Ramesh Vinayak

A journalist with 30 years standing, Ramesh is a Senior Resident Editor at Chandigarh. He specialises in covering the north Indian states including Punjab and J & K,besides the Punjabi diaspora.

Articles by Ramesh Vinayak

Tangible growth in Ladakh since it became Union Territory: RK Mathur

Ladakh was carved out as a Union Territory from the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir three years back
Ladakh lieutenant governor RK Mathur. (HT PHOTO)
Ladakh lieutenant governor RK Mathur. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jun 24, 2022 12:45 PM IST
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‘Don’t see AAP as a threat to BJP...it’s disintegrating’

In a wide-ranging interview with HT, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur assessed the AAP challenge, dwelt at length on his report card, and explained why his party would win
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur will face his first test next month -- the Shimla municipal polls, which will be AAP’s debut election in the state
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur will face his first test next month -- the Shimla municipal polls, which will be AAP’s debut election in the state
Updated on Apr 13, 2022 01:52 PM IST
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Meet Punjab’s True ShowMann

At 48, Bhagwant Mann will be the youngest to helm the state since 1970 when 42-year-old Parkash Singh Badal headed a coalition government. As a rank outsider who cut his teeth in politics in 2012, Mann has come a long way in a decade before he got nominated as the party’s CM face last month
A supporter applies ‘tilak’ on the poster of AAP chief ministerial candidate Bhagwant Mann in celebration of the party’s win in the Punjab assembly elections at the party headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI Photo)
A supporter applies ‘tilak’ on the poster of AAP chief ministerial candidate Bhagwant Mann in celebration of the party’s win in the Punjab assembly elections at the party headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI Photo)
Published on Mar 10, 2022 07:51 PM IST
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Punjab voted with vengeance, and decisively

BEYOND THE NEWS: High on a heady victory, Bhagwant Mann has his task cut out. He will have to navigate the burden of soaring expectations stemming from a raft of populist promises that the AAP has made, while steering the state beset with daunting challenges: A ballooning 3 lakh crore public debt, farm distress, burgeoning unemployment and drug menace
Aam Aadmi Party supporters celebrating the stunning victory of the AAP in Punjab on Thursday. For once, restive Punjab, caught in a subliminal churn of anger and aspirations, has inflicted a collective punishment on an entrenched political class and reset the political dynamics like never before. (Keshav Singh/HT)
Aam Aadmi Party supporters celebrating the stunning victory of the AAP in Punjab on Thursday. For once, restive Punjab, caught in a subliminal churn of anger and aspirations, has inflicted a collective punishment on an entrenched political class and reset the political dynamics like never before. (Keshav Singh/HT)
Published on Mar 10, 2022 07:03 PM IST
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Broom makes clean sweep in Punjab

In its historic win, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party smashed Punjab’s long-entrenched bipolar polity lorded over by the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) which have ruled the state almost alternatively for last six decades.
AAP supporters celebrating their historic win in Punjab, at Mohali on Thursday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
AAP supporters celebrating their historic win in Punjab, at Mohali on Thursday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
Updated on Mar 10, 2022 04:01 PM IST
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By, Chandigarh

People will vote decisively on Feb 20, say Punjab’s 3 chief ministerial faces

Punjab election: Charanjit Singh Channi, Bhagwant Mann and Sukhbir Singh Badal have emerged as the crucial swingers in the Punjab elections. HT asked them 10 questions on the issues that hold the key to their electoral fate and Punjab’s future.
interview Punjab CM Charanjit Channi (left), SAD's Sukhbir Singh Badal (centre) and AAP's Bhagwant Mann (right).
Punjab CM Charanjit Channi (left), SAD's Sukhbir Singh Badal (centre) and AAP's Bhagwant Mann (right).
Updated on Feb 16, 2022 04:12 PM IST
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By, , Chandigarh, Hindustan Times

‘AAP’s work in Delhi is visible; will repeat here’: Bhagwant Mann

“Two parties have been taking turns to rule the state. People had no option, but they have now got the third alternative,” the Aam Aadmi Party's CM candidate Bhagwant Mann said. 
AAP's CM candidate Bhagwant Mann.(HT Photo)
AAP's CM candidate Bhagwant Mann.(HT Photo)
Published on Feb 16, 2022 03:56 AM IST
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‘SAD is the only Punjabi party, rest are national’: Sukhbir Singh Badal

“We are the only Punjabi party; the rest are national,” said Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Published on Feb 16, 2022 03:53 AM IST
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‘If AAP wins, it will compromise state’s interests’: Punjab CM Channi

