Modi Has Edge as World’s Biggest Election Nears End: India Votes

(Bloomberg) -- Each day, Bloomberg journalists take you across a selection of towns and cities as they gear up for the big vote.

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Hi, this is Debjit Chakraborty, Bloomberg’s New Delhi bureau chief. Voting in the world’s largest, and possibly longest, election will end on Saturday. The fate of more than 904 candidates across 57 constituencies are set to be decided in the final of the seven phases of an election that stretched over 44 days, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s. While counting of the votes will be held on June 4, exit poll surveys will trickle in from 6.30 p.m. on Saturday giving early indication of the outcome. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party is widely expected to win, even as the opposition coalition has put up a tough fight. Exit polls in India are notorious for missing the mark horribly, with the most prominent being the 2004 national election when BJP lost despite predictions of a landslide victory. Still, these will have some impact on trade in stocks and bonds when the markets open on Monday. Exit polls have been more accurate in the most recent elections. Indian stocks hit a high after exit polls predicted a win for Modi in 2014 and again in 2019. The markets have been extremely volatile in recent weeks.

Top Stories

The world’s largest election is drawing to a close. After more than six weeks of polling, India’s marathon general election enters its seventh and final phase on Saturday, as voters in seven states brave record-breaking heat to cast their ballots. The results won’t be declared until June 4.

Read more:

  • India Bankers Brace for IPO Surge as Election Uncertainty Lifts

  • India’s Growth Tops 8%, Giving Boost to Modi as Vote Ends

Campaign Trail

More than 50% of registered and eligible voters had cast their ballots until 3 p.m. local time on Saturday in the seventh and final phase of the national election. Meanwhile, scores of people reportedly died due to extreme heat wave conditions, including several election officials.

The Congress party-led opposition alliance, named INDIA, is holding a meeting of its top leaders on Saturday in New Delhi to discuss strategy over the election’s outcome.

Global Media

The New York Times reported that hundreds of government workers and private fact-checking groups in India are tracking down deepfakes during the ongoing election as social media is flooded with A.I.-altered audio, video and images.

The Washington Post wrote about reports of irregularities reaching a level not seen in decades as India’s seven-week-long marathon election nears end.

Who Votes This Week?

India’s mammoth election runs through June 1, with counting scheduled for June 4. This map from the Election Commission of India shows which constituencies vote when.

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Indians are voting in the world’s biggest election. Understand how money and business intersect with politics and power by following Bloomberg India’s channel on WhatsApp, and sign up for the weekly India Edition newsletter by Menaka Doshi.

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

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