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Election freebies set to herald spending spree in rural India

Among promises to voters are smartphones, pressure cookers and toilets

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Supporters of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav at a public rally. The incumbent Samajwadi Party has assured roughly 10 million people it would give them free smartphones should it get elected.

New Delhi

AS India's most populous state heads to the polls, politicians are promising everything from smartphones to pressure cookers in a free-for-all that could signal the start of a spending spree in the country's hinterland.

In Uttar Pradesh, a state of 200 million people that

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