So Mr Modi, What's Next?

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Whatever Narendra Modi has asked for, he got! India gave him full majority. The landslide victory in the recently held general elections has raised hopes that the new government led by Modi will bring cheers to a billion plus nation. The expectations are running high. People want good governance and development, which Modi has promised over and over again. India will keep a close watch.

There is no doubt that the new government will face enormous challenges on the economic front. They got to hit the ground running and Modi will have to revive Asia’s third largest economy.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate is less than 5 percent in the first quarter of 2014. Inflation has remained high and job creation is not keeping pace with the population growth; a major problem in a country where 10 million people become eligible for employment every year.

Before elections, Modi promised jobs and development but in the current scenario when growth is slow, it is going to be a daunting task.

On the other hand, the decimated Congress has already started upping the ante. "Congress gives three months time to NDA government. If it does not bring down inflation within this period, we will take to the streets with the people," former Union Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said.

BJP, riding high on Modi wave, swept Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. It has pushed the Congress to the margins in Maharashtra, Haryana, Assam and Jharkhand.

However, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Odisha proved that regional players can hold on to their fort. Despite Modi wave, leaders like Mamata Banerjee, J Jayalalithaa and Naveen Patnaik won majority seats in their respective states.

Narendra Modi’s dealings with the strong chief ministers will be crucial as far as the development work is concerned. Having a federal structure, our constitution provides certain overlapping powers to the centre and the states. Major policy changes require the consent of the state governments. Is Modi, often labelled an authoritarian, up for the task?

Although India has voted decisively in favour of Modi, the fact remains that a majority of Muslims didn’t vote for him. There is not a single Muslim in the 282 MPs that BJP has sent to the Lok Sabha. So his approach towards minorities would be under scrutiny all the time.

Last but not the least, India’s foreign policy under the new regime will constantly be under a magnifying glass. Modi has always relished strong posturing when it comes to problematic neighbours. Be it China or Pakistan, Modi has always had a belligerent approach. Now he being at the driver’s seat, will the realpolitik dawn upon him? His toning down of rhetoric would certainly make for an interesting spectacle.

There is much more to Indo-US relations than meets the eye. PM Narendra Modi’s engagement with the world’s oldest democracy, which made him a persona non grata, is going to garner global attention.

Modi’s each and every move will be closely watched, scrutinised and debated to the letter. It’s time for action, Mr PM!

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Diplomatist Magazine was launched in October of 1996 as the signature magazine of L.B. Associates (Pvt) Ltd, a contract publishing house based in Noida, a satellite town of New Delhi, India, the National Capital.

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