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NEW DELHI – A series of key state elections in India are testing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity following his surprise currency decree that sparked months of financial uproar.
India is just emerging from the fallout of the November decision, which 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.
Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party hailed the move as a way to curb tax fraud and corruption. Opponents say it was a self-inflicted blow on the world's fastest growing economy, causing enormous hardship for the vast majority of Indians.
While the five state elections will not decide whether Modi remains in office, a loss would be seen as a serious blow to his political image.