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India polls: Final phase of voting underway in three states

Published on May 12, 2014 12:50 PM
 
Indian voters wait in line to cast their votes at a polling station during the ninth and final phase of the parliamentary elections in Calcutta, India, on May 12, 2014.  -- PHOTO: EPA

Voting is underway in 41 constituencies in the Hindi heartland states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and in the eastern state of West Bengal, in the last stage of polling in a nine-phase election that started five weeks ago.

Voters started queueing up outside polling booths across the three states as Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi tweeted early in the morning to urge people to "vote in large numbers".

"My special request to the youth - go out & vote and take your family and friends along to the polling booth,'' tweeted Mr Modi, 63, who is contesting the election from Varanasi in the populous state of Uttar Pradesh.

Varanasi is the most high profile of the 41 constituencies going to the polls on Monday. It pits Mr Modi, three-time Gujarat Chief Minister, against Mr Arvind Kejriwal, the 45-year-old chief of Aam Aadmi Party. The third candidate in Varanasi is Mr Ajai Rai, 41, a local politician from the ruling Congress Party.

 
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