Election officials count votes at a counting station in Lucknow, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, India, Saturday, March 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party is on course for a landslide victory in India's most important battleground state, early returns showed Saturday, in a personal triumph that will strengthen his claim to a second term as national leader.The BJP's vote share based on early counting is more than 40 percent, the election commission said, close to the party's winning vote share in Uttar Pradesh in the 2014 national election when it won the biggest majority in three decades.Post-election surveys had suggested Modi's BJP had done enough to come first in Uttar Pradesh, home to one in six Indians, might fall short of a majority.Voting in Uttar Pradesh, a state of 220 million people, was conducted in seven stages and ended Thursday.
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