The world’s largest democracy completed parliamentary elections this week, as 40 parties competed for 545 seats in the Indian parliament. With 670 million eligible voters, India could not hold an election all in one day, so it spread the vote out over three weeks to allow election officials and security workers to move to each area. About 400 million people actually voted, and 48 died in election-related violence. Results will take some time to tally, but the current coalition government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, was projected to lose its majority, reflecting voter discontent with the economy. Nearly one-half of India’s 1 billion people still live on less than $1 a day.
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