19:35 GMT +319 January 2020
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    India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is on track to win legislative assembly elections in the country's largest state of Uttar Pradesh, the latest Election Commission of India data showed on Saturday.

    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) The party is leading in 281 seats of the regional parliament, with 202 enough to secure a majority in the 403-seat body.

    The current ruling Samajwadi Party's alliance with the Indian National Congress (INC) is leading in just 76 seats, a major defeat compared to its 224 seats in 2012.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's alliance will thus be be able to form a majority government in the state.

    BJP is also leading in Uttarakhand, with 55 seats secured and just 36 needed for a majority government. The state has also swung away from the INC, which won in 2012 but is leading in just 9 seats this year.

    In Punjab, BJP and its ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) are on the retreat, leading in just 29 seats out of 117, down from 64. The INC is set to win with 64 seats secured. The INC is also narrowly leading in Goa and Manipur.

    Uttar Pradesh has a population of over 200 million and was considered especially important in India's month-long multi-stage regional election marathon. Elections took place in five states.

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