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2024 Lok Sabha Elections
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US Grows Nervous as Modi Eyes a Strong Mandate in Lok Sabha Polls

© AP Photo / Evan VucciPresident Joe Biden speaks with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and American and Indian business leaders in the East Room of the White House, Friday, June 23, 2023, in Washington.
President Joe Biden speaks with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and American and Indian business leaders in the East Room of the White House, Friday, June 23, 2023, in Washington. - Sputnik India, 1920, 30.04.2024
There has been a sharp surge in narrative critical of PM Modi in the US amid the ongoing Lok Sabha election. Indian analysts suggest that the US is increasingly nervous at the prospect of the BJP-led alliance securing over 400 of the 543 parliamentary seats.
There is a growing realisation in India that West's "unprecedented interference" in the country's electoral processes through means of media criticism and unwarranted comments on internal matters marks discomfort with the prospect of a stronger mandate for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Indian Home Minister Amit Shah re-asserted at a press conference in the eastern city of Guwahati on Tuesday that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was well on its way to win over 400 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha election, which concludes on 4 June.
Shah stated that the BJP and its allies would win over 100 of the 191 seats which went to ballot in the first two phases of the seven-round election.
Meanwhile, Modi has on several occasions during the hustings emphasised the importance of a "stable" government in India.
"If India becomes strong... it will upset the games of a few powers... That is why these powers want a weak government of Congress and I.N.D.I.A (the opposition alliance) in the country," Modi said during an election meeting last week, amid growing concerns of western "interference" in Indian elections.
In the same vein, External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar slammed western criticism of Indian democracy, stating that western press considered itself as “political players” in Indian election.
The anti-Modi narrative in the West is dominated by alleged human rights violations in India, its alleged role in carrying out extraterritorial assassinations, the state of Muslims under the BJP-led government, casting aspersions on the judicial or law-enforcement process, or raising questions on the electioneering process for that matter.
Besides the western media and statements from the US and German governments, American civil society organisations as well as universities have also organised or slated to hold events to raise these issues.

'West has Failed to Influence India's Foreign Policy Under Modi': Analyst

Dr Gulrez Sheikh, a geopolitical analyst and a TV commentator, told Sputnik India that the US and the western powers have failed to sway India's strategically autonomous foreign policy under ten years of Prime Minister Modi.
"Prime Minister Modi is absolutely right (on some powers wanting a weak government in India). The western countries have always favoured weak governments which can be arm twisted as per their wishes and whims. Fortunately, in India, we have had a stable and a strong government under PM Modi, which is the reason why they are doing what they are doing," Sheikh remarked.
He said that the western powers won't be able to "instigate a colour revolution" or a "regime change" in India, like they have done in other countries.
Sheikh predicted that it was very much possible that the BJP-led alliance could achieve its target of securing over 400 seats, but added that this was purely an "internal issue" for India.

West Wants a 'Subservient' India

Sheikh suggested that the US perceived interference in Indian affairs was aimed at making it docile and "subservient" to western interests.
"The West has always been in favour of a country or government being subservient to them. The West can't tolerate any country which has real democracy and freedom. They have crushed so many democracies under their boot for the sake of their selfish national, geopolitical and economic interests," he said.

US Wants to 'Extract Concessions' from India, Analyst Says

Geopolitical analyst Qamar Agha, who has observed Indian foreign policy since the Cold War era, told Sputnik India that the US was clearly seeking to "extract concessions" from India on a range of matters, be it influencing its foreign policy or opening up its market for American companies.
"The Western media or the western governments, per se, have long sought to pressure India to extract concessions on different matters or make it toe their foreign policy line. In recent years, the West has increasingly pressured India to abandon its neutral stance on Ukraine conflict. But New Delhi would continue to act in its national interest. We want peace in Ukraine, but that won't come at the cost of antagonising Russia by siding with the West," Agha underscored.

He identified India's stance towards its "time-tested" partner Russia during the Ukraine conflict as the most irritating aspect of New Delhi's foreign policy for the Biden administration.

"Russia is a time-tested friend of India. No Indian government can afford to let our ties with Russia be affected, more so now when Russia has emerged as a primary supplier of oil to India," Agha stressed.

"The defence relationship will continue, though the focus would be on Make in India under joint ventures, as already stated by the two countries," he further emphasised.
However, Agha asserted that India's overall foreign policy would continue to remain more or less the same, even if the Modi government comes back with a majority of over 400 seats, a feat which was only achieved by former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. In 1984, Gandhi-led Congress won 404 seats in the wake of assassination of his mother and predecessor Indira Gandhi.
"I see an element of continuity and change. There won't be any significant changes in India's strategically autonomous foreign policy towards the US and Russia," Agha stated.
He highlighted that the US and western Europe, served as a major source of foreign investments and emerging technologies for India, as New Delhi seeks to become a global manufacturing hub and generate employment for the world's biggest youth population.
Agha noted that the recent 'State of Economy' by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ranked US, the Netherlands and Japan among the five biggest foreign investors in India, adding that the India was also on track to receive $100 billion in investments from the five-nation European Free Trade Association (EFTA) under the recent free trade pact signed this year.
Khalistan Supporters in New York (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) - Sputnik India, 1920, 04.04.2024
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