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Manohar Parrikar death: Opposition lawmakers march to governor's house Pramod Sawant: Goa swears in new chief minister
(about 20 hours later)
India has entered full election mode: voting is due to begin on 11 April, with the final ballot cast more than five weeks later on 19 May. Every day, the BBC will be bringing you all the latest updates on the twists and turns of the world's largest democracy.India has entered full election mode: voting is due to begin on 11 April, with the final ballot cast more than five weeks later on 19 May. Every day, the BBC will be bringing you all the latest updates on the twists and turns of the world's largest democracy.
The latest from the campaign trailThe latest from the campaign trail
It's battle Goa all over again New kid on the block
What happened?What happened?
India's former defence minister, and sitting chief minister of Goa, Manohar Parikkar died on Sunday. Pramod Sawant, a lawmaker from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is Goa's new chief minister. The former CM, Manohar Parikkar, died on Sunday.
His death has prompted the main opposition Congress party to stake a fresh claim to the state government. Fourteen of them have now marched to the state governor's house, demanding she meet them. Mr Sawant, 46, was sworn in around 02:00 local time (20:30 GMT) on Tuesday, only fitting in a state famous for its nightlife.
Of course, the party's rush to form the government even before Parrikar's funeral has been conducted, has come under attack by the BJP's supporters on social media. They have tweeted out the hashtag #VampireCongress with ferocity, making it one of the most trending topics in the country.
Why does this matter?Why does this matter?
Although some may see the rush on the part of the Congress as a little tasteless, the party clearly wants to move before the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) names a new chief minister for the state. Parrikar's death sparked some late-night political wrangling as the BJP rushed to retain its hold over the coalition government.
Party president Amit Shah is meeting with state leaders to finalise who it is likely to be. The Congress tried to woo some of the lawmakers to challenge the BJP's majority, but their hopes were dashed when the ruling party scraped together enough seats by partnering with two regional allies.
However, the composition of the Goa assembly is complicated. It's a crucial win for the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls as it proves that regional allies are willing to bet on them.
When elections were held in February 2017, the Congress was actually the single largest party, winning 17 seats in the 40-member house, four seats short of a majority. But three of its members crossed over to the BJP, who had won 13 seats. But it's a blow for the Congress, which has been struggling to forge alliances in other key states. To add insult to injury, their rushed attempts to wrest power - before Parrikar's funeral had even been held - earned them flak on Twitter from BJP supporters.
The party then proceeded to tie up with some smaller regional parties and independent candidates to form the government. This was seen as a massive victory for the BJP and an example of its crafty politics. And soon, the hashtag #VampireCongress was trending.
With Parrikar's death the number of BJP lawmakers in the house goes down to 11, as one of its other lawmakers had also died earlier. This is prompting the Congress to challenge the government. They complain that the governor of the state is refusing to see them however, and is acting like a "BJP office bearer".
Unless the Congress is able to woo away the independents and regional parties currently supporting the BJP, it is unlikely to succeed in its bid. But at least in terms of optics, the party may have decided it was a good time to remind voters in Goa and the rest of the country that they were in fact the party who won the most votes in the state.
Highlights from the last week:Highlights from the last week:
You can read a full recap of everything political from the last week here.You can read a full recap of everything political from the last week here.
But here are some of the stand-out moments:But here are some of the stand-out moments:
Read all our latest election coverageRead all our latest election coverage
Other highlights included Narendra Modi bombarding Bollywood with democracy-loving tweets, Priyanka Gandhi's very first tweet and controversy over the alleged withholding of yet another jobs report by the government.Other highlights included Narendra Modi bombarding Bollywood with democracy-loving tweets, Priyanka Gandhi's very first tweet and controversy over the alleged withholding of yet another jobs report by the government.
What about the week before?What about the week before?
The election hadn't even been announced, but no one could have been unaware that it was coming: the BJP had placed adverts in 150 newspapers across the country extolling its successes over the last five years - all of which had to come to a stop on Monday, due to election rules.The election hadn't even been announced, but no one could have been unaware that it was coming: the BJP had placed adverts in 150 newspapers across the country extolling its successes over the last five years - all of which had to come to a stop on Monday, due to election rules.
How do the Lok Sabha elections work?How do the Lok Sabha elections work?
India's lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, has 543 elected seats. Any party or coalition needs a minimum of 272 MPs to form a majority government.India's lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, has 543 elected seats. Any party or coalition needs a minimum of 272 MPs to form a majority government.
Some 900 million voters - 86 million more than the last elections in 2014 - are eligible to vote at 930,000 polling stations.Some 900 million voters - 86 million more than the last elections in 2014 - are eligible to vote at 930,000 polling stations.
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be used at all polling stations. The entire process will be overseen by the Election Commission of India.Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will be used at all polling stations. The entire process will be overseen by the Election Commission of India.
Who are the main players?Who are the main players?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi who won a landslide victory in 2014 is seeking a second term for both himself and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).Prime Minister Narendra Modi who won a landslide victory in 2014 is seeking a second term for both himself and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
His main challengers are the main opposition Congress party led by Rahul Gandhi, and a consortium of regional parties called the Mahagathbandhan (which translates from the Hindi into massive alliance).His main challengers are the main opposition Congress party led by Rahul Gandhi, and a consortium of regional parties called the Mahagathbandhan (which translates from the Hindi into massive alliance).
