On Saturday May 16th, India's ruling Congress Party was kept in power, winning an astonishing 262 votes, its best results since 1990. Just ten votes short of the 272 needed for a parliamentary majority, it will be able to govern without the need to make deals with regional parties. The markets responded with a resounding 17 percent surge in share prices, its biggest one-day-gain in three decades. Yet this was a victory margin none of the pundits saw coming. As India Votes 2009 Illustration: Vikash Sharma
KARISHMA VASWANI
One of the most common scenes on Indian trains are men with their belongings on their backs, heading out to the big cities in search of a better life. Many of them come from the state of Bihar, where moving miles away from home for work is the only way for their families to simply subsist at home. As India Votes 2009 Illustration: Vikash Sharma
KARISHMA VASWANI
It is best known to outsiders as Calcutta where the famed nun Mother Teresa set up her Missionaries of Charity to serve the dying in the city in 1950. Since then, the city has been renamed Kolkata and is witnessing a transformation in its political landscape. The state of West Bengal where it is located has been a traditional stronghold of India's Communist Party. That now may change, as the party and the state find themselves at the crossroads of tradition and progress. As India Votes 2009 Illustration: Vikash Sharma
KARISHMA VASWANI
A certain dedication to the family that propels millions of rural Indians to leave the comfort of home for the city. They send back money and sometimes along with it, the seeds of a revolution. As India Votes 2009 Illustration: Vikash Sharma
KARISHMA VASWANI
The freedom to choose their government was a hard-won victory from the British for the people of India more than 60 years ago. Today, they still go to surprising lengths to honour that right, as Karishma Vaswani learns when she goes voting with a Mumbaikar. As India Votes 2009 Illustration: Vikash Sharma
KARISHMA VASWANI
Karishma Vaswani shows theasiamag.com the highlights of this astounding metropolis of 18 million and makes sense of the economic spectrum of people who call this city home. As India Votes 2009 Illustration: Vikash Sharma
KARISHMA VASWANI
If there is an Indian Dream, Mumbai is the place where locals believe it will come true. As India Votes 2009 Illustration: Vikash Sharma
KARISHMA VASWANI
Karishma Vaswani looks back on the first leg of the journey on an Indian train, and the people she met. As India Votes 2009 Illustration: Vikash Sharma
KARISHMA VASWANI
In 2002, the Indian state of Gujarat was the scene of the communal mob violence that saw tit-for-tat attacks between Hindus and Muslims. NGOs put the death toll at up to 2,000. As Gujaratis go to the polls on April 30, how far will religion figure in this divided state? theasiamag.com catches up with Soutik Biswas, the BBC's India editor, who is in the state, for a sense of the sentiment on the ground in Gujarat. As India Votes 2009 Illustration: Vikash Sharma  
SOUTIK BISWAS
In Ahmedabad alone, 60,000 diamond workers have been laid off. State-wide in Gujarat, estimates put the figure between 250,000 to 400,000. What happens when the global economic crisis takes the shine off India's diamond capital? As India Votes 2009 Illustration: Vikash Sharma
KARISHMA VASWANI
theasiamag.com joins BBC and the rest of the world as it sets its eyes on the Indian Elections.
DAN-CHYI CHUA
As India Votes 2009 Illustration: Vikash Sharma
DAN-CHYI CHUA