India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday made a string of promises, including expeditious construction of a Ram temple, a firm hand in dealing with terrorism and doubling farmers’ income in the next three years.
Polls close at 6:00 pm (1230 GMT) in the seventh and final round of voting, ending the world's biggest election with 900 million eligible voters from Goa's beaches to Mumbai's slums and Ladakh's Himalayan monasteries.
Missing from the new Cabinet were former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who stepped aside for health reasons.
Congress leader and Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu stirred a controversy on Saturday by calling the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) "Kale Angrez" (black Englishmen) and likening Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a bride who pretends to do work.
Campaigning ended on Friday in 59 parliamentary constituencies spread over seven states which will go to the polls on Sunday in the penultimate phase of the mega seven-phase electoral exercise. Voting will take place for 14 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 10 in Haryana, eight seats each in West Bengal, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh,
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday referred to the death of BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi and four security men in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh to launch a scathing attack at the Congress. Saying that neither the Congress’s intentions nor its policies were honest, he said that the party had done a “PhD in betraying the people.”
A statue of renowned Bengal reformer, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, was destroyed and a college named after him ransacked in the troubles, which the BJP and rival Trinamool Congress (TMC) angrily blamed on each other.
Modi's National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is projected to win 287 seats in the 545-member lower house of parliament followed by 128 for the Congress party-led opposition alliance, CVoter exit poll showed.
The counting of votes cast in the seven-phase general election will take place on Thursday, with the result expected later that day.
BSP President Mayawati took on both Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as the Congress on Friday as she campaigned in the Lok Sabha elections for the BSP candidates in Delhi. Accusing Modi of failing to work for the weaker sections, she told an election rally in Dilshad Garden area: