That Mandal politics is now seen, in large sections of even its homeground, UP, as casteist and divisive, is proof not just of the BJP’s narrative dominance, but of the many critical failures of Mandal’s own flagbearers.
On one side are “Modi-Yogi” and the phalanx of Suraksha-Hindutva-Govt Schemes. On the other is Akhilesh’s appeal, resting on several discontents and the SP's traditional vote base. Somewhere in the middle is a shrunken Mayawati. Vandita Mishra travels from Lucknow to eastern UP, as the polls moved there in the last leg
Following five years of the BJP’s incumbency under Yogi Adityanath, with Narendra Modi at the Centre, the project of Hindu consolidation sounds triumphal. But the other project, of backward caste consolidation, dares not speak its name.
The Balbir Singh Rajewal-led Sanyukta Samaj Morcha (SSM), comprising 22 of the 32 farm unions of the Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) that led the agitation, is struggling to convert the wide support it got into votes.
In Punjab, where a hardened two-party system is being challenged by a new entrant — the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made it a three-cornered contest in 2017 — and where more players, including sections of a spectacularly successful farmers’ movement, crowd the fray, that’s also the choice, and clash.
A month after four farmer-protesters were killed at Lakhimpur Kheri, VANDITA MISHRA sets off from the scene of the crime to Bahraich, Gonda and finally,
CM Yogi Adityanath’s home district of Gorakhpur. Along the way are familiar fault lines that are widening ahead of a crucial Assembly election.
Amid the recent political upheaval in Punjab, The Sunday Express travels to Amritsar, the state’s political, religious and cultural hub, and sees the slow slipping away of an older city. What it is being replaced with, no one is really sure.
For the Amarinder Singh government, on government schools, it may have been a matter of too little too late. But in Amritsar, his is a wan and besieged presence in other conversations about other crises, too.
Below the Ganga waters, there are undercurrents, a desire for ‘naya chehra’, discontent over prices, bitterness over Covid, disquiet over religious rift. However, will it matter in 2022? One can’t say with Banaras.
"You will see the rise of a leader here and there but when you come to the bigger national picture, the people of India will always vote for a party that will safeguard the integrity and sovereignty of the nation," says Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The in-between space, between the Constitution and Modi, seems sparsely populated in Tharoor's new book 'The Battle of Belonging'. In real life, in this space, lie political failures of the past that cast a bigger shadow on the present and haunt the future
As the ruling party at the Centre, the BJP, of course, is on the other side of the fence. With the Shiromani Akali Dal exiting the NDA over the farm laws, the BJP is on its own again in a state that resisted the Modi sweep in 2014 and again in 2019.
Despite a last-minute attempt by Team Tejashwi to package him anew — or perhaps because of the last-minuteness of it — RJD’s new chief ministerial candidate was carrying into this election neither a narrative nor a clean slate.
As discontents with 15 years of Nitish raj rise to the fore, and a desire for bringing in the new makes itself heard in Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav’s RJD faces a difficult predicament in this election: It is new — but it is also old.
For all the chants and invocations of a past glory, culture and civilisation, the spectacle in Ayodhya was about the leader, here and now: Modi, wearing longer hair and a mask, framed solo, no props or supporting cast, enacting a by-now familiar script of Fall and Rise.
As Shaheen Bagh took centrestage in the high-octane campaign in the Capital, The Indian Express travelled from West Bengal, Ground Zero of the NRC debate, to UP, which saw the most deaths in the crackdown. To find out how Shaheen Bagh plays out, how the protests unite — and divide
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was the guest at the recent Express Adda held in Mumbai. She spoke to The Indian Express on India’s decision to not join the RCEP, boosting investment and ushering in reforms