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From 16 April to 13 May over 700 million Indians are able to vote in the world's biggest election. The electorate is so vast that polling takes place in phases. RFI looks at the statistics, the issues and events as the voting goes on.

The election

India - elections

Supporters of India's ruling Congress party celebrate in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad on Saturday (Photo: Reuters)

BJP concedes defeat as Congress alliance claims victory

Early results from India's election for the lower house of parliament are predicting a strong win for the ruling Congress-led coalition, which may take as many as 250 seats, only slightly short of a ruling majority in the parliament. The BJP-led rival coalition bloc is predicted to collect around 160 seats.

2009-05-16 08:37 TU

India election - the statistics

Villagers wait to vote in Tripura state(Photo: Reuters)

The facts and figures of the world's largest poll

In April and May 2009, voting takes place in the country with the second-largest population in the world. Since China, which has the largest population, does not hold parliamentary elections, that makes India's vote the biggest exercise in parlimentary democracy in the world, with all the challenges that entails.

2009-04-30 09:11 TU

The issues

India election - the economy

Tata's Nano car aims at middle-class consumers, but its factory was the site of protests by villagers( Photo: Reuters )

Is India still shining?

Some of the world's richest people live in India. And so do many of the world's poorest. So the economy is always a big issue, perhaps even more so now, with an emerging middle class, keen to see the recent years' growth continue.

2009-04-30 09:11 TU

India election - security

Smoke and fire billows out of the Taj Hotel in Mumbai (Photo: Reuters)

Peace with the neighbours ... and with each other

Is India safe from attack from abroad? Will it suffer more terror attacks and communal violence? Nationalist parties are keen to pose these questions and no party can ignore them, so security is an issue in this election.

2009-04-30 09:11 TU