World

India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party faces close contest in New Delhi election

  • Indian women wait in a queue to cast their votes at a polling booth in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015. Voters cast ballots in the Indian capital on Saturday in an election that is seen as a litmus test for the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party. Opinion polls ahead of the vote to choose New Delhi's 70-member assembly suggest that Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party is either locked in a close contest with the upstart Common Man's Party or will come in second. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

    Indian women wait in a queue to cast their votes at a polling booth in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015. Voters cast ballots in the Indian capital on Saturday in an election that is seen as a litmus test for the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party. Opinion polls ahead of the vote to choose New Delhi's 70-member assembly suggest that Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party is either locked in a close contest with the upstart Common Man's Party or will come in second. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)  (The Associated Press)

  • Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man's Party, leader Arvind Kejriwal displays the indelible ink mark on his finger after casting his vote in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015. Voters cast ballots in the Indian capital on Saturday in an election that is seen as a litmus test for the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party. Opinion polls ahead of the vote to choose New Delhi's 70-member assembly suggest that Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party is either locked in a close contest with the upstart Common Man's Party or will come in second. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man's Party, leader Arvind Kejriwal displays the indelible ink mark on his finger after casting his vote in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015. Voters cast ballots in the Indian capital on Saturday in an election that is seen as a litmus test for the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party. Opinion polls ahead of the vote to choose New Delhi's 70-member assembly suggest that Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party is either locked in a close contest with the upstart Common Man's Party or will come in second. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)  (The Associated Press)

  • Indians wait in a queue to cast their votes at a polling booth in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015. Voters cast ballots in the Indian capital on Saturday in an election that is seen as a litmus test for the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party. Opinion polls ahead of the vote to choose New Delhi's 70-member assembly suggest that Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party is either locked in a close contest with the upstart Common Man's Party or will come in second. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

    Indians wait in a queue to cast their votes at a polling booth in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015. Voters cast ballots in the Indian capital on Saturday in an election that is seen as a litmus test for the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist party. Opinion polls ahead of the vote to choose New Delhi's 70-member assembly suggest that Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party is either locked in a close contest with the upstart Common Man's Party or will come in second. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)  (The Associated Press)

Voters in the Indian capital of New Delhi are going to the polls in what has become a litmus test for the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his nationalist party.

Opinion polls ahead of Saturday's vote to choose the city's chief minister suggest that Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party is either locked in a close contest with the upstart Common Man's Party or will come in second.

The BJP has fielded Kiran Bedi, India's first high-ranking woman police officer as its candidate. She faces Arvind Kejriwal, a former income tax official turned popular anti-corruption activist.

The BJP won an overwhelming victory in national elections in May and has won several local elections since then.

India's widespread culture of graft is a key issue in this election.