India’s Election Concludes with the Votes Being Counted Tuesday. Here’s What to Know

NEW DELHI (AP) — The world’s largest election could also be one of its most consequential.

India has close to 970 million voters among its more than 1.4 billion people, and its general election pits Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an avowed Hindu nationalist, against a broad alliance of opposition parties that are struggling to play catch up.

Now 73, Modi first swept to power in 2014 on promises of economic development, presenting himself as an outsider cracking down on corruption. Since then, he has fused religion with politics in a formula that has attracted wide support from the country’s majority Hindu population.

India under Modi is a rising global power, but his rule has also been marked by rising unemployment, attacks by Hindu nationalists against minorities, particularly Muslims, and a shrinking space for dissent and free media.

The final day of voting in the 6-week-long election was Saturday. The vote counting will start Tuesday and will be updated throughout the day. The election results will likely be known the same day.

Election officials seal the documents and electronic voting machines at the end of the polling of the seventh and final phase of national elections in Varanasi, India, Saturday, June 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

The voters are choosing 543 members for the lower house of Parliament for a five-year term.

Votes were cast at more than a million polling stations. Each of the seven voting phases lasted a single day with several constituencies across multiple states voting that day. The staggered polling allowed the government to transport election officials and voting machines and deploy tens of thousands of troops to prevent violence. Candidates crisscrossed the country, poll workers hiked to remote villages, and voters lined up for hours in sweltering heat.

India has a first-past-the-post multiparty electoral system in which the candidate who receives the most votes wins. To secure a majority, a party or coalition must breach the mark of 272 seats.

India uses electronic voting machines.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and his main challenger, Rahul Gandhi of the Indian National Congress, represent Parliament’s two largest factions. Several other important regional parties are part of an opposition bloc.

Opposition parties, which previously were fractured, have united under a front called INDIA, or Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, to deny Modi a a third straight election victory.

The alliance has fielded a single main candidate in most constituencies. But it has been roiled by ideological differences and personality clashes, and has not yet decided on its candidate for prime minister.

Most exit polls project Modi is set to extend his decade in power with a third consecutive term, especially after he opened a Hindu temple in northern Ayodhya city in January, which fulfilled his party’s long-held Hindu nationalist pledge. During the polls Modi escalated polarizing rhetoric in incendiary speeches that targeted the country’s Muslim minority.

A woman shows her index fingers marked with an indelible ink as she poses for a photograph next to a cutout portrait of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after casting her vote in the seventh and final phase of India’s national elections, in Varanasi, India, Saturday, June 1, 2024. Indians began voting Saturday in the last round of a six-week-long national election that is a referendum on Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decade in power. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Another victory would cement Modi as one of the country’s most popular and important leaders. It would follow a thumping win in 2019, when the BJP clinched an absolute majority by sweeping 303 parliamentary seats. The Congress party managed only 52 seats.

For decades, India has clung doggedly to its democratic convictions, largely due to free elections, an independent judiciary, a thriving media, strong opposition and peaceful transition of power. Some of these credentials have eroded under Modi’s 10-year rule, with the polls seen as a test for the country’s democratic values.

Many watchdogs have now categorized India as a “hybrid regime” that is neither a full democracy nor a full autocracy.

The poll results will also test Modi’s limits. Critics accuse him of running on a Hindu-first platform, endangering the country’s secular roots.

Under Modi, the media, once viewed as vibrant and largely independent, have become more pliant and critical voices muzzled.Courts have largely bent to Modi’s will and given favorable verdicts in crucial cases. Centralization of executive power has strained India’s federalism. And federal agencies have bogged down top opposition leaders in corruption cases, which they deny.

Another key issue is India’s large economy, which is among the fastest growing in the world. It has helped India emerge as a global power and a counterweight to China. But even as India’s growth soars by some measures, the Modi government has struggled to generate enough jobs for young Indians, and instead has relied on welfare programs like free food and housing to woo voters.

By SHEIKH SAALIQ Associated Press


OBBÜRGEN, Switzerland  — Nearly 80 countries called Sunday for the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine to be the basis for any peace agreement to end Russia’s two-year war, though some key developing nations at a Swiss conference did not join in.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


1 of 2 Abducted Louisiana Children is Found Dead in Mississippi after Their Mother is Killed

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana woman was found dead in her home Thursday, and her two young daughters were abducted and found hours later in Mississippi — one dead and the other alive, police said.

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany  — Jude Bellingham scored to give England a winning start at the European Championship by beating Serbia 1-0 on Sunday.

BALTIMORE  — Gunnar Henderson hit his eighth leadoff homer of the season, and three more Orioles also went deep off Zack Wheeler to help Baltimore beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-3 on Sunday.

OBBÜRGEN, Switzerland  — Nearly 80 countries called Sunday for the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine to be the basis for any peace agreement to end Russia’s two-year war, though some key developing nations at a Swiss conference did not join in.

ATHENS - Four years after the COVID-19 pandemic shut international travel and kept tourists away from Greece, the government now wants  to limit how many cruise ships can dock at popular islands because there are too many tourists.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.