Rahul Gandhi’s plans to end Indian poverty work economically, just not politically

Call it competitive populism. As the campaigning gains pace ahead of an Indian general election that must be held by mid-May, the governing BJP of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the opposition Congress party are locked in an epic struggle to win over voters.
In recent weeks, each has rolled out plans to ramp up public welfare spending on the country’s rural poor. But while some of these are simply the same old failed policies warmed up and worked over, others are remarkably innovative…