Indian voters will head to the polls in several states in February and March, posing a key test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose government is grappling with high unemployment and soaring food costs as a third COVID-19 wave emerges.

Local polls in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur will be a crucial indicator of sentiment ahead of the 2024 general elections. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) controls four out of the five states and a weaker showing this time could see the prime minister make concessions to different voter groups to secure a third consecutive term in the federal elections.

The most crucial is Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for about 17% of India’s voters. Modi has spent a significant time in the state in recent weeks, from inaugurating projects to holding rallies that focus on winning over women voters and farmers.