FILE - In this April 2, 2019 file photo, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters wear masks of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ride a motorbike during an election campaign rally ahead of general elections in Borhola village, Assam state, India. The final phase of India’s marathon general election will be held on Sunday, May 19. The first of the election’s seven staggered phases was held on April 11. Vote counting is scheduled to start on May 23. India has 900 million eligible voters. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath, File)

Final round of voting underway in India's marathon elections

May 18, 2019 - 7:02 pm

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indians are voting in the seventh and final phase of national elections, wrapping up a 6-week-long long, grueling campaign season with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party seeking reelection for another five years.

The voting on Sunday also covers Modi's constituency of Varanasi, a holy Hindu city where he was elected in 2014.

The election is seen as a referendum on Modi's five-year rule. He has adopted a nationalist pitch in trying to win votes from the country's Hindu majority by projecting a tough stance against Pakistan, India's Muslim-majority neighbor and archrival.

The Congress and other opposition parties are challenging him over a high unemployment rate of 6.1% and farmers' distress aggravated by low crop prices.

Counting of votes is scheduled for May 23.