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Anand Kochukudy

Journalist, Freelance Writer, Academic

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Why the crisis in Delhi is of Arvind Kejriwal's own making

The sit-in of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Cabinet colleagues at the office of the lieutenant-general (L-G) completes a week today (June 18). Last Monday, after a resolution demanding full statehood got adopted in the Vidhan Sabha, Kejriwal and his colleagues met L-G Anil Baijal at his office seeking his intervention in the alleged strike by IAS officers and have stayed put since.

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RS seat mess in Kerala: Can current revolt initiate a cleansing process in the Congress?

There is no abatement to the internal wrangling in Congress’ Kerala unit. The bickering was triggered by the abrupt decision to forgo Congress’ claim on the Rajya Sabha seat falling vacant, in favour of Kerala Congress (Mani). There was a spontaneous backlash that cut across factional lines as nobody in the party could come to terms with the sudden decision taken by three leaders – Oommen Chandy, Ramesh Chennithala and PCC President MM Hassan with Rahul Gandhi’s approval –

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How Pranab Mukherjee undermined Congress’ fight against RSS

Former President Pranab Mukerjee's visit to Nagpur to attend the convocation ceremony of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's Sangh Shiksha Varg — Tritiya Varsh, an annual event held to mark the culmination of a three-year training camp for swayamsevaks, went on expected lines. The event was telecast live on account of Mukherjee's participation with expert panellists speculating the motives behind RSS' unusual invite and more importantly, the former first citizen's acceptance of it.

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Why Congress is staring at a huge crisis in Kerala

Ever since the humiliating loss in the Chengannur bye-poll to the CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), Congress in Kerala has been a divided house. Despite allegations of minority communalism and appeasement directed at its principal rival in the state, Congress leaders admit privately to the lapses on their part, and the failure to tap into the massive anti-incumbency sentiment prevailing in the state against the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government.

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How Kairana by-poll result could be a bellwether for 2019 Lok Sabha elections

The result of the Kairana by-election, along with the by-poll results across the country today, clearly establishes the theory that only a united Opposition can trounce the BJP led by Narendra Modi. Although the numbers favoured the Opposition, the BJP put its best foot forward as always in Kairana. If Gorakhpur and Phulpur losses were bad enough, on the home turf of chief minister Yogi Adityanath and the seat vacated by deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, this loss will sting the BJP

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How the heat over EVM malfunctioning kept rising in Kairana

As I learned about the news of mass EVM malfunctioning coming in from the Kairana parliamentary constituency since early morning on May 28, I decided to visit the constituency to find out more about it firsthand. The election had become the centre of attention owing to the high-stakes contest between BJP’s Mriganka Singh and the joint opposition candidate, Tabassum Hasan, representing the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and backed by the Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress.

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How the Chengannur by-election numbers stack up

Among the multiple Lok Sabha and Assembly by-elections scheduled for May 28 across states, Chengannur in central Kerala has emerged as a major focal point. The two-and-a-half month long campaign saw all the three major candidates and respective parties going the extra mile to try and emerge victorious. The election was necessitated on account of the demise of KK Ramachandran Nair, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) sitting legislator.

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What Opposition parties really need to do to take on the might of Modi ahead of 2019

At the swearing-in ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy as the chief minister of Karnataka at the steps of the iconic Vidhan Soudha complex (that houses the Karnataka legislative assembly) on May 23, almost the entire spectrum of Opposition leaders in the country was in attendance. With Karnataka Assembly elections throwing up a verdict that succeeded in uniting the Opposition forces, the general elections might become a very even contest. But what are the chances of the Opposition dislodging Narendra Mod

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The real reason behind how Congress made BJP look silly in Karnataka

As the results of the Karnataka Assembly elections were unfolding on May 15, I was sitting at a Malayalam news channel’s New Delhi studio as their political analyst for the day. Despite opinion polls and exit polls remaining inconclusive, the verdict looked increasingly in favour of the BJP around 1pm, with the leads showing the saffron party surging ahead in 109 seats. On May 15, Amit Shah bragged of a '15th straight state win', a tad too soon. Photo: PTI

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Why failing to form a government in Karnataka is a reality slap for BJP

As the Karnataka Assembly met for the floor test today (May 19), a visibly shaken BS Yeddyurappa stood up and gave an emotional speech reminiscing his days as a Jan Sangh MLA and attacking the Congress-JDS combine for ganging up against BJP after the election. Though Yeddyurappa’s speech might have been the farewell speech of a vanquished man who knows his time as Karnataka BJP’s numero uno is finally up, it was also a last-ditch attempt at gaining some moral high ground after trying virtually

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How Karnataka drama is likely to play out on the Assembly floor

The Supreme Court has ordered for a floor test to be conducted in Karnataka by 4pm tomorrow (May 19). The bench comprising judges AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan were hearing the petition filed by Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) challenging the governor’s decision to invite BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa to form the government. The bench has also refused to address the larger decision of the governor’s discretion for the moment.

