Alarm bells for BJP: Congress takes big strides, Modi magic waning but still formidable for 2019 polls

Illustration: Ajit Ninan

The thrilling cliffhanger in MP notwithstanding, a few clear trends are emerging. First, like in Gujarat’s Saurashtra a year ago, Congress is on the upswing in rural India. In MP, Congress improved its tally from 56 rural seats in 2013 to 95 in 2018 while BJP went down from 122 to 82. In Rajasthan, Congress […..]

6 Awadh districts key to UP


Dabang kaun: Being macho in UP


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


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 […..]

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 […..]

UP after phase 2 voting

UP’s big picture