SANJAY JAGATSINGH

At 15,256 feet the one in Tashigang, Himachal Pradesh is now the world’s highest and only 521 feet shy of the Franco-Italian roof but 856 feet higher than nearby Hikkim, the previous record-holder. One of over a million polling stations it has been set up for any of the 48 people that are allowed to vote there on May 19, the last of seven days of voting in the 2019 Indian general election. But it will not be as exclusive as the one erected in a remote Gujarati forest solely for Mahant Darshandas.

There will be an extra 85 million eligible voters — roughly the population of Germany and bringing the total to 900 million — who will be tasked to elect 543 MPs in as many single-member constituencies (SMCs). 543 is unchanged from 5 years earlier — our local political bonobos should take good note. India will have to wait for the 2029 election to cross the billion-voter mark. By that time she would have just overtaken China as the most populous country on spaceship Earth.

Voting started yesterday. Results will be proclaimed on May 23.