05 November 2019



  • State election results and rejection of regional free trade pact reflect political impact of economic slowdown, which opposition will seek to exploit
  • BJP’s inability to win outright majority in state polls suggests…
  • Government unlikely to sign regional free trade pact without…



Prime Minister Modi said on 4 November that India would not join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement between the ten ASEAN members, China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. Modi said the proposed deal failed to address India’s concerns about the potential negative impact on domestic farmers, small businesses and workers. The following day, the opposition Congress party began a ten-day nationwide campaign to highlight the ongoing economic slowdown and job losses, and to denounce the RCEP.

The developments come amid ongoing negotiations between Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its local ally Shiv Sena over government formation in Maharashtra following state elections on 21 October. The BJP won fewer seats than


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