As we heard from the FT this morning, film stars in India often graduate into politics, putting their fame to use at the ballot box.

Stars from Bollywood and many of its regional language peers have been making the move into politics for decades now, supporting parties from either end of the political spectrum. But this year, parts of the film industry have been pushing the electorate to vote for a ‘secular’ party – a thinly veiled nudge away from would-be prime minister, Narendra Modi. Continue reading »

Voting is already underway in the state of Maharashtra, with citizens in the city of Mumbai casting their ballot next week.

And to stir things up, National Election Watch has released a new report analysing the financial and criminal records of candidates in the region. The questionable past of many leading figures in Indian politics is, sadly, old news. But the fact that organisations are digging up such detailed information on would-be leaders is a sign of progress in the world’s largest democracy, where governance has become the issue of the day. Continue reading »

Though opinion polls are predicting that the Bharatiya Janata Party will lead India’s next government, there are some skeptics. They don’t doubt that the opposition Hindu nationalists will win enough seats to form a coalition, but think it may not win enough to appoint its controversial prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi.

Now, a new poll says the party will win 226 of the 543 elected seats in the Lok Sabha. Add in its allies and that is a total count of 275 seats – enough to give Modi the top job. Continue reading »

India Elections

By Saurabh Mukherjea of Ambit Capital

Of the eight elections that India has seen since 1984, seven have produced positive stock market returns during the following two years. Even more spectacularly, the average one-year and two-year post-election returns for the Sensex are 46 per cent and 27 per cent respectively. The two year return is a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) figure.

Since the Sensex’s 30-year CAGR (1984-2014) has been 16 per cent and since the two-year post-election CAGR is 27 per cent, simple arithmetic suggests that the two years following general elections have driven over 75 per cent of the Sensex’s returns in the last 30 years. Continue reading »

Indian voters are turning out to cast their ballot in unusually high numbers, as the controversial Narendra Modi goes head to head with Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.

That’s good news for Indian democracy. But why are more people coming out to cast their vote this year? And what does that mean for the results of the 2014 general election? Continue reading »

In spite of the 6.8 per cent slump in the share price of Adani Enterprises on Friday, the shares of the group led by billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani are up 163 per cent over the past six months – a performance that far outstrips the 11 per cent rise in the benchmark Nifty index over the same period.

The question is: what has turbo-charged the share price over the past six months and in particular on Thursday this week, when shares jumped 22.9 per cent before the partial correction on Friday? Continue reading »

The opinion polls say the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is gaining support. The bookies agree. And now the social media gurus are chiming in too.

The latest monthly report from Simplify360, the Texas-based social business intelligence company, shows the opposition party dominating the online debate. Continue reading »

We have heard all about India’s political parties turning to social media to campaign. But given limited internet penetration, wouldn’t telephone be a better way to connect with the masses?

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), widely recognised as leading the pack on technology as well as opinion polls, seems to think so. They have launched an interactive phone line that allows people to “speak” to prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, on a handset. Continue reading »

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, India’s biggest drugmaker by market value, agreed this week to buy its competitor, Ranbaxy, for $3.2bn from Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo, which paid 61 per cent more for the Indian company five years ago.

But given that Ranbaxy has been troublesome for its Japanese owner, what chance does Sun have of realising its aim to create synergies from the deal worth $250m over the next three years? Continue reading »

Confused by the Indian elections? How many seats and how many votes? So many political figures from so many regions.

This new package from the FT runs through the intricacies of the world’s largest democracy. Continue reading »

As voting begins in India (interactive graphic), opinion polls show Narendra Modi, the controversial candidate for the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), steaming ahead as the favourite to lead the country’s next government.

We have already heard some opposition from the international press and religious minorities, but there are now other voices of dissent rising in India. Continue reading »

India ElectionsIndian politicians from the incumbent Congress Party and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to the fledgling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are all lashing out at one another, with jibes and skulduggery.

But there is one potentially powerful opponent no one seems to be focusing on, and that’s the new “None of the Above” (NOTA) option on India’s ballot box. Continue reading »

economist modi cover

The opinion polls suggest Narendra Modi is favourite to win the upcoming general election in India. Last year the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had billboards across Mumbai plastered with posters showing Modi’s face and the slogan: “I am a Hindu nationalist”.

So you might think there was little to complain about on the front cover of The Economist this week, nor in the leader article it advertised. Apparently not. Continue reading »

Voting begins in a matter of days in India, the world’s largest democracy. And – though it has failed to publish a manifesto – the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, remain the favourites.

The latest opinion poll operated by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies is due to be published on Friday night but the findings have already been leakedContinue reading »