The Republic of India on Thursday kicked off what is now set to become the world’s largest, and possibly most expensive, election exercise.
The election – which will run from April 11 to May 19, with vote-counting set for May 23 – will see Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a second term.
The vote will see 543 members of India’s Lower House of Parliament elected, who will then choose the country’s next prime minister.
Reuters on Thursday reported huge numbers of people trekked, rode bicycles and drove tractors to polling stations in the mammoth democratic exercise, with nearly 900 million eligible to vote during seven phases of balloting spread over 39 days.
Below are more ridiculous facts and figures about the highly-anticipated poll:
900 million voters
India has a population of 1.3 billion people with those registered to vote being 900 million. This is about 47 times the number of eligible voters in Kenya.
Slightly over half of the number of registered voters are women, with about 300 million out of the 900 million being classified as illiterate.
Six-week voting period
The election is divided into seven phases that will go on for six weeks — from April 11 to May 19.
Cost of election
The election is estimated to cost 700 billion rupees ($14 billion) which is 1.4 trillion Kenya Shillings.
There are more than 8,000 candidates from 460 political parties vying for the 543 seats to be contested in India’s lower house, the Lok Sabha.
1 million polling stations
Around one million polling stations have been set up including 80,000 polling booths in remote areas that lack mobile connectivity.
More than 2 million electronic voting machines will be used in the country’s 29 states and seven territories.
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