Smirks that speak and a doctor with no prescription
- Australia 79/4, India vs Australia Live Cricket Score and Updates, 2nd Test: Match heads towards exciting finish
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- Extremist elements also active in India: US travel advisory for its citizens
- Donald Trump signs revised executive order banning travellers from six Muslim-majority nations
- Campaign ends for last phase of voting: Ground falls silent, now it’s up in the air
Congress has a Very Angry Young Man, BJP has too many angry old men
You know you are walking on treacherous ground when not merely all journalists but even fund managers on blue (stock market) channels start calling an election the same way — hung house, the SP in front, BSP distant second, Congress and BJP fighting for the wooden spoon. So don't count on me calling this election any which way. All I can do is admit that it is one of the most confusing ever. But if in five days of travel, you do not find one Dalit who is leaving Mayawati, one Yadav who is deserting Mulayam, when Brahmins are generally with the BJP, and the Muslims split 7-3 between the SP and the Congress, you can say only one thing for sure. That even after one of the longest campaigns ever, this UP election is still being fought from fortified votebank trenches. Nobody has been able to rouse the voters into venturing out of these. In 2007, Mulayam's mafia raj and Mayawati's image as a tough administrator had persuaded a critical mass of upper-caste voters to walk across the battlelines of caste. No such thing is evident this time.
The BJP has had the strangest approach to this election, considering that before Mayawati in 2007, it was the last party to win a full majority in 1991. They look like cutting their losses rather than winning. So no leader has been projected in a state where they have produced two chief ministers. Uma Bharti's import from Madhya Pradesh is as much to avoid having to name a local leader, and thereby splitting the party, as to keep her off Shivraj Singh Chouhan's back in their home state. Narendra Modi is unwilling to expose himself to even campaign in an unwinnable state. It is cute now how many BJP leaders you run into on campaign trail who tell you, we gave in too early, we misread the mood, only if we had come to UP with greater optimism, etc, etc. The party's minimalistic agenda is to finish ahead of the Congress. For that, it counts on its loyal, upper-caste voters and workers. The Congress, it says, has neither.
- Absolutist ideas of truth have been responsible for religious and political violence throughout history
- Indian Ocean regionalism will need India’s impetus, but Delhi does not seem up to the task
- Paranjape’s reading of ABVP’s activism and his facts about the seminar are wrong
- Is UP 2017 merely a repeat of Bihar 2015?
- Medical community’s angst on lower stent prices reveals a serious condition
- The Supreme Court’s recent reading of the law of contempt comes as a welcome relief