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World

Modi's reforms light up rural India

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World

Modi's reforms light up rural India

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COMING UP:Modi's reforms light up rural India

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00:00:02
>> Flickers of progress in poor rural India. Hooking up every village to the electrical grid by 2018 is one of prime minister Narendra Modi's flagship policies. And with less than 2% of villages left to go, it seems he's got this one in the bag as his turn nears the halfway mark.
00:00:19
It's a good bit of PR as his BJP party slips in the ratings. But is it enough to secure support in India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. Reuters Tommy Wilkes explains why Modi is at risk of losing crucial voters here.>> Well these villages matter because they're full of the farmers and the laborers.
00:00:36
And some construction workers who voted Modi into power in 2014. And these are the people that Modi promised to help by bringing better jobs, new roads, power connections, bank accounts. But India's economy is failing to produce sufficient jobs. Without jobs, there could be all sorts of social unrest like we've seen in the last couple of years on a local scale in India.
00:00:57
We could see that much more wide spread. It could also mean political defeats for Modi.>> Uttar Pradesh holds local elections next year. If Modi's party wins, that gives him a shot at winning full control of parliament. And another term in 2019. He's not putting all his eggs in one basket though.
00:01:13
Besides the nationwide electricity project, he's also steeping up pressure on ministers and bureaucrats. To deliver results on everything from infrastructure to jobs. Analysts say that for many of India's poor, a good job trumps access to electricity. Because what's the point of having power if you can't pay for it?
00:01:31
Hooking up to the new grid costs around $30 with monthly bills on top. A luxury many villagers here still can't afford.