(This interview was recorded before the presidential elections were declared)
NEW DELHI: As Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden crosses the magic mark of 270 to become the next president of the United States, the question arises to what would a Biden presidency mean for India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in particular? Vivek Wadhwa, Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School dismisses such claims. In an interview with Ashwin Ahmad, Wadhwa believes that a Joe Biden presidency will be a win-win scenario for the country both domestically and internationally. On the domestic front, he believes that Biden would have a small honeymoon period as the Senate race though still deadlocked, will have to be won by the Republicans to maintain control, which suggests that necessary reforms required to tackle Covid-19 and the economy can be pushed through. On the international front, he believes while India could receive a ‘rap on the knuckles’ from time to time there is a consensus on India in the US which remains regardless of which party is in power. The relationship will grow further thanks to an increasing will to do business and the threat of China, which Biden will be equally tough on if not more than Trump. Having said this, Wadhwa also believes India will be under pressure to open up further on the economy as it cannot complain about high US tariffs without lowering some of its own. So, while the India-US relationship is likely to grow under Biden, there will be issues of contention and some criticism that New Delhi should accept and deal with maturely.