Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Violence casts shadow as India votes in new round
Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:49am EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Biswajyoti Das
GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) - Tens of millions of Indians voted Thursday under the shadow of violence and an economic slowdown in the second stage of a month-long general election that could throw up a weak coalition.
Hundreds of thousands of police guarded some 200 million people eligible to vote after a mostly peaceful first phase of polls last week, although there some incidents of Maoist violence.
The ruling Congress party-led coalition appears to lead against an alliance headed by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, but both may need the support of a host of smaller regional parties to win office.
Analysts say such a government is unlikely to be stable or be able to bridge a yawning fiscal deficit and push financial reforms, including slashing subsidies and privatization at a time of a severe economic downturn.
There are also investor worries over the rise of a group of smaller parties, known as the "Third Front," who are often seen as opportunist and an unknown quantity in government.
Thursday's poll will see Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cast his vote in Guwahati, the principal city of the northeastern state of Assam which was hit by a string of bomb attacks by separatists in the run up to the election.
Long queues of people stood in the rain in Guwahati waiting to cast their vote. Armed police guarded the booths.
"There is no cause for fear and I have come here to vote on my own," said Biren Barua, a mid-30s voter who waited to vote in Guwahati.
The second round of polling, the biggest of the five phases, would see India's rural heartland voting, but also the IT center of Bangalore and some states where Maoist rebels are strong.
Maoists killed five election officials in a land mine blast in Chhattisgarh state during the last round of voting. Eleven police were also killed across the central and eastern "red belt."
The rebels blasted a railway station and chopped down trees to block roads in the eastern state of Jharkhand early on Thursday. They briefly seized a train Wednesday in a show of strength before releasing the passengers unharmed.
Police said they were locked in two separate gunfights with Maoists near the eastern city of Jamshedpur Thursday after the rebels attacked police and a voting station.
The staggered voting is to allow security forces to move around the country to curb any attempt to coerce an electorate more than twice the population of the United States.
To enable voting in remote villages, electronic voting machines are transported by elephants, camels and boats. At some places, polling officials have to trek for days.
The outcome of the election will be known on May 16. India's elections are notoriously hard to predict and polls have been wrong in the past. Exit polls are banned for the election. Continued...
View article on single page
Sri Lankan war in endgame, 100,000 escape rebel zone
also on reuters
Blog: Apple raises ruckus with baby-shaking app
"Banker to the poor" gives New York women a boost
Video: "Best job in the world" a marketer's dream
More International News
ANC takes early lead in South African election
Sri Lankan war in endgame, 100,000 escape rebel zone
Russian envoy to press North Korea on arms project
Mexico president seeks tougher crime laws: report
China slams Japan PM over war shrine offering
More International News...
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Freddie Mac CFO in apparent suicide: police source | Video
Clinton says Cheney not a "reliable source"
Global economic crisis hits German sex industry
Lewis testified that U.S. urged silence on Merrill deal: report
U.S. credit card bill advances on eve of Obama meet | Video
Obama triggers firestorm in CIA interrogation case
Double elimination as "Idol" nears home stretch
Bra deflects bullet aimed at woman
Financial worries spark bearish option trades in ETFs
EU sent draft Intel ruling to member states-source
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Freddie Mac acting CFO dead
Obama touts green jobs on Earth Day
Smallest earth-like planet found
Terror suspects trial in Germany
Credit card controversy
IMF: Global recession is severe
Clinton: Pakistan abdicating Taliban
Galapagos volcano erupts again
Business Update: Mixed earnings
"Best job" a marketers dream
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.