India’s election on May 16 will be the biggest in its history and could have huge implications for world affairs.
The country’s first free and fair election was held in 2011, but this year will see the first major overhaul of India’s electoral process in more than a decade.
What to watch for: India’s vote will be one of the most closely watched in the world, with analysts predicting a surge in support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as voters make their way to the polls.
How to watch: India is a multi-party democracy, with both the Bharatiyas main parties fighting for power in a highly fragmented political system.
The BJP is currently leading in the polls, but its candidate, LK Advani, is widely seen as the most vulnerable.
Indias largest television station, NDTV, will be broadcasting the elections live on Sunday, as well as state-run broadcaster and state-owned media.
The election will be held in the state of Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP won the last election in 2015, and where the government is currently embroiled in a corruption probe.
Who’s voting: The election is being seen as a referendum on Modi, a charismatic, charismatic politician who has come to embody the promise of a more prosperous India, but also a nationalist, Hindu nationalist party with an image of caste-based discrimination and intolerance.
Modi is seen as one of India s biggest political benefactors, but has also been accused of pandering to ethnic and religious minorities.
India has more than 100 million registered voters, according to the World Bank.
In 2015, Modi became India s prime minister and took charge of the countrys economy and politics after a chaotic transition that saw him ousted by his opponents.
However, he has been criticized for the poor governance and corruption allegations that led to his ouster, and for being too close to powerful businessmen and politicians.
As of this writing, no candidate has formally filed for the presidency, which is held by Modi’s predecessor, Manmohan Singh.
Indian elections are widely viewed as a proxy war between the two major political parties.
In the current elections, the BJP has a narrow lead in the poll, with about 20% of the vote compared with about 28% for the ruling Congress party.
Modi, a former Indian cricket captain, has come under increasing criticism for some of his economic policies, including tax breaks for the wealthy, which have been seen as discriminatory and divisive.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress party is also expected to make gains in the upcoming polls, as voters are increasingly turning towards their traditional allies, the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), or AAP, as a political force that represents their interests.
More than half of Indians are currently unemployed and almost half of the population is below the poverty line.
On May 16, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, takes to the stage after a rally in New Delhi, India.
Image via Reuters