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Why BJP shouldn't have been allowed to form government in Karnataka

In an appalling but expected turn of events, the governor of Karnataka decided to invite BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa to take oath as the state's chief minister. It was already rumoured that the governor had taken a decision to this effect much before it was finally confirmed with a communiqué by the Raj Bhavan around 9pm on May 16. It was also inexplicable that the news was initially broken by Karnataka BJP’s official Twitter handle. But almost on cue, the Congress high command in New Delhi reacted sw

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Karnataka elections saw Modi take political discourse to a new low

The polling in Karnataka has finally come to an end. And people have got the much-needed relief from all the sound and fury accompanying elections in recent times. Polls in India have of late become full-fledged wars with allegations and counter-allegations flying thick and fast in all directions. Indeed, ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi emerged on the national scene in 2013, Indian elections have undergone a change of character and evolved into a more vitriolic exercise.

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Karnataka Assembly polls: Why exit polls raise more questions than answers

With the Karnataka elections coming to an end on Saturday evening, it is over to the exit polls now. But instead of giving us any indication about the results to be announced on May 15, most of the exit polls seem to have played it safe. Or complicated the picture further. In fact, the India Today-Axis MyIndia poll has been the only one to predict a simple majority for the Congress – most of the other exit polls have either the Congress or the BJP ahead, with a hung assembly scenario.

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Karnataka Assembly election: What the numbers actually tell us

Election results in India have for long been guided by a sentiment of anti-incumbency. This is even more pronounced in southern states like Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the last three decades. Bucking the trend of anti-incumbency will be the biggest challenge for Siddaramaiah in Karnataka as he seeks another term tomorrow – May 12. In 2013, Siddaramaiah had hinted that it could be his last election but five years later, he is seeking another term. Whether he will be able to emulate Devar

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Why Rahul Gandhi ready to be PM is not good enough to unite Opposition

At an outreach programme organised for prominent citizens in Bangalore today (May 8), Congress president Rahul Gandhi stated that he was ready to be prime minister, if Congress were to emerge as the largest opposition party in 2019 general elections. As this comes in the last leg of the Karnataka Assembly election campaiging, it might act as a morale boost for party workers who have waited patiently for the reluctant politician in Gandhi to take centre stage. It was less than a year ago - at U

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Why vice president rejecting motion to impeach chief justice Misra is suspect

A day after the Supreme Court dismissed the petition for a probe into Justice Brijgopal Harkishan Loya's death on April 19, leaders of seven Opposition parties met vice-president and Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu to hand over a notice for chief justice Dipak Misra's impeachment. But even before the Supreme Court could assemble on the next working day (April 23), came the news of the Naidu rejecting it. Naidu, who was in Hyderabad on a tour, cut short his trip and headed for the national c

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How Sitaram Yechury proved he's the ultimate survivor

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) elected Sitaram Yechury as the party's general secretary for a second term at the party's 22nd Congress that concluded in Hyderabad on Sunday. Although it was assumed that Yechury would get an extension after his political line prevailed against all odds at the party Congress, it wasn't without hiccups. It also came after months of wrangling on the draft political resolution. Not so long ago, at the CPM Kerala State Conference in February that was a prelud

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Why Rahul Gandhi’s candlelight vigil was light at the end of a very long tunnel

Recently, activist Harsh Mander wrote a column –“Sonia, sadly” – to voice his disillusionment with what he saw as abdication of responsibility by Congress in protecting the rights of Muslims, who are getting increasingly marginalised in India’s political landscape. Mander took exception to Sonia Gandhi’s speech at the India Today conclave, where she spoke about how the ruling BJP had successfully managed to “convince” people of the grand old party being a “Muslim party”. She also admitted to Ra

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2019 Lok Sabha polls: Why we might be in for a snap election

Despite the Budget session of Parliament coming to an end last week, the government and the Opposition have been engaged in a blame game ever since. On the penultimate day of the session, parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar declared that the BJP MPs would forfeit their salary for the session which was dubbed a "gimmick" by the Opposition. As the session officially came to an end on April 6, Prime Minister Modi addressed BJP MPs and announced a fast on April 12. The Congress tried to pr

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