India to hold key state elections beginning Nov 11

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India will hold elections to five state assemblies in November and December, the election commission said on Friday, a final trial of strength between the ruling Congress party and its Hindu nationalist rival before a national poll due by next May.

The election will be held in the big states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan as well as the capital, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram, beginning on Nov. 11 and ending on Dec. 4.

Most opinion polls have forecast the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will win at least three of the five states.

Votes for the state elections will be counted on Dec. 8 and the results for all five will be known that day.