Maharashtra’s Political Saga Has A Dramatic & Unexpected Denouement

June 30, 2022 9:28 pm

The latest political saga in Maharashtra—which began with a rebellion in the Shiv Sena against Uddhav Thackeray, spearheaded by Eknath Shinde—climaxed in the elevation of Shinde as the chief minister and not Devendra Fadnavis, the former CM, pitched as the favourite of a large section of the BJP. Shinde, once critical to Uddhav for his […]

By-polls: BJP smashes Samajwadi bastions in UP’s Azamgarh, Rampur, AAP loses Punjab Lok Sabha seat to SAD (A)

June 26, 2022 4:40 pm

The BJP largely retained its winning streak in the Lok Sabha and assembly by-polls, the results of which are coming in today. The BJP’s biggest success was in Uttar Pradesh, where it smashed two Samajwadi Party (SP) bastions, Rampur and Azamgarh.  The SP had won both Rampur and Azamgarh in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. […]

Presidential Election: NDA’s Safe Choice, Droupadi Murmu Versus Opposition’s Debatable Nominee, Yashwant Sinha

June 22, 2022 12:27 pm

There was not much surprise in the selection of Droupadi Murmu as the BJP-led NDA’s presidential candidate. Murmu was expected to be the NDA’s nominee back in 2017 itself but apparently the BJP brass vetoed the choice because it wanted her to have a longer span in public life before she occupied Rashtrapati Bhavan. Murmu […]

Rajya Sabha Elections’ Outcome: Smart Management Versus Sloppy Showing

June 11, 2022 11:02 am

In the end smart management trumped factionalism, ego clashes and a lack of coordination among the allies. The BJP managed to get the better of the Congress in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Haryana in the elections for 16 Rajya Sabha seats that were billed as a show of strength of sorts for the ruling party/coalition governments […]

Rahul Gandhi’s Assertion That Only Congress Can Take On BJP Is Far Removed From Ground Realities

May 17, 2022 5:11 pm

The Congress’s three-day “chintin shivir” may have addressed itself to aspects concerning structural reforms within the party, effective communications management and connecting with people—hackneyed ideas which were looked into in the past by various party panels —but Rahul Gandhi’s assertion that the regional parties were not good enough to confront the BJP is far removed […]

Former Gujarat Bureaucrat, Arvind Sharma, Is Finally In Yogi Adityanath’s Cabinet

March 25, 2022 10:17 pm

In 2017, he was anointed as the chief minister after his cheerleaders staged a show of strength on the streets when the BJP chewed over names to lead the legislature party. In 2022, he was elected as the chief minister painlessly because it was thought he had “earned” his spurs over the past five years. […]

Looking Ahead At UP: Is Akhilesh Yadav’s Speculated Move To Resign As A Newly Elected MLA And Keep His Lok Sabha Seat Ill-Advised?

March 14, 2022 3:09 pm

An electoral setback can rattle the most confident and seasoned of politicians. Akhilesh Yadav conducted himself through the Uttar Pradesh assembly election with the chutzpah of a winner and even dared to call it out in the Samajwadi Party (SP)’s favour after the fifth stage of the eight-phase polling. The SP chief is understandably desolate. […]

Uttar Pradesh Elections: The Raja Of Kunda Is Up Against A Challenge From The SP For The First Time Ever

March 3, 2022 6:50 pm

Kunda: To Uttar Pradesh’s political parties, barring the once spunky Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), his name was an alias for terror, intimidation and brutality. Yet, they valued him because he was a friend in need. He never lost an election ever since he fought his first one in 1993. He did business with the BJP […]

Base Gaya: Saffron Party Seems To Have Lost It In The First Phase

February 12, 2022 8:12 pm

Baghpat/Loni/Sahibabad The Jat Bhawan on the Delhi-Saharanpur highway in Baghpat town is the socio-political epicentre of this dominant community that still calls the shots in parts of western Uttar Pradesh. Today, the normally busy and buzzing Jat headquarter was deserted because everybody, including the office-bearers of the Jat Mahasabha, were out to ensure a high […]

Akhilesh Yadav, Chaudhary Jayant Singh Put Up Joint Show In Western UP After Akhilesh’s Chopper Takeoff From Delhi Gets “Inexplicably” Delayed

