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India begins month-long elections

India's elections began Thursday and are expected to be one of the messiest elections in recent years.

Millions have already voted in 124 constituencies as the first round of the month-long elections begin, said BBC News.

The currently governing Indian National Congress faces strong opposition from the Bharatiya Janata Party as well as a third front of communist and local parties, said the New York Times.

More than 714 million people are eligible to vote for 543 members of Parliament. The election results are to be announced May 16.

The Central Election Commission has indicated that turnout has been as high as 86 percent in some places.

However, scorching heat and Maoist rebel attacks, in which at least 18 people have been killed, have deterred some from voting, said the New York Times.

More than two million security personnel have been deployed throughout the country, many in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.