Voting begins in 3rd phase of India's national elections

The voting over seven phases ends 19 May, with counting scheduled for 23 May

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Indians are voting in the third phase of the general elections with campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party and the opposition marred by bitter accusations and acrimony. The voting for 117 parliamentary seats in 13 states and two Union Territories on Tuesday means polls are half done for 543 seats in the lower house of Parliament.

The voting over seven phases ends 19 May, with counting scheduled for 23 May.

The election is seen as a referendum on Modi's five-year rule. He has adopted a nationalist pitch trying to win the majority Hindu votes by projecting a tough stance against Islamic neighbor Pakistan. The opposition is challenging him for a high unemployment rate of 6.1% and farmers' distress aggravated by low crop prices.

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