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India election

Modi's BJP bumps into regional opposition in India's election

Alliance of former rivals reaches out to Muslims and lower castes in Uttar Pradesh

An election campaign rally of Bahujan Samaj Party in 2016. The party formed an alliance with former rival in January.   © Reuters

MEERUT, India -- Many low-income voters in India's most populous state are throwing their weight behind an alliance of regional opposition parties, causing a headache for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling coalition in the general elections due to start next week.

Uttar Pradesh, a state in northern India, is home to more than 200 million. It is a key battleground in the election starting April 11 and ending May 19, as it accounts for 80 of the 543 parliamentary seats up for grabs.

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