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Published on 20 May 2019
#GEOBREAKINGNEWS - India´s marathon vote ends, Modi on tenterhooks over second term - 20 May 2019 | #GEONEWS
KOLKATA: Voting ended Sunday in India´s most acrimonious election in decades that will decide whether Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi gets a second term in power.
As the final polling booths closed, a huge security cordon was thrown around the voting machines and boxes of paper ballots used for the world´s biggest election before the official count starts on Thursday.
Several early exit polls released by Indian media predicted that Modi´s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will lose seats but with allies would still secure a majority of the 542 seats fought.
The opposition Congress party was predicted to more than double its 2014 tally of 42 seats. The polls have in the past been notoriously unreliable, however, adding to the political jitters.
Tens of thousands of police and paramilitaries were on duty in West Bengal state -- a symbol of the mounting tensions between the BJP and opposition parties during the six weeks of voting that has focused on Modi´s record since his landslide win five years ago.
Long queues formed outside polling stations across the eastern state but the BJP and its rivals again accused each other of using violence, fraud and intimidation.
An improvised bomb was thrown at one Kolkata polling station and security forces intervened to stop BJP, communist and other groups blocking different booths across the state capital that was hit by two days of street battles last week.
Category News & Politics