ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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BJP's short term score in Manipur

The electoral battle is now concluded in Manipur, and the BJP’s victory is nearly definite, pending a floor test. Even if it has scored convincingly in the short run, there is no guarantee that the new government’s problems are over. It will have to keep its own MLAs happy when a majority of the cabinet ministers are from the smaller parties that are supporting it. There is also the manifesto of one of these parties promising the division of Manipur to form Greater Nagaland, a contentious issue. 

India's Second Dominant Party System

The conflation between nationalism and Hindutva has been the backbone of the new hegemony. That is why the BJP has been so happy with intellectuals trying to problematise the nation. That particular intellectual initiative simultaneously places the BJP in a position of immense advantage and ensures that “anti-BJP” would necessarily be equated with the anti-national!  Independently, both ideas—Hindutva and development—are potent political discourses. By weaving them together with nationalism Narendra Modi has bound them into an arsenal of his political offensive. Therefore, the coming times would be less about electoral victories and more about the onward march of this hegemony in the realm of popular imagination; about how democracy shapes up in Modi’s new India.

Aam Aadmi Party as Third Player in Punjab Politics

 Despite huge organisational and political blunders, the Aam Aadmi Party is still a substantial player in Punjab's electoral politics. It does not have the organisational network that the Akali Dal has nor a popular leader such as the Congress' Amarinder Singh. However, its emergence in the state has brought to the fore the issue of regional versus Delhi-centric control of party decisions and politics

Third Democratic Upsurge in Uttar Pradesh

The upcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh point to an electoral battle between the incumbent Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, which swept the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. With a decline of identity politics in the state, the major political parties are trying to outdo each other in engineering alliances, reaching out to hitherto neglected, marginalised groups, under the garb of inclusive politics. Sensing an opportunity, these backward groups are turning away from their identity-based political anchors and being drawn towards parties that promise political and economic empowerment, signalling the beginning of the “third democratic upsurge” in UP.

Milking 1984 as an Election Issue

Punjab is heading for an assembly poll with two new entities in the fray, the Aam Aadmi Party and theAwaaz-e-Punjab front. While the record of the ruling Shiromani Akali DalBharatiya Janata Party combine is shabby, the Congress still faces the uncomfortable task of answering for Operation Blue Star and issues related to the anti-Sikh violence of 1984. Though AAP looks like it has an advantage because it raised the 1984 issue early, it is open which way the votes will swing and 1984 could yet again be a deciding factor.

The Gujarat Vote Share Trend Conundrum

The Bharatiya Janata Party may seem invincible in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat. However, the staggering numbers in terms of the party's vote share and seats in the state assembly tell a very different tale. Right from the first time it came to power on its own in 1995, till now, this article chronicles the BJP's eventful journey in Gujarat.

Saffron Headway in Kerala

The Bharatiya Janata Party's ability to enlist a band of groupings may not have helped the party as much in the lone seat it won--Nemom in Thiruvananthapuram district--from where the party's octogenarian O Rajagopal had been contesting election after election and establishing incremental gains over the years. But it is evident that the party has been able to erode the Congress base and eat into left votes.

Right to Contest

All progressive forces need to come together to roll back the recent moves by the Bharatiya Janata Party Governments of Rajasthan and Haryana to curtail the right to contest elections through arbitrary and restrictive criteria. Parliament has just passed an amendment to the President's address reiterating the fundamental right to contest elections. This is a battle for India's democracy.

Undone by Its Own Mistakes

In the 2015 Bihar elections, Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies led at the outset but lost badly to the Grand Alliance when votes were counted. The familiar themes of caste and development--along with governance, class alignments, the reservations issue, and communal polarisation--were all important, but the mishandling of them by BJP leaders turned them to their rivals' advantage. The BJP campaign suffered from the over-centralisation of power in the hands of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. A detailed account, based on fieldwork and interviews with those on the ground, explains how BJP lost in Bihar.

Two Tyrants in the Age of Television

The politics of Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi analysed through two recent speeches to the highest bodies of their respective parties.

Himachal Pradesh: Elections 2003: Understanding Complex Choices

Although the difference in proportion of votes between the BJP and the Congress remains the same as in the 1998 elections, the Congress won a decisive victory this time. How is this to be explained in the context of the fact that a pre-election survey indicated popular appreciation of BJP's performance in government?

Pointers to Partition

A Narrative of Communal Politics: Uttar Pradesh, 1937-39 by Salil Misra; Sage, New Delhi, 2001; pp 363, Rs 295.

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