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?
WITHIN HOURS OF the March 11th victory in Uttar Pradesh, BJP President Amit Shah was contemplating his next moves. As he told his close associates, he wants the party to gain strength in 120 Lok Sabha constituencies across various states where the BJP is a marginal player. A few days later, while speculation was still … Continue reading BJP Begins the Battle for Tougher States
AT THE HEIGHT of the campaign for the seven-phased election in West Bengal, Mohammed Salim, CPM Politburo member and one of the key architects of his party’s ‘alliance’ with the Congress, had told me that he expected the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) to win not more than 134 seats in the state Assembly. He was … Continue reading West Bengal Verdict 2016: Mamata Marches Forward
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?