In pictures: India's election campaign

image captionIndia's political parties are campaigning for general elections in April and May. The vote pits the governing Congress party-led coalition against the opposition BJP and its allies. The BJP is led by the charismatic and controversial Hindu nationalist leader, Narendra Modi, masks of whom are seen being worn by supporters above.
image captionCongress is being led by Rahul Gandhi, the latest member of India's influential Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Manmohan Singh, who has been prime minister for the last two terms, is stepping down.
image captionA new anti-corruption Aam Aadmi (Common Man's) Party (AAP) will also contest the elections. Led by activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal, the AAP made a spectacular debut in state polls in Delhi last year.
image captionIf no single party wins a clear majority, smaller parties like the AIADMK, led by J Jayalalitha, could play a crucial role.
image captionMr Modi, who is ahead in all the opinion polls, is the chief minister of Gujarat state which witnessed some of India's worst anti-Muslim riots in 2002. He has been holding discussions with people over tea, during which he lays out his vision for India and takes questions from the audience.
image captionObservers say a slowing economy, high inflation, a string of high-profile corruption scandals and a government that is perceived as jaded all mean the Congress party is likely to fare badly at the polls.
image captionHowever, Rahul Gandhi's public meetings have still been drawing crowds - including supporters like this village man playing a traditional wind instrument at a rally in Rajasthan.
image captionThe anti-corruption Aam Aadmi Party has also been drawing large crowds in some cities and could win a number of seats as well as playing the role of spoiler in others, taking votes from more established parties.
image captionSome 814 million Indians are eligible to vote at 930,000 polling stations - parties are using colourful campaign vehicles to reach out to voters.
image captionElections give a boost to India's economy. Here, workers make campaign flags for the BJP at a shop in the southern city of Hyderabad.
image captionNo single party has won a majority in India's parliament since 1989 and governments since then have been formed with the support of smaller, regional parties. This election promises to be no different - although a new prime minister seems certain.