World Bulletin / News Desk
The second phase of India’s parliamentary election starts on Wednesday with four northeastern states going to polls for seven seats.
Two constituencies of Arunachal Pradesh, two constituencies of Manipur, two constituencies of Meghalaya and one constituency of Nagaland state will vote according to India’s Election Commission.
The lone constituency of Mizoram, another northeastern state scheduled to go to polls on Wednesday, has been deferred to April 11 by election commission officials, after a state-wide shutdown was called by three NGOs in protest against the allowance for ethnic Bru refugees to vote through postal ballot from the relief camps in neighboring Tripura.
Riding on the popularity wave of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party is keen to break ground in the northeast, traditionally a stronghold for the ruling Congress party. A number of small regional parties are also competing.
The Election Commission of India has made all the preparations for the month-long election in which Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be used to cast votes.
This is the first national election in which India’s voters have the right to reject candidates by pressing a NOTA (None of the Above) button, after a Supreme Court ruling last year.
The hotly-contested election is being fought in nine phases from April 7 to May 12 around the key issues of corruption, inflation, unemployment, anti-incumbency and secularism.
The election results will be announced on May 16.
815 million registered voters are expected to cast their ballots, an increase of 100 million new voters compared with the 2009 election.
According to opinion polls, the BJP, which has been in opposition for the past two terms, is anticipated to form the next federal government after defeating the Congress party, which has been in power since 2004.Last Mod: 09 Nisan 2014, 11:57