India brims with optimism over new leader - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

India brims with optimism over new leader

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Narendra Modi is viewed by many as a pro-business leader who can help create jobs. (Source: Radio Free Europe /CNN) Narendra Modi is viewed by many as a pro-business leader who can help create jobs. (Source: Radio Free Europe /CNN)

NEW DELHI (RADIO FREE EUROPE/CNN) - Narendra Modi is India's 15th prime minister.

As the chief minister of Gujarat State for the past 13 years, he's also the first Indian prime minister without political experience at the national level.

Modi has a reputation for being pro-business and many people hope he'll turn India's economy around.

So India is celebrating with drums and firecrackers on the streets and at the stock market.

The change in mood is because of Modi, the runaway winner of the world's biggest elections.

"You suddenly see a mood of the nation to reinvest in India, to kick-start the investment cycle. And I thought that was one of the biggest challenges," said Piyush Goyal of the winning Bharatiya Janata Party.

That's the view from Modi's camp.

But winning is the easy bit. Far greater challenges lie ahead.

Modi has promised faster growth, more development and better infrastructure.

In the coming days, he'll need to begin delivering.

Modi will present a new budget in weeks. Some of his decisions might be unpopular, such as widening the tax base, or cutting subsidies.

But most of all, he will be judged on whether he can create jobs.

About 100 million Indians turned 18 in the last five years. The recent vote was their first election. Once they hit the job market, Modi will need all those promises,  and more, to come good.

And then there are the unknowns, the infamous 3 a.m. phone calls.

On Friday, India's consulate in Herat, Afghanistan came under fire from four men armed with machine guns and grenades. They were eventually repelled.

But for Modi, it was a stark reminder that leading the world's biggest democracy comes with challenges not just at home, but abroad as well.

Copyright 2014 Radio Free Europe via CNN. All rights reserved.

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