Modi set to win easily, Indian elections not controversial: Ian Bremmer

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be able to retain power “pretty easily” in the ongoing general elections, political scientist Ian Bremmer said on Wednesday.

Unlike the upcoming US elections, where aspects like the legitimacy of the vote may come into focus, the Indian election is not a “controversial” one, he told PTI after an interaction with Indian C-suite executives arranged by industry grouping CII.

“Unless there is a shock, most of the world feels that Modi is going to win this election pretty easily. And that the outcome is going to be very similar to what we had last time around,” Bremmer said, adding that this will help get consistency in economic policies by the new government as well.

“India’s is not a very controversial election. India is a large democracy that has shown an unusual level of stability over the last decade and will continue to do so,” he added.

  • Also read:We fulfil our manifesto promises: PM Modi on UCC, One Nation, One Election

When asked about concerns being expressed about the delays in sharing voting data, the founder of political risk consultancy Eurasia Group said he has not heard about it and added that the world looks at India as an economic story and its deepening relationship with the US.

“Domestically in India this is a big issue, I am not a domestic India analyst. Globally, zero attention,” Bremmer added.

He said there is a “little bit” of attention around Modi’s Hindu nationalism switch and personally making it a part of the brand.

“That implies perhaps a level of weakness or a level of defensiveness in wanting to ensure that they continue to hold the seats that they have,” he said, adding that this is a marginal story in the US.

Replying to a question on concerns expressed by certain Western countries with regard to India, Bremmer said, “Certainly, there have been some tendencies in India to restrict NGOs, to restrict the media that are illiberal trends that worry, frankly, people like me. But we have to look at the broader context.” He said the US’ conduct on issues like minority rights, women issues is contrary to its stated values and is “regressive” as well.

  • Also read: Indian elections and the looming presence of Modi

Bremmer, however, said that under US President Joe Biden, there is a head of state who is willing to look at issues through the lens of the values but if Donald Trump were to come to power, there will be a President who will be very transactional in his outlook.

India is one of the few large economies in the world where the outcome of the upcoming US election does not matter, and the relationship is likely to be strong and stable if either Trump or Biden wins.

He said India “fundamentally mishandled” the controversy over the killing of a Canadian citizen Hardeep Singh Nijjar, but was quick to add that the Indian government has “legitimate reasons” to be concerned about Sikh radicals in Canada and elsewhere.

  • Also read: US Presidential Election: Joe Biden and Donald Trump game for early debates

In the case of the US, where an alleged plot to kill a Sikh radical was busted, the issue was handled “much more seriously” by India, he said.

India is set to be the third biggest economy soon, and it is “inevitable” that such issues will arise with the rise in the economic heft, he said.

“India is becoming more powerful and wealthier at a time when the global order is becoming more challenging,” he explained. He also expressed reservations about the concentration of capital in India but added that though India is still a very poor country, it has done much in addressing inequalities in the ten years of Modi rule.



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