Modi votes as next phase in Indian election kicks off

Lazy eyes listen


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi cast his vote at a school in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, as polling for the third phase of the general election started on Tuesday. Before and after casting his ballot, he encouraged people to vote. “Urging everyone to do so as well and strengthen our democracy,” Modi said on X (formerly Twitter).

Polling in the third phase, out of a total of seven, is being held across 93 parliamentary constituencies in 11 states and union territories, including Gujarat, Bihar, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and others. Over 170 million people are eligible to vote on Tuesday. 

As many as 1,331 candidates are in the fray during this phase, according to the Election Commission of India. In the 2019 election, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies won 75 of the 93 seats at stake on Tuesday, according to Mint. The alliance of opposition parties, the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), won just eight seats. 

Meanwhile, at least 19 schools in and around Ahmedabad, the capital of the western Indian state of Gujarat, received bomb threats from a Russian domain on Monday, hours ahead of polling and days after similar emails were received by dozens of schools in the nation’s capital, triggering investigations. 

Local officials called the threats a hoax, as they did not find any suspicious materials during search operations. Polling is being held in at least 11 of the schools, according to a report in the Indian Express. A complaint has been registered in connection to the bomb threat at a cyber-crime police station in Ahmedabad, the newspaper reported. Police in Ahmedabad are also believed to be in touch with their counterparts in Delhi.

India’s Home Ministry later confirmed that the threats were hoaxes. In the wake of the bomb threats, security forces in Delhi are conducting a series of mock drills at different key locations in the city, including metro stations, airports, schools, and government buildings, Wion reported. In Delhi, voting will be held on May 26 during the sixth phase.