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NEW DELHI: Voters flocked to polling stations in 21 states in India as the first round of a six-week parliamentary election got underway on Friday in the world’s most populous country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking a third term in office, is being challenged by an opposition alliance of more than two dozen parties.

The first phase contest is for 102 of the 543 Lok Sabha seats for which elections are being held between April 19 and June 1.

The counting of votes will be on June 4.

More than 166 million voters of the total electorate of about 970 million are eligible to cast their votes on Friday at 187,000 polling stations.

The southern state of Tamil Nadu is voting in all its 39 Lok Sabha constituencies, while the most populous state Uttar Pradesh will witness polling for eight of its 80 seats in the first round.