The Mahagathbandhan has seen some of India's strongest regional parties, including fierce rivals, come together.The Mahagathbandhan has seen some of India's strongest regional parties, including fierce rivals, come together.
This includes the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) led by Dalit icon Mayawati, normally fierce rivals in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, which sends the most number of MPs to parliament.This includes the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) led by Dalit icon Mayawati, normally fierce rivals in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, which sends the most number of MPs to parliament.
The alliance also includes the Trinamool Congress which is in power in the state of West Bengal and Arvind Kejriwal whose Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) rules Delhi.The alliance also includes the Trinamool Congress which is in power in the state of West Bengal and Arvind Kejriwal whose Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) rules Delhi.
The aim of the alliance is to consolidate regional and anti-BJP votes, in order to oust Mr Modi from power.The aim of the alliance is to consolidate regional and anti-BJP votes, in order to oust Mr Modi from power.
Other regional players including Tamil Nadu's DMK and AIADMK and Telangana's TRS in the south are not part of the alliance, but are expected to perform well in their own states, which is likely to make them key to any coalition government.Other regional players including Tamil Nadu's DMK and AIADMK and Telangana's TRS in the south are not part of the alliance, but are expected to perform well in their own states, which is likely to make them key to any coalition government.
When do I vote? The dates at a glanceWhen do I vote? The dates at a glance
11 April: Andhra Pradesh (25), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Assam (5), Bihar (4), Chhattisgarh (1), J&K (2), Maharashtra (7), Manipur (1), Meghalaya (2), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Odisha (4), Sikkim (1), Telangana (17), Tripura (1), Uttar Pradesh (UP) (8), Uttarakhand (5), West Bengal (2), Andaman & Nicobar (1), Lakshadweep (1)11 April: Andhra Pradesh (25), Arunachal Pradesh (2), Assam (5), Bihar (4), Chhattisgarh (1), J&K (2), Maharashtra (7), Manipur (1), Meghalaya (2), Mizoram (1), Nagaland (1), Odisha (4), Sikkim (1), Telangana (17), Tripura (1), Uttar Pradesh (UP) (8), Uttarakhand (5), West Bengal (2), Andaman & Nicobar (1), Lakshadweep (1)
18 April: Assam (5), Bihar (5), Chhattisgarh (3), Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) (2), Karnataka (14), Maharashtra (10), Manipur (1), Odisha (5), Tamil Nadu (39), Tripura (1), UP (8), West Bengal (3), Puducherry (1)18 April: Assam (5), Bihar (5), Chhattisgarh (3), Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) (2), Karnataka (14), Maharashtra (10), Manipur (1), Odisha (5), Tamil Nadu (39), Tripura (1), UP (8), West Bengal (3), Puducherry (1)
23 April: Assam (4), Bihar (5), Chhattisgarh (7), Gujarat (26), Goa (2), J&K (1), Karnataka (14), Kerala (20), Maharashtra (14), Odisha (6), UP (10), West Bengal (5), Dadar and Nagar Haveli (1), Daman and Diu (1)23 April: Assam (4), Bihar (5), Chhattisgarh (7), Gujarat (26), Goa (2), J&K (1), Karnataka (14), Kerala (20), Maharashtra (14), Odisha (6), UP (10), West Bengal (5), Dadar and Nagar Haveli (1), Daman and Diu (1)
29 April: Bihar (5), J&K (1), Jharkhand (3), MP (6), Maharashtra (17), Odisha (6), Rajasthan (13), UP (13), Bengal (8)29 April: Bihar (5), J&K (1), Jharkhand (3), MP (6), Maharashtra (17), Odisha (6), Rajasthan (13), UP (13), Bengal (8)
6 May: Bihar (1), J&K (2), Jharkhand (4), Madhya Pradesh (MP) (7), Rajasthan (12), UP (14), Bengal (7)6 May: Bihar (1), J&K (2), Jharkhand (4), Madhya Pradesh (MP) (7), Rajasthan (12), UP (14), Bengal (7)
12 May: Bihar (8), Haryana (10), Jharkhand (4), MP (8), UP (14), Bengal (8), Delhi (7)12 May: Bihar (8), Haryana (10), Jharkhand (4), MP (8), UP (14), Bengal (8), Delhi (7)
19 May: Bihar (8), Jharkhand (3), MP (8), Punjab (13), Bengal (9), Chandigarh (1), UP (13), Himachal Pradesh (4)19 May: Bihar (8), Jharkhand (3), MP (8), Punjab (13), Bengal (9), Chandigarh (1), UP (13), Himachal Pradesh (4)
23 May: Votes counted23 May: Votes counted
Key: Date: State (number of seats being contested))Key: Date: State (number of seats being contested))
Find out exactly when you are voting by visiting the Election Commission of India's websiteFind out exactly when you are voting by visiting the Election Commission of India's website