“The Congress is seeking a mandate for another five years so that we can take Punjab forward,” CM Charanjit Singh Channi said.
Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi.
Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi.
Updated on Feb 16, 2022 03:52 AM IST
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Punjab polls: In Channi anointment, a unity game plan by Congress

Channi’s anointment has capped, for now, intense jockeying for chief ministerial sweepstakes by an ambitious Sidhu, who apparently acquiesced to the high command’s game plan for a shot at retaining power in the border state. 
Ludhiana, India - February 06, 2022: Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Navjot Singh Sindhu congratulate Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi after the announcement of his name as the Congress CM candidate during a virtual rally, in Ludhiana, Punjab, India on Sunday, February 06, 2022. (Photo by Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times)
Ludhiana, India - February 06, 2022: Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Navjot Singh Sindhu congratulate Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi after the announcement of his name as the Congress CM candidate during a virtual rally, in Ludhiana, Punjab, India on Sunday, February 06, 2022. (Photo by Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times)
Published on Feb 07, 2022 12:26 AM IST
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Punjab Polls: Stakes are higher for Sidhu in challenge from Majithia

Stakes are high for Majithia and Sidhu, but much higher for the latter, unexpectedly pitch-forked into the toughest electoral test he has faced since former Indian cricketer shifted to political pitch after joining the BJP ahead of the 2004 Lok Sabha polls
Majithia and Sidhu were comrades-in-arms to the extent that young Akali leader would be on the wheel of former cricketer’s campaign vehicle in three successive Amritsar Lok Sabha polls which the latter won. That was until they fell out bitterly sometime in 2013 over their clashing power ambitions in the Majha region. (HT FIle/video grab)
Majithia and Sidhu were comrades-in-arms to the extent that young Akali leader would be on the wheel of former cricketer’s campaign vehicle in three successive Amritsar Lok Sabha polls which the latter won. That was until they fell out bitterly sometime in 2013 over their clashing power ambitions in the Majha region. (HT FIle/video grab)
Published on Jan 28, 2022 02:01 AM IST
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ByRamesh Vinayak and Navneet Sharma

Punjab elections: Border state braces for close fight in a 5-cornered contest

Battle lines have been clearly drawn for a no-holds-barred five-cornered election contest in Punjab, in which there are no clear favourites.
Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi during a rally, ahead of Punnjab assembly elections, at Rajpura in Patiala, on Friday. (PTI)
Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi during a rally, ahead of Punnjab assembly elections, at Rajpura in Patiala, on Friday. (PTI)
Published on Jan 09, 2022 12:04 AM IST
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‘On CM face, Congress high command will have to honour merit’

In a freewheeling interview at his Patiala residence, Navjot Singh Sidhu talks about the Punjab CM’s post, the need to honour merit, and the changes since Capt Amarinder Singh’s exit from the Congress
‘I am in a hurry to bring an agenda, a road map. I am a man in a hurry to not repeat my mistakes,’ Navjot Singh Sidhu told HT during an interview in Patiala. (HT photo)
‘I am in a hurry to bring an agenda, a road map. I am a man in a hurry to not repeat my mistakes,’ Navjot Singh Sidhu told HT during an interview in Patiala. (HT photo)
Updated on Dec 28, 2021 11:10 AM IST
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ByRamesh Vinayak and Navneet Sharma

‘Drug FIR not setback, will fight vendetta’: Sukhbir Badal

Come election season, offence is often the best defence
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal. (HT Photo)
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal. (HT Photo)
Updated on Dec 26, 2021 03:25 PM IST
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‘People trust SAD for a proven track record of development’: Sukhbir Singh Badal

“People still trust the Shiromani Akali Dal because we are the only Punjab party with a proven track record of development, be it power plants, airports, roads, urban infrastructure or social welfare,” Sukhbir Singh Badal said. 
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal.(HT Photo )
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal.(HT Photo )
Published on Dec 26, 2021 02:30 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

2022 Punjab elections: Second coming or fractured mandate?

  • A fierce four-way fight for the seat of power in Chandigarh is wide open, with no discernible wave for or against any of the contestants thus far
Having ousted Amarinder to ward off anti-incumbency and end the infighting in the Punjab unit, the Congress is banking on Charanjit Singh Channi, the state’s first Dalit chief minister, to turn around the party’s fortunes(HT Photo)
Having ousted Amarinder to ward off anti-incumbency and end the infighting in the Punjab unit, the Congress is banking on Charanjit Singh Channi, the state’s first Dalit chief minister, to turn around the party’s fortunes(HT Photo)
Published on Dec 23, 2021 01:36 PM IST
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Agri laws: Repeal ripples will go far beyond the farm in Punjab

