Story in Pictures

The countdown begins

The 2014 general election starts off with tribal communities in northeast India turning out to vote in huge numbers

AP photo/ Saurabh Das

People stand in queue to cast their votes during the first phase of elections at Mandai, Tripura. India kicked off the world’s largest election on April 7 with the country’s 814 million electorate expected to vote in stages over the next five weeks. While the Congress is hoping for a hat-trick, fielding Rahul Gandhi as its bold, young leader, the mood of the nation doesn’t seem too forgiving of an administration that has ended its term with lower growth, high inflation and a tottering economy. On the other hand, even the great white hope of the markets, Narendra Modi, may not find it easy to resuscitate the economy. After all, the future economic course of the country will depend not so much on who becomes prime minister, but which parties make up the ruling coalition. To find out, wait until May 16.