Modi's Maharani Fights Key Indian State Election

Modi's Maharani fights key Indian state election

The Indian state of Rajasthan voted Friday in an election that is a key test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with a local princess representing his party facing a tough fight to stay in power.

ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - 7th Dec, 2018 ) :The Indian state of Rajasthan voted Friday in an election that is a key test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with a local princess representing his party facing a tough fight to stay in power.

According to a report aired by a private news channel, the vote in the western state famous for its palaces, forts and deserts, home to 47 million people, is one of five state elections before Modi runs for a second term in national polls in 2019.

Results from Rajasthan, as well as for Telangana, also voting on Friday, plus from Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram which have already cast ballots, will be published on December 11.

The most closely watched will be the central state of Madhya Pradesh, where 73 million people live, which polls suggest Modi's BJP might suffer a bitter defeat after 15 years in power.

The contests are seen as a dry run for 2019, with Modi and his likely rival from the Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, both campaigning actively.

Vasundhara Raje, Rajasthan's chief minister and a charismatic "Maharani" or female Maharaja representing Modi's BJP, swept to power in a landslide in 2013.

But her personal popularity has waned, with critics calling her autocratic and out of touch with the interests of ordinary people.

Her government has also been criticized for her handling of caste protests and for failing to boost investment and create jobs.