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India state elections seen as bellwether for 2019 national polls

Holding on to regional bastions will not be easy for Modi's BJP

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's charisma has helped the BJP in several state elections.    © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Five of India's states, with a combined population of over 200 million, are holding elections between Nov. 12 and Dec. 7, with the outcome expected to set the stage for the 2019 general elections in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will likely seek a second five-year term.

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