(From Reuters)

Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party will face elections in five states beginning next month, according to a schedule released on Friday, at a time when its approval ratings are slipping and it is under pressure to deliver on economic growth.

Indian PM Narendra Modi

State elections are important for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be able to gain control of the Rajya Sabha, where members are indirectly elected by state legislatures.

A lack of a majority in that house has stalled Modi’s economic reforms agenda and delayed passage of a key tax bill.

About 170 million people will be eligible to vote in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry, and in Assam and the agrarian state of West Bengal.

All these states are ruled by regional parties or Modi’s top rival, the Congress party. Read More

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