South Asia

Second phase of India’s election set to begin amid previous violence

India is set to commence the second phase of its election voting on Friday, April 26, following a first phase that was marred by violence.

Nearly 970 million people are eligible to vote in the six-week-long election, the world’s largest, which will continue through the peak of summer until June 1. The results are scheduled to be announced on June 4.

The first phase, which began on April 19, covered 166 million voters in 102 constituencies across 21 states and territories, from Tamil Nadu in the south to Arunachal Pradesh at the Himalayan frontier with China.

The second phase on Friday will involve 89 constituencies in 13 states and territories, including Assam and Kerala.

Subsequent phases will occur on May 7, May 13, May 20, May 25, and the final phase on June 1.

This year’s national vote features a contest between Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and an alliance of two dozen opposition parties. The opposition is promoting greater affirmative action and additional social welfare benefits, while emphasizing the need to protect democratic institutions.