Protests and violence erupted in southern India on Wednesday after two women defied traditionalists to enter one of Hinduism's holiest temples for the first time since a landmark court ruling.
India's ruling party looked set to lose power in three key states, official vote counts showed on Tuesday, likely handing Prime Minister Narendra Modi his biggest defeat since he took office in 2014, and only months ahead of a general election.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party is likely to lose two heartland states while a third is too close to call, exit polls showed on Friday in the final test of popularity before a national election due by May next year.
Thousands of Indians paid their respects to late premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee amid full state honours in New Delhi on Friday.
Narendra Modi told The Times of India in an interview published on Sunday that his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government is committed to improving the lives of all citizens regardless of faith.
The Hindu nationalist party allied with the regional People's Democratic Party (PDP) in 2016 to rule the Muslim-majority state.
The state elections were being seen as a marker of the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP as well as the opposition Congress party ahead of general elections next year.
A win in Karnataka would be regarded as a major boost for the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of general elections scheduled in 2019.
Both Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi have campaigned hard in Karnataka, a state of 66 million people with diverse constituencies.
India's ruling party will make gains in a key election to rule the southern state of Karnataka but fall short of a majority, an opinion poll showed.