The fourth phase of general elections in India begins today.
Following the third round of voting, some 66% of the more than 900 million eligible Indians have voted.
In this fourth phase of the elections, all eyes will be on five key battleground seats where the outcome is not considered completely certain: Mumbai North, Kanpur, Mumbai South, Begusarai, and Birbhum. Incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is expected to secure three of these five seats.
With three phases remaining after today’s vote, the results of the fourth phase may be indicative of what the final landscape of the Indian Parliament will look like. Polls have suggested that a BJP-led coalition government will emerge but that Rahul Gandhi’s opposition Indian National Congress (INC) will pick up seats.
It is unclear to what extent the INC will gain, but unexpected BJP losses in today’s phase of elections will likely be a sign that gains will be more significant than expected. Greater INC gains than anticipated could serve to challenge PM Modi’s Hindu nationalist legislative agenda if he is re-elected premier.
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Nick is the Director of the Daily Brief and a contributing Senior Analyst to it. An attorney, his areas of expertise include international law, international and domestic criminal law, security affairs in Europe and the Middle East, and human rights.