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Modi's BJP wins key state Gujarat with reduced margin

Observers monitor bellwether states for pointers to 2019 general election

NEW DELHI -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to form a government in his home state of Gujarat in India's west for the sixth consecutive time but with a reduced margin, and is heading for a landslide win in the opposition-ruled Himachal Pradesh, a northern state, following vote counting on Monday. 

As of 8:30 p.m. local time, the BJP had won 97 out of 182 seats in Gujarat and was ahead in two, while the opposition Indian National Congress (INC) had taken 76 and was leading in one. In Himachal Pradesh, it had won 41 and was leading in three out of the total of 68 seats, while INC had 19 and was leading in two, according to the Election Commission of India website.

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