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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Sujata Anandan

The grassroots strike back now

Prithviraj Chavan, who is not exactly an admirer of Sharad Pawar, has been pleasantly surprised this election season by the devotion and hard work that the latter has been putting into the campaign.

Why no NaMo chants in Nagpur

Nearly a year ago, Maharashtra minister Nitin Raut, who hails from Nagpur, told me, “Nitin Gadkari ke yahan roz bakre kat rahe hain. Har roz ek biryani party di jaa rahi hai (A goat is sacrificed daily at Nitin Gadkari’s home. He throws biryani parties every day”).

They came to see the baby boy

The jury may still be out on whether Rahul Gandhi has come of age politically, but at 43, the Congress vice-president can hardly be called a 'baby boy'.

Decoding the straws in the wind

In all the years that I have known and closely observed Sharad Pawar, I have realised that he is as good a barometer of the political weather as any you can find in the country, writes Sujata Anandan.

The desperation is clearly showing

I first learnt of bogus voting in the elections when I was barely 13 years old. My friend of similar age was a lot taller than me and looked older than she actually was. In those days in West Bengal, there was  bitter rivalry between the Communists and the Congress.

Pale shadow of the tiger: Shiv Sena is losing its roar

The Shiv Sena has seen many exits from the party this season and it cannot help that these men are getting party tickets from rivals while others, could add to the damage at the grassroots. Spokesperson Rahul Navalkar's defection marks another setback for the party under the leadership of Uddhav Thackeray, writes Sujata Anandan.

Over before it has begun

I have always said that if MNS chief Raj Thackeray were less dependent on property builders and brokers to run his party and paid more attention to the grassroots, he could soon emerge as formidable a GenNext leader as Sharad Pawar in his time.

Is the Modi magic wearing off?

There can be no greater admission of the fact that there is really no Narendra Modi wave in the country than the attempt by former BJP president Nitin Gadkari to woo Raj Thackeray at this late hour.

Rajmohan Gandhi or Narendra Modi, take your pick

I believe the Aam Aadmi Party could have no better candidate to field against Narendra Modi than Rajmohan Gandhi. He would be a more formidable candidate than Arvind Kejriwal against Modi.

There are few options for Pawar

For all his ‘hail-fellow-well-met’ kind of ways and his innumerous gaffes — in the English language — I have never believed that Sushilkumar Shinde should be taken lightly.

Nothing Indian about the RSS

Before Caravan put the tape recordings of its conversations with Swami Aseemanand into public domain, I had some doubts about his claims that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had authorised the bombings of Muslim targets in such cold-blooded fashion as described in the story, a journalistic coup of this century.

Gujarat is a ‘chemical state’

If Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar believes that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi will build a statue of his grandfather taller than the one he proposes to build that of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, he might have to reconsider.

Sharad Pawar’s political innings is far from over

Things have a way of coming full circle and Pawar today is in the piquant situation of either contesting from his seat and winning or else opting out so that he has more time to ensure that other NCP contestants win.

Let down by their own men

The Shiv Sena in the 1960s started essentially as a male-dominated party and its activities were such that it was no place for women. It was not until the 1990s that women in the Shiv Sena came into their own.

Modi's cookie begins to crumble

I was tickled pink to see Modi’s discomfiture at his Goa rally on Sunday where he complained that parties need grassroots ‘vision’ more than television.
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