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Indian state elections to begin with 'nation's destiny' at stake

Eyeing 2024 national polls, Modi's party goes full throttle to woo voters

NEW DELHI -- India's most populous and political bellwether state of Uttar Pradesh begins voting this week in what is seen as a "semifinal" for the 2024 national polls, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party will seek a third term in power.

Alongside Uttar Pradesh -- which is home to over 200 million people in India's north -- the states of Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa will hold staggered voting from Thursday to March 7 amid a third COVID-19 wave driven by the omicron variant. Ballots will be counted on March 10, with the results likely to become clear that day.

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