Indian voters are taking to the polls as the country’s marathon elections come to a close. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is hoping to secure another five years in power.
Polls opened in parts of India on Sunday for the last day of voting in national elections, effectively wrapping up a six-week long electoral process.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency of Varanasa — India’s renowned Hindu holy city — is one of 59 where voting is taking place.
“Today is the final phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” Modi said in a tweet. “I urge all those voting in this phase to vote in record numbers. Your one vote will shape India’s development trajectory in the years to come.”
The election has been billed as a referendum on Modi’s government, which has implemented some policies that proved disastrous, including the demonetization of high currency bank notes.
Opposition parties have also accused Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of aggravating ethnic and religious tensions in India by propagating a Hindu nationalist message.
Observers expect Modi’s BJP to stay in power but with fewer seats than it picked up in the 2014 general election.
India’s electoral commission said voter turnout was around 66%, slightly higher than 58% during the previous election.