Year of Elections: India at crossroads as world’s largest polls draw to a close

A BJP-led coalition, the NDA, has the lead, but the scale of its success is by no means assured

India’s general election, the world’s largest, is now a month in, and a fortnight away from its conclusion on June 4. By the time the last ballot is counted, more than half a billion people will have made their voices heard on the country’s future.

The challenge at this stage in the vote has been turnout, as the most recent phase saw only two thirds of eligible voters show up.

But while voters may appear a little apathetic, the politicians themselves have a very large presence indeed.

The two main rivals are Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, in power for 10 years, and the India National Development Inclusive Alliance, referred to as INDIA, which comprises 26 parties including the leading opposition party, Indian National Congress.

In the second episode of Year of Elections podcast, focusing on India's polls, host Sulaiman Hakemy gets into the issues at stake, exploring the reasons behind the voter turnout and what the results of the vote might mean for India in the years to come.

He is joined by from New York by Johann Chacko, who is The National’s South Asia columnist, and from Delhi by Aarti Jerath, a veteran journalist and political commentator.

Updated: May 20, 2024, 2:00 AM