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DATE=9/5/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=INDIA ELECTION (L-UPDATE) NUMBER=2-253483 BYLINE=JIM TEEPLE DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Polls have closed in the first phase of voting in India's staggered general election. Authorities say five-people were killed and dozens injured in incidents of scattered violence across the country. Correspondent Jim Teeple reports from New Delhi, there will be four-more days of voting during the next month, so one-million police and soldiers can provide adequate election security. Text: Turnout was low across India Sunday, but -- by the time voting ends, October third -- 605 million Indians will have had the opportunity to vote. More than 160 million were eligible to vote Sunday to fill 145 seats in India's 543-seat lower house of parliament. With scattered reports of violence between rival campaign workers reported across the country, security was tight at polling stations. New Delhi poll watcher Kailash Rekhi says there were no problems at her location, in the Jorburgh housing colony. // REKHI ACTUALITY // Good turnout and no violence, a good turnout and no violence - no chaos. // END ACTUALITY // Polling stations in Srinigar -- the summer capital of India's Jammu and Kashmir state -- were deserted except for election and security officials, as most voters apparently heeded a call to boycott the vote made by a coalition of separatist political parties. Elsewhere, all eyes were on the southern constituency, Bellary, in India's Karnataka state, where Sonia Gandhi -- the Italian-born widow of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi -- is making her first run for office. According to late polls, Mrs. Gandhi's Congress Party trails the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition of Prime Minister Atal Bbehari Vajpayee. Voter Prit Sehgar says she voted for the Congress Party because she is disturbed by the Hindu nationalism of the Bharitiya Janata Party. // SEGHAR ACTUALITY // Not that they (Congress) are very good or anything but I find that they are more secular and perhaps they would have more talent in their government. // END ACTUALITY // Although Sonia Gandhi's Italian birth is a major issue in the campaign, polls show the top issue for Indian voters is their desire to maintain a stable government. Voter V-K Chopra says he cast his ballot for Atal Behari Vajpayee and his Bharitiya Janata Party because the prime minister is an established leader who can provide India with stability. // CHOPRA ACTUALITY // Because he is a mass leader, he is a trusted leader whose performance has been proved before the people. // END ACTUALITY // Mr. Vajpayee -- who is riding a wave of personal popularity following his handling of the 11-week Kashmir crisis, earlier this year -- is expected to lead his coalition to victory in October. Recent polls show the B-J-P-led coalition winning more than 300 of the 543 seats in India's lower house -- well above the necessary 272 seats necessary to form a majority. (Signed) neb/jlt / wd 05-Sep-1999 11:00 AM LOC (05-Sep-1999 1500 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .