Voters in India were casting their ballots on Thursday in the third round of the country's month-long general election.
The election comes just five months after the armed attack at Mumbai, which left 160 people dead. Voters in the city were casting their votes on Thursday.
Among the nine states voting are parts of impoverished Bihar and populous Uttar Pradesh in the north, Gujarat in the west, the southern agricultural state of Karnataka, strife-torn Kashmir and leftist-dominated West Bengal.
Security is tight, especially at polling stations in Bihar and West Bengal, considered at risk from Maoist rebels whose attacks during the first round of voting two weeks ago claimed nearly 20 lives.
The five-stage election - the world's largest democratic exercise with 714 million people eligble to vote - wraps up on 13 May with the final results expected three days later.
Both main parties, the BJP and Congress, may need the support of regional players to form a government.