PM Narendra Modi, armed with fresh mandate, revisits economic reform agenda

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, fresh from his landslide election victory in Uttar Pradesh, now has a chance to advance his economic reform agenda.

Voters in Uttar Pradesh handed Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the biggest majority for any party in the state since 1977, effectively giving their blessing to his shock decision last November to scrap 86% of the cash in circulation.

The so-called demonetisation sought to wipe out ‘black cash’ – untaxed wealth and proceeds of corruption. While it caused huge disruption to daily and business life, voters backed Modi’s pitch that the undeserving rich would suffer most.

Armed with a new mandate as a champion of the poor, Modi still faces a struggle to implement reforms to boost growth and jobs in Asia’s third-largest economy, say experts.

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