(Bloomberg) -- Each day, Bloomberg journalists take you across a selection of towns and cities as they gear up for the big vote.

Hi, this is Dan Strumpf and I’m just back in New Delhi after a reporting trip to southern India. Coimbatore is a quiet industrial hub in Tamil Nadu state, but it has been focus of furious campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and opposition politicians ahead of the polls starting Friday. At a midday rally in a dusty field outside the city, we saw the premier’s helicopter hover into view to tremendous cheers from thousands of Bharatiya Janata Party backers, who turned out despite the blistering heat and passed around jugs of water to cool down. But Modi needs more than enthusiastic rally-goers; he must win over the state’s skeptical voters if he has to broaden his reach in the region and expand his majority in Parliament.

Top Stories

Modi has set his party the ambitious target of winning a supermajority of 370 seats. To achieve the goal, he must win over a region that has resisted the BJP for decades and where the distrust runs deep. Read our dispatch here.

Indian government officials are discussing proposals to subsidize interest on home loans, create new urban centers and reduce bankruptcy delays as part of Modi’s 100-day agenda if he returns to office.

Apple Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is on the tail end of his most extensive Southeast Asia tour in years, a quest for new markets to offset headwinds in China. While India is expected to become a major long-term driver, the iPhone accounts for less than 10% of the smartphones sold here now partly because of its high price tag.

Read more:

  • Emerging Markets Are Ready for Whatever Dollar Throws at Them
  • Indians will start voting in the world’s biggest election. Join our TOPLive blog for all the news, analysis and market reaction from little before 7 a.m. India time (9:30 a.m. Hong Kong) here.

Campaign Trail

Campaigning for the first phase of India’s election ended Wednesday, with Modi touting his “guarantee” as a principal poll promise while the opposition attacked him over campaign funding and unemployment. Regional publications are meanwhile reporting that several communities are threatening to boycott the polls protesting local authorities’ lack of response to long-pending issues, such as lack of sanitation or alleged corporate exploitation including land-grabs and pollution.

Global Media

  • Democracies run best when there is a contest of ideas and equal treatment of citizens in everyday administration. These are in short supply in Modi’s India, the Guardian writes in its editorial.
  • Two unlikely blocs — women and young voters — could give Modi a significant boost, unlike in other parts of the world where these demographics tend to be less conservative, the Washington Post reports.

Who Votes This Week?

India’s mammoth election runs through June 1, with counting scheduled for June 4. This map from the Election Commission of India shows which constituencies vote when.

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