Even as the buzz around BJP’s showdown in the Bihar has not completely dies down, Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks on a 3-day hectic tour of UK. The Prime Minister who has been at the receiving end of several sharp edged and sarcastic barbs after the recent Bihar election is scheduled to meet UK Prime Minister David Cameron, lunch with Queen of England and ink several pacts over the course of next 72 hours.
Apart from the fact that this is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Britain in close to a decade, Modiji will also be at pains to project this as a particularly successful visit with the promise of enhanced fund inflow and trade initiative to help deflect attention from the Bihar debacle which still continues to be a raging issue.
With India-UK trade hitting $14 billion in 2014-2015, agency reports enhancing trade will remain as the primary point of this visit. As Mr Modi’s pre-departure post on Facebook indicates, “My visit is aimed at strengthening cooperation with a traditional friend that is not only a major economic partner of India but also one of the leading economic players of the world.”
Experts believe that the Indian PM will go out to sell India as a safe and stable bet in an effort to leverage additional investment from willing investors and those looking to park their money in economies with a reasonable growth outlook.
In the potential $15 billion worth of deals that are likely to be signed between the two nations, India’s plans to float the rupee-denominated masala bond in London features prominently. Also a multi-billion dollar upgrade for the country’s ageing military equipments is also likely to be on the cards. BAE is expected to sell another 20 HAWK trainer aircrafts to India as well.
Though there have been some avenues of protest the overall mood seems to be wrought in expectation and excitement. But will it be significant enough for the average citizen to forget the Bihar fiasco or the daily domestic governance worries?