Voting has begun in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, in a by-election for the Lok Sabha, India's Lower House.
GV EXTERIOR Polling office of the Janata Party
MV Women voters entering and passing through checkpoint
SV ZOOM INTO CU Mrs. Gandhi poster
MV & CU Women queueing to vote (2 shots)
CU Ballot paper being inserted into box
GV EXT Another polling booth with voters and party officials
SV Congress Party agents checking names of voters
GV ZOOM INTO Men queueing
MV Official folding ballot paper being placed into box
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Background: Voting has begun in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, in a by-election for the Lok Sabha, India's Lower House. The seat has been fiercely contested by the ruling Janata Party of Indian and ex-Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi's opposition Congress Party. The voting turnout however has been reported to be small.
SYNOPSIS: Less than fifty per cent of voters turned out for this by-election, despite elaborate election campaigns by all parties involved. Mrs. Gandhi's recent be-election victory in Chikamangalur, and the Janata party's reduced majority in another by-election in Sanastipur, from three-hundred and twenty-seven thousand votes to only twenty-seven thousand, has persuaded commentators to see Mrs. Gandhi as firmly set on her political come-back. Reuters says the already shaky alliance of the ruling Janata Party has been rocked by Mrs. Gandhi's success.
The Janata party is in fact a coalition of five parties, once opposed to each other, but united in the necessity to defeat Mrs. Gandhi, who had jailed virtually all opposition leaders during her 21 months of internal emergency rule. Janata succeeded in restoring India's parliamentary democracy. But commentators question whether it can now hold together in the face of another confrontation with Mrs. Gandhi. The former Price Minister draws her support largely from Harijans, Moslems, and the highest caste Hindus. The Janata on the other hand depend on the middle casters. The results of the Fatehpur by-election will be known early on wednesday (6 December).