US Congress report calls Narendra Modi 'able administrator'

Aug 13 2014, 13:09 IST
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SummaryVoted to power with an absolute majority for the first time in nearly three decades, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi...

Voted to power with an absolute majority for the first time in nearly three decades, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, considered as an able administrator, promises "a fresh engagement" with the US, a latest Congressional report has said.

Ahead of his maiden visit to the US as India's Prime Minister, the top American leadership including President Barack Obama have expressed an interest in revitalizing bilateral relations.

It is to further boost trade and investment flows, deepen security cooperation, and otherwise solidify the geopolitical alignment with India, said latest Congressional report on the new Indian Government which was sent to US lawmakers for private circulation last week.

"Prime Minister Modi is known as an able administrator, having overseen impressive economic development in 15 years as chief minister of India's Gujarat state," said author K Alan Kronstadt, Specialist in  South Asian Affairs, at the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

CRS is an independent research wing of the Congress which prepares reports on various issues for US lawmakers so that they can take informed decisions.

A copy of the 14-page report "India's New Government and Implications for US Interests", has been obtained by PTI.

"The new Indian leader is known as a strong-willed and effective, if perhaps autocratic, administrator.

His reputation has been burnished by Gujarat's impressive economic performance during his 15-year tenure—the state accounts for more than 20 per cent of all Indian exports while being home to only five per cent of the population," said the CRS report.

"Garnering an outright majority in Parliament for the first time in 30 years, Modi's new government promises fresh US engagement with an Indian leader reputed to be more pro-trade and pro-business than the socialist-oriented ones of the past, and who vows to implement a more assertive Indian foreign policy that could see the country shift away from its traditional "non-alignment" approach to global politics," the report said.

He writes that in the policy circles, there is no unanimity on India's new government beyond a general agreement that PM Modi must confront a multitude of difficult problems and choices, and that the domestic Indian expectations of their new leader are so broad and so high that they are very unlikely to be met.

"Most agree that it will be exceedingly difficult, if not virtually impossible, for Modi to fulfill voters' economic aspirations given the significant restraints presented by India's federal system, by still widespread resistance

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