PM Narendra Modi adds to his foreign success in Ufa, but what about domestic policy deadlocks

PM Narendra Modi may not be very successful in convincing the non-NDA parties to support his government’s reform agenda, he appears to be doing extremely well in promoting mutual interests at the international level.

Santosh-TiwariPrime Minister Narendra Modi may not be very successful in convincing the non-NDA parties to support his government’s reform agenda, he appears to be doing extremely well in promoting mutual interests at the international level. Be it the bi-lateral relationships with countries like the US, Japan, or even China — or groups such as G20 or BRICS – he has been a strong force in not only creating a warm atmosphere but also in driving common issues.

It is not surprising, therefore, that he has continued with this in Ufa, Russia, at the VIIth summit of the five-nation BRICS. As India will be chairing the BRICS next year, he has utilized the opportunity to draw a strong agenda for this period already. With a 44% share of world population, representing 40% of the global GDP in terms of purchasing power parity, and having a 18% share in the world trade; Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa look at the BRICS platform mainly for economic cooperation.

Besides the ongoing business cooperation efforts, including the establishment of the BRICS Development Bank and the Contingency Reserve Fund; steps such as a dedicated BRICS Information Sharing and Exchanging Platform, an annual BRICS Trade Fair beginning next year, and cooperation agreement among the customs authorities, will help in taking the partnership to the next level.

Fresh from the launch of Digital India initiative on July 1, Modi also proposed a BRICS Digital Initiative at the Ufa summit to leverage the potential in the digital area for the developing nations. And if other BRICS countries agree, Indian football lovers will be able to watch Brazilian and Russian players playing next year in India as part of the sports event of a proposed BRICS Sports Council.

Not only this, start of an annual BRICS Film Festival from India is also a strong possibility. His visit to attend the SAARC summit in Pakistan next year, an announcement about this came after he met Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Ufa, is certainly a bonus.

While all this will ensure that the Indian prime minister had another successful visit abroad, the mood will change the moment he takes the flight back to New Delhi. A stormy monsoon session of parliament beginning July 21 is waiting for him with the opposition all set to grill the government on Lalitgate and Vyapam scams.

A lot depends on how he handles this curtailed three-week session. The fate of critical economic legislations including Land Acquisition and Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill will get decided in this session. Without breaking the deadlocks in the domestic economic policies, his good work on the foreign policy front will not be of much help.

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