2014 appears to be Narendra Modi’s election to lose. Too many things are working for him – the curious Congress lethargy, visible public anger at the UPA, the slow death of the Left, the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party which takes a share of the anti-BJP vote, huge support from big money, and so on.
More than India, the world might want to have a sense of the man they may have to deal with. At this point there is resistance from the West. Britain is the current hub of anti-Modi opinion with The Economist first and then twenty-six well-known personalities writing to The Guardian that Modi won’t be good for India.
It may not be enough to stop Modi. He has the momentum and only he can undo him now. His possible ascent to the top post has implications for many countries.
United States of America
The world’s premier military and economic power would have much to do. First up is the irksome visa policy. The US revoked Modi’s visa in 2005 on grounds of violating religious freedom. All that will fly out of the window because the US has to make amends.
A second concern is Modi’s nuclear policy. Prime ministers have the last word on nuclear policy in India. The BJP has indicated it would revise India’s no first strike policy which can only cause much discussion in the US.
A third matter is FDI. Modi is friendly to big money and there is no reason to believe he will stall FDI. The chances are that the BJP might drop its opposition to FDI in multibrand retail but it would take some lobbying before that happens.
Bottom line: Modi pulls the strings initially but big money takes charge eventually. Remember, the US will have a new president in 2016.
Image: An Indian worker arranges masks of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at a printing press in Ahmadabad, Saturday, April 12, 2014. (AP)