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Saddle the camel or bring me my yak: Huge logistical challenge in India's elections

Published on Apr 6, 2014 2:59 PM
 
In this photograph taken on April 19, 2004, Indian election officials load electronic voting machines (EVM) on a elephant leaving for polling stations of the Guwahati constituency on the eve of national elections in Nortap, Assam state. Whether trudging through knee-deep snow in the Himalayas or astride camels in the deserts of Rajasthan, organisers will ensure no one misses out on a chance to vote in India's elections, the biggest in the world. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Whether trudging through knee-deep snow in the Himalayas or astride camels in the deserts of Rajasthan, organisers will ensure no one misses out on a chance to vote in India's elections, the biggest in the world.

The marathon begins on Monday in six remote northeastern seats which are more than 2,000 kilometres from New Delhi. It wraps up six weeks later in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, home to the Taj Mahal and the holy city of Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges.

Some 814 million people are eligible to vote, 100 million more than last time round in 2009. That compares with an electorate of some 219 million in the United States, the world's second biggest democracy.

By the time nominations close, there are expected to be around 15,000 candidates from 500 parties vying for 543 seats in the Lok Sabha, or lower house of parliament.

 
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