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India Begins World's Largest Election

India has begun voting in the world's largest election.

The staggered voting for the national election will be conducted over five weeks.

The vote began Monday in the remote northeastern states of Assam and Tripura.

India's national election is known as the world's largest exercise in democracy, with its 814 million registered voters and nearly a million polling stations.

Voters are choosing members to the 543-seat Lok Sabha, or House of the People - India's lower house of parliament.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies are forecast to win the biggest block of seats. But the latest polls indicate it may fall short of a majority. Any party or coalition needs at least 272 seats to form a government.



The BJP is led by Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi

Hundreds of thousands of troops have been deployed across the country to ensure peaceful voting.

India is wracked by insurgencies in central, northern and northeastern states, and rebels often target voting stations and security forces.

Results are due May 16.

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Steve Herman
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UNOCHA
United Nations
United Nations
United Nations
Steve Herman
UNOCHA
Steve Herman