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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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May 16th, 2014
04:53 PM ET

Explain this to me: Why India's election matters

(CNN) – Herbert Hoover promised a chicken in every pot. Narendra Modi, the man who will be India's next prime minister promised a toilet in every home.

Considering half of the 1.2 billion people living in India don't have a toilet, that's a pretty big public health platform to live up to.

As Modi, the leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) puts it: India should build "toilets before temples."

So why should you care?

Considered by his critics to be a fundamentalist Hindu, Modi was criticized for not doing enough to stop the deaths of over 1,000 people during a rash of anti-Muslim riots in 2002, in the state where he was governor. It was so bad that Modi, who will soon be the leader for about one-sixth of the world's population, was not even allowed to enter the United States in 2005. He was denied a visa.

But today the White House is welcoming Modi with open arms.

But the questions remain: Who is this guy, and what does he mean for his country, and our economy?

CNN's Becky Anderson reports.

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