Cities and towns throughout India took on a festive air as campaigning for the Indian general election reached a climax on polling day.
GV GAILY BEDECKED STREETS IN OLD DELHI
SV PAN PARTY SUPPORTERS ON TRISHAWA WAVING FLAGS
GV BUILDING WHERE VOTING TOOK PLACE IN DELHI
SV CONGRESS PARTY CANDIDATE, MR. SHASHI BHUSHAN, SPEAKING TO SUPPORTERS OUTSIDE POOLING BOOTH.
SV OPPOSITION JUNTA PARTY CANDIDATE, MR. VAJPAYEE, ENTERING POLLING BOOTH WITH SUPPORTERS
SV ZOOM INTO CU VOTERS HAVING DYE PLACED ON FINGERS
SV WOMEN VOTERS QUEUING UP TO VOTE
SV VOTERS REGISTERING
SV OLD MAN PLACING HIS VOTE IN BALLOT BOX
SV VEILED WOMAN REGISTERING TO VOTE
SV PAN QUEUE OF VOTERS
SV WOMAN CARRYING CHILD IN POLLING BOOTH (2 SHOTS)
SV VOTERS QUEUING UP OUTSIDE POLLING BOOTH
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Background: Cities and towns throughout India took on a festive air as campaigning for the Indian general election reached a climax on polling day.
Polling officials reported one of the largest turnouts of voters ever in an Indian general election.
A candidate for the ruling Congress Party in Delhi, Mr. Shashi Bhushan, said the high number of voters would prove to be an advantage to the government.
However, one of his rival, Mr. Vajpayee of the opposition Janata Party, claimed the large turnout would favour the opposition.
To assist in registering voters many polling booths placed dye marks on the fingers of those waiting in the queves.
Although there were isolated incidents of violence and intimidation particularly in the northeastern states of Bihar and West Bengal, the overall picture was one a large number of people voting enthusiastically and peacefully.
After reviewing the situation, the election commission ordered partial re-polling in only eight of the three hundred constituencies because of alleged intimidation and vote rigging.
The large turnout of voters may have been due to the fact that this election is being fought between two major parties and their allies. Past elections have been fought between the ruling Congress Party and a number of smaller divided rivals.