There are few Indian politicians as inscrutable as Sharad Pawar. The old political jungle saying in Mumbai is what 'Pawar thinks, what he says and what he does, are three entirely different things.' Which might explain why no one is still quite sure what was Mr Pawar's exact role in the high drama in Maharashtra in the last month. Was the Nationalist Congress party (NCP) leader really not aware of the negotiations that his nephew Ajit Pawar was having with the BJP? Or was he simply playing both sides of Maharashtra's high stakes poker politics to find out who would give him the best deal?
A curious election littered with many firsts is taking place in Maharashtra. A 49 year old Brahmin from Nagpur appears set to be re-elected for a second five year term in a Maratha-dominated polity. A 29 year old member of the Thackeray family is actually contesting an election. The BJP has pushed the original sons of the soil regional force, Shiv Sena to a secondary position in its long-standing alliance. The ageing Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra's tallest leader over nearly half a century, is fighting hard to keep his family, leave aside his party, together.
A hundred days and counting into the Modi government, whats the biggest difference between Modi 1.0 and Modi 2.0? The answer to that question doesn’t lie so much in the prime minister’s office but across the street in North Block. Where Modi’s first avatar had only one distinct power centre, we now have two. The rise of Amit Shah in his new role as home minister suggests that the Modi government has finally found room at the top for two.
The Lallantop's Editor Saurabh Dwivedi in conversation with senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai. On this week's Neta Nagri we discuss the intent and strategies of BJP behind abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. Amit Shah's emergence as strong and decisive home minister. Narendra Modi's assurance to Kashmir and Ladakh through address to nation. Confusion on Congress on Kashmir issue and silence of Rahul Gandhi. We also remember political journey of former foreign minister Sushma Swaraj.
In this week’s Neta Nagri Saurabh Dwivedi in conversation with senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai. Is article 35A going to be scrapped from Kashmir. Amit Shah’s speech and counter to Digvijay Singh on UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act). Mediation efforts in the Ayodhya land dispute case have failed. The matter will now be heard by the Supreme Court.
Neta Nagri, new political discussion series of the Lallantop, with senior journalist Rajdeep Sardesai. In this series we talk about major political events of India this week. In this episode Rajdeep discussed Amit Shah’s Kashmir policy. Uproar in parliament on Amit shah’s speech. America’s foreign secretary Mike Mike Pompeo’s India visit and tough talk on Pakistan specially on terrorism. Modi on Jharkhand mob lynching. Akash Vijayvargiya hitting municipal officer with a bat and Kailash Vijayvargiya’s response to a journalist on the incident. Mass resignation in Congress.
Saurabh Dwivedi and Rajdeep Sardesai presents Neta Nagri. Weekly round up of political events in India. In the first episode of neta Nagri Rajdeep Sardesai shares his view point on Mamta Banerjee vs doctors in West Bengal, Amit Shah is dual role of BJP president and home minister, Rajnath Singh status, Narendra Modi on global forum, Nitish Kumar's new plan for Bihar, Prashant kishor's new role after Jagan and Congress future while everyone is speculating about Rahul Gandhi's future as party president.
As the temperatures sharply dip in the national capital, the political heat is rising. The BJP’s defeat in three Hindi heartland states means that we enter a big general election year with a marked shift in momentum. A galvanized opposition, restive allies and murmurs of dissent within, suddenly the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duopoly no longer seems quite so impregnable.
Amit Shah is often credited as the BJP president who has converted Indian elections from routine local fights into an all-out life and death ‘war’. Little surprise then when Mr Shah was quoted as having told a gathering of BJP social media activists in Pune that they must see themselves as ‘soldiers going into battle who take no prisoners’. Mr Shah may have been only trying to motivate his flock but the sharp rhetoric reflects a new election dynamic where a tweet, a Facebook post or a WhatsApp forward are the modern-day arrows and bullets aimed at bruising political opponents.
In 1996, soon after LK Advani resigned as an MP over his name surfacing in the ‘hawala’ diaries, we asked the original BJP ideological mascot why he had taken what many believed was an ‘extreme’ step. ‘It is a conscience call. I come from a party with a difference which is committed to probity in public life,” he claimed.