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28-Mar-2017 Srinagar

12 Days to Go: Election atmosphere is completely missing

While bypolls to two parliamentary seats in Kashmir Valley are just 12 days away, the election related campaign from all the major political parties have remained limited to party offices, communities halls and government Dak Bungalows. Leaving aside militancy...

27-Mar-2017 Srinagar

Farooq Abdullah says 'Tiger is back', but where are the stripes?

Farooq Abdullah has been an instant crowd-puller in the past. But the "Tiger is back" image he has been trying to generate has failed to ignite the magic he was once famous for.Farooq Abdullah has always enthused Kashmiris -- be it through his playboy image...

25-Mar-2017 New Delhi

Data suggest Congress not doing as badly as it seems

The Congress partys humiliating defeat in the recent assembly elections, particularly in Uttar Pradesh and the assembly constituency of its Vice-president Rahul Gandhi, are symbolic of its present condition.The party is going through one of its worst slumps...

20-Mar-2017 Srinagar

Kashmir's battle of ballot bigger challenge for security forces

Fighting elections in Jammu and Kashmir since militancy began in the early 1990s has been a challenge to politicians, but not as big as it has been for security forces to secure the process.Amid poll boycott appeals by separatist leaders and grave threats from...

19-Mar-2017

Love jehad to sabka vikas : Can Narendra Modi tame Yogi Adityanath?

Did the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) desist from naming its Chief Ministerial candidate for UP before the assembly polls because it wanted to spring a nasty, or pleasant, surprise - depending on one's point of view - on an unsuspecting public?For some, the...

14-Mar-2017 Lucknow

Ominous silence before the proverbial storm in Samajwadi Party

With Holi, the Festival of Colours, concluding, it seems to be time for some fireworks in the Samajwadi Party (SP), which was humbled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the just-concluded Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.Reduced to an all-time low of...

14-Mar-2017 Chandigarh

AAP, Akali missteps helped Congress rebound in Punjab

The stupendous victory of the Congress in the just-concluded assembly polls in Punjab may be credited to a variety of factors, but unintended help also came from the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine and new political entrant AAP.More than the anti-incumbency...

13-Mar-2017 Panaji

How Manohar Parrikar and the BJP got a fix on power in Goa

In a case of delicious political irony, Goa Forward MLA Vijai Sardesai, the man often referred to as a 'fixer' in public discourse by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, was the one who literally 'fixed' Parrikar's chief ministership.On Lenten Sunday, when...

12-Mar-2017 Jammu

BJP landslide humbles rivals, allies in Kashmir

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah ruffled many a feather by saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's landslide in Uttar Pradesh had shattered the opposition hopes of unseating him soon.Abdullah was in fact making a rational analysis that...

12-Mar-2017 Imphal

Who will take power in Manipur? Congress or BJP?

Uncertainty looms large on government formation in Manipur although the ruling Congress is the single largest party in the new assembly with 28 seats.Independent candidate Ashab Uddin, who is yet to announce his support for any party, is likely to play a vital role...

11-Mar-2017 New Delhi

Poor performance in UP to make RLD irrelevant?

Poor performance in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections may have shut the doors on the future prospects of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) for making a comeback in either state or national politics, at least for a decade, say experts.The reasons being its traditional...

09-Mar-2017 Chandigarh

Punjab battle : AAP upbeat as Akalis, Congress keep up bold face

Third time lucky, third time unlucky or making it in the first attempt. This sums up the political fortunes of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Congress and the AAP respectively as Punjab prepares to count the votes of 117 assembly seats on Saturday.The fate of the...

07-Mar-2017 Varanasi

'Mast-maula' Kashi keeps parties on edge, leaders guessing!

For the past week, the sleepy, "mast-maula" Varanasi has pitchforked itself into envious limelight as the biggest and best in Indian politics camped here to woo voters as the city readied to go to the hustings in the last phase of the ongoing assembly elections...

03-Mar-2017 New Delhi

Clash of titans in Varanasi : Modi vs Rahul-Akhilesh road show

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to hold a mega road show in Varanasi on Saturday, the day Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi are also scheduled to address a similar event in the Prime Minister's Lok...

