February 2017

Dabang kaun: Being macho in UP

INDIA-POLITICS

Machismo has always had political currency in UP, the original birthplace of terms like ‘dabang’, ‘bahubali’ and the utterly untranslatable ‘varchasv ki larhai’. It lies at the heart of Akhilesh Yadav’s 2017 makeover, as epitomised by his “let’s swap seats if you like UP so much” jibe at PM Narendra Modi this week as well […..]

Don’t under-estimate BSP 3.0

Mayawati1

The big elephant statues stand forlorn in the afternoon heat. It’s the height of the election campaign but there isn’t a soul out to see them or the huge four-sided Brahma-like statue of Mayawati that stands as the centerpiece of BSP’s imposing but deserted Dalit Prerna Sthal on Lucknow’s Mall Avenue. The predominantly Mayawati-focused imagery […..]

SP and Congress, bitter rivals in some places

UP’s firewall seats

29 assembly constituencies have returned the same party to power through the 2002, 2007 and 2012. What is special about them is that they make up core party bastions that are yet to be breached and any change here in 2017 would reflect a wider shift. SP has retained the maximum of these bastions so […..]

BJP can make Ram Temple if it wins UP: Katiyar

Budget session

BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Katiyar is founder president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s youth wing, Bajrang Dal, and has been a long-time advocate of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya. He spoke to Nalin Mehta and Sanjeev Singh about BJP’s electoral prospects in UP and how it could impact the Ram temple dispute: What is […..]

Muslims in quandary over SP, BSP

kalraj1

Kalraj Mishra is Union cabinet minister for micro, small and medium enterprises and BJP MP from Deoria, Uttar Pradesh. With UP’s voters set to cast their votes in the state’s fourth phase of voting on February 23, he spoke to Nalin Mehta and Sanjeev Singh about his party’s campaign and its poll strategy: What is […..]

Modi govt has no overarching role: Chidambaram

chidambaram2

P Chidambaram is Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra, former Union finance minister and the author of Fearless in Opposition. He spoke to Nalin Mehta and Sanjeev Singh on the controversy over PM Narendra Modi’s ‘raincoat’ comment on Manmohan Singh in Parliament and the government’s economic policies: Your party and you have been quite vocal […..]