In the first year of his second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi can draw satisfaction from advancing a major part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s agenda. Far less satisfactory has been his performance on the economy and the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, which created an avoidable humanitarian crisis. Both issues will remain the big tests in the year ahead. Mr Modi’s stunning 303-seat victory in the Lok Sabha election, increasing the party’s vote-share six percentage points to 37.4 per cent, in 2019 was all the more remarkable because it came on the back of slowing growth and record unemployment, both the result of two signature first-term moves: Demonetisation (2016) and a crash goods and service tax deadline (2017).
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