India has now completed the third phase of its general election.
The government is going to great lengths to ensure voters have the opportunity to let their voices be heard. CGTN’s Gerald Tan explains.
Mahant Bharatdas Darshandas is a temple priest who lives in seclusion. But he’s not above his civic duty.
On Election Day in India, he’s casting his ballot — especially after four officials and a policeman traveled more than 70 kilometers to set up a polling station just for Darshandas.
“I live here deep inside the Gir forest. There is just this one booth here and the government spends a lot on this one booth. I have voted here today and hence this booth has recorded 100% voting. I ask everyone to cast their valuable votes so that there is 100% voting everywhere,” he said.
Election guidelines said no voter should be more than two kilometers away from a polling station. So, more than a million such stations are being set up during these mammoth elections, staggered over five weeks.
On Tuesday, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi also voted in his home state of Gujarat – where he again raised his campaign issue of security. Modi said, “”While terrorists use IEDs as a weapon, the weapon of a democracy is Voter ID cards. I believe that voter ID is much more powerful than IEDs.”
All in all, nearly 900 million people are eligible to vote in India’s seven-phase general election. The ballots will then be counted and released May 23.