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No party to get majority in 2014 General Elections in India: US spy chief

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 23:23

Washington: Coalition politics would continue to dominate India`s governance as no party is likely to get a clear majority in the 2014 general election, a senior US intelligence official said on Wednesday.

 "Coalition politics will almost certainly dominate Indian governance. Since the 1984 national elections, no party has won a clear majority in the lower house of Parliament.

 "We judge that this trend will continue with the 2014 election, and the proliferation of political parties will further complicate political consensus building," said James Clapper, Director of US National Intelligence.

 In this election year in particular, coalition politics and institutional challenges will remain the primary drivers of India`s economic and foreign policy decision making, he said while testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
"Any future government installed after the 2014 election will probably have a positive view of the US, but future legislation or policy changes that are consistent with US interests is not assured," Clapper said.

 "In 2014, India will probably attain a 5 per cent average annual growth rate, significantly less than the 8 per cent growth that it achieved from 2005 to 2012 and that is needed to achieve its policy goals," he said.

 Besides, Clapper said India shares American objectives for a stable and democratic Pakistan that can encourage trade and economic integration between South and Central Asia.

"We judge that India and Pakistan will seek modest
progress in minimally controversial areas, such as trade, while probably deferring serious discussion on territorial disagreements and terrorism," he said.
Clapper said India would continue to cooperate with the US on the future of Afghanistan following drawdown of NATO forces.

 India also shares US concerns about a resurgent Taliban in the war-torn nation, seeing it as a long-term security threat and source of regional instability, he said.

 On Sino-India ties, he said the two sides have attempted to reduce long-standing border tensions through confidence- building measures, such as holding the first military exercise in five years in November 2013 and signing a Border Defence Cooperation Agreement during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s visit to China in October 2013.

 "However, mutual suspicions are likely persist," Clapper said.

First Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 23:18
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