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Election presents an opportunity for India-US reset: US media

Tuesday, 8 April 2014 - 1:21pm IST | Agency: IANS

As India began the month long exercise to elect a new government, the US media suggested that India's next prime minister would have an opportunity to start afresh with the US after their recent tensions.

"Washington has already opened a door to this, suggesting that (Bharatiya Janata Party leader) Narendra Modi, the current favorite for PM, will be allowed a US visa," wrote CNN in a piece titled "Why India feels jilted by (President Barack) Obama."

"The last time Washington tried to hit the reset button - with Russia -- things went awry. But the stakes are too high to not try again." It said.

"If it gets this one right, Obama will be vindicated: This century's defining alliance may yet be the one between the two biggest democracies in the world," CNN said.

The influential New York Times suggesting that Modi "could possibly be India's next prime minister" ran an explainer video report "on his controversial past and economic promises."

It also ran a report on the release of the national manifesto BJP "which is the main opposition party and is widely seen as the front-runner in the national elections," focusing "on what it called the five T's: tradition, talent, technology, tourism and trade."

Writing in the pro-Republican Washington Times Charles Ortel also suggested "the Indian electorate seems destined to choose Narendra Modi as prime minister" but said the outcome "threatens the Obama administration with a relentless string of unwelcome comparisons."

"Now struggling with Russia and with China, and having offended Brazil mightily, Washington is also closer to losing influence in India, just when our struggling businesses sorely need new customers," he wrote.

"Cooling relations with India augur poorly for the many American multinational corporations that could help India modernize while also profiting for the country's investors," Ortel wrote.

Alyssa Ayres, senior fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington think tank also suggested "the poll horse race, at this point heavily favouring the opposition" BJP.

In the ruling Congress party's manifesto "the most striking aspect for an American reader is the absence of any specific reference to the United States - not one mention," noted the former deputy assistant secretary of state for South Asia, "For now, the Congress Party's platform puts into writing an approach to the region consistent with its years in government.

"It's the framing of India's role in the world, however, that officially presents some ideas that sit less comfortably alongside the notion of India as a rising global power," she wrote.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)




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