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As India gears up for its general election, one must not lose sight of the sheer size of the exercise, which has been described as the “biggest humanly managed event in the world.”

Starting on April 11 and ending on May 23, 900 million eligible voters (including 15 million first-time voters) will decide the fate of nearly 10,000 candidates representing over 500 political parties vying for the 545 seats in the Lok Sabha (House of the People). Every Indian general election beats its predecessor’s record to become the largest in world history. And none of the preceding 16 Lok Sabha elections has been as politically momentous as the coming one.

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