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