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Modi's 'One India' re-election strategy gets big test in Gujarat

State vote may show whether PM can win over Muslims and other groups in 2019

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, attends a rally in Mehsana, Gujarat, on Dec. 9. (Photo by Shinya Sawai)

AHMEDABAD, India -- Polls are open in Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat for a legislative race that could shape the leader's own re-election strategy for 2019. The test: Can Modi build a broader, more inclusive support base and score a decisive victory?

The western state's favorite son has been stumping hard for his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the run-up to the legislative election -- though his own reputation as Gujarat's former chief minister is often the focus. "Here is a prime minister who knows 200 people in Dharampur by name," he told a crowd in that town of 20,000 on Monday.

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