A paramilitary soldier is carried on a stretcher to be treated after he was injured in an attack by suspected Maoist rebels in the eastern Indian state of Bihar earlier this month. Pic: AP.

RAJNANDGAON, India (AP) — Voters are casting ballots in India’s general election despite threats of violence in some areas by extreme leftist insurgents, who say the country’s democracy has failed its marginalized and its poor.

The central state of Chhattisgarh, which is now the epicenter of India’s four-decade Maoist insurgency, was among the areas voting Thursday in the multi-phase election. Authorities say there are signs that the rebels have waning support — including the lines of voters shuffling into polling booths in the Chhattisgarh town of Rajnandgaon.

Dozens of people have died in Chhattisgarh and elsewhere since February in a surge of anti-election violence despite tens of thousands of extra security forces.

The nationwide voting runs until May 12, and results for the 543-seat lower house of Parliament will be announced May 16.

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