Soon the entire subcontinent of India will have a job. They must go to their nearest polling place and elect a new government. No one is making predictions on this election other than to forecast that whatever unwieldy coalition government is elected, they have a tough road ahead. The global economic crisis has not failed to hit India, slowing growth for the first time in years. Despite the influx of three stimulus plans, which dramatically increased the deficit, the nation is still struggling, and none more than the poorest. Here with an election guide is Somini Sengupta, the South Asia bureau chief for the New York Times.

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