Reimagining Rahul's India

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Reimagining Rahuls India
Supporters cheer for Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi's visit to the UAE underscores another abiding dimension in the strong and strategic relationship between India and the UAE. | Suresh Kumar

By Suresh Kumar

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Published: Fri 11 Jan 2019, 5:44 PM

Political leadership in India, irrespective of their party affiliations, wish to nurture and grow the partnership with the UAE and the GCC and across economic, commercial and social segments. Dubai in particular, merits an additional special consideration of connecting-up, within the large Indian Diaspora or Non-Resident Indians (NRI) community.
The timing of Rahul's visit is noteworthy as India will soon have the general elections before May 2019. With an imminent interim fiscal budget on February 1, 2019, that is bound to set the political momentum.

Rahul is clearly maturing as a frontline political leader who has proven his mettle by winning three state elections - Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan. If a coalition of opposition parties are cobbled together in the run-up to the parliamentary elections, then they could together pose an existential threat, given the voting arithmetic to the present government.

It is this denouement, that would make the parliamentary elections a keenly contested and tracked event. Parliamentary elections in India are the largest electoral exercise in the world and can be outwardly rather noisy and complicated to decipher - especially to non-Indians.

Positively, there is a convergence of much thinking on economic matters - as indeed in foreign policy across the political spectrum - whether with regard to foreign direct investments, liberalisation of the economy or the need to strengthen the institutional framework.

Technology is playing a huge part in this transformation. Already, social media is hyperactive, with all political parties having their own teams and trollers. While there is some reluctance and reservations over the use of electronic voting machines, electoral technology is here to stay and will be honed progressively.

Rahul-watchers in the GCC and India will keenly follow his words; every response, as articulated during his visit. On January 11, 2019, the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) - and the undersigned - will engage Rahul in a Q&A session; under the theme titled, "Reimagining India".

Such a format rather than speeches or monologues, should elicit specific and relevant responses on matters of interest to the Indian business and professional community, and indeed, generally, to all that have interest in India - as a commercial counterpart and as an investment destination.

Ultimately, the strong and focused leadership emerging in India can only enhance the vitality and vibrancy of the Indian democracy - irrespective of whether such leaders sit on the treasury or opposition benches in the Parliament.

Suresh Kumar is Chairman of Indian Business and Professional Council.

Suresh Kumar, Chairman of the Indian Business and Professional Council.
Suresh Kumar, Chairman of the Indian Business and Professional Council.

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