The first stage of voting covers an electorate of 142 million across 20 states who will decide the fate of 91 candidates. Almost 900 million of India's 1.3 billion people are eligible to vote.
Raziul Nasir, 53, accountant at a construction company, said he was worried about his children's future. Nasir told Al Jazeera.
Naresh Kumar, 43-year-old voter in the village of Bashada in Dadri in the Gautam Buddha Nagar constituency, said that he wanted the BJP to return it. Bishada witnessed Idia's first cow-related lynching in 2015 that caused an outcry.
"Modi has done a lot of work," Kumar, who works for the National Thermal Power Corporation in Dadri, told Al Jazeera.
Polls are also being held in the disputed Kashmir region and Chhattisgarh, who have faced an armed rebellion.
Modi, 68, is a front-runner but he faces a tough challenge from Opposition Congress Party leader Rahul Gandhi who has been attempting to capitalize on modi government's poor record on jobs and rural poverty.
Because of the vastness of India, the elections will be held in seven phases, from the tea plantations of Darjeeling to the slums of Mumbai to the tropical Andaman Islands and everywhere. in between
The seven-phase elections will be concluded on May 1
Al Jazeera's Nadim Asrar, reporting from Noida, a suburb of New Delhi, said voters were turning out slowly.
"There is a slow but steady tricking of voters at a polling booth in a middle class neighborhood of Noida. "
Security forces are on alert because of the perennial threat of violence, with five people, including a local politician, who was killed in a zombie by suspected Maoist Rebels this week.
More than 11 million election officials, including security forces, will be deployed over one million polling stations to "conduct the largest management event of any kind."
Modi and his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to power in 2014 with their promise of "achhe din" (good days), becoming the first party to win an absolute majority in 30 years.
|Election officials conducting a polling station in Noida [19459031|
"Nationalism is our inspiration and inclusion and good governance is our mantra," Modi, whose stern bearded face is staring out of ubiquitous posters, said at the launch of his manifesto.
Rahul Gandhi, 48, hoping to become the latest prime minister from the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty – and aided by sister Priyanka – has accused Modi of causing a "national disaster."
Gandhi's Congress Party has profited from polling dissatisfaction, winning three key state elections in December, chipping into the Modi's core support base in the Hindi-speaking heartland of northern India.
Additional reporting by Nadim Asrar from Noida
Al Jazeera and news agencies