Indians begin voting in second phase of mammoth general election

Imran Khan attempted to influence Indian election with 'reverse swing': Modi

Imran Khan attempted to influence Indian election with 'reverse swing': Modi

Voters across swaths of southern India began queuing up early on Thursday in the second phase of a mammoth, staggered general election in which opposition parties are trying to stop Prime Minister Narendra Modi from winning a second term, Reuters reported. "Voting began at 7 a.m. simultaneously in all the 30,164 booths across 14 parliamentary seats of the state under tight security", a poll official told IANS here.The constituencies where polling is underway are Udupi-Chikkamagaluru, Hassan, Dakshina Kannada, Chitradurga (SC), Tumakuru, Mandya, Mysuru, Chamarajnagara (SC), Bengaluru Rural, Bengaluru North, Bengaluru Central, Bengaluru South, Chikkaballapura and Kolar (SC).

Kashmiri Muslim separatist leaders who challenge India's sovereignty over the region have called for a boycott of the vote, calling it an illegitimate exercise under military occupation.

Tens of thousands of troops, paramilitaries and police have been deployed to Kashmir for the vote, and at many polling stations security forces outnumbered voters. Authorities shut down mobile internet services and closed some roads with steel barricades and razor wire as armed soldiers and police in riot gear patrolled the streets. The Indian election is taking place in seven phases over six weeks in the country of 1.3 billion people. Results of the election to India's 545-member parliament are expected on May 23. Counting of votes will take place on May 23. Former FM P Chidambaram cast his vote in Tamil Nadu's Sivaganga district. Voting was postponed for the Vellore seat following the seizure of 110 million ($1.57 million) in unaccounted cash allegedly from the home of a local opposition politician, Kathir Anand.

"What is Modi carrying in his helicopter that he doesn't want India to see?" the party asked.

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He further criticised Congress leaders and the party's Indian Overseas chief Sam Pitroda for questioning the death toll in Balakot air strike conducted by Indian Air Force in response to the February 14 Pulwama terror attack. The decision ultimately hurt the poor, while most of the illicit funds reentered the banking system.

"For us, it's the development, the education, the employment, that's the main criteria for us", he told AFP. The bombing brought nuclear rivals India and Pakistan close to the brink of war. The main opposition Congress party has dubbed him as a "national disaster".

PM Modi said the Congress and JDS faced conflict on every issue but there was agreement between them on four things. Rebels have been fighting Indian control since 1989. "And the growing intolerance in the country is what worries me the most".

The turnout in the Srinagar constituency was at 14%, wihle the Udhampur constituency in the Hindu majority Jammu division saw almost 70% turnout. Modi supporters say the tea seller's son from Gujarat state has improved the nation's standing. Your vote will decide if those saying "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" will get respect or "Tukde-Tukde Gang" will shout slogans of India's destructions among you."Your vote will decide if nationalism remains or dynasty politics, corruption, and terrorism survive", he said, while accusing the Congress party and its "adulterous allies" of not letting go of any chance to demean India's culture and traditions.Hitting out at Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy for his recent comment over soldiers, he said: "The Chief Minister insults soldiers".

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