By Indica News
NEW DELHI, April 13, 2019 – The world’s largest democracy started voting on Thursday to decide who would be the next prime minister – the leader of India and its government.
India’s Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, has 543 elected seats. In order to form a ruling government, a political party would need a minimum of 272 members of parliament.
The number of eligible voters (citizens 18-year-old and above) in this election is the highest ever at 900 million. That’s roughly almost 12 percent of the world population.
The first phase of the Lok Sabha elections on Thursday, April 11, had over 142 million voters and will decide the fate of 1,279 candidates in 91 constituencies across India.
The first phase is the third biggest among the seven phases in terms of the number of Lok Sabha seats in which the election will be conducted. More than 170,000 polling booths have been set up across 20 states and union territories. The voter turnout was more than 60 percent according to the Election Commission of India.
Meanwhile, according to IANS, Twitter recorded 45.6 million tweets on its platform during a one-month period in the run-up to the polls, registering 1.2 million tweets on Thursday, the first day of voting.
Polling was done for 91 seats in 18 states and two union territories on Thursday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi emerged as the most mentioned figure during the first phase of the LokSabhaElections2019 tweets on Twitter.
“Campaigns, manifestos and announcements around policies and key social issues have accounted for some of the top-tweeted moments as voters get ready to go to the polls,” the micro-blogging platform said in a statement.
The top election conversations were national security, religion, jobs, agriculture, and taxes and trade during the March 11-April 11 period.
In a survey late last month, Twitter India said that over 90 percent of first-time eligible voters are expected to vote in the elections.
It also stated that seven in 10 first-time eligible voters in India believe that they are contributing to the public debate by posting on Twitter.
Nearly 54.6 percent of those surveyed said they will use Twitter to gather support for a cause or movement, and 54.4 percent will use the platform to express their opinion to be heard.
Over 80 percent said they will turn to social media to find out what’s happening in India and around the world.