Advertisement
Features

Modi fights back on corruption claims

India’s prime minister is facing calls to resign over his government's dealings with French defence company Dassault.

915-Modi-634
Modi and Ambani: facing questions over defence deal

India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is fighting back amid a scandal over a $9bn arms deal that has seen the prime minister facing calls to resign, says Adam Withnall in the Independent. The scandal relates to a deal struck by Narendra Modi's government in 2016 to buy 36 fighter jets from France's Dassault Aviation. Under Indian regulations, foreign arms companies have to invest at least 30% of the contract with an Indian partner.

Advertisement - Article continues below

India's opposition party, Congress, claims that Dassault chose a company owned by a billionaire industrialist and friend of Modi, Anil Ambani, instead of a more established firm. On Friday, Franois Hollande, French president at the time the deal was struck, said that the Indian government gave France no choice. Modi, who "stormed to power" in 2014 vowing to end corruption, quickly came under attack from the opposition Congress party who said he had no "moral right to remain".

Under pressure to "shore up his political base" ahead of state elections this year and a national election in spring 2019, Modi's response has been to accuse Congress of "working with foreign influences to destabilise India".

However, this is far from Modi's only problem, says the Washington Post. Unemployment, falling farm prices and rural wages and a "demonetisation exercise that sapped liquidity" are all weakening his position. He is still ahead in opinion polls, but the gap is narrowing.

So the launch of a vast new health insurance scheme on Sunday is a "clear electoral pitch" to India's poorest citizens, on whose support he depends, says Hugh Tomlinson in the Times. "Modicare", which is set to cost $1.6bn a year, is designed to help the poorest 40% of India's 1.3 billion population. But questions remain over whether it will work and how much it will cost. Opposition parties say citizens will soon see it for what it is: nothing more than "naked electioneering".

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

How long can the good times roll?
Economy

How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently en…
19 Dec 2019
The charts that matter: precious metals, longevity and a cure for baldness
Global Economy

The charts that matter: precious metals, longevity and a cure for baldness

As the gold price presses on to new highs, John Stepek looks at he charts that matter most to the global economy.
8 Aug 2020
South Africa faces a big economic storm
Emerging markets

South Africa faces a big economic storm

Recession hit South Africa has been the fifth-worst hit country in the world measured by the number of coronavirus cases. The local stockmarket has so…
7 Aug 2020
Is the bond market wrong about inflation?
Government bonds

Is the bond market wrong about inflation?

The bond rally suggests that markets are sanguine about inflation, but the gold rally suggests inflation is a real threat.
7 Aug 2020

Most Popular

Eagle Lightweight GT: the reincarnation of the E-type Jag
Toys and gadgets

Eagle Lightweight GT: the reincarnation of the E-type Jag

Jaguar’s classic E-type sports car has been reinvented for the modern age. The result – the Eagle Lightweight GT – is a thing of beauty.
7 Aug 2020
Platinum: the precious metal that looks set to play catch-up with silver and gold
Silver and other precious metals

Platinum: the precious metal that looks set to play catch-up with silver and gold

Gold and silver continue to soar, but there's still time to get in. And there's another precious metal that looks set to go on a bull run too, says Jo…
7 Aug 2020
UK house prices hit a new record high – can it last?
House prices

UK house prices hit a new record high – can it last?

Despite the pandemic, UK house prices have hit a new high. John Stepek looks at what’s driving the surge in prices, and what it means for house prices…
7 Aug 2020