India: the world's largest democracy goes to the polls

814 million people, half of them under 25 years may vote in an election in nine steps from April 7 to May 12. They are enabled to cover more people than all European countries together

From April 7 to May 12 will be made of the "step" way the world's largest democracy elections.

"The voting will take place by stepwise logistic and security reasons, to ensure they are fair and free," said the head of the Electoral Commission, Veeravalli Sundaram Sampath.

814,600,000 people are able to elect the 545 members of the Lower House of Parliament (Lok Sabha).

The lower house is the main legislative body at the federal level in India. The upper house (Rajya Sabha) has no power to vote on the decisions of the House.

The mandate of the current government of the United Progressive Alliance, who heads Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, ends in May. After the recount of the election on 16 May, a new government will be formed.

Nearly a decade ago returned to the Congress Party government, which is protected by the Nehru-Gandhi family. Manmohan Singh, former finance minister, heads the government. There has been a rebalancing of the territorial powers. Calls Indian middle classes, illustrated, are estimated at about 300 million. The percentage of people living under the poverty line was reduced from 42% of the population, in 1981, when began the change. Today that percentage is around 25 percent.

traslation: Belén Zapata