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Voters in a crucial Indian state give mixed reviews for Modi's big economic policies

2019-05-16 09:20:04       source:CNBC

May 15, 2019

KOLKATA — The eastern border state of West Bengal is an important battleground in the 2019 Indian parliamentary election in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is fighting to return to power. But for many small and medium-sized businesses in the state capital of Kolkata, the last five years under Modi’s leadership have been tough.

West Bengal, with a population of close to 100 million people, is one of the major states in India that sends 42 elected representatives to the lower house of Parliament. In the last election, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party had won just two seats in the state, where the local government is dominated by a regional party, All India Trinamool Congress, and its leader, Mamata Banerjee — who is also the state’s chief minister.

In the ongoing election, West Bengal is one of several states to hold polls in all seven phases. The capital city, Kolkata, is set to vote on May 19. Analysts say West Bengal has become a key battleground in the 2019 parliamentary election for Modi, who held multiple campaign rallies in the state.

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