Vandita Mishra


Vandita is The Indian Express National Opinion Editor

Opposition still licks wounds, BJP has cracks within
Sat, Nov 25, 2017

The New Lucknow, Part 4: In the eight months of the Yogi government, SP is tongue-tied, the whir of BSP's formidable party machine, which prepares for polls so meticulously, is barely noticeable among the people, on issues of governance.

Aadhaar to NCERT: Madrasas and the new normal
Sat, Nov 25, 2017

The New Lucknow, Part 3: For long, cover of secularism was used as an excuse for neglecting madrasas, now govt harsh light casts a shadow

How cow crackdown in Uttar Pradesh feeds old fears and fuels new anger
Sat, Nov 25, 2017

The New Lucknow, Part 2: As Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath hits the road for civic polls, The Indian Express travels across the state to track the change he’s brought.

Yogi Adityanath govt’s carrots are few, it’s the stick that’s seen and heard
Sat, Nov 25, 2017

The New Lucknow, Part 1: Eight months on, in the mirror of the ongoing campaign for urban local body polls beginning this week, the delivering state is yet to be seen but it’s the disallowing state that’s making itself heard in UP.

The father, the son and the ally
Sun, Jul 30, 2017

It’s not about corruption, contradictions, or the Centre. Lalu bastion Raghopur’s sense of betrayal regarding Nitish comes from that fleeting promise of development.

Nitish back in NDA: In embrace this time, BJP has the upper hand
Fri, Jul 28, 2017

By breaking with Lalu, and joining hands with BJP again, Nitish could be trying to break the stasis, regain room for manoeuvre in his government - Modi is the domineering presence in the BJP today but the state BJP continues to lack a leader of Lalu’s stature — while counting on Central assistance to help get things moving in Bihar again.

Why results in Uttar Pradesh signals new politics, and a new voter
Sun, Mar 12, 2017

UP is seen as — and it sees itself as — India’s heartland. All the main faultlines of India’s politics, along the axes of caste, class and community, are etched here.

Akhilesh Yadav interview – ‘If jaat-dharam wins, we’ll have to ask: why build expressway?’
Thu, Mar 09, 2017

UP chief minister and SP chief on the CM vs PM clash, alliance with Congress and the power of political messaging. Excerpts from a conversation on the last day of campaigning.

Uttar Pradesh Elections 2017: On noteban, voters swayed more by spin than argument, says Akhilesh Yadav
Wed, Mar 08, 2017

The BJP would have been “wiped out” in UP had Prime Minister Narendra Modi not campaigned, Akhilesh says.

UP elections 2017: In Varanasi, Congress has straws to clutch but is adrift elsewhere
Sat, Mar 04, 2017

The Varanasi Congress may appear to be clutching at straws, but by all accounts, it is better placed than its party in most places in UP.

Cashing his notebandi currency, UP’s wish for badlav, Modi lifts himself above the fray
Fri, Mar 03, 2017

UP elections 2017: Modi’s BJP is also capturing the yearning for “badlav” and “parivartan” (change) — in this, it is helped by its decision not to project a frayed or closer-to-home CM candidate.

UP Assembly polls 2017: For Mayawati, getting Muslims is the answer but they ask questions
Wed, Mar 01, 2017

Mayawati, at her rally in Gorakhpur on Sunday, reiterated her main message of a strong and firm administration.

Anti-incumbency in Punjab: Akali roads fail to bridge the distance
Thu, Jan 12, 2017

What bothers the voter in spite of new infrastructure, from local power networks in villages to growth priorities in towns and cities.

How the Punjab contest has gone triangular
Wed, Jan 11, 2017

NRI enthusiasm, candidate freshness and what else AAP introduces to an election traditionally fought between Cong and SAD-BJP.

The father, the son and a spirit
Sun, Jan 08, 2017

Netaji may be old now, it is also said, but he hasn’t forgotten the names of people, or the way to their village — that is how he built the party, brick by brick.

Lucknow shift: Why father will remain Netaji but son is the neta
Wed, Jan 04, 2017

As the political family drama in the SP turns and twists every day, distance between two houses is being measured every day and party leaders are calibrating their positions accordingly.

Meeting Mohammad Shahabuddin: What his release means in a Bihar trying to find its feet
Wed, Sep 28, 2016

The don who ruled Siwan with fear, whose clout remains undimmed after 11 years  of jail, is out and has already stirred Bihar’s politics. Vandita Mishra meets him in Siwan

Prohibition, grievance law: Nitish looks at Bihar & beyond
Sat, May 07, 2016

Nitish is being seen as the prime mover, in partnership with the Congress and Left, in forging a national alliance to take on the BJP.

