5 minutes ago
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's governing party has taken an early lead as votes are counted after the country's marathon general election.
Mr Modi, whose Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to power in 2014, looks on course to keep his commanding majority.
He was up against a resurgent main opposition Congress party and powerful regional rivals across the country.
Counting began at 08:00 local time (02:30GMT) after six bitterly fought weeks of voting ended on Sunday.
Exit polls have predicted a win for Mr Modi, but analysts warn they have often been wrong in the past.
This election is seen as a referendum on Mr Modi, a polarising figure adored by many but also blamed for increasing divisions in India.
A party or coalition needs at least 272 seats to secure a majority in the 543-member lower house of parliament or Lok Sabha.
In 2014, the BJP captured 282 seats - the biggest victory by any party in 30 years. The Congress, which won just 44, suffered its worst defeat. boomblog4 🌊 beach sun nature insta.tags instatags water ocean lake instagood photooftheday beautiful sky clouds cloudporn fun pretty sand reflection amazing beauty beautiful shore waterfoam seashore waves wave