The repeal of three farm laws is sure to impact the political dynamics in the poll-bound Punjab where the assembly election is slated for early next year.
After PM Modi announced repeal of the three farm laws, farmers took no time in celebrating the occasion in Amritsar on Friday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)
After PM Modi announced repeal of the three farm laws, farmers took no time in celebrating the occasion in Amritsar on Friday. (Sameer Sehgal/HT)
Updated on Nov 20, 2021 05:31 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh

Farm laws repealed: 5 ways in which Centre’s move will impact poll dynamics in Punjab

Farm laws repealed: The Centre’s move is sure to impact the political dynamics in poll-bound border state of Punjab where the assembly election is slated for early next year.
Farm laws repealed: Farmers celebrate in Punjab’s Jalandhar after the Centre decided to revoke the laws on Friday. (ANI)
Farm laws repealed: Farmers celebrate in Punjab’s Jalandhar after the Centre decided to revoke the laws on Friday. (ANI)
Published on Nov 20, 2021 12:08 AM IST
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By, Chandigarh

Five ways in which repeal of farm laws impacts Punjab's political dynamics 

The surprise announcement is sure to impact the political dynamics in the border state of Punjab where assembly elections are slated for early next year. Here is how:
A file photo of farmers protesting over the three farm laws on September 25, 2020 at the Shambu Punjab-Haryana border near Ambala. (PTI/File)
A file photo of farmers protesting over the three farm laws on September 25, 2020 at the Shambu Punjab-Haryana border near Ambala. (PTI/File)
Updated on Nov 19, 2021 02:44 PM IST
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‘Capt colluded with Akalis... govt now working for people’: Punjab CM Channi

Channi says Amarinder promised a lot of things, particularly on sacrilege and drugs front but did not make earnest efforts to ensure justice. The Punjab chief minister says after his elevation to the top post, the narrative has started changing in the state and the Congress is back in the game
During his exclusive interview to Hindustan Times, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi said the exit of Amarinder will benefit the Congress in the upcoming assembly polls as people were not happy with the former CM for his failure to fulfil various promises, including bringing the sacrilege accused to justice. (Sanjeev Sharma/HT)
During his exclusive interview to Hindustan Times, Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi said the exit of Amarinder will benefit the Congress in the upcoming assembly polls as people were not happy with the former CM for his failure to fulfil various promises, including bringing the sacrilege accused to justice. (Sanjeev Sharma/HT)
Updated on Nov 15, 2021 04:53 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh

Masterstroke or a hit wicket? The jury is still out on Navjot Sidhu’s move to resign

The ruling Congress in Punjab has lately been busy in scoring self-goals as high command upstaged its regional satrap Amarinder Singh, installing Charanjit Singh Channi as his surprise successor
Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi with others during an event. The last week’s choreographed coup, was aimed at putting a full stop to the long-running factional feud and to shore up the stock of Navjot Sidhu.
Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi with others during an event. The last week’s choreographed coup, was aimed at putting a full stop to the long-running factional feud and to shore up the stock of Navjot Sidhu.
Published on Sep 29, 2021 02:50 AM IST
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ByNavneet Sharma and Ramesh Vinayak, Chandigarh

How Punjab CM Channi’s assertion in power politics riled Navjot Sidhu

Chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s assertion led to Punjab Congress chief Navjot Sidhu’s resignation, plunging the ruling party into a deeper turmoil
The bonhomie that Charanjit Singh Channi and Navjot Sidhu had publicly exuded soon after the former’s surprise elevation as Punjab’s first Dalit chief minister quickly evaporated, giving way to an intense tussle over power politics. (Keshav SIngh/HT)
The bonhomie that Charanjit Singh Channi and Navjot Sidhu had publicly exuded soon after the former’s surprise elevation as Punjab’s first Dalit chief minister quickly evaporated, giving way to an intense tussle over power politics. (Keshav SIngh/HT)
Published on Sep 29, 2021 02:37 AM IST
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By, Chandigarh

Cabinet contention to Channi’s assertion: Why Sidhu resigned

What came as the last straw was Channi exercising the high command-mandated leeway and ignoring Sidhu’s push for the appointment of Siddhartha Chattopadhayaya as director general of police and DS Patwalia as advocate general.
Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as Punjab Congress chief on Monday. (ANI)
Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as Punjab Congress chief on Monday. (ANI)
Updated on Sep 29, 2021 02:06 AM IST
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By, Chandigarh

