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.
The Supreme Court outlawed the practice last year, but Modi's government wants to make it a non-bailable offence carrying a jail term of up to three years.
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.
Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi created a flutter in parliament on Friday, giving Prime Minister Narendra Modi a surprise hug during a heated debate and said he had nothing but love for his bitter political foe.
The NCR is a rapidly urbanising and polluted area around New Delhi that is one-third the size of New York state, but houses 2.5 times more people.
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.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has thrown himself into a campaign to win a tight state election this weekend and secure a beachhead in the south, ahead of his own re-election bid next year.
The scheme, which the government dubs "Modicare", was announced in federal budget for 2018/19 and would provide 100 million families, or about 500 million poor people, with health cover of 500,000 rupees per year.
Tens of thousands of Indians voted in the first stage of assembly elections in the western state of Gujarat on Saturday, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces his toughest electoral test since coming to power with a landslide victory in 2014.