Lord Desai endorsed the Gujarat Chief Minister's credentials for the country's top job.

"He is going to be Prime Minister. Is he going to be a good Prime Minister? Well, I hope so for the sake of India. But it will be a change from Manmohan Singh," he said.

He was speaking at a panel discussion organized by the Commonwealth Journalists' Association on the Indian elections at Senate House in London on Thursday.

Predicting between 230 and 250 seats for the BJP alone, with an estimated total of 275 for the "core NDA" comprising Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal, the senior Parliamentarian struck an optimistic note about the country getting a more "decisive leadership".

"India uses democracy as an excuse for what doesn't happen...Modi gives the impression that he can do things," he said.

Questioned about the "moral stature" of the BJP's prime ministerial candidate by senior Indian journalists and authors on the panel - Hasan Suroor and Ashis Ray - Lord Desai said, "No matter how many courts clear him, people who believe he is guilty will go on believing he is guilty...but what is not in doubt is that a new BJP-led government will last five years and it will be much more business as usual."

The event also marked the UK launch of a new book on India's intrinsic struggles titled 'Implosion, India's Tryst With Reality' by journalist and author John Elliott, who described the ongoing elections as a "landmark" one with an "outcome that is clear but consequences unclear".

(Agencies)

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