If the latest US polls are anything to go by, a Biden-Harris presidency could be upon us come the turn of the new year. President Obama’s former VP holds a comfortable lead going into the upcoming elections but as evidenced in 2016, when current US-president incumbent Donald Trump harnessed the confounding technicalities of the US Electoral College to beat Hillary Clinton despite her superior polling numbers, nothing is yet set in stone.
But if one was to assume that Biden did indeed manage to oust Trump from the top seat, what would that mean for India-US relations?
Much has been written about the bonhomie between President Trump and Prime Minister Modi, and with the camaraderie on show at Houston’s ‘Howdy Modi’ rally in 2019, and more recently at the ‘Namaste Trump’ event in February this year, one would be forgiven for thinking that if PM Modi, himself, could cast a ballot in November, it may be in favour of President Trump.
Biden may be more critical of India’s domestic policies
Beyond the optics though, there is reason enough to see why PM Modi may prefer to see his current counterpart win a second term. Barring a few tepid statements, President Trump has largely refrained from interfering in India’s internal affairs whether that relates to the passage of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that saw the revocation of Jammu & Kashmir’s special autonomous status, or other political developments.
Moreover, the transactional nature of President Trump’s foreign policy stance towards India, in the view of some analysts, appear to resemble India’s own foreign policy posturing.