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Election results in largest Indian state: U-M experts can comment

EXPERTS ADVISORY

The victory by the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India with more than 220 million people, is seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetization move last year.

University of Michigan experts can comment on the implications of the win:

Puneet Manchanda, professor of marketing, is an expert on business in emerging markets, business in India, and strategy and marketing issues.

"The strong and somewhat unexpected performance of the BJP is likely to have a positive effect in terms of business and economics as it lowers uncertainty about policy," he said. "In addition, it is likely to hand over control of the Rajya Sabha to the BJP, leading to an easier implementation of its proposals. While this performance could be seen as a ratification of the current government's policies, it also shows that no other other party has currently been able to offer a credible alternative pan-Indian economic agenda."

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Vikramaditya Khanna, professor of law, co-directs the Joint Centre for Global Corporate and Financial Law & Policy, a collaboration between Michigan Law and India's Jindal Global Law School. He is an expert on the law in India, corporate governance in emerging markets, corporate and securities law, and law and economics, and is the founding and current editor of India Law Abstracts.

"The impressive BJP victories in the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand assembly elections, led by intensive campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, underscore the BJP's rising strength within these critical states, but also bolster its strength at the center," he said. "In addition to potentially ushering in a period of more active reforms at the center, the results indicate that the faith in Prime Minister Modi has not abated after demonetization. Indeed, that faith seems to have been strengthened in these states."

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Leela Fernandes, professor of women's studies and political science, is an authority on the relationship between politics and culture, with a focus on labor politics, democratization and the politics of economic reform in India. Her current project, "The Politics of Water: Inequality and India's Post-Liberalization State," analyzes changes in the state and the emergence of new forms of inequality through a study of the water sector in contemporary India.

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