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A woman waits for her turn to cast her vote, as police officers stand guard at a polling station during the first phase of general election in Majuli, a large river island in the Brahmaputra river, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, India April 11, 2019. — Reuters

In pictures: Indians come out to vote in first phase of mammoth elections

About 139.7 million people, including differently abled and transgender people, cast their vote.
Updated Apr 11, 2019 10:59pm

The first phase of India's mammoth six-week general election came to an end on Thursday evening. About 139.7 million people, including differently abled and transgender people, cast their vote.

With 900 million of India's 1.3 billion people registered to vote, it is the world's largest democratic exercise. Over the course of the election, 543 Lok Sahba seats will be decided from about a million polling stations across India.

With Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as their frontman, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) won a clear majority in 2014 elections. Under the leadership of political dynasty scion Rahul Gandhi, India's National Congress party, which ruled the country for more than half a century since the 1947 independence, has struggled to coalesce India's many opposition parties into a coherent effort that could go head-to-head with the BJP.

Surveys show the ruling party projected to come out first again in this year's polls, though with a smaller mandate.

A woman leaves after casting her vote at a polling station during the first phase of general election in Majuli, a large river island in the Brahmaputra river, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, India April 11, 2019. — Reuters
A woman leaves after casting her vote at a polling station during the first phase of general election in Majuli, a large river island in the Brahmaputra river, in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, India April 11, 2019. — Reuters

Indian voters stand in queue to cast their votes at a polling station as security personnel stand guard during India's general election in Amoni village, some 150 kms from Guwahati, the capital city of India's northeastern state of Assam on April 11, 2019. — AFP
Indian voters stand in queue to cast their votes at a polling station as security personnel stand guard during India's general election in Amoni village, some 150 kms from Guwahati, the capital city of India's northeastern state of Assam on April 11, 2019. — AFP

An Indian tribal voter shows her ink-marked finger after casting her vote for the first phase of India's general election in Ukhrul district in the northeastern state of Manipur on April 11, 2019. — AFP
An Indian tribal voter shows her ink-marked finger after casting her vote for the first phase of India's general election in Ukhrul district in the northeastern state of Manipur on April 11, 2019. — AFP

An Indian man poses for a picture as he queue to caste his vote during India's general election at a polling station in Cooch Behar district, in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal on April 11, 2019. — AFP
An Indian man poses for a picture as he queue to caste his vote during India's general election at a polling station in Cooch Behar district, in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal on April 11, 2019. — AFP

Indian roadside vendors hold chappatis, Indian bread, and roses during a demonstration to protest for their removal from the streets by the local authorities due to traffic problems, in Bhadra area of Ahmedabad on April 11, 2019. — AFP
Indian roadside vendors hold chappatis, Indian bread, and roses during a demonstration to protest for their removal from the streets by the local authorities due to traffic problems, in Bhadra area of Ahmedabad on April 11, 2019. — AFP

An Indian woman shows her ink-marked finger after casting her vote at a polling station during India's general election in Amoni village, some 150 kms from Guwahati, the capital city of India's northeastern state of Assam on April 11, 2019. — AFP
An Indian woman shows her ink-marked finger after casting her vote at a polling station during India's general election in Amoni village, some 150 kms from Guwahati, the capital city of India's northeastern state of Assam on April 11, 2019. — AFP

Indian Congress party senior leader Sonia Gandhi arrives in a car before filing her nomination papers for the forthcoming general election at a district court in Rae Bareilly on April 11, 2019. — AFP
Indian Congress party senior leader Sonia Gandhi arrives in a car before filing her nomination papers for the forthcoming general election at a district court in Rae Bareilly on April 11, 2019. — AFP

A differently abled man is helped by his father as he arrives to cast his vote at a polling station during the first phase of general election in Alipurduar district, in the eastern state of West Bengal, India, April 11, 2019. — Reuters
A differently abled man is helped by his father as he arrives to cast his vote at a polling station during the first phase of general election in Alipurduar district, in the eastern state of West Bengal, India, April 11, 2019. — Reuters

People line up to vote at a polling station during India's general election in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh on April 11, 2019. — AFP
People line up to vote at a polling station during India's general election in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh on April 11, 2019. — AFP

A polling officer puts an ink mark on an Indian tribal voter's finger before he casts his vote for the first phase of India's general election in Ukhrul district in the northeastern state of Manipur on April 11, 2019. — AFP
A polling officer puts an ink mark on an Indian tribal voter's finger before he casts his vote for the first phase of India's general election in Ukhrul district in the northeastern state of Manipur on April 11, 2019. — AFP

Jyoti Amge, Indian world's smallest woman, casts her vote for the first phase of India's general election at a polling station in Nagpur on April 11, 2019. — AFP
Jyoti Amge, Indian world's smallest woman, casts her vote for the first phase of India's general election at a polling station in Nagpur on April 11, 2019. — AFP

A supporter of India's main opposition Congress party wearing a traditional headgear with the party's election symbol poses as he attends an election campaign rally in Mumbai, India, April 11, 2019. — Reuters
A supporter of India's main opposition Congress party wearing a traditional headgear with the party's election symbol poses as he attends an election campaign rally in Mumbai, India, April 11, 2019. — Reuters

Indian polling officers seal an electronic voting machine at the end of the first phase of elections at a polling booth in village Patla near Ghaziabad, India, Thursday, April 11, 2019. — AP
Indian polling officers seal an electronic voting machine at the end of the first phase of elections at a polling booth in village Patla near Ghaziabad, India, Thursday, April 11, 2019. — AP

Supporter of India's ruling BJP wearing cut-outs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party president Amit Shah walk during an election campaign in Ahmedabad, India, April 11, 2019. — Reuters
Supporter of India's ruling BJP wearing cut-outs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party president Amit Shah walk during an election campaign in Ahmedabad, India, April 11, 2019. — Reuters