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Open Season For Forecasts

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The king is not dead, but already, we hear shouts of ‘Long Live the King’. The debate over Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi becoming the next prime minister rages hot and heavy, even as most folks have assumed that the Congress is unlikely to be voted back to power in the 2014 elections.

Most businessmen like his economic reform philosophy, pointing to all he has done to make his state an attractive destination for companies and entrepreneurs. Gujarat’s bureaucracy has, as does Modi himself, the reputation of being quick and decisive. But don’t forget the other election: in Himachal Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party that Modi is a member of, has lost power to Congress. All politics is local, people vote differently in state and national polls. In 2014, we may have the same kind of situation that we have now. As Lao Tzu, Chinese poet and philosopher said, those who have knowledge don’t predict; those who predict have no knowledge.

Google has sold the set-top box business of its arm Motorola Home for $2.4 billion to US firm Arris, in which the search giant will take a 15.7 per cent stake. It was in August that Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 31-12-2012)