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This month's polls to fill the state legislature in India's Karnataka state, results for which were announced last week, carried unusual interest not just for Indians but also for all who are interested in the twists and turns of this complicated nation led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The election in the southern province, whose capital Bangalore is the nation's No. 1 centre for the proliferating outsourcing industry, tested not just the charismatic Mr Modi's drawing power but also the political future of his presumed principal challenger in the national election due by next May, Mr Rahul Gandhi of the Indian National Congress party. Karnataka was one of the few big states controlled by Congress, once the party of Freedom.

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