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India State Elections


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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most crucial political test this year begins on Monday in a state with more people than Germany.


In five phases over the next four weeks, voters in Bihar will cast ballots to elect the next legislative assembly in a state economy that has seen growth surge in recent years from a very low base. For many, the election boils down to a simple question: Can Modi do more to lift the state out of poverty than current leader Nitish Kumar?


The vote in Bihar is important for Modi’s efforts to control India’s upper house, where opposition lawmakers have blocked key economic proposals such as a nationwide sales tax that would make the country a single market. A win would give him momentum in about a dozen more state elections through 2017 that will determine control of the body.


“It would be a positive for the markets if he wins, and a negative if he loses because it will be seen as difficult for him to pass through legislative reforms," said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at the Mumbai-based Credit Analysis & Research Ltd. “A loss could also mean the government could be losing its charisma and signal further losses in the state elections to follow."





Phase 1 is already done.  Results out November 8th.  Recent opinion polls flip back and forth between parties https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bihar_Legislative_Assembly_election,_2015#Opinion_polls (Modi is the BJP - middle column).


It sounds like this Bihar election is quite important.  Can anyone with more in-depth knowledge fill us in on how this could effect Modi's reforms?

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