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No dramatic change in India-US relations, says think-thank expert after Modi-led NDA secures historic third term | India News – Times of India

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WASHINGTON: The outcome of the elections in India will not impact the Indo-US relationship in any “dramatic way”, an eminent US think-tank expert has said, underlining that Americans are “pleased” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been re-elected for a third term while the Opposition has also been re-energised.
Richard Rossow, Chair in US-India Policy Studies at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in an interview with PTI, said he doesn’t expect the India-US relationship to be derailed after the general election.
“I don’t think the US-India relationship is going to be impacted in any dramatic way. The area that we’ve actually seen the most progress is the US-India military ties. I don’t suspect under a coalition arrangement, you’re going to see a dramatic change,” Rossow said.
“The drivers for India’s cooperation with the United States, particularly some of the dangerous elements of the rise of China, are unchanged,” he said.
“We are pleased to see that you still have a vibrant democracy. People (here) were concerned that maybe they kind of broke the wheels of democracy…. and to see the regional parties’ resurgence and the Congress have some life. But at the same time, for the prime minister that we’ve come to know and engage in a lot of different forums, that we see good defence cooperation, economic reforms as a partner is also very, heartwarming,” he said.
“So, on both fronts, many Americans are kind of pleased with the results. Still getting to work with who we like but also seeing the democracy is functioning well and appropriately,” Rossow said days after the results of the Lok Sabha elections were announced after a gruelling seven-phase voting.
Results of the mammoth elections announced on June 4 showed the ruling NDA coalition led by Prime Minister Modi being re-elected to power for a historic third consecutive term. It also showed a resurgence in the seats held by an Opposition coalition, led by the Congress.
“Hopefully, when you look at the coalition partners that, at least at the outset, are going to make up the coalition, we shouldn’t have, any dramatic reasons to be concerned that it’s going to derail some of the good things that we had in the US-India cooperation,” Roussow, who has been working on US-India relations for over 25 years, said in response to a question.
“I’ve got a lot of experience working with the Telugu Desam Party, which in a lot of ways, is even more reform-oriented than the BJP. And, of course, the Janata Dal (United) in Bihar, which is overridingly focused on what kind of development can be brought to their home state, which, as we know, is one of the least developed states in India.
“So, in as much, they can use the seat in Delhi to try to bring some development assistance back to the state of Bihar, if the United States can find ways to be a partner in that, I don’t think they’re going to serve to kind of derail some of the things happening in US-India cooperation,” Rossow said.
“Any coalition configuration is going to say China presents a threat. The United States is a critical partner for access to defence technology, for deeper defence interoperability. I suspect defence would be absolutely unchanged. I think the Modi government is going to have a free hand to do what they’ve been doing recently in a deepening of the partnership,” Rossow said.
“On economic cooperation, some of the areas on launching PLI programmes for domestic support, some narrow trade deals, that stuff I think is going to remain unchanged,” he said but noted that it would be tough for the new government to carry deeper liberalisations that the US companies are hoping for.
“Ultimately, if India is going to be that next big manufacturing powerhouse, most of the actions that have to take place are with state governments, not with the national government. I think Modi will have a little bit less of a hand to challenge states to do. Security unchanged, economic cooperation, you’ll see some modest modifications,” he said.
Rossow said the United States is happy and comfortable with the results because they have seen Modi stepping up and challenging China, not just directly, but also in terms of building cooperation directly with the United States, but through the Quad.
“If they (China) think this (election result) reduces Modi’s hand to some even minor extent, probably a good thing from Beijing’s viewpoint,” he said.
“Although I think if they had a sober analysis, they’d realise that as long as China’s pushing the envelope on the border, the maritime domain, as long as they have this massive trade imbalance, the drivers in India, politically irrespective of who’s running the country are unchanged, Rossow said.
Rossow said he thinks India will be looking for partnerships. “So nominally, probably Beijing would look at this as relatively okay and better, but not a dramatic swing from Beijing’s view,” Rossow said.





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