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State Assembly Elections Held in India's Gujarat State


More than 50,000 security personnel are watching state assembly elections in India's western Gujarat state. Turnout is high in the state where more than 1,000 people died in religious violence earlier this year.

Voting proceeded peacefully across Gujarat, where more than 30 million eligible voters are choosing a new state government. The contest between the ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, and the main opposition Congress Party is being seen as too close to call.

The state's chief minister and prominent BJP leader Narendra Modi, has been harshly criticized by the opposition for allowing violence to spiral out of control earlier this year.

The trouble began when 58 Hindu activists died in a train fire, allegedly started by a Muslim mob. More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims died in the violence that followed the incident.

Mr. Modi is running on a tough law-and-order platform. Congress Party candidates are urging voters to reject what they say are the BJP's hardline Hindu politics, saying also they will revitalize Gujarat's stagnant economy.

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