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India's General Election Enters Final Phase - 2004-05-09


More than 100,000 Indian security forces are on a heightened state of alert today (Sunday), on the eve of the final round of voting in the country's general election.

Some 200 million people in 16 Indian states and territories are eligible to vote Monday-- the largest day of balloting since the multi-stage election began three weeks ago.

Security has been tightened at polling centers around the country to help prevent election related violence, which has left dozens of people dead.

On Sunday, police in Indian-controlled Kashmir say a grenade attack by a suspected Islamic militant killed one civilian and critically wounded three others. Islamic militants in Kashmir have warned people to stay home during Monday's vote.

Opinion polls are indicating that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's National Democratic Alliance is ahead of the main opposition parties, but will fall short of winning the 272 seats needed for an outright majority in Parliament.

Final results are expected later this week.

Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.

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