01-Mar-2017 New Delhi

UP results likely to impact Congress thinking on alliances

The Congress has much at stake in the outcome of assembly elections in five states, particularly Uttar Pradesh, where its decision to abandon the original plan of contesting all seats is being viewed with some scepticism even within its own ranks.The results...

25-Feb-2017 Amethi

Litmus test awaits the Gandhis in Amethi

A litmus test awaits the Gandhis in their bastion Amethi, which votes on Monday in the fifth of the seven-phased Uttar Pradesh assembly election.Having been loyal to the Congress party and the Gandhi surname for decades, the constituency first gave the...

25-Feb-2017 Bahraich and Mirzapur districts (Uttar Pradesh)

Education failure, leading reason for UP job woes, isn't an election issue

"Path mera alokit kardo, naval prath ki naval rashmiyon se, mere ur ka tam har do," Saidun Ahmed, 8, recited a Hindi poem by Dwarika Prasad Maheshwari, a twentieth-century poet, at top speed. "Light up my path, with the morning sunlight light of the new sun,...

25-Feb-2017

Maharashtra verdict: Has Modi's demonetisation gamble paid off?

The sweeping victories of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Maharashtra's local elections mean that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won his demonetisation gamble.Earlier, too, the BJP had come out on top in a series of civic elections across the country...

21-Feb-2017 New Delhi

Akhilesh Yadav's donkey jibe sharpens focus on Indian wild ass

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's "Gujarat ke Gadhe (Donkeys of Gujarat)" jibe might have been meant to score points in a bitter electoral battle, but it has inadvertently sharpened focus on the Indian wild ass, promoted in a TV spot by no less...

21-Feb-2017 Lucknow

In UP, political discourse gets distasteful

"Gujarat ke gadhe" (donkeys of Gujarat), "Loktantra ke aatankwaadi" (terrorists of democracy), "Behenji Sampatti Party", "Negative Dalit Man"... Political discourse amid ongoing assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh has touched a new low.With three phases to elect...

18-Feb-2017 Lucknow

RaGa's elan in UP campaign brings out his new avatar

At an election rally in Uttar Pradesh, when Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi imitated the "mitron" idiom of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the audience burst into laughter and cheered him for well over a minute.The Uttar Pradesh polls could well be the...

16-Feb-2017 Imphal

Close fight between Congress, BJP in Manipur

Territorial integrity of the ancient kingdom of Manipur that had merged with India and the recurring economic blockades by tribal groups are the major issues in Manipur where the upcoming assembly polls are witnessing a close battle between the ruling Congress and...

14-Feb-2017 Shahjahanpur

Demonetisation may hurt BJP in UP's Shahjahanpur

Suresh Khanna, the BJP candidate from Uttar Pradeshs Shahjahanpur, is seeking his eighth consecutive election victory in this urban constituency but the going may not be easy for him.There is an unabated resentment over demonetisation amid possible polarisation...

14-Feb-2017

UP: Women winning fewer elections, losing deposits in larger numbers

Poor, populous Uttar Pradesh was the first state to have a female Chief Minister -- Sucheta Kriplani from 1963 to 1967 -- but this pioneering effort has not improved prospects for women in elections.As voter turnout has risen, more competitors have stood against...

14-Feb-2017 Lucknow

Battle for UP causes collateral damage

Uttar Pradesh's revenue has taken a big hit -- first due to demonetisation and now because most government employees are out on election duty.Officials in the concerned departments fear that the revenue targets for the current fiscal might take a knock of...

14-Feb-2017 Shahjahanpur

In UP, villages still cry for roads

Seven decades after independence, residents of a large number of villages in Tilhar constituency here in Uttar Pradesh continue making one key demand: better and macadamised roads.They complain that nothing has changed even as they have time and again reposed...

13-Feb-2017 Saharanpur

SP battles to retain its supremacy in Phase-2 of UP polls

As the battle for ballot in Uttar Pradesh shifts to 67 second-phase seats, including those in Rohilkhand and the Terai region, much seems at stake for the Samajwadi Party (SP), which had done well in many of these constituencies in 2012 elections.This time...

