India to Benefit From Coalition Checks on Modi, Eurasia Says

(Bloomberg) -- India’s new coalition government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the best election outcome for the world’s most-populous nation, Eurasia Group’s President Ian Bremmer said on Thursday, noting that a divided power structure will require more consensus-building.

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“This is going to end up being good for the Indian people,” Bremmer told Bloomberg TV’s Menaka Doshi in a webinar. “Frankly, the lack of checks and balances in India would have been a concern.”

Bremmer said Modi’s dependence on allies to form the next government still enables the prime minister to drive economic reform. But the Bharatiya Janata Party, which failed to win a majority of seats in India’s lower house of Parliament, may now have to compromise on contentious pieces of its agenda, including an embrace of Hindu nationalism.

The election result was a shock for the BJP. Exit polls predicted that Modi’s party would make a clean sweep and build on an already sizable majority. On Wednesday, a day after votes were counted, Modi declared victory when leaders of two regional parties agreed to support him through a coalition.

Bremmer said Modi, who’s made global outreach a priority, may now have to spend “more time engaged in domestic politicking and compromise.” But the bigger change, he said, will likely involve Modi’s economic agenda. Pushing through reforms related to corporatizing agriculture and smoothing out land acquisition for the private sector could take longer.

“These are things that Modi really wanted to do with a supermajority in a third term,” Bremmer said. “He’s now going to have a harder time.”

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