Chief correspondent, India
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Jul 12, 2013

Special Report: The remaking of Narendra Modi

GANDHINAGAR, India (Reuters) – The lunch guests were sworn to secrecy.

The European diplomats gathered at the German ambassador’s residence in New Delhi’s lush green embassy enclave quizzed the guest of honor on everything from the economy and communal violence to his political ambitions. But nobody, the representatives from most of the 28 European Union states agreed, could publicly mention the man they were meeting that day: Narendra Modi, India’s most controversial politician and, possibly, the country’s next prime minister.

It was a moment that captures the paradox at the heart of Modi, and the caution with which the outside world approaches him. The January lunch at Ambassador Michael Steiner’s residence ended a decade-long unofficial EU boycott of the 62-year-old politician, who had just won his third straight term as chief minister of the state of Gujarat.

Jul 12, 2013

The remaking of Narendra Modi

GANDHINAGAR, India, July 12 (Reuters) – The lunch guests
were sworn to secrecy.

The European diplomats gathered at the German ambassador’s
residence in New Delhi’s lush green embassy enclave quizzed the
guest of honour on everything from the economy and communal
violence to his political ambitions. But nobody, the
representatives from most of the 28 European Union states
agreed, could publicly mention the man they were meeting that
day: Narendra Modi, India’s most controversial politician and,
possibly, the country’s next prime minister.

May 22, 2013

Karzai gives India military equipment “wish list”

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Wednesday he had given a “wish list” of military equipment to India during a visit this week, presenting a conundrum for New Delhi as it weighs whether arming the Afghan army is in its interests.

India wants to stabilise Afghanistan and is concerned about the resurgence of militant groups after foreign combat troops leave in 2014.

May 22, 2013

Afghanistan’s Karzai gives India military equipment ‘wish list’

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Wednesday he had given a “wish list” of military equipment to India during a visit this week, presenting a conundrum for New Delhi as it weighs whether arming the Afghan army is in its interests.

India wants to stabilize Afghanistan and is concerned about the resurgence of militant groups after foreign combat troops leave in 2014.

May 19, 2013

India’s weakened Congress wondering if early elections will help

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s Congress party is debating holding a general election in November, six months ahead of schedule, senior party leaders said, reflecting an internal discussion over whether to pull the plug on the shaky ruling coalition or have it serve a full term.

Officially, the Congress party says the government – which has been battered by a series of corruption scandals and now governs as a minority after two allies withdrew from the ruling coalition – will limp on until elections are due in May 2014.

May 19, 2013

Weakened Congress wondering if early elections will help

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Congress party is debating holding a general election in November, six months ahead of schedule, senior party leaders said, reflecting an internal discussion over whether to pull the plug on the shaky ruling coalition or have it serve a full term.

Officially, the Congress party says the government – which has been battered by a series of corruption scandals and now governs as a minority after two allies withdrew from the ruling coalition – will limp on until elections are due in May 2014.

May 10, 2013

A “caged parrot” – Supreme Court describes CBI

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A packed New Delhi courtroom sat in rapt silence this week as an irate Supreme Court judge denounced the elite Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as a “caged parrot” and “its master’s voice”.

Justice R.M. Lodha loudly berated the attorney-general, the government’s top lawyer, for what he said was clear evidence of interference in a CBI inquiry into alleged irregularities in the allocation of coalfield licences to private companies, a case dubbed “Coalgate” by the media.

May 10, 2013

A “caged parrot” – Indian judge describes top police agency

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A packed New Delhi courtroom sat in rapt silence this week as an irate Supreme Court judge denounced the elite Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s version of the American FBI, as a “caged parrot” and “its master’s voice”.

Justice R.M. Lodha loudly berated the attorney-general, the government’s top lawyer, for what he said was clear evidence of interference in a CBI inquiry into alleged irregularities in the allocation of coalfield licenses to private companies, a case dubbed “Coalgate” by the Indian media.

May 6, 2013

After riding high, scandals bring the UPA to a new low

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – After riding high since launching economic reforms in September, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s minority UPA coalition has been brought to a new low, with key ministers entangled in corruption investigations and Singh facing calls to quit.

In the space of just a week, Singh’s government has seen its economic reform legislative agenda disintegrate in parliament as opposition members have repeatedly disrupted proceedings to demand the resignation of the two-term technocrat and his law and railway ministers.

May 6, 2013

After riding high, Indian government brought low by new scandals

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – After riding high since launching economic reforms in September, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s minority coalition has been brought to a new low, with key ministers entangled in corruption investigations and Singh facing calls to quit.

In the space of just a week, Singh’s government has seen its economic reform legislative agenda disintegrate in parliament as opposition members have repeatedly disrupted proceedings to demand the resignation of the two-term technocrat and his law and railway ministers.