The miracle of voting: In elections in India, size matters
Politics

The miracle of voting: In elections in India, size matters

Sandip Roy speaks to Mukulika Banerjee about what elections mean to India — and the real miracle in it.

Mai-baap no more: Cong losing Dharavi's WhatsApp generation
Politics

Mai-baap no more: Cong losing Dharavi's WhatsApp generation

Cong will find that gimmicks can no longer get slumdwellers to vote en masse. Technology, TV and phones mean slumdwellers are connected with issues larger than bijli, paani and gutter. They are talking about corruption, price rise and more.

Raj Thackeray's real pitch is to Modi post-Lok Sabha polls
Campaign Diary

Raj Thackeray's real pitch is to Modi post-Lok Sabha polls

It is not easy to guess why Raj Thackeray wants to bank Modi but not the BJP. Clearly, he is playing for larger stakes in the state.

Slamming Snoopgate, defending Vadra: Can Priyanka fight Modi?
Campaign Diary

Slamming Snoopgate, defending Vadra: Can Priyanka fight Modi?

Priyanka in Rae Bareli was what could have still given the Congress some hope, had Rahul managed to work half her charms. Sadly, her defence is too little, and most importantly, comes too late.

Shazia Ilmi's 'communal' remark isn't hate speech, it's just stupid
Politics

Shazia Ilmi's 'communal' remark isn't hate speech, it's just stupid

Shazia Ilmi meant to say something and said pretty much the opposite. She does not understand in a heated election cycle a savvy politician should never ever play sarcastic semantic games with words like “communal” and “secular”.

Tactical voting myth: Is defeating Modi really a Muslim priority?
Campaign Diary

Tactical voting myth: Is defeating Modi really a Muslim priority?

It is assumed that Muslims everywhere will vote against Modi. But some straws in the wind suggest the Muslim vote is not going to be monolithic, as there is also disenchantment with secular parties.

In Kolkata, the sandesh wears party colours
Campaign Diary

In Kolkata, the sandesh wears party colours

Kolkata's sandesh have jumped into the electoral fray. As Trinamool, CPM, BJP and Congress battle it out on the campaign trail for the hearts and minds of voters, their sandesh counterparts are engaged in a proxy battle for the city's sweet tooth.

AAP poised for a second coming, but it still has its strategy wrong
Campaign Diary

AAP poised for a second coming, but it still has its strategy wrong

The Aam Aadmi Party is being written off too quickly by pundits. But the idea of AAP is larger than the ideas currently exhibited by its leadership. It's real impact this time should be counted in vote share, not seats

Two Grand Nobodies take on Baru Somebody - in vain
Campaign Diary

Two Grand Nobodies take on Baru Somebody - in vain

The PM's previous media advisor, Harish Khare, has bashed Sanjaya Baru's book on the PM. He has called all media advisers as Grand Nobodies. But the attacks lack credibility.

Why the Modi wave may be weaker south of Vindhyas
Election

Why the Modi wave may be weaker south of Vindhyas

Despite a mild Modi breeze, the south will remain tough territory for the BJP. It may not gain much in terms of seats, but it will gain votes that may not translate to seats

B for Baith jao, V for Vande Vande:  A-Z guide to Campaign 2014
Life

B for Baith jao, V for Vande Vande: A-Z guide to Campaign 2014

Got a touch of election fever yet? Head spinning? Losing your bearings? Don't worry. Here's our handy ABC guide to the campaign trail.

Graham Staines to Gulbarg Society: What Modi doesn't know
Campaign Diary

Graham Staines to Gulbarg Society: What Modi doesn't know

The whole BJP campaign has focused on Narendra Modi as the Man Who Knows It All. That’s the gist of what Rahul Gandhi alleged when the BJP’s manifesto was missing in action. The Man was the Manifesto. So what was the point of poring over Murli Manohar Joshi’s fine print. Modi has all the answers. Modi knows all.

The imponderables: Will Mayawati be UP's Jill-in-the-box?
Campaign Diary

The imponderables: Will Mayawati be UP's Jill-in-the-box?

Due to some degree of communal polarisation, Mayawati's chances have been written off. But her potential is probably being underestimated - especially since Muslims will be voting tactically this time to defeat the BJP

Sonia Gandhi is a bigger leader than Rahul: So what?
Campaign Diary

Sonia Gandhi is a bigger leader than Rahul: So what?

By picking on Sonia as a replacement for Rahul - apparently when the former was found to be ineffective - the BJP and its leaders such as Modi and Jaitley are perhaps falling into the trap that Sonia has laid. By this comparison, they have accepted her as a formidable leader of the Congress forgetting that all these years, they had never accepted her of any political acumen and had mostly made fun of her.

Narendra Modi's topi politics is all about appeasing his voter base
Politics

Narendra Modi's topi politics is all about appeasing his voter base

By snubbing a skullcap and embracing a veshti, Narendra Modi faces an uncomfortable question. Why is a veshti a sign of respect for someone’s traditions and a skull cap a symbol of pandering?

'Toffees', 'immature', 'Amul baby': A short history of infantilising Rahul Gandhi
Campaign Diary

'Toffees', 'immature', 'Amul baby': A short history of infantilising Rahul Gandhi

By making Rahul seem like a reluctant brat in Indian politics, a softie in the wrestling ring of Indian politics, the Opposition is also making Modi look like the authoritarian patriarch exuding grizzled authority.

No chance for Sena-BJP: In Baramati, Supriya Sule takes Pawar's legacy forward
Campaign Diary

No chance for Sena-BJP: In Baramati, Supriya Sule takes Pawar's legacy forward

Supriya Sule is expected to win easily in Baramati, but she's also preparing for a larger role, of fashioning the NCP's future.

Elections 2014: Why Jaya-Modi war of words is just posturing
Politics

Elections 2014: Why Jaya-Modi war of words is just posturing

Modi’s meeting with Rajinikanth and the latter speaking good things about him was not surprising, but Jaya lashing out against the the BJP was unexpected indeed.

'Captain' Vijayakanth boycotts ally Modi for visiting Rajini instead
Campaign Diary

'Captain' Vijayakanth boycotts ally Modi for visiting Rajini instead

Modi's meeting with the Tamil superstar hasn't gone down well with another superstar who's allying with him.

In dusty Shirur, three Modi trucks violate code of conduct
Politics

In dusty Shirur, three Modi trucks violate code of conduct

'Acche din aane waale hain,' the container trucks promised. But hardly good days for three truck drivers hauled off to court for driving without campaign permissions or documents.