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Modi: the strongman losing his grip

In election mode, India's leader resorts to populist handouts to boost flagging support

| India
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has run out of economic options. (Hindustan Times/Getty Images)

There are few more obvious signs of the electoral alarm coursing through Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party than next week's annual government budget.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is expected to cash-in his reputation for fiscal prudence by pushing giveaways for farmers, whose votes will prove critical in the parliamentary polls that are likely to begin in April.

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