Millions of Indians have begun voting in the fourth round of the country’s general election.
The capital, Delhi, is one of the crucial battlegrounds in this phase of the marathon contest which began back in April. The Kashmir valley, the flashpoint of a 20-year insurgency, also goes to the polls watched over by thousands of security forces amid a boycott call by separatists. There is also a huge security presence in the possible swing states of Rajasthan and West Bengal – the third biggest source of seats in the 543-seat parliament. The ruling Congress-led alliance appears to have a slight edge over the Hindu nationalist BJP. But with neither side expected to claim an outright victory in this round, the role of smaller parties could be decisive. There have been no major incidents of violence so far and the early turnout in most of the areas voting was reported to be fairly strong.