Covid-19 punctures Narendra Modi’s aura as some supporters sour on India’s strongman: The Wall Street Journal


By Shani Li and Vibhuti Agarwal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his brand of Hindu nationalist politics have weathered plenty of upheaval in India. His demonetization policy, which pulled almost 90% of the country’s currency out of circulation, led to long lines at ATMs and job losses. An overhaul of the agricultural sector sparked monthslong protests by farmers.

But, as a devastating wave of Covid-19 recedes in India, the simmering anger over the government’s handling of the crisis may pose the greatest test for the leader yet.

India’s coronavirus crisis—which hit global daily highs in April and May—has left millions infected and more than 360,000 dead. Overwhelmed hospitals throughout the country were forced to turn away patients after running out of beds and medical supplies. The crisis left few people in this country of more than 1.3 billion untouched, and many know severely ill people who struggled to get medical care.

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