James Crabtree, Mumbai Bureau Chief of The Financial Times, warns that now comes the hard part, as a landslide win puts pressure on Modi as Indians seek economic revival.
With Modi on course to win around 336 seats in the Lok Sabha, India’s parliament, and now “unencumbered by the limitations of coalition government, India now has a rare opportunity to shed its status as the laggard of major developing economies.”
James noted that progress will be awaited with particular interest among India’s heavily indebted industrial conglomerates, many of whom contributed generously to Mr Modi’s election, and will want something in return.
He goes on to argue that Modi will want to amend India’s reputation abroad too, as “anxious foreign investors want reassurances… notably on tax policy, where a spate of global businesses have become entangled in rows with revenue officials.”
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The eighth phase of India’s marathon general election began this week, and with over 814 million eligible voters it is the largest democratic exercise in history. Some speculate the country will become the third largest economy in the world over the next few decades, but the new leader – to be announced on May 16th – with the future of India in his hands, will face huge challenges to keep it on the right track.
How can trust be restored in India’s fractured politics? What policies can stimulate business, attract foreign investment and reignite its faltering growth? How will India face up to the geopolitical challenges of tension in the AfPak region and a China vying for regional dominance?
We’re pleased to introduce six expert speakers on the future of India, the impact of the election, and how it will shape India in the years to come.
Isher Judge Ahluwalia
Pratap Bhanu Mehta