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Indians in US rejoice as echoes of BJP’s electoral Victory crosses International Boundaries

After BJP’s UP win, the praises for Narendra Modi crosses international boundaries giving people a reason to rejoice

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BJP supporters hold a Narendra Modi cut out as celebrations spread; Source: VOA
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US, Mar 12, 2017: Indians in United States celebrate as across the nation led by Donald Trump as the praises for Prime Minister Narendra Modi crossed international boundaries after the BJP’s electoral victory in uttar Pradesh.

The historic victory of BJP in Uttar Pradesh, winning more than 320 assembly seats would boost the developmental agenda of Narendra Modi, the people celebrating BJP’s electoral victory said to the Times Now reporters.

Celebrations ranged from Silicon valley in the West Coast to Washington DC and New York in the East, following the BJP’s win in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

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“Prime Minister Modi is not a typical politician as he does what he promised, I hope this change helps create more entrepreneurs and business development and economic development in Uttarakhand region,” said Naveen Bisht, a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur originally from Uttarakhand and former board member of TIE, a network of entrepreneurs.

The people in UP rejoice following BJP’s electoral victory; Source: Pixabay

Out of the 70 seats up for grabs, the BJP rose to power bagging 56, in Uttarakhand. A large group of community activists assembled in the Silicon Valley yesterday to watch the assembly election results of five states including the most important one of Uttar Pradesh (UP).

Bhrigu Raj Singh, a prince of erstwhile Jhabua and son-in-law of Amethi winner Garima Singh, said the people of Amethi thanked the Prime Minister and the BJP national leadership for giving them a new hope.

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Khanderao Kand, a director of Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) and founder president of GITPRO, a global Indian technology professionals association, said, “These elections will unblock a progress of India with a much needed positive change in the near future in the numbers in Rajya Sabha (which is) important for the passage of development related legislative changes.”

Adapa Prasad, leader of the Overseas Friends of the BJP (OFBJP) congratulated BJP on its extremely impressive victory and said that win was only for development – the sole focus of Modi.

“This is a slap on the face of those who engage in vote bank politics. BJP government will make UP great again,” Virginia-based Prasad said.

Raj Bhanot, who is a BJP supporter and a Silicon Valley community leader originally from Punjab, said Punjab rejected AAP which was soliciting support from extremist.

OFBJP coordinator of North California, Chandru Bhambhra said, “With this unprecedented win of the BJP in UP, it has proved that the poor people may not have money, but they have brains much sharper than even the elite people.”

-Prepared by Nikita Saraf, Twitter: @niki_saraf

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Fall Of The Currency And Increase In Oil Prices: India ‘s Turmoil

The falling rupee has given a boost to some of India’s most lucrative exports, such as software services and pharmaceuticals, which add up to billions of dollars.

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India
Rajesh Kumar, left, shares a ride to work with another employee, Dilip Swain, right, as higher petrol prices in India begin to be felt in people's pocketbooks.VOA

The fall of the currency of India to record lows and rising global oil prices have raised worries that the world’s fastest growing economy faces headwinds that could hurt the fortunes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party in next year’s general elections.

From people filling fuel at gas stations to thousands of students heading out to study overseas, the impact of the slumping rupee is sparking discontent.

Having plunged by about 12 percent against the dollar this year, the rupee is one of Asia’s worst faring currencies, and as in other countries, the slide has accelerated since the crash of the Turkish lira.

“The reasons are global. We must bear in mind that in last few months, dollar has strengthened against almost every currency,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently as he tried to send out reassuring signals that India’s economy is on track.

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The rupee has plunged by about 12 percent this year raising fears of spiraling inflation. VOA

The rupee’s sharp depreciation comes at a time when the economy had recovered from a slowdown and surged to a two-year high in the quarter that ended in June. Forecasts put growth for this year at 7.5 percent.

Economy will slow

But economists warn this momentum will be difficult to sustain as the tumbling rupee, along with rising crude oil prices, takes a toll on growth. India, the world’s third largest oil importer, gets almost 80 percent of its fuel needs overseas.

“The government needs to mellow down on growth aspirations,” said N.R. Bhanumurthy, economist with the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy. “The growth needs to come down to a little less than 7 percent.”

Even as the government faces the prospect of a slowing economy, it is under pressure to lower taxes on gas and diesel to bring down the sharp rise in prices. Fuel is one of the most heavily taxed items in India, with rates as high as nearly 50 percent. Prices vary from state to state, but they have gone up by about 14 percent this year.

Hoping to cash in on the growing disaffection over the surge in fuel prices and the sliding rupee, opposition parties led nationwide protests that shutdown offices and schools in several cities this week.

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Discontent with spiraling fuel prices poses a challenge to Prime Minister Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of general elections next year. VOA

The government dismissed the protests, saying that although people faced momentary difficulties, they understood they were because of factors beyond its control.

Political analysts are not so sure, pointing out that fuel prices are a politically sensitive issue in India and usually result in a spike in inflation.

“Anger is rising, there is resentment,” said Satish Misra at the Observer Research Foundation, warning the ruling party will face a backlash “Obviously that is going to have a negative impact on the electoral fortunes of the Bharatiya Janata Party, there is no doubt about that.”

Warnings from economists

Among those who are upset with the high fuel prices is Rajesh Kumar, who commutes 30 kilometers to the advertising agency where he works. Hit by the higher prices that eat into his income, he has started sharing the ride with another employee.

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Narendra Modi. Wikimedia Commons

“I have given up the idea of buying another car,” he said despondently. “I will not be able to afford the cost of running it.”

Economists however have warned the government against giving in to populist pressures ahead of a series of state polls later this year and general elections around April next year. They say lowering taxes on fuel or taking measures to prop up the currency will strain the country’s finances and hurt the economy in the long run.

Also Read: Diverse Gathering To Be Addressed This World BioFuel Day: PM Narendra Modi

“One needs to be more careful and vigilant,” Bhanumurthy said. “It is easy for India to stay with low growth than experiencing the high deficit.”

But there is also some good news for the Indian economy. The falling rupee has given a boost to some of India’s most lucrative exports, such as software services and pharmaceuticals, which add up to billions of dollars. (VOA)