Indian Elections To Kick Off April 17

India’s mammoth parliamentary election will start on April 7, authorities announced on Wednesday, kicking off a race that will pit charismatic Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi against the unpopular Nehru-Gandhi family’s ruling Congress party.

Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath said 814 million people will be eligible to vote, a number larger than the population of Europe, making this the biggest election the world has ever seen. Results are due to be announced on May 16.

Voting will be held in nine stages, staggered until May 12 to allow security forces to focus their strength during an exercise that, for decades after independence from Britain in 1947, has often been marred by violence and ballot-rigging.

Running on his strong economic track record as chief minister of the state of Gujarat, Modi has emerged in opinion polls as the favorite, reflecting popular anger over corruption and a sense that the center-left Congress government frittered away opportunities for rapid growth after coming to power in 2004.

Exuding self-confidence, Modi has won the support of many middle-class Indians who even a year ago would not have voted for a man accused by critics of failing to stop, or even tacitly encouraging, a spasm of Hindu-Muslim bloodshed in Gujarat in 2002. Modi has denied any wrongdoing and the Supreme Court has said there is not enough evidence to pursue investigations.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza