Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014
Asia
 

India on course for record general election turnout

Published on May 6, 2014 8:46 PM
 
Indian women queue to cast their votes at a polling booth in Alwar on April 24, 2014. India is on course for a record turnout in its general election as a young electorate and women engage with politics more than ever before, with unpredictable results for a contest that opinion polls say opposition leader Narendra Modi will win. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India is on course for a record turnout in its general election as a young electorate and women engage with politics more than ever before, with unpredictable results for a contest that opinion polls say opposition leader Narendra Modi will win.

The Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies are seen as favourites to come to power when results of the five-week election are announced on May 16, displacing the Congress-led coalition that is battling public fury over a slowing economy, high inflation and a spate of corruption scandals.

But regional parties will also play a key role, with most polls indicating that Modi's alliance will struggle to achieve a majority, falling short of winning 272 of the 543 seats in the lower house of parliament.

"We have to be cautious. It's very hard to tell that increased turnout is good for the incumbent or bad for the incumbent," said Vivek Dehejia, an economics professor at Canada-based Carleton University.

 
If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here

Videos