Did the lockdown lead to the GDP shocker? Not quite.

India’s GDP contracted nearly 24% in the April-June quarter of 2020 (compared with the same quarter in 2019). While this is the outside edge of most estimates, it is likely to be an underestimate, as unorganised sector data is not fully accounted for. Furthermore future revisions will likely be downwards as data from a larger …

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What Modi needs to explain about China’s intrusions

Independence Day came and went with Chinese soldiers still occupying Indian territory along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). It is about time the Modi government answers some serious questions. Why did Prime Minister Narendra Modi fail to execute the longstanding response to Chinese intrusions: a quick, focused counter that creates bargaining space and facilitates …

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Modi’s ‘electrifying’ failure

Former Power Minister Piyush Goyal had this very original thought about the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY), a scheme to reform India's state-owned electricity distribution companies (discoms). https://twitter.com/piyushgoyal/status/711795244392579073 It’s worth reading his exact words: Never before in the history of India has such a comprehensive power sector reform, which has the potential to completely transform …

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Modi’s ‘borderline’ claims

Indian and Chinese forces are facing off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and the Modi government is fighting with a vengeance to control the political narrative. In his 19 June remarks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that it was his government’s border infrastructure improvements that had strengthened India’s ability to deal with China’s …

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Locking down the truth

In his 14 April 2020 announcement of the extension of India’s lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that his government had been proactive in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. https://youtu.be/F07fXd4vVlg?t=317 He made four claims (listen from 5:19): “When we didn’t have even one case of coronavirus, India had started airport screening of passengers arriving …

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How the Election Commission aided the BJP in its phasing of the 2019 election

As soon as voting closed on 19 May, Congress President Rahul Gandhi accused the Election Commission of India (ECI) of capitulating to pressure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a number of fronts: https://twitter.com/RahulGandhi/status/1130088269243330561 This is a serious set of allegations. Is there any truth to the claim that the ECI designed an election schedule …

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The “Modi tujhse bair nahi” fallacy

Stunned by the 0-3 verdict in the Hindi heartland, many BJP supporters are hoping that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma will counter the anti-incumbency that led to the party's defeat in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Some point to the slogan “Modi tujhse bair nahi, Vasundhara teri khair nahi” as a sign that voters were …

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BJP won’t win a Rajya Sabha majority until at least 2024

The year 2022 appears to have acquired mythical status among some Modi supporters. It’s when “New India” arrives in the form of a majority in the Rajya Sabha. Unfortunately that’s as likely to happen as the bullet train. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) currently has 90 seats in the Rajya Sabha, …

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Watch out BJP, you’re trailing behind the UPA in your bypoll performance

How can Modi be beaten in 2019? Following the Bharatiya Janata Party’s byelection reverses last week, the consensus in the commentariat clearly leans towards a grand alliance (or mahagathbandhan) of opposition parties of the sort that humbled BJP in Bihar in 2015 and in three recent Uttar Pradesh parliamentary byelections. The subtext is that an …

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