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Why PM Modi can shrug off Rahul Gandhi's populist challenge, for now

Even with a bumper tax harvest the federal government will just about meet its targeted budget deficit of 6.4% of gross domestic product for the fiscal year that ends on March 31

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Andy Mukherjee | Bloomberg
Given that it’s his last, big spending opportunity before next year’s general elections, it won’t be unreasonable to expect Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sprinkle the Feb. 1 government budget with a dose of populism. This is especially so, as Rahul Gandhi, his main political opponent, is on a grueling months-long trek, walking from the edge of the Indian Ocean in the south to Kashmir in the northern Himalayan region, trying to whip up passion around everyday issues like unemployment and inflation.

Yet, the budget might at best pander to the middle class by some cosmetic tinkering with income-tax

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First Published: Jan 20 2023 | 6:28 AM IST

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