May 9, 2014

TSG IntelBrief: While India Votes

• India may soon be the world’s most populous country and, by some measures, is already its third-largest economy

• Current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is retiring after ten years in office, and his dynastic, long-dominant Congress party seems headed towards a crushing defeat, despite its being fronted by heir-apparent Rahul Gandhi, whose family tree includes three former PMs

• The odds-on favorite to win a plurality of parliamentary seats is the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and its prime ministerial candidate, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, is arguably the most controversial politician in the history of independent India

• Modi’s supporters insist his leadership will bring a surge of confidence and economic growth; his detractors claim his Hindu nationalism will fundamentally alter India’s secular nature and bring grief to the country’s 220 million non-Hindus.