Akhilesh Yadav

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

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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 […..]

Akhilesh Yadav’s second coming

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What’s in a tree? Can tree plantations symbolise a broader political message beyond safeguarding ecology? The answer is yes, if you are Akhilesh Yadav, UP chief minister and heir to the Yadav dynasty, now looking to reposition himself as a political entity in his right, not just a sapling withering under the shade of his […..]

Amitabh Bachchan doesn’t need a sarkari pension

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I am an out and out Amitabh Bachchan fan and he is probably the greatest film star of the last forty years but there is something ridiculous about the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to award him a life-pension of Rs 50,000 award. The pension has been granted under the Uttar Pradesh government’s new pension scheme […..]