900 Million Vote in India
In the world’s largest democracy, 900 million people will get the chance to vote for 543 new Members of Parliament (MPs). The task is so big, the Lok Sabha election has to run through seven phases across 4 weeks, with results declared on May 19th.
468 million men, 432 million women and 38,325 third genders are registered to vote. Turnout is expected to be high – putting Western democracies to shame in terms of voter participation. The main rival parties are the incumbent nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi, and Indian National Congress led by a member of India’s greatest family dynasty, Rahul Gandhi.
Interestingly, India’s stock market indexes have surged since the elections started with the Nifty 50 hitting an all-time high of 11,856 before dipping at close today. Experts are attributing this surge in optimism about the election and an outcome favouring the current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Foreign investors are also buying into the market on such expectations and further rate cuts that will continue to nudge the economy. Go India!