India election live results and updates: Modi’s lead narrower than expected

A die-casting factory in Tamil Nadu, India, last year.Credit…Atul Loke for The New York Times

Ten years after Narendra Modi was first elected prime minister, India’s economy is about twice as big. That’s what happens when a country grows at a rate of 7 percent annually, as India has been doing, on average, since it opened its markets to international competition in 1991.

That steady growth has been cleverly restructured to promote an image of leadership as a man who makes it all happen. Along with nationalism and Hindu pride, the idea that Modi can move the economy forward has been central to his appeal from the beginning.

And Modi has polished India’s economy in ways that count more to voters: He made infrastructure expansions visible and distributed social benefits to most Indians, who remain poor by global standards even as older groups country’s income learn to make their rights more flexible. purchasing power.

Most of the rest of the world – especially the United States and other Western countries hoping to persuade India to join them in limiting the strategic ambitions of China and Russia – wants India’s economy to accelerate.

Part of that story could be a shift in manufacturing, like the one Apple is undertaking in southern India. And the world’s investment professionals are eager for India’s successes under the Modi government to begin paying dividends they can’t find anywhere else.

But even the most enthusiastic investors can’t ignore some of the problems India faces as it becomes the world’s new heavyweight. As Modi basked in the glow of a successful moon landing and the country’s innovative “digital public infrastructure,” the political opposition attempted to talk past him to the frustrated masses clamoring for more and better jobs.

The opposition also sought to stir public anger over Modi’s ties to the country’s biggest tycoons. That seems not to have worked, either in politics or in the markets, in the case of Gautam Adani. Last year, the billionaire’s empire was accused, with much enthusiasm and fury, of stock manipulation. But the claims barely materialized and Adani’s stock soared again.

Leave a Comment