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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Sujata Anandan

Gopinath Munde was the game-changer in Maharashtra

Sitting in the BJP state headquarters in 1995, I got my first measure of Gopinath Munde. He had already emerged as a firebrand opposition leader in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, taking on the mightiest chief minister of those days, Sharad Pawar.

The Shiv Sena is in a bind

Democracy, truly,  is a great leveller. For me, the more tickling pink part is that at such times irony dies a thousand deaths when traditions are overturned and stated positions are thrown out of the window.

Falling between two stools?

I certainly did not anticipate was this near complete rout for the Congress and the NCP – the only comforting thought is that none of the political parties expected it either and all were considerably shocked at the results.

Sharad Pawar may still hope to be PM

In this high-octane battle between the Congress and the BJP, one tends to forget 'The Great Survivor' - Sharad Pawar - who has been unusually quiet (and exceptionally sweet) to the Congress during the poll process.

Pet hate: why Gujaratis are on Shiv Sena's radar again

 After bashing up north and south Indians, Muslims and other minorities, the party needs a new target. An analysis by Sujata Anandan.

A smooth landing for Pawar

BJP leaders, including Narendra Modi, might dismiss Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s toffee and balloon analogies as the obsession of a child

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.
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