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Kashmir turmoil

Modi declares 'new chapter' in Kashmir following vote

Locals hope for a brighter future after the scrapping of region's special status

SRINAGAR, India -- Unfazed by the harsh winter, voters from a village in north Kashmir patiently waited at a polling booth one December morning to cast their ballot in the region's first elections since its special status was revoked by the Indian government last year.

"I'm voting for better roads, water and electricity in my area, but I will not support the BJP," said Khizar Mohammad Butt, 65, speaking Urdu in Chewa village about 55 km from Srinagar, the main city. Butt was waiting outside a voting station set up in a state school, and his ire was directed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party.

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