January 28, 2022 9:12 pm

A “potli” (bundle) of grains encased in red cloth in hand, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav repeated the vows he had first taken in Lucknow on January 17, in the presence of a farmer Tejinder Singh Birk, who was among those wounded in October when an SUV, driven by Ashish Mishra, the son of […]

BJP’s Other “Parivar”: Loves To Split Legacy Political Clans

January 19, 2022 5:14 pm

Nothing delights the RSS-BJP more than splitting political estates and breaking up legacy families. It’s about creating splinter “parivars” (families) rather than repose power and command in one central figure, the patriarch or the matriarch or the heir, as with the Samajwadi Party (SP) of Uttar Pradesh, which is helmed by Akhilesh Yadav. This morning, […]

BJP’s Social Base Cracks In UP

January 13, 2022 12:45 pm

Defections and cross-over are par for the course before an election and more so in a state like Uttar Pradesh where politics is the lifeblood of survival of a large, extended community that depends on it in one way or another. However, the turn-around rarely added up to a revolt. Individuals left the parties they […]

Uttar Pradesh BJP’s Brahmins Get Restive Before Elections On Various Counts

January 11, 2022 10:07 pm

The Uttar Pradesh BJP’s large contingent of Brahmin representatives are upset with the leadership on various counts and in a churn just a month before the state votes. Their angst and anger poured out on December 25, when the Brahmin leaders met central minister Dharmendra Pradhan who is overall in charge of the state elections. […]

Sonia’s Half-Hearted Attempt At Regrouping Opposition Ends In Grandstanding

December 20, 2021 7:45 am

Another session of Parliament in the 17th Lok Sabha will end this week, marked by a continuing impasse between the ruling NDA and a large segment of the Opposition, including the Congress. The government on its part made no serious effort to engage with the Opposition and almost gave an impression that it was business as […]

Has Mamata Banerjee Punched Above Her Weight?

November 26, 2021 9:13 am

Mamata Banerjee has fanned out across the country, in search of a political step forward, after her triumph in the West Bengal assembly elections. Her stopovers in places as far away from the east as Goa in the west created a perception that the Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) president and chief minister has punched above […]

By-polls’ Outcome A Mixed Bag For BJP/NDA; Wipe Out In Himachal Pradesh

November 3, 2021 1:27 pm

The outcome of the 32 by-elections—29 assembly and three parliamentary—were a mixed bag for the BJP and the ruling NDA coalition. The BJP managed to retain its supremacy in Assam and Madhya Pradesh and breached the Telangana Rashtra Samithi’s dominance over Telangana but yielded ground in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and […]

Lakhimpur Kheri: This Is A Tragedy That Was Waiting To Happen

October 22, 2021 10:29 pm

It was a tragedy waiting to happen. The violence and killings in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri did not occur by serendipity. Like in west UP, the sugarcane growers elsewhere sat in protest over the non-payment of long pending dues for their produce from the private mills as well as the state cooperatives. The irony was […]

Arvind Kumar Sharma misses the bus in UP ministry

September 29, 2021 1:25 am

Arvind Kumar Sharma, the former Gujarat bureaucrat who was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “eyes and ears” in Gandhinagar, missed the bus in Uttar Pradesh. Sharma, who joined the UP legislative council in January 2021 after resigning from the civil services, was not inducted as a minister in possibly the last cabinet expansion that was carried […]

What Gujarat BJP’s “No-Repeat” norm means for other BJP-ruled states

September 17, 2021 7:51 pm

Winning an election and re-constituting a ministry are interlinked as the latest cabinet recast in Gujarat, under chief minister Bhupendra Patel, demonstrated. In experimenting with a “no-repeat” norm, veterans such as Nitin Patel, Pradipsinh Jadeja, Bhupendrasinh Chudasma, Kaushik Patel and Saurabh Patel, some of who have been part of every government since Keshubhai Patel’s time […]

Is Mamata’s by-poll in Bengal a signifier of national political realignments?

September 11, 2021 12:55 pm

Sharad Pawar, the Nationalist Congress Party president, hammered home unadorned truths to the Congress, once his abode, in his latest interview to a Marathi news channel. Pawar, who evokes homegrown imagery to make a political point, compared the Congress to Uttar Pradesh’s zamindars of yore, feudal lords who owned boundless expanses of land, most of which they […]