The 2019 Indian general election was held in seven phases from 11 April to 19 May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. The counting of votes will be conducted on 23 May, and on the same day the results will be declared. About 900 million Indian citizens are eligible to vote in one of the seven phases depending on the region. According to most exit polls released on May 19 2019, states The Washington Post, the BJP-led alliance and incumbent prime minister Narendra Modi appeared poised to win reelection.
Legislative Assembly elections in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim were held simultaneously with the general election.
The Congress released its manifesto, titled Congress Will Deliver on 3 April. Some of its highlights:
The BJP released its manifesto called Sankalp Patra (lit. "Letter of Promise") sub-titled Sankalpit Bharat, Sashakt Bharat on 8 April. Some of its highlights:
Other national and regional parties have released their manifestos too:
Several organizations have offered varying estimates for the cost of 2019 general elections in India. The Centre for Media Studies in New Delhi estimates the 2019 election campaign could exceed $7 billion. According to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), an election watchdog, in the financial year 2017-18 BJP received ₹4,370,000,000(US$63 million), about 12 times more donations than Congress and five other national parties combined. Between January 1 and March 31 2019, donors bought ₹17,100,000,000 (US$250 million) worth of electoral bonds and donated them to the party of their choice. According to The Economic Times, India's business community has predominantly donated to BJP and are set to vote for Modi's party overwhelmingly again, even though they are less enthusiastic about Modi in 2019 compared to 2014, because they fear that a Congress-led coalition could put a halt to much-needed economic reforms.
The biggest change in India’s campaign finance laws has been the electoral bonds introduced by the Modi government. A donor can buy an electoral bond from a national bank such as the State Bank of India, in denominations ranging from 1,000 rupees to 10 million rupees ($14 to $140,000). These bonds are then donated to a political party of the donor's choice. The bonds don’t carry the name of the donor and are exempt from tax. According to Arun Jaitley, the finance minister of India, compared to cash donations of the past, the electoral bonds "help improve transparency because they are banking instruments, every political party has to disclose how much it received", and the bank records can be traced.[note 3] Factly – an India data journalism portal, traced the electoral bond donations for 2018 under India's Right to Information Act. According to Factly, electoral bonds worth about ₹10,600,000,000 (US$150 million) were purchased and donated in 2018. According to Bloomberg, this accounted for 31.2% of political donations in 2018, while 51.4% of the total donated amount were each below ₹20,000 (US$290) and these too were from unknown donors. About 47% of the donations to Indian political parties were from known sources. The spending in general elections boosts India's GDP, and the 2009 election spending contributed about 0.5% to its GDP.
According to the Association for Democratic Reforms – an Indian advocacy group, 464 of the total 2,856 contestants in the first two phases of the election have disclosed criminal cases against themselves in their nomination papers, as required by Indian election disclosure laws. In the first two phases of elections, the Congress Party topped the list, having nominated 23 candidates with pending criminal cases to compete in the parliamentary elections. The BJP and BSP ranked next, each with 16 candidates.
For the third phase of the election, all major national and regional parties had at least one candidate with a pending criminal case. The Congress party topped the list for the third phase, having nominated 90 candidates of which 40 have pending criminal allegations, with 27 accused with serious allegations such as rape, murder or attempted murder. The BJP has nominated 97 candidates with 38 who have criminal allegations pending, with 26 accused with serious allegations. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has the highest percentage (60%) of candidates facing serious charges which could result in imprisonment of five years or more. After the NCP, the parties with the highest percentage of candidates accused of serious crimes are the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Samajwadi Party and the All India Trinamool Congress, claims the Association for Democratic Reforms analysis.
More than 50 parties are contesting these elections. Most of them are small with regional appeal. The main parties are the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC). With the exception of 2014, no single party has won the majority of seats in the Lok sabha since 1984, and therefore forming alliances is the norm in Indian elections. In the 2019 general election, there are four main national pre-poll alliances. They are the NDA headed by the BJP, the UPA headed by the INC, the grand alliance of regional parties, and the left front of Communist-leaning parties. Given the volatile nature of coalition politics in India, alliances may change during and after the election. 2019 General Election is the first time when BJP (437) is contesting more seats than Congress (421) in the Lok Sabha elections.
The INC has not formed alliance in states where it is in direct contest with the BJP. These states include Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. It has formed alliances with regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Jharkhand, and Kerala. The party has not been able to form alliance with other parties in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Northeast, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Goa. 
Early in the campaign in January 2019, Mayawati (president of the Bahujan Samaj Party) and Akhilesh Yadav (president of the Samajwadi Party) announced an alliance(Mahagathbandhan) to contest 76 seats out of the 80 in Uttar Pradesh and the alliance will not fight in four seats, namely Amethi and Rae Bareli which they left for Congress and another two for other political parties. The alliance did not include Congress, with Mayawati stating, "Including Congress in the alliance will hurt SP-BSP prospects as Congress's votes do not get transferred" and "the policies of both these parties [BJP and Congress] have been mostly the same". The alliance was the second of its kind with a similar coalition formed 25 years ago in 1993.
According to the Election Commission of India, 900 million people were eligible to vote, with an increase of 84.3 million voters since the last general election in 2014, making this the largest-ever election in the world. 15 million voters in the age group of 18–19 years are eligible to exercise their right to vote for the first time while 38,325 transgender individuals will be able to vote for the first time as members of the third-sex and not as male or female. 71,735 overseas voters have been enrolled in the electoral rolls for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
In 2015, an India-Bangladesh boundary agreement was signed, in which the two countries exchanged their enclaves that were entirely surrounded by the other's boundaries. As a result, it will be the first time in which residents of these former enclaves vote in an Indian general election.