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India's Modi looks set to win state poll, may boost PM ambitions

Published on Dec 20, 2012 1:34 PM
Indian state of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi greets his supporters after casting his vote in the second phase of Gujarat state assembly elections in Ahmadabad, India on Monday, Dec 17, 2012.

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - Mr Narendra Modi looked set to win a fourth successive term as the chief minister of India's Gujarat state on Thursday, a victory that could launch the prime ministerial ambitions of one of the country's most popular but controversial leaders.

Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was leading in 116 out of 182 seats, against 61 seats for the Congress party, which heads India's national government, according to the Election Commission website.

Based on the data, Indian television channels said Modi looked set to win. The BJP won 117 seats in 2007 and analysts say Mr Modi needs a convincing victory to present himself as the presumptive BJP candidate for prime minister in national elections due by 2014.