The political impasse at the Centre and the resultant policy logjam has halted investments, roiled the markets and depressed business confidence. It has led many investors to even question the India growth story.
Earlier this month, the Prime Minister made a belated, but much-needed promise to a group of business leaders that he planned to make amends after the elections are over. His comments have given rise to the expectation in some quarters that the government will finally press on the reform agenda.
Is the government merely clutching at straws? Or does it really have a larger economic plan to kick-start reform? Is the Congress banking too heavily on success at the hustings to regain its political legitimacy? And finally, if the Congress gets a drubbing in UP and in Punjab, are we likely to inevitably hurtle into a mid-term poll at the Centre and a prolonged spell of economic chaos?
Any which way you look at it, no recent elections have quite had the same significance as next month’s state elections in UP, Punjab and the three other states. The outcome of the polls, particularly in UP, India’s largest state, will have a significant bearing on the course of our political and economic future.
Senior Editor Dinesh Narayanan and Assistant Editor Udit Misra travelled widely across UP to make sense of the fast-changing political landscape—and then spoke to a cross-section of policymakers in Delhi to connect the dots. Their cover story attempts to answer the question that is on every businessman’s mind: Will the state elections mark an important turning point for the Congress Party and the Manmohan Singh government? You’ll need to read our story on page 34 for the answer.
Also, on the occasion of India’s Republic Day, we’ve created a special package around the theme Re-imagining India. N.S. Ramnath and Udit Misra, who led this special project, threw a challenge at some of the finest minds in India and abroad to come up with radical solutions to some of India’s biggest economic and social challenges.
Please tell us what you think of the package and the rest of the edition.
Editor, Forbes India
Twitter id: @indrajitgupta
(This story appears in the 03 February, 2012 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)