Test for NaMo magic
After BJP won 73 seats from UP in the recent parliamentary elections, it seemed that the politics of caste and identity prevalent in UP until now had been swallowed by the politics of Hindutva. People are now eagerly waiting to see if this trend will be confirmed by the 11 assembly and one Lok Sabha byelections, which are scheduled to be held in UP shortly. Will BJP replicate its performance or will SP learn from its defeat in the parliamentary elections and revive its political presence in UP?
The new lotus positions
The BJP’s numbers in the Lok Sabha elections have redrawn political equations — got arch rivals to unite, arrested the growth of a few others and positioned the party as a prospective alternative in states where it didn’t stand a chance before. Last week, when the BJP called off its once “rock-solid” alliance with the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC), it made another longstanding ally, the Shiv Sena, uneasy. The Maharashtra party, which has, until now, been used to setting the terms of the partnership...
BJP’s Mission Kashmir
Mission 44+ has a ring of the BJP’s successful general election campaign. For a party whose best performance in the 87-member Jammu and Kashmir assembly has been 11 seats in 2008, and which has no seat in Kashmir or Ladakh, it marks the first time it sees itself in a position to chase that majority target. It is with an eye on that target that BJP president Amit Shah is in Jammu, with a rally scheduled Monday.
BJP gets ready for Tamil Nadu assembly polls
The years of toil have paid off and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is on the ascendance in Tamil Nadu, looking at bright yet challenging days ahead. Propelled by the "Modi wave", the party used the support base of six regional players it had aligned with as a launch pad to perform creditably in the Lok Sabha election. BJP's pre-poll alliance with the DMDK, PMK, MDMK, KMDK, IJK and NJP raked in 19% of the votes polled and the coalition picked up two Lok Sabha seats.
Elusive dreams of backward caste unity
Earlier this week, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad suggested that Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati should sink their differences and join forces, just as rivals Nitish and he have in Bihar, to put up a united fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh (UP) as well. Mulayam, who heads the Samajwadi Party (SP) that gets its core...
Big victory in Turkey
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdog˘an, already in his third term, has registered a resounding victory, now as the country’s first-ever directly elected President, rendering a run-off redundant. Sunday’s presidential race was a sequel to the 2007 referendum which authorised the election of the head of state by popular ballot, replacing the system of appointment by legislature. Turkey’s turbulent recent years have been marked by a paradoxical course of events.
Can Modi's Chanakya stay two moves ahead?
Much before he was the Amit Shah as we now see him, Amit Shah was the chief of Gujarat's chess association. Hardly a glamorous second job, one would think, for a member of Narendra Modi's Gujarat cabinet. But to think that would be to miss what the man's really all about. Shah had decreed that chess be compulsory in schools in one Gujarat district. Why? Because his point, say his aides, was that chess makes you think tactically, so children tutored in chess will be sharper.