Asia

Indian Prime Minister Modi's party ahead in state polls

  • Bharatiya Janata Party supporters celebrate winning seats in the state legislature during elections in Utar Pradesh, Lucknow, India, Saturday, March 11, 2017. India's governing Hindu nationalist party is heading for major victories in key state legislature elections that are seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly 3-year-old rule. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

    Bharatiya Janata Party supporters celebrate winning seats in the state legislature during elections in Utar Pradesh, Lucknow, India, Saturday, March 11, 2017. India's governing Hindu nationalist party is heading for major victories in key state legislature elections that are seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly 3-year-old rule. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)  (The Associated Press)

  • CORRECTS LOCATION SPELLING: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters celebrate as their party leads in state elections in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh states in New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 11, 2017. India's governing Hindu nationalist party is heading for major victories in key state legislature elections that are seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly 3-year-old rule. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

    CORRECTS LOCATION SPELLING: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters celebrate as their party leads in state elections in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh states in New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 11, 2017. India's governing Hindu nationalist party is heading for major victories in key state legislature elections that are seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly 3-year-old rule. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)  (The Associated Press)

  • CORRECTS LOCATION SPELLING Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters celebrate as their party leads in state elections in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh states in New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 11, 2017. India's governing Hindu nationalist party is heading for major victories in key state legislature elections that are seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly 3-year-old rule. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

    CORRECTS LOCATION SPELLING Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters celebrate as their party leads in state elections in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh states in New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 11, 2017. India's governing Hindu nationalist party is heading for major victories in key state legislature elections that are seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly 3-year-old rule. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)  (The Associated Press)

India's governing Hindu nationalist party is heading for major victories in key state legislature elections that are seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nearly 3-year-old rule.

The Election Commission says Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party is leading in 293 out of 403 seats in the Uttar Pradesh state legislature. Nearly one-third of votes have been counted so far.

The party is also heading for an impressive victory in Uttarakhand state, leading the race in 54 out of 70 seats.

The main opposition Congress party is heading for a consolation victory in Punjab state, where it is leading in 69 of 117 seats. It is fighting a close battle with the BJP in Goa and Manipur states.

The results are expected later Saturday.