Voting in the northern state of Haryana and western state of Maharashtra, home to the financial hub of Mumbai, will be on October 21, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said (Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images).


TWO Indian states will go to the polls in October, the election commissioner said on Saturday (21), in a test of prime minister Narendra Modi’s popularity after he won a clear mandate in a general election in May.

The state assembly elections come after economic growth slipped to a six-year low in the April-June quarter, leading to major job losses, fuelling discontent in the countryside.

Voting in the northern state of Haryana and western state of Maharashtra, home to the financial hub of Mumbai, will be on October 21, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said.

Votes will be counted on October 24, he said.

Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in power in both of the states.

The party won all of the seats in Haryana in the May general election.

In Maharashtra, an alliance between the BJP and the regional Shiv Sena party won more than 85 per cent of the seats.

The main opposition Congress party has been struggling to hold its support in the two states after senior party officials in both of them joined the BJP in recent months.