India’s Narendra Modi leads his political party BJP to victory in a state with more than 200 million people

the biggest election in the world this year — in terms of population, at least — India’s governing Hindu nationalist party recorded a massive victory that underscored the widespread popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Led by Modi’s vigorous campaigning, the Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, won 325 of 403 state assembly seats in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, easily dethroning a powerful incumbent party and shrugging off the effects of the prime minister’s controversial decision to withdraw most of India’s cash from circulation in November.
The demonetization measure, which Modi said would reduce corruption in the form of undeclared assets and modernize India’s economy, had the greatest impact on daily wage earners, leading some experts to predict that the BJP would struggle among the state’s large lower middle class.But Saturday’s results in Uttar Pradesh — home to more than 200 million people, more than all but five countries — suggested that the move was far more popular than analysts and political opponents had expected and sets Modi up well for national elections due in just over two years.

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