The first crop of 900 million eligible voters are heading to the polls in a six-week, seven-phase general election that’s seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. The world’s largest exercise in democracy involves 2,000 political parties across India’s 36 states and union territories, as well as 2.3 million electronic voting machines and some 11 million poll workers.
What can we expect? While polls predict Modi — a strongman praised by supporters for his fiery leadership — will return to power, his perceived anti-minority policies in the diverse nation of 1.3 billion could also hobble him.
Check out OZY’s original series, States of the Nation: India.