5 February 2017

India state polls test Modi popularity after currency chaos

Indians stand in a queue to cast their votes outside a polling station, at Bachiwind village, about 42 kilometers from Amritsar, in the northern Indian state of Punjab, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. Hundreds of paramilitary troops and police were posted near voting stations across Punjab to ensure security as voters stood in long lines to cast their vote.
Nearly three years ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a sweeping national election victory with promises to develop the economy and root out corruption. But with a series of key state elections beginning this weekend, Modi's popularity — and his surprise currency decree that sparked months of financial uproar — is now being tested.
India is just emerging from the fallout of a November decision that withdrew India's two largest currency notes from circulation and caused weeks of chaos as people waited to get their money back in new bills.