Foreign media frenzy over Battle 2014

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New Delhi:  In 2009, The Wall Street Journal carried a total of only 10 to 20 stories on general election in India. This time around, its blog India Real Time is covering the electoral battle in great detail, publishing profiles of main contenders and state-wise break up of candidates and seats. It often carries articles on 'India's Big Three'.

But the WSJ is not the only one keenly following the political developments. The BBC, for the first time, has set up camp here to cover stories. Al Jazeera too has more people on the ground than ever before.

So why is there a sudden surge of interest in the elections? Is it the triangular fight, the "Narendra Modi wave", the personality clash or the entry of Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal?

Eric Bellman of the WSJ says they have ratcheted up the coverage because "there are themes that people can associate with."

In its latest edition, The Economist describes Narendra Modi as a divisive man and "recommends" to Indians a Rahul Gandhi-led government as an "uninspiring" but "less disturbing" option.

Defending the article, Adam Roberts of The Economist said, "We definitely think that divisiveness that came out of 2002 riots is an important issue. All leaders change and we think Narendra Modi can do it as well but he hasn't done it yet. We would be delighted if Mr Modi proves us wrong."

While some have highlighted concerns about Mr Modi, many in foreign media see him as an effective leader who would be good for India's economy.

"You can see it on Rahul Gandhi's face. He doesn't seem comfortable in this role as a leader of a great national party," Gardiner Harris of The New York Times told NDTV.

Whether it is the article in The Guardian asking if Mr Modi was "India's saviour or worst nightmare" or The Economist asking if India deserves better than him, there is no shying away from the fact that the Gujarat chief minister is the biggest talking point when it comes to the world media and Arvind Kejriwal is right around the corner.


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