the New Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies, expects the ballot to be the world’s most expensive election. Political parties and candidates’ spending to woo voters will likely cost more than 1.2 trillion rupees ($14.4bn), said Rao -- double what was spent in India’s 2019 elections, 600 billion rupees ($7.2bn).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi started nationwide rallies and advertising last year.

“They started much before and are also focusing on states where they are traditionally not strong. They are leaving no area untouched,” added Rao.

The principal parties in the 2024 battle are Prime Minister Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who lead a coalition of more than three dozen parties, and Rahul Gandhi’s main opposition Congress party alliance of about two dozen parties.

India has about 2,660 registered political parties.

Sources
PUBLISHED: 09/04/2024; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images
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