Year of Elections: A guide to world's biggest vote in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seeking a third term in power as millions go to the polls

Over the next several weeks, about 970 million people in India will cast their ballots in the world’s largest election.

The country holds general elections every five years to elect members of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament. The winning party – or coalition of parties – will be able to form a government and choose the prime minister.

But it takes a long time to get to that point – this year, the election process will last 44 days. There’s plenty for voters to think about. India has more than 2,500 political parties, although 10 hold 86 per cent of the Lok Sabha’s seats.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been in power for a decade now, and his Bharatiya Janata Party is one of the largest political parties in the world, with more than 180 million members. Recent polls suggest the BJP will win to secure a third term for Mr Modi, but there are some challenges to overcome first.

In this episode of the Year of Elections podcast series, Sulaiman Hakemy, The National's opinion editor, and Taniya Dutta, The National’s correspondent in India, delve into the significance of the country's elections this year and look at how the polling operation is carried out.

Updated: April 22, 2024, 2:00 AM