13-Feb-2017 Lucknow

Mayawati's campaign turns a new leaf in UP

People change with times. In Uttar Pradesh, where voters are being wooed left and right, the most striking election campaign, although low profile, is of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).Raring to wrest power from arch rival Samajwadi Party (SP), the BSP has changed...

12-Feb-2017 Lucknow

UP elections and the missing 'madam, chacha, neta and babuji'

The first phase of the elections to the 403-strong Uttar Pradesh state assembly, that ended on Saturday, was marked by many firsts in the electoral history of the politically crucial state -- a major one being the absence of many veterans and political heavyweights...

11-Feb-2017

If Kejriwal wins Punjab, it will alter course of politics

The emerging consensus that there is a wave in favour of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab is terrible news for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, not because they will have lost the election but because the road ahead will become that...

10-Feb-2017 Meerut

Tight contest among BJP, BSP, SP-Congress in UP first phase

There appears no clear front-runner among the three major contestants - BJP, SP-Congress and BSP - in the 73 seats going to polls in the first phase of elections in Uttar Pradesh with factors including demonetisaiton, problems of farmers and caste and community...

10-Feb-2017 Bisadah (Uttar Pradesh)

In communally divided Dadri, no one talks of development

In the area where a Hindu mob murdered Mohammad Akhlaq after accusing him of eating beef, the election fever of Uttar Pradesh is laced with old tensions.The few Muslim families here are unwilling to speak -- unlike almost everyone else in the state -- on...

09-Feb-2017 Lucknow

Imam Bukhari asks Muslims to vote against SP

Imam Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid in Delhi, on Thursday appealed to his followers in the community to vote against the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, beginning February 11.Addressing a press conference here, Bukhari...

07-Feb-2017 Lucknow

Dialogues, drama, desperation... cut to UP as action begins

The action has begun in Uttar Pradesh. Election strategists, central and state ministers, Chief Ministers from other states and the Prime Minister himself are criss-crossing the sprawling state as they hard-sell their parties to voters.More than a dozen...

07-Feb-2017 Lucknow

Mood in Lucknow favours SP-Congress alliance

If the sentiments at one of the better known tea stalls here is any indicator, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav appears to be riding high ahead of critical assembly elections.A wide variety of people -- of all ages, from many occupations -- spoke...

06-Feb-2017 Chandigarh

Punjab poll: More women vote than men

Punjab may have been unfair to women in terms of its sex ratio, but the percentage of female voters was clearly higher than male voters in the just-concluded assembly elections in the state.With Punjab recording a high voter turnout of 77.4 percent, it was...

04-Feb-2017 Agra

Old-timers, others miss electoral din in UP's Agra

As campaigning for the first phase of the seven-phased Uttar Pradesh assembly elections gains momentum, many old-timers and other locals in the City of the Taj rue the absence of the cacophony associated with the earlier electoral battles.Maza nahin aaya...

04-Feb-2017

UP polls : Key lies in Modi regaining the Muslim vote

A major reason why the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is believed to be finding it difficult to cross the finishing line with ease in the ensuing UP assembly elections is its loss of the Muslim vote since 2014, when it had secured more support from the community...

03-Feb-2017

Drugs, despair, decline fuel demand for change In Punjab

Kuch na honda Punjab da, zameen banjar, aulad kanjar. (Nothing can come of Punjab -- lands barren, children jobless.)That extreme assessment of India's 11th richest state was made by a drug kingpin in the dark film "Udta Punjab" (Flying Punjab). The statistical...

02-Feb-2017 New Delhi/Chandigarh

In patriarchal Punjab, only 7% of 1,145 candidates are women

Only seven per cent of the 1,145 candidates in the fray in the Punjab assembly elections are females -- a figure pointing to the patriarchal predominance of all political parties -- and making a mockery of their promise of 33 per cent quota for women in legislative...

02-Feb-2017 Chandigarh

Punjab's 'silent' electorate can make things uncertain

Punjab is set to see its most crucial assembly election in decades on February 4, with its undercurrent of "silent" voters likely to turn the poll arena into an uncertain event which could swing anywhere.For the first time, Punjab is witnessing three-cornered...

