GAUHATI, India — Voters in India's remote northeast cast ballots on the first day of the world's biggest election Monday, with the opposition heading into the polls with strong momentum on promises of a surge in economic growth.
With 814 million eligible voters, India will vote in stages over the next five weeks in a staggered approach made necessary by the country's vast size. Voters will choose representatives for the 543-seat lower house of parliament.
Results from all 935,000 polling stations are expected on May 16. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and its candidate for prime minister, Narendra Modi, are seen as the biggest threats to the now-governing Congress party.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is expected to do well but to fall short of a 272-seat majority, making a coalition government a likely outcome, observers say.