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SRINAGAR, India – India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janta Party is poised to emerge as an important political player in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, as votes in local elections are being counted.
By midday Tuesday, the BJP led in over 24 seats of the region's 87-strong state legislature, a significant jump from the 11 seats it currently holds. The party had led an ambitious campaign aiming for a majority in India's only Muslim-majority state, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting several times.
All the BJP's seats continue to be in the Hindu-dominated areas of the Jammu region in Jammu-Kashmir state. The party failed to make inroads in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley.
The BJP also looks set to win a clear majority in Jharkhand state.
Final results will be announced late Tuesday.