News / Asia

Obama Administration Welcomes Outcome of India’s ‘Historic National Election’

Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate for India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), gestures towards his supporters from his car during a road show upon his arrival at the airport in New Delhi, May 17, 2014.
Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate for India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), gestures towards his supporters from his car during a road show upon his arrival at the airport in New Delhi, May 17, 2014.
Victor Beattie
The White House has congratulated India's Narendra Modi and his pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its election victory announced Friday, saying the prime-minister-to-be will be welcomed when he visits the United States. The BJP’s resounding victory may result in improved U.S.-India relations, as the new government seeks to ramp up the country’s economic development.
 
White House spokesman Jay Carney congratulated the Indian people on what he called ‘a historic national election,’ which saw more voters cast ballots freely and fairly than in any other election in human history. The Election Commission of India says a record 66 percent of the country's 815-million registered voters went to the polls.
 
“We congratulate Narendra Modi and the BJP on winning a majority of seats in this historic election. Once the government is formed, we look forward to working closely with the prime minister and the Cabinet to advance our strong bilateral relationship based on shared democratic values. We would also like to thank Prime Minister [Manmohan] Singh for the role he played in transforming our strategic partnership during his 10 years in office,” said Carney.
 
President Barack Obama phoned the incoming Indian prime minister Friday and invited him to visit Washington.
 
Singh’s ruling Indian National Congress party was crushed in the election, a five-week undertaking that ended last week with the BJP winning the first one-party majority in parliament in 30 years. That means it can create a government without forming a coalition with regional leaders.
 
The Congress Party has led India for the past 10 years but has been hit by a series of high-profile corruption scandals, high inflation and lagging economic growth.
 
Controversy has swirled around Modi since 2002, when Hindu-Muslim rioting in western Gujarat state killed more than 1,000 people. Modi, the state’s chief minister since 2001, was denied a visa to visit the United States in 2005. India's Supreme Court recently cleared him of charges that he incited the violence.
 
Rafiq Dossani, a South Asia analyst with the RAND Corporation, speaking from Mumbai, said the paralysis that gripped India’s outgoing coalition government is now gone, and that should benefit India’s ties with the United States.
 
“For example, the [2008] nuclear fuel agreement, the delay on [opening up the] retail [sector], the delay on foreign investment [legislation], the delay on [legislation allowing] foreign universities [to set up campuses in India]. All of these things are things that America wanted and the Congress Party wanted and were held up by the paralysis of governance because of the coalition rules, and that’s gone now and that’s also what Mr. Modi wants. I think he’s taken a stance against foreign investment and retail, but I think he will quickly backtrack on that because, in his earlier party days, he wasn’t against it, and he’s actively wooed foreign investment, while chief minister of Gujarat,” said Dossani.
 
As for the geo-political aspects of the relationship, Dossani believes India will become a more participative democracy in Asia, alongside South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Australia.
 
He also expects India to be less accommodative and more assertive in its relations with China, but does not think that will happen right away. Dossani said Modi will likely continue current Indian policy of involvement in a post-NATO Afghanistan and that might lead to confrontation with rival Pakistan.

You May Like

Photogallery Strong Words Start, May End, S. African Xenophobic Attacks

President Jacob Zuma publicly condemned rise in attacks on foreign nationals but critics say leadership has been less than welcoming to foreign residents More

Video Family Waits to Hear Charges Against Reporter Jailed in Iran

Reports in Iran say Jason Rezaian has been charged with espionage, but brother tells VOA indictment has not been made public More

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Action to Stabilize Libya

Amnesty International says multinational concerted humanitarian effort must be enacted to address crisis; decrepit boats continue to bring thousands of new arrivals daily More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MIR KHAN from: USA
May 21, 2014 11:01 AM
How a leader of true democracy USA Mr Obama can shake hand with a person till yesterday and today still under radar for crimes against humanity like killing and systematic murdering.

by: chinmay from: mumbai
May 19, 2014 3:50 AM
America trying to maintain relations with the next superpower of the world...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs