RealNews

Violence Flares as Indian Election Enters Final Stage

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said he was confident of victory as he cast his ballot in the country’s mammoth election Wednesday, after opinion polls showed his party clawing back lost ground. More than 100 million people were eligible to vote in the fourth phase of the five-stage national election that ends next week, with results expected on May 13. Wednesday’s voting is concentrated in the northern Hindi heartland or “cow belt,” stronghold of Vajpayee’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party. The 79-year-old Vajpayee asked for a strong mandate for a new term as he voted in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, the nation’s most populous and politically pivotal state. Full Story

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