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Indian state elections to begin on 11 February 2017

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

NEW DELHI – India’s election commission on Wednesday scheduled five state polls for the next two months that will test support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s gamble to abolish high-denomination banknotes.

Voting in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state that is home to 200 million people, will begin on 11 February and finish on 8 March.

Polls will also be conducted in the states of Goa, Manipur, Punjab and Uttarakhand in February and March, with votes in all five elections tallied on 11 March.

Modi has invested huge political capital in winning Uttar Pradesh, holding a series of rallies in the state and turning his demonetisation drive into the centrepiece of the election.

On 8 November, Modi made the radical move to withdraw all 500 and 1,000 rupee bills, accounting for 86% of currency in circulation, to unearth untaxed or illicit cash held in the “shadow economy” and away from the taxman.

The move has brought India’s cash economy to a virtual standstill and impacted the lives of millions of people. But many Indians remain supportive of the policy framed as a fight against corruption and tax evaders.

Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or its allies rule in 14 of India’s 29 states after expanding their power base since Modi’s election victory in 2014. The opposition Congress and regional parties control the remaining states.

Source by: Internet

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