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The Financial Express

Trends show mixed results for ruling BJP in India state polls

| Updated: October 31, 2019 16:46:51


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FILE PHOTO: India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses his supporters during a public meeting in Ahmedabad, India, May 26, 2019. REUTERS/Amit Dave FILE PHOTO: India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses his supporters during a public meeting in Ahmedabad, India, May 26, 2019. REUTERS/Amit Dave

Early trends show India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to win a key state election but may lose another.

The BJP is set to retain power in the western state of Maharashtra, but it may fall short of a clear majority in the northern state of Haryana.

The controversial decision to strip Indian-administered Kashmir of its autonomy was the BJP's key poll plank.

The polls were seen as a referendum on PM Narendra Modi's Kashmir policy, reports the BBC.

The party used its Kashmir move to tell voters that the BJP had the ability to take tough decisions on national security. It largely relied on Mr Modi's policy of muscular nationalism and local issues were less talked about in its campaigns.

Maharashtra witnessed aggressive campaigning by the prime minister and several federal ministers. Its ally Shiv Sena also held rallies across the state.

Haryana, which borders the Indian capital, Delhi, also witnessed rallies and aggressive campaigning by the BJP.

Nevertheless, the Congress party is projected to increase its vote share in Haryana, upsetting the BJP's mission of retaining power. Several BJP ministers are trailing.

The BJP is still projected to be the single-largest party, but it will need support from the regional Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) to form a government.

It's not clear whether the JJP will support the Congress or the BJP.

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