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Thursday was ‘Super Thursday’ in India – the biggest day in the country’s protracted general election – and beyondbrics takes a look at the battle in Maharashtra.

With Easter this weekend, the FT India team will give the blog a break on Friday – but check back next week as elections continue in the world’s largest democracy. Continue reading »

It is what might be dubbed “super Thursday” in India, the biggest voting day in the country’s month-long election. 121 constituencies are up for grabs in a dozen states, including Uttar Pradesh, the largest electoral battleground.

But strategists for the ruling Congress party, facing an ignominious defeat, will be paying just as much attention to voters turning out today in Maharashtra — a stronghold the party hopes may just save it from a polling washout. Continue reading »

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 »

With the Indian Premier League cricket tournament kicking off on Wednesday, people were a little distracted from the mammoth general election.

But beyondbrics took a look at the criminal and financial history of candidates in Mumbai and questioned whether anyone – even Narendra Modi – can kick start the economy quickly. 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 »

By Rajeev Malik

Fixing India’s economic ills will be challenging, even for Modi.

India is a country with multiple social, political and economic personalities. Decisions and their outcomes often appear to challenge logic, and rarely fail to confound, amaze or disappoint – sometimes all at once. Even on a good day, there seems to be crisis somewhere in the folds of this chaotic democracy. On a bad day, one often wonders how it functions at all, let alone how it evolved to be Asia’s second-fastest growing economy, before losing that status to multiple and self-inflicted policy mistakes. Continue reading »

Infosys kicked off earnings season on Tuesday morning and inflation numbers were released later in the day, putting the spotlight on business and the macroeconomy in India.

Beyondbrics took a look at the latest opinion polls and the more charismatic but yet less politically active of the Gandhi siblings – Priyanka Gandhi. 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 »

By Avantika Chilkoti in Mumbai and Thomas Hale in London

Three major private banks have closed operations in India in recent months, as cultural and regulatory challenges derail groups initially drawn by growing wealth in Asia’s third largest economy.

An emerging market with a high savings rate, a collection of some of the world’s most flamboyant businessmen, and economic growth hovering around 5 per cent despite a sharp slowdown, India should be a gold mine for the private banking industry. Continue reading »

It has been years since Priyanka Gandhi was first touted by India’s governing Congress party as a political secret weapon who would one day be wheeled out to save the party and perhaps the nation.

Priyanka – daughter of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, sister of the party’s figurehead Rahul Gandhi and great grand-daughter of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru – was the subject of an article two years ago by my FT predecessor James Lamont entitled “Priyanka Gandhi’s time will come“. Continue reading »

It is a bank holiday in Mumbai, meaning markets are closed, but there was still lots for India to debate in the midst of a general election.

A new book on Sonia Gandhi’s control over Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has the public up in arms. And our guest writers question how certain the outcome of the polls really is. Continue reading »

India ElectionsIt was the worst-kept secret in India, but the confirmation in a book by the prime minister’s former media adviser that Manmohan Singh has been dominated by Sonia Gandhi and her Congress party has nevertheless aroused a flurry of official protests and opposition jibes and unleashed a new tsunami of political punditry. 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 »