India’s massive general election

India holds general election today in the world’s largest democratic exercise, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a second straight term. The election will held in seven phases until May 19 and votes will be counted on May 23. Here are some facts and figures about the election in the country of 1.3 billion people.

About 900 million people are eligible to vote, nearly the combined population of Europe and Brazil, and 10 percent more than in the 2014 election. About 432 million eligible voters are women. There are 15 million voters between 18 and 19 years of age. In the first phase of the election, 1,279 candidates are contesting 91 constituencies, but only 7 percent of candidates are women. Of the 8,251 candidates in the last election, only 668 were women.

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