Bihar is our base…After me and Nitish, it is these boys: Lalu Yadav
Sat, May 07, 2016

Within the Mahagathbandhan, RJD chief Lalu Prasad is the more keenly tracked partner, and his son, Tejashwi, a first time MLA and deputy chief minister in the Nitish government, is increasingly being seen as an important stakeholder in, even guarantor of, the alliance's stability.

Why in working formula, Lalu Yadav is stay-at-home dad in Patna
Sat, May 07, 2016

At a moment when Nitish Kumar looks out at the larger political horizon, his old rival and competitor Lalu Yadav is being cast in the role of stay-at-home dad.

From bastion, advice for Lalu son, learn from Nitish Kumar
Sat, May 07, 2016

The Yadavs of Raghopur acknowledge Lalu for giving them a voice and political power but in 2016, that gratitude is not an unmixed thing.

With BJP raising ‘the enemy within’, silent opposition pushed to the wall
Mon, Mar 07, 2016

As the BJP tries to draw a broader polarisation between “us” the nationalists and “them” the anti-nationals/ Leftists/ Islamists/ political opponents of the Modi regime/ Indian Muslims, non-BJP parties can be said to be looking on, at best.

Rohith Vemula-Kanhaiya Kumar link irks BJP as it brushes caste under the flag
Sun, Mar 06, 2016

As Kanhaiya and Rohith get twinned in the political discourse, what is also becoming visible is this: This linkage is causing discomfort in the BJP-ABVP.

Old meets new in riot shadow: ‘pro-minority’ seen as anti-national
Sat, Mar 05, 2016

Today it’s India vs Pak within country, not just on borders, says BJP MLA.

Using JNU in Uttar Pradesh: In BJP rank & file, deshdrohi the new enemy
Sat, Mar 05, 2016

The Indian Express travels to Ayodhya, Varanasi, Muzaffarnagar to find a new, harder Hindutva.

Bihar polls: A to Z of one of India’s most watched elections
Sun, Nov 08, 2015

Arhar dal to khichdi, cow to quota, ‘jungle raj’ to vikas vote. Vandita Mishra lists the A to Z of one of India’s most watched polls.

Bihar elections: Why ‘fireworks in Pakistan’ are a damp squib in Araria
Tue, Nov 03, 2015

BJP chief Amit Shah may have misunderstood the nature of the political opportunity for the Modi-led party in Bihar

Where Nitish shows up in lantern flicker
Tue, Nov 03, 2015

In Lalu's stronghold, his ally's governance record could be a stronger factor in consolidating backward caste support for the Mahagathbandhan than insecurities stoked by opponent Bhagwat

Decision 2015: Why BJP is going to town in Bihar, literally
Tue, Nov 03, 2015

Here, Nitish is damned by faint praise, there is an overriding fear of Lalu and unease with the policy of backward caste reservations

Why a murder convict calls the shots from jail: in new Bihar, meet the old
Tue, Nov 03, 2015

For both camps, it’s Shahabuddin who matters in Siwan; his former ‘shooter’ faces his current ‘choice’.

Nitish Kumar has worked a lot for Bihar but…
Tue, Nov 03, 2015

That’s how poll talk begins before it touches on the price of dal, asks why Lalu, shows a new Nitish vote bank — and pits Modi 2014 vs Modi 2015.

Meet Vijay Chauthaiwale, the man behind Narendra Modi’s ‘Madison Square template’
Tue, Sep 15, 2015

A swayamsevak who trained and worked as a molecular biologist until he joined the BJP, Chauthaiwale heads its foreign policy department.

Looking for Lalit Modi in Vasundhara Raje backyard, finding angry girls
Fri, Jul 24, 2015

The schoolgirls of Pipalda were demanding more teachers and said they would call off their demonstration only if the 'shiksha mantri' himself gave them a hearing.

Search for Lalit Modi in Vasundhara Raje’s bastion, you will find angry schoolgirls
Fri, Jul 24, 2015

The schoolgirls said they would call off their demonstration only if the 'shiksha mantri' himself gave them a hearing,

Sunday Story: The Leader and his machine
Sun, Jul 05, 2015

A room in 7 Strand Road, Patna, is the nerve centre of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s election campaign. This is where a core team is working on a strategy that is focused on Brand Nitish, without the distractions of party and ideology.

Har Ghar Dastak: Nitish’s Bihar strategy is old fashioned door-to-door campaigning
Tue, Jun 30, 2015

The ambitious campaign, designed by team that worked for Narendra Modi, will kick off on July 2, simultaneously from 10,000 locations in Bihar.