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Priyarag Verma
Thursday , March 13, 2014

Why BJP allied with Ram Vilas Paswan and Upendra Kushwaha in Bihar

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While the Bharatiya Janata Party gears up for Lok Sabha elections, in Bihar its leaders have gone all out to ensure that the party gets its caste combinations right even as overtly the campaign focuses on development, corruption and national security. In Bihar no party can win a substantial number of seats if it fails to take into account the caste combination. All the major parties in the state - BJP, Janata Dal United, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Lok Janshakti Party, Congress - are preparing their candidates' list keeping in mind the above factor. In fact the tie up with Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party of Upendra Kushwaha by the BJP was cemented to break the vote bank of Nitish Kumar's JDU. The LJP commands a massive following among the Paswan and Dalit community who are almost 6 per cent of voters in Bihar and....

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bihar parties junk development agenda, state back in caste quagmire

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In 2007-08, as the country was beginning to notice the dramatic turnaround in Bihar under the Janata Dal United-Bharatiya Janata Party government, another equally stunning change was taking place in the state. With the 2009 Lok Sabha elections just a year ahead, the political discourse in the highly caste-ridden society of Bihar was finally beginning to see a new term - development - which had been non-existent till now even as several states of India were flying high after the opening of the economy in 1991-92. Caste equations are a must to win elections anywhere in India but nowhere is it more pronounced than Bihar where the one and only consideration of political parties is to ensure that the candidate belonging to dominant caste is put up. But in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Bihar too shed the caste-only baggage with development work playing a small but very decisive....

Thursday , September 13, 2012

Rahul Gandhi: A mute spectator in politics

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The going is getting tough for the Congress in the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as it grapples not only with allegations of massive corruption, policy paralysis, demanding allies, a directionless government but now also has an aspiring leadership that does not inspire, given its absolute silence on all the major issues facing the country. Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, who is seen by many of his party colleagues as the potential prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, is being attacked not only by the opposition parties but even potential allies have started to question his leadership abilities. The barbs directed at Rahul are not without basis as he has a long list of failures against his name when it comes to electoral politics, barring the freak show in 2009 Lok Sabha election when the Congress surprised everyone by winning well over....

Tuesday , March 20, 2012

Pranabda, Tondulkar and Chasnala tragedy

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The business of news can be very demanding, uncompromising and extremely cruel. What defines news depends not only on the gravity of the incident, but also on how many people it impacts and more importantly in today's world by the TRPs (if it's a news channel), pageviews (if it's a news website) and copies sold (if it's a newspaper). On all the three parameters the day Union Budget is presented in India is a big news day, preparations for which start weeks in advance in all the newsrooms across the country. And if on the same day Sachin Tendulkar, the demigod of Indian cricket, scores his 100th international century, no matter if it comes on a placid, batsman-friendly pitch against Bangladesh, the madness in a newsroom is complete. But what if the day is also a witness to a verdict announced in a 36-year-old case in which at....

Friday , May 06, 2011

Osama's death no reason for India to cheer

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Osama bin Laden is dead, the US has achieved what it set out to after 9/11 and Pakistan is red-faced that the world's most wanted terrorist was hiding right under the nose of its defence establishment. Osama was killed by US SEALs in Abbottabad as claimed by US President Barack Obama. With his death, the US claims it has avenged 9/11 attacks. While Osama's death has sparked off celebrations across the world and mourning is some areas what happened on May 2, 2011 in the sprawling mansion just a few hundred meters from the Pakistan Military Academy will never be fully known. India, too, has reacted with a sense of glee and awe at the daring operation carried by the US. While some sections in the government and military established are of the view that the US will now tighten the screws on the Pakistani establishment and force....

Saturday , December 26, 2009

Jharkhand drama continues

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Finally the political uncertainty hovering over Jharkhand has been cleared with Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal (United), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and All Jharkhand Students Union deciding to form the next government in the state. JMM chief Shibu Soren has managed to get his wish fulfilled by forcing other political parties to make him the chief minister of Jharkhand. But despite Soren taking over the reigns of Jharkhand, the youngest state of India continues to suffer from political instability as the recent Assembly results had once again thrown a hung Assembly. Even though the BJP-JD(U)-JMM-AJSU combine is all set to assume power but nothing is going to stop such a desperate group of MLAs from switching sides if they get a more lucrative offer from the other side. And history has shown us that in the last nine years this is exactly what has happened. The rules of....

Monday , October 22, 2007

Some positives and a few questions

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The seven-match One-Day series and the one-off Twenty20 match against Australia is over. If all the completed matches are taken into account, then the verdict is a close 4-3 in Australia's favour and it would seem that the series was a closely contested one. India came into the series riding high on their success in the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa and were expected to give a tough fight to four-time One-Day world champions Australia. In South Africa, the young Indian team under Mahendra Singh Dhoni surprised everybody on way to their title triumph with their win over South Africa in the Super Eight stage, Australia in the semi-final and Pakistan in the final. All the three matches gave ample proof that the Indian team had finally learned to cope up with pressure. But when the series against Australia began, the hosts seemed to be....

Friday , July 27, 2007

Is English cricket back on track?

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As usual India began their tour of England with the batsmen, leaving aside a few, failing to put up a decent show when faced with the moving ball. Though the current English pace attack was not considered to be a threat to the famed Indian batting line-up, which boasts of some of the finest players of the current era, but they all failed to come up with a decent score at Lord's. The match was saved only because of the timely intervention of the rain gods and some stubborn batting by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. In the last couple of years English cricket has shown signs of revival after having a harrowing time for a major part of the 90's and the first few years of the 21st century. And the major reason for this was the emergence of a new breed of pacers who not only....

Friday , September 15, 2006

The best all-rounder may not be enough

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After a punishing tour of Pakistan, India are playing England at home. The England team is in India after nearly four years and a lot of water has flown down the Ganges during the intervening period. Both the teams have many new faces though not for purely cricketing reasons. While England are missing their top batsmen due to injury and personal reasons, India is without its most successful Test skipper Sourav Ganguly. In spite of the non-inclusion of Ganguly in the Test squad, India looks the better side. While the Indian team is going into the tour after a resounding victory in the One-Day series against Pakistan, England have won the Ashes back after a long time just a few months back. After a long time England came to India looking to give the hosts a good fight but the injuries to their skipper Vaughan....

Friday , September 15, 2006

The charge of the small towns

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Ranchi and Rae Bareily, two towns most people would find difficult to locate on the Indian map, have become much talked about by the Indian cricketing fraternity. The first one is the capital of the youngest state of the Indian Union while the latter is more famous for a Bollywood song, as Lok Sabha constituency of late Indira Gandhi and the flying academy named after her. Ranchi has been more famous for producing hockey players who have excelled on the world stage and only one player from the state, Subroto Banerjee, had represented the country in an international cricket match before the a long haired, rock star looking guy by the name of Mahendra Singh Dhoni burst on the cricketing arena. Banerjee, who played while Jharkhand was still part of Bihar, donned the Indian colours for one Test and six ODIs before fading away. But Dhoni....


More about Priyarag Verma

Priyarag Verma has been following all the twists and turns of Indian politics closely. He follows sports very closely and has a special liking for cricket, football, Formula One, hockey, tennis and athletics.


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