NEW DELHI, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Narendra Modi looked set to win a fourth successive term as the chief minister of India's Gujarat state on Thursday, a victory that could launch the prime ministerial ambitions of one of the country's most popular but controversial leaders.
Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was leading in 116 out of 182 seats, against 61 seats for the Congress party, which heads India's national government, according to the Election Commission website.
Based on the data, Indian television channels said Modi looked set to win. The BJP won 117 seats in 2007 and analysts say Modi needs a convincing victory to present himself as the presumptive BJP candidate for prime minister in national elections due by 2014.
(Reporting by Matthias Williams; editing by Ross Colvin)