Abb Takk News

India election 2019: Sixth round of voting for 59 seats completed

NEW DELHI: Voters in Delhi and elsewhere in India’s north have cast their ballots in the second last round of a seven-phase general election, with the opposition seeking a united stand to deny Prime Minister Narendra Modi a second term.

More than 100 million people across seven states were eligible to vote in the sixth phase of the poll.

Voter turnout overall was 63.3 percent, according to the election commission.

Sunday’s voting in 59 constituencies, including seven in the Indian capital, will complete polling for 483 of 543 seats in the lower house of parliament.

The tussle for Delhi is front and centre, with all eyes on chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) — or Common Man party — was formed seven years ago on an anti-corruption platform.

It has since taken control of Delhi’s regional government and is fighting to add to its four seats in India’s lower house of parliament.

Voting also took place on Sunday in the eastern state of West Bengal, another key battleground where chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress party are seeking to stop Modi.

The state — home to some 90 million people — has long been a hotbed of political violence, and authorities on Sunday drafted in tens of thousands of extra security forces.

The internet has also been a key arena in the election, with all parties, particularly the BJP, devoting major resources to social media — including through fake news, experts say.

Police in recent days detained a BJP activist after she posted a meme superimposing Banerjee’s head on a picture of Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra at the Met Gala in New York.