Five possible reasons why Navjot Singh Sidhu may have quit

A series of behind-the-scenes events from differences over portfolio allocation to key appointments of DGP and AG led to Sidhu’s exit as Punjab Congress chief in less than five weeks of his taking charge
Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as Punjab Congress chief on Tuesday, less than five weeks of taking charge. From a limited say in cabinet formation to the appointment of the top police and law officers, Sidhu had his reasons to quit. (HT file photo)
Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned as Punjab Congress chief on Tuesday, less than five weeks of taking charge. From a limited say in cabinet formation to the appointment of the top police and law officers, Sidhu had his reasons to quit. (HT file photo)
Updated on Sep 28, 2021 04:39 PM IST
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Infighting to polls: Channi faces tall task

The aftereffects of a bitter showdown between Amarinder and Navjot Singh Sidhu are already casting a shadow on Channi’s tenure. He takes the onerous charge when incessant infighting – unlikely to ebb in the days to come – has sapped the party’s morale, making a rebound tougher
Charanjit Singh Channi.
Charanjit Singh Channi.
Published on Sep 20, 2021 01:20 AM IST
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ByRamesh Vinayak and Navneet Sharma

Infighting to polls: Channi faces tall task

  • The aftereffects of a bitter showdown between Amarinder and Navjot Singh Sidhu are already casting a shadow on Channi’s tenure.
Channi will have to hit the ground running to fulfil the 18-point to-do list of pending promises that the high command handed to Amarinder three months ago for implementation before the state polls.
Channi will have to hit the ground running to fulfil the 18-point to-do list of pending promises that the high command handed to Amarinder three months ago for implementation before the state polls.
Published on Sep 20, 2021 12:42 AM IST
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By, , Hindustan Times, Chandigarh

How Punjab crisis snowballed despite enough warning signs

  • Confident and in control, he appeared to be master of all he surveyed: a firm grip on the state legislature party with no potential challengers from within, a strong equity with a whittled-down party high command and a dispirited Opposition.
Captain Amarinder Singh interacts with media persons following his resignation as the chief minister of Punjab. (Ravi Kumar/ HT Photo)
Captain Amarinder Singh interacts with media persons following his resignation as the chief minister of Punjab. (Ravi Kumar/ HT Photo)
Published on Sep 19, 2021 12:31 AM IST
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By, , Hindustan Times, Chandigarh

HT interview: Mistrust between Capt, Sidhu must end soon, says Punjab Cong affairs in-charge Harish Rawat

The party’s graph was good till one or two months ago, but now people have started criticising us, says the AICC general secretary, adding that party leaders should take this as a warning bell. Rawat says he expects Congress leaders to resolve their differences and issues within the party and not go public
MR TROUBLESHOOTER: AICC general secretary and Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat says while Capt Amarinder Singh has experience, Navjot Singh Sidhu has style. My role is very critical in creating a bond between the two, he adds. (Keshav Singh/HT)
MR TROUBLESHOOTER: AICC general secretary and Punjab affairs in-charge Harish Rawat says while Capt Amarinder Singh has experience, Navjot Singh Sidhu has style. My role is very critical in creating a bond between the two, he adds. (Keshav Singh/HT)
Updated on Sep 03, 2021 01:52 AM IST
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ByRamesh Vinayak and Navneet Sharma, Chandigarh

‘I pray to Waheguru daily that the mistrust ends’: Harish Rawat

"I pray to Waheguru with folded hands daily that mistrust between the two should end. You have to deal with psychology of human beings. The CM has his own experience and Sidhu has his own style."
Congress in-charge for Punjab, Harish Rawat. (HT photo)
Congress in-charge for Punjab, Harish Rawat. (HT photo)
Updated on Sep 03, 2021 04:26 AM IST
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ByRamesh Vinayak and Navneet Sharma

Punjab: As Congress factionalism persists, Opposition smells an opportunity

A little over a fortnight since Navjot Singh Sidhu’s anointment, the Punjab Congress remains a divided house. Adding to a palpable sense of disquiet and drift in the rank and file is a battle of wits playing out between Captain Amarinder Singh and Sidhu, who are now seen as rival centres of power
Punjab Congress Committee president Navjot Singh Sidhu meeting with Punjab chief minister Capt. Amarinder Singh. (PTI File)
Punjab Congress Committee president Navjot Singh Sidhu meeting with Punjab chief minister Capt. Amarinder Singh. (PTI File)
Updated on Aug 09, 2021 06:30 PM IST
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ByRamesh Vinayak and Navneet Sharma
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