As noted before, one of the reasons Jinder Mahal may have been pushed into the WWE title picture is because of WWE's emphasis on the Indian sub-continent, the likely thought being that an Indian superstar would help them market the product better.
Another possible reason is that Vince McMahon could possibly feel that the company is currently missing the "traditional Anti-American foreigner", which was a role that Rusev played earlier but is currently vacant as a result of his injury.
Mahal, who has lost 20 lbs and is now arguably the most ripped wrestler on the roster at 6'3" and 218 lbs, also has the physique and look that Vince traditionally has gone for. Furthermore, internally many are impressed with Mahal, praising his work ethic and the physical transformation he has undergone.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Subscription information & prices available at f4wonline.com