THE chief minister of Kerala had a reputation for being pithy. But he seems to have changed, showing an inclination to dwell at length on the policies of his coalition, which has secured another term in the recent Assembly election. This historic victory makes Pinarayi Vijayan the first chief minister of Kerala to return to … Continue reading ‘The relevance of the Left in India cannot be measured by poll victories alone’
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (centre) meets party workers in Kannur, May 2 (Photo: AP) THE MORNING of May 3rd, the day after a stunning electoral victory for Kerala’s Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM)-led coalition of which he is the spearhead, Pinarayi Vijayan was seated inside a Bombardier flying him from his hometown Kannur in … Continue reading Pinarayi Vijayan makes history. What makes him India’s most powerful communist leader?
Rahul Gandhi at a roadshow at Sulthan Bathery, Kerala, April 1, 2021 Rebel Congress leaders of the G-23 are expected to revive their calls for an organisational rejig That Congress saw Kerala as an island of hope for its first family, the Gandhis, was evident in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Sensing a huge setback … Continue reading A Setback for the Gandhis
Emboldened by its victory, the Kerala CPM will resist any bid by its central leadership to align with Congress anywhere Pinarayi Vijayan addressing after the election results, May 2, 2021 Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has made history by becoming the first incumbent in the state to return to power. The Left Democratic Front (LDF), … Continue reading Pinarayi Vijayan in the Driver’s Seat
ABBAS SIDDIQUI HAS changed. Abbas Siddiqui is changing. Abbas Siddiqui will change. These are the unlikely but general statements churned out by Left leaders in West Bengal, mostly privately, justifying their collaboration with a new and untested party floated on January 21st by this 34-year-old pirzada, a cleric, of the shrine of Furfura Sharif in West … Continue reading Can the Left in Bengal expect a rainmaker in Abbas Siddiqui, the brash cleric and its new ally?
ON THE MORNING OF February 27th, the gruff police officer who stopped our SUV some 10 km from Mau where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was to address a huge rally, his 16th in the ongoing seven-phased elections to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, told me curtly that there was a threat on the BJP heavyweight’s life … Continue reading The War Modi Cannot Afford to Lose
ON THE MORNING of January 16th, a day after his wife’s birthday celebrations, Akhilesh Yadav appears “downcast” to one of his suave ministers who called on the leader at his Lucknow residence. A senior editor who met him that day was also struck by the lack of “usual verve” in the man, who, at 43, … Continue reading UP Elections 2017: The Day of the Bicycle Prince
AT 1:15 pm on 8 April, Mamata Banerjee arrived in her Hyundai Santro at the Directorate of Land Records & Surveys in South Kolkata’s Alipore area. She would have been pleased, it appeared, if the car had been even smaller, like a Nano, the cheapest Indian car. After all, the West Bengal Chief Minister’s efforts … Continue reading Mamata Banerjee: What, Me Worry?
MOHAMMED SALIM, POLITBURO member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), speaks in non sequiturs and mixed metaphors. He guffaws at his one-liners, a smug look on his face. He tells you that, in hindsight, it would have been a capitulation of all “communist” values to align with the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar because the Congress … Continue reading How the Minority Vote Will Make the Most Decisive Difference in the 2016 Assembly Polls