02-Feb-2017 Lambi (Punjab)

Lambi to be Punjab's mother of all electoral battles

It couldn't have gotten bigger than this. For the first time in Punjab's political history, two stalwarts of two mainline political parties are headed for a face-off in the February 4 assembly elections.Five-time Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is facing...

01-Feb-2017 Panaji

Velingkar vs BJP contest assumes 'mythical' proportions in Goa

The bitter electoral battle between a former RSS leader and guru, and his illustrious and politically-powerful shishyas, is fast attaining mythical proportions in this coastal state going to the hustings on February 4.Ranged against each other are Subhash...

01-Feb-2017 Jalalabad (Punjab)

Jalalabad: Two MPs versus Punjab's most powerful man

It is tucked away in a far corner of west Punjab -- barely a dozen kilometres from the Pakistan border -- and is certainly nowhere near as developed and prosperous as other parts of the state. But the assembly elections this time have made this a high-profile...

30-Jan-2017 Kairana (Uttar Pradesh)

'Hindu exodus' not an election issue in Kairana

The so-called "Hindu exodus" from Kairana in western Uttar Pradesh, which had grabbed headlines, is a non-issue in the electoral battle here.The real issue here is the widespread unemployment with candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Samajwadi...

30-Jan-2017 Jalandhar

NRIs add to poll pitch in Punjab

Punjab's strong non-resident community has arrived in hordes from Canada, Britain, the US and other countries for the February 4 assembly elections in the state.All major parties are paying special attention to the diaspora -- or non-resident Indians (NRIs) --...

30-Jan-2017 Lucknow

By roping in Mukhtaar, Mayawati dents her image

BSP chief Mayawati has never been known in Uttar Pradesh for political niceties. Yet she caught many by surprise when she ushered into the party known crime don-turned-politician Mukhtaar Ansaari.For the 61-year-old four-time Chief Minister of India's most...

29-Jan-2017 Chandigarh

In AAP, the three main Punjab parties see a common enemy

Being dismissed as "outsiders" by the three main political parties in Punjab has hardly dented the resolve of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). A silent undercurrent among voters has positioned the newest party on the state's political scene as a contender to form...

28-Jan-2017 Lucknow

Will political 'imports' hurt BJP's bid to end its UP 'exile'?

Will the Bharatiya Janata Party's hopes of ending its 14-year political vanvaas (exile) in Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming election be shattered by a rebellion from within -- and against those being dubbed as "outsiders"?While the jury is still out on the matter,...

27-Jan-2017 Chandigarh

Punjab politicians take poll lingo to new lows

"Dusht" (wicked), "kuttanga" (I'll thrash), "lootere" (robbers), "topiwalas" (a reference to AAP workers), "meesana" (crooked or cunning people): This is what top politicians, across party lines, are openly hurling at each other in the run-up to the February...

22-Jan-2017 Lucknow

SP to contest 298 seats, Congress 105

Uttar Pradesh's ruling Samajwadi Party on Sunday decided to contest 298 of the 403 assembly seats and leave 105 to its ally the Congress, party sources said.This followed a telephone conversation in the morning between Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress...

21-Jan-2017 Lucknow

SP-Congress alliance set to collapse before take off ?

Prospects of an alliance between the Congress and the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh appeared set for collapse even before taking off. With the SP refusing to budge from its offer of 90-odd seats and the Congress not ready for anything below 120,...

21-Jan-2017

SP-Congress will give BJP a run for its money in UP

Any satisfaction which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) felt over the internal strife in the Samajwadi Party (SP) must have been diluted to a considerable extent by the truce, albeit an uneasy one, among the family members of its main political rival in...

20-Jan-2017 Lucknow

SP-Congress alliance: Will 'hand'-shake warm up UP voters?

The electoral pact between the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress is a done thing now. But as both parties work out the finer details of the alliance, likely to be announced any time now, the winnability of the combination in a state as complex...

19-Jan-2017 Chandigarh

Punjab polls : No cake-walk for Badals this time

With the Punjab assembly polls turning into a three-horse race for the first time, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son and deputy, Sukhbir Singh Badal, face the most serious electoral challenge of their careers.Unlike on earlier occasions, when...

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