At least 233 of the 543 members named as winning seats on Thursday face criminal proceedings – some as serious as rape, murder, and terrorism – says a non-profit Association of Democratic Reforms.
Election Commission data shows Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party was on course to increase its grip on parliament with 303 out of 542 elected seats – up from 282 in 2014.
Exit polls by four leading television news channels projected a victory for the BJP and its allies with 287 to 339 seats out of 543 - far ahead of the 272 seats needed to form the next government.
The polls are taking place in seven stages and will end on May 19. The third phase is the largest and be closely watched for the governing BJP's performance in Modi's home state Gujrat, although the prime minister is not on the ticket.
A small number of Kashmiris have joined India's ruling party but most Kashmiris fear the threat it poses.
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