Prime Minister Modi’s ruling BJP, which seeks to consolidate the possession of more states as an opposition Congress party, hopes the regional blocs will regain the political turf.
India’s election officials have begun counting votes in five states in elections held in March and early April, at the start of a wave of COVID-19 cases that has overwhelmed the country’s healthcare system .
The vote count in AssamWest Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry are scheduled to end on Sunday, and the results will be announced once registrations are completed.
The results are seen as proof of the impact the devastating second pandemic has on supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right-wing BJP party.
While Modi’s ruler, BJP, seeks to consolidate his position on more states, the main opposition party and regional parties hope to reclaim the political turf.
More than 1,000 election observers will perform the counts, and each is expected to produce a negative COVID-19 test report or prove that it has been completely vaccinated.
Most of the votes were cast in March, but polls in some districts continued through April, just as India began detecting thousands of coronavirus infections every day.
The new cases reached a daily high of 401,993 on Saturday. More than 211,000 have died. The country has the second largest number of total cases, with 19.1 million next to the US.
The second wave has overflowed hospitals, morgues and crematoria and abandoned families fighting for scarce drugs and oxygen. Although India is the world’s largest producer of COVID-19 vaccines, scarcity of features in some states they have hindered the start of a mass vaccination campaign.
Prior to the increase in cases, leaders of all political parties, including Modi, organized political rallies where large crowds passed rules on social distancing and the use of masks.
Political analysts said the election is a crucial opportunity for Modi to expand his national domination, widen his party’s footprint and oust one of his sharpest criticisms.
Modi has been criticized for focusing on state elections rather than the pandemic. Some experts blame the mass rallies and religious gatherings attended by millions of people for the severity of the second wave.
The federal government has also been charged does not respond to a warning in early March, from his own scientific advisers, that a new, more contagious variant was being imposed on the country.