Smriti Kak Ramachandran

Smriti Kak Ramachandran

Smriti covers an intersection of politics and governance. Having spent over a decade in journalism, she combines old fashioned leg work with modern story telling tools.

Articles by Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is administered a Covid-19 vaccine in New Delhi on Monday, March 1, 2021.(AP Photo)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is administered a Covid-19 vaccine in New Delhi on Monday, March 1, 2021.(AP Photo)

PM Narendra Modi gets Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin as India expands drive

By Smriti Kak Ramachandran, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2021 01:38 PM IST
  • Starting Monday, the coronavirus vaccination drive has been opened to senior citizens and people with comorbidities who are in the age group of 45 to 59 years
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The Election Commission said the polling has been spread over a month in Bengal taking into cognizance law and order considerations in the state. (PTI Photo)
The Election Commission said the polling has been spread over a month in Bengal taking into cognizance law and order considerations in the state. (PTI Photo)

What happens in marathon multi-phase polls? A look at scenarios

By Smriti Kak Ramachandran, Hindustan Times, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 12:20 PM IST
A former EC official said the poll panel does take into consideration the suggestions on the polling schedule made by the political parties.
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The Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government is hoping to buck the trend and retain power on the basis of its tenure — it has cited citing the creation of new public sector units and infrastructure development as achievements. (ANI file photo)
The Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government is hoping to buck the trend and retain power on the basis of its tenure — it has cited citing the creation of new public sector units and infrastructure development as achievements. (ANI file photo)

Kerala assembly polls: Covid fight in focus as Left, UDF battle it out

By Smriti Kak Ramachandran, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 01:58 AM IST
The elections are crucial for the LDF, with Kerala being the solitary communist bastion after the fall of the Left government in Tripura. For the Congress, a victory in the state would offer a balm after a bunch of electoral (and post-electoral) reverses.
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Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner, said Kerala will go to polls on April 6. (ANI)
Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner, said Kerala will go to polls on April 6. (ANI)

Kerala assembly election to be held on April 6; LDF, UDF in direct contest

PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 06:27 PM IST
The elections are crucial for the incumbent LDF, since Kerala remains the only Communist bastion in the country after the fall of the Left government in Tripura
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Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Gulabsinh Yadav along with supporters cuts a cake at an event after emerging victorious during Gujarat Municipal Corporation polls, in Ahmedabad, Tuesday. (PTI)
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Gulabsinh Yadav along with supporters cuts a cake at an event after emerging victorious during Gujarat Municipal Corporation polls, in Ahmedabad, Tuesday. (PTI)

Gujarat municipal polls: Failure of Congress, not emergence of AAP, says BJP

UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 01:34 PM IST
However, there are concerns that the AAP could stoke issues that have been weak spots for the BJP, such as the Patidar movement that sought to bring the community under the ambit of the OBC quota
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People casting their votes through postal ballot at an election. (Representational image/PTI)
People casting their votes through postal ballot at an election. (Representational image/PTI)

Working with ministries to address NRIs’ demand for postal voting: EC

PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 08:51 AM IST
The government is planning to implement postal voting on a pilot basis for NRIs in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Germany, France and South Africa
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Demonstrators raising slogans at the Ghazipur border protest site in New Delhi. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)
Demonstrators raising slogans at the Ghazipur border protest site in New Delhi. (Sakib Ali/HT Photo)

Farmers’ protest: RSS starts outreach programme in Punjab

PUBLISHED ON FEB 22, 2021 09:24 AM IST
At meetings with local leaders, Sangh functionaries have underlined the need to differentiate between the pro-farmer groups and individuals and organisations known to support the Khalistan movement
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V Muraleedharan, Minister of State in the MEA(Photo @VMBJP)
V Muraleedharan, Minister of State in the MEA(Photo @VMBJP)

Atmosphere in Kerala is favourable towards BJP, says V Muraleedharan

By Smriti Kak Ramachandran, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 22, 2021 03:36 PM IST
"The vote share in 2016 was around 15%; it went up in the Lok Sabha elections and then further up in the local body polls," he said.
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The resolution also made a pointed reference to the India-China standoff along the LAC and said, “India will not let any expansionist strategy succeed on its borders. Under the leadership of PM Modi, India has proved this at every given opportunity.”(Twitter/narendramodi)
The resolution also made a pointed reference to the India-China standoff along the LAC and said, “India will not let any expansionist strategy succeed on its borders. Under the leadership of PM Modi, India has proved this at every given opportunity.”(Twitter/narendramodi)

BJP resolution lauds agri laws, Covid fight

PUBLISHED ON FEB 22, 2021 06:08 AM IST
The resolution, passed at the end of a daylong national office bearers’ meeting addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also praised the Union government’s response to the Covid pandemic, its economic management amid a global slump and efforts at ensuring the passage of new farm and labour laws.
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National Vice President Raman Singh said, apart from coping with the economic slump that happened globally during the Covid-19 pandemic, there were concerns whether India could cope with the challenge given the poor health infrastructure. (ANI PHOTO).
National Vice President Raman Singh said, apart from coping with the economic slump that happened globally during the Covid-19 pandemic, there were concerns whether India could cope with the challenge given the poor health infrastructure. (ANI PHOTO).

BJP passes political resolution on Centre’s Covid-19 response

PUBLISHED ON FEB 21, 2021 04:58 PM IST
  • India’s response to the Chinese aggression in eastern Ladakh was also discussed at the meeting of BJP national officer bearers.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates a meeting of the BJP national office bearers at the NDMC convention centre in New Delhi, Sunday(PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates a meeting of the BJP national office bearers at the NDMC convention centre in New Delhi, Sunday(PTI)

Ahead of assembly polls, PM Modi meets BJP office bearers, hears their concerns

By Smriti Kak Ramachandran, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 21, 2021 02:11 PM IST
  • This is the first physical meeting of top BJP functionaries after the outbreak of Covid 19 disease.
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National Conference president Farooq Abdullah. (File photo)(HT Photo)
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah. (File photo)(HT Photo)

J&K delimitation panel holds first meeting, 3 NC members absent

By Smriti Kak Ramachandran, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 19, 2021 03:56 AM IST
The National Conference MPs from Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi and Akbar Lone, who are also associate members of the Commission, did not attend the meeting, and said the exercise itself was “unconstitutional”.
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National Conference president Farooq Abdullah. (File photo)
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah. (File photo)

NC MPs to skip meeting of delimitation commission today

UPDATED ON FEB 18, 2021 12:47 PM IST
NC president and Lok Sabha member Farooq Abdullah said his party has conveyed to the commission in writing the reasons for being absent from the meeting
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Anurag Thakur. (PTI)
Anurag Thakur. (PTI)

Modi’s leadership helped BJP gain ground across the country: Anurag Thakur

UPDATED ON FEB 18, 2021 06:00 PM IST
The union minister said that from the government’s side, senior leaders including union agriculture and home ministers have interacted with groups [of farmers] and they are