Opinion polls favour prime minister over opposition alliance as election begins Friday

By Salimah Shivji 

As Narendra Modi travelled along a main street in India’s southern Karnataka state, standing in a flower-laden pickup truck adorned with more than 10 photos of himself, the cheers grew louder and more ecstatic. 

Hundreds of the prime minister’s supporters spent hours waiting for a glimpse of the politician, who was in Mangaluru briefly on Sunday for an election event called a “roadshow,” which lasted slightly more than an hour.  

It was one of the many pit stops Modi made as he criss-crossed the vast country in the week before voting in India’s marathon election begins Friday, dropping into more than a dozen Indian states as he aims to secure a third straight term. 

Modi’s party is well-placed to return to power, with opinion polls putting him and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the lead — ahead of the opposition alliance formed by more than two dozen parties, including the once-dominant Indian National Congress Party.  

“We have come to see Modi,” said Satish, who travelled from a smaller village 100 kilometres away for the Mangaluru rally. “Our god,” he added. 

He credits Modi with much of India’s growth, including new roads and infrastructure. 

This story was originally published in cbc.ca. Read the full story here.