The huge scale of the elections means the voting must be done over seven different phases to accommodate the 543 constituencies. Voter turnout in 2019 has increased by 84million since the last Lok Sabha elections in 2014. The elections will seek to elect a new lower house of Parliament, also known as the Lok Sabha. The Lok Sabha has 543 out of 545 elected seats and parties need to win a minimum of 272 to form a majority government.
The two remaining seats are left empty to make way for British-Indian members of the community, chosen by the sitting President.
These elections are incredibly important as they will ultimately decide India’s future role on the global stage.
The two main parties competing in the elections are the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the Congress Party, led by Rahul Gandhi.
Even though Modi’s party won an unprecedented majority in the 2014 elections, many of the voters see these elections as a referendum to decide the fate of Mr Modi.
The PM has been accused of pushing a Hindu Nationalist agenda, with increased compulsory incorporation of Hinduism into the everyday lives of Indians.
This has made the Muslims of India feel increasingly afraid.
Although support for the Congress had previously been in the minority, Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra joined and is campaigning for the party which has seen increased popularity among voters.
Gandhi has spoken out against Modi, saying “The BJP has divided India in the last five years”, mainly due to its promotion of Hindu nationalism in a secular country.
So, as the polls close on the world’s biggest democratic event, when can we expect results?
The results of the Lok Sabha, or the House of the People, elections will be counted and announced on May 23.
Undeniably a hefty task considering the astounding number of votes cast.
Some of India’s 11 million election workers must go to the most remote locations in the country just to ensure every qualifying Indian casts their vote.
The huge number of electoral volunteers means the counting will be done within a few hours, and the results will be announced as soon as that’s done.
Assembly elections have been held simultaneously for Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha.
The results for these elections will also be released on 23 May.