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February 10, 2012
Voting begins in key Indian state of Uttar Pradesh
LUCKNOW, India (AP) -- Residents in India's largest state began voting Wednesday in a monthlong local election with repercussions for the whole nation.
A large re-election victory for Mayawati, the chief minister who goes by one name, could project her regional, caste-based party onto the national stage. She was facing off against the Samajwadi Party, which she ousted from power five years ago.
A strong third-place showing for India's ruling Congress Party could make it a kingmaker in Uttar Pradesh and help it gain a new partner to stabilize its fragile national coalition.

(32 images)



Indian voters stand in a queue to cast their votes outside a polling station, in Ayodhya, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. Residents in India's largest state began voting Wednesday in a monthlong local election with repercussions for the whole nation. The state of Uttar Pradesh is so large, with 200 million people, that voting is spread over seven phases and will last until March 3. Results will be declared March 6. AP / Manish Swarup


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Supporters of Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh state Mayawati listen to her speech at an election rally in Allahabad, India, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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A supporter carries a giant portrait of Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh state Mayawati after an election rally in Allahabad, India, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Park employees put back covers on statues of elephants that were blown away by wind and rain at Ambedkar Memorial Park in Lucknow, India, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012. AP / Nirala Tripathi



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Indian voters stand in a queue to cast their votes as it rains in Gonda, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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An Indian Muslim woman casts her vote at a polling station in Gonda, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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A polling official, hands seen at left, marks the index finger of a woman voter with indelible ink before she casts her vote, inside a polling booth in Gonda, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Indian Hindu holy men along with others display their voter identification cards as they stand in a queue to cast their votes, in Ayodhya, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Manish Swarup



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Voters stand in a queue to cast their ballots outside a polling station in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Manish Swarup



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Indian Muslim women arrive to cast their vote as it rains in Gonda, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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An Indian Hindu holy man displays the indelible mark on his finger as he reacts to the camera after casting his vote, in Ayodhya, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Manish Swarup



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Election officials seal an electronic voting machine at the end of polling at a station at Gonda district, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Indian Muslim women return after casting their vote as it rains in Gonda, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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An elderly woman staying in an ashram comes out after casting her vote in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, India, AP / Manish Swarup



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An Indian voter gives his thumb print before casting his vote, in Ayodhya, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Manish Swarup



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An election official carries electronic voting machines to deposit them, after the first day of polling at Gonda district, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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An Indian woman adjusts the cap of her child as she waits in a queue to cast her vote, in Ayodhya, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Manish Swarup



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Voters stand in a queue to cast their ballots in the rain outside a polling station in Gonda, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Indian voters show their election cards as they stand in a queue to cast their ballots, in Faizabad, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Manish Swarup



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An Indian Muslim woman gives her thumb impression before casting her vote in Gonda district, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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An Indian Hindu holy man shows his finger marked with indelible ink after casting his vote outside a polling station in Ayodhya, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Manish Swarup



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Indian Muslim women stand in a queue to cast their votes outside a polling station in Gonda, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Voters stand in a queue to cast their votes as it rains, in Faizabad, India, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Manish Swarup



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Indian Muslim women display their indelible mark on their fingers as they react to the camera after casting their vote, in Gonda district, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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An Indian man holds his election card as he waits outside a polling booth to cast his vote, in Gonda district, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh - People stand in line outside a polling station on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012. The first phrase of Assembly Election in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous and politically crucial state, kicked off here on Wednesday ZUMA24.com / Li Yigang



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Polling officers check electronic voting machines before leaving for their respective polling stations in Ayodhya, India, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. AP / Manish Swarup



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Polling officers check and learn the workings of electronic voting machines before leaving for their respective polling booths, in Ayodhya, India, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. AP / Manish Swarup



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Polling officials leave on trucks for their respective polling stations from an election distribution center in Ayodhya, India, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. AP / Manish Swarup



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Hindu devotees offer prayers after taking holy dips in the River Sarayu also known as the Ganges, a day ahead of state elections, in Ayodhya, India, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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An Indian police officer, right, instructs his staff at a polling station in Ayodhya, India, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. AP / Manish Swarup



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Indian policemen ready themselves as they leave for their assigned polling stations a day ahead of the polling, in Ayodhya, India, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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