THE WORLDPOST
04/10/2014 02:51 pm ET

This Is What Democracy Looks Like In A Country Of 1.2 Billion (PHOTOS)

Millions of Indians headed to the polls in the third phase of the country's national elections, a crucial step in choosing the next government.

Nearly 110 million people were eligible to vote on Thursday, many of them in the country's heartland states where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the main Hindu opposition party, traditionally scores big.

India's multi-phase vote runs until May 12. According to the Associated Press, the BJP appears to be ahead of the ruling Congress party.

Take a look at the stunning photos below for a glimpse of what democracy looks like in a country of 1.2 billion. Hint: It's beautiful.

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    An Indian voter casts her ballot at a polling booth at Bajalta village near Jammu, on April 10, 2014, during national elections. (STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)
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    Indian election officials search for photo identity cards of voters at a centre in Mumbai on April 10, 2014. (INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)
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    Indian residents stand in a line to cast their votes outside a polling station in the village of Tigaon near Faridabad on April 10, 2014. (SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
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    An Indian voter stands near a voting machine at a polling station booth at Dabua village on the outskirts of Faridabad on April 10, 2014 (SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
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    Indian voters pose with their voting slips as they stand in a line to cast their vote outside a polling station at Dabua village on the outskirts of Faridabad on April 10, 2014. (SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
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    In this photograph taken on April 9, 2014 Indian resident Adisa Khatoon displaced by riots, looks on as others speak in the village of Jaula in Muzaffarnagar District, before returning to their native villages to vote in national elections in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh on April 10. (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
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    Muslim voter Chand Ali, 65, holds up his ink-marked finger outside a polling station after casting his vote during the second phase of elections at Nongpoh, Ri-Bhoi district in the north-eastern Meghalaya state on April 9, 2014. (ANUWAR HAZARIKA/AFP/Getty Images)
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    Young Indian children wearing the party hat react at seeing the leader of the AAP and anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal during a campaign on April 8, 2014 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
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    Indian voters wait in line outside a polling station in Dibrugarh on April 7, 2014.(DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
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    Indian voters wait in line outside a polling station in Dibrugarh on April 7, 2014. (DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
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    An Indian voter shows her inked finger as she poses after voting outside a polling station in Dibrugarh on April 7, 2014. (DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
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    An Indian election officer marks the finger of a voter with ink at a polling station in Jafrabad in northern Haryana state on April 10, 2014. (HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
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    Supporters of Rahul Gandhi, the leader of India's ruling Congress Party, gather at a rally on April 6, 2014 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

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