Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam dissolved parliament on Friday, paving the way for early polls in the world's largest democracy six months ahead of schedule.
Kalam signed a proclamation dissolving India's 13th Lok Sabha, or lower house of parliament, after accepting a Cabinet recommendation to this effect, a presidential statement said.
India's autonomous Election Commission is expected to meet in the coming days to determine a date for the massive election in which 650 million voters are eligible to cast their ballots.
Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the largest group in the ruling federal coalition, have indicated the vote will be held in April.
India's lower house of parliament is composed of 545 members who are elected directly by the people for a five-year term.