India to count votes cast in weeks-long general election

India is set to begin counting the votes that were cast in the country's weeks-long general election. Observers are waiting to see whether the ruling party, which is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will secure a third straight term.

In April, Indian voters started casting ballots to choose representatives in 543 electoral districts across the country. The elections were held in seven phases.

Vote-counting will begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, local time.

During the election campaign, Modi traveled across India and delivered more than 200 speeches.

He urged voters to support his Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP. He stressed that India has achieved high economic growth under his government.

The opposition parties argued that many people have been unable to benefit from the country's economic development, and that gaps between the rich and the poor are widening.

The opposition parties also criticized the government's policies. They say the policies favor the Hindu majority and stir up religious rivalries between the Hindus and the Muslim minority.

Local media outlets say exit polls show the ruling bloc, centering around Modi's BJP, is on course to secure a majority of seats, which it needs to do to stay in power.

If the ruling bloc wins, Modi, who has been in office for 10 years, is expected to govern India for a long period, as the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru did.