An Indian woman has her finger marked with indelible ink before casting her vote at a polling station at Bhangel, in Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
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Voting got underway Saturday in India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh in a contest seen as a key test for Narendra Modi halfway into his first term as prime minister.The northern state voted overwhelmingly for Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2014 general election, powering him to victory over the Congress Party that has dominated Indian politics since independence."There will also be other factors at play in these state polls, but Modi's BJP will be judged in comparison to its performance in the state in 2014 ".He cautioned against discounting Mayawati, who goes by only one name and is a low-caste leader known as the "Dalit Queen" whose Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was once seen as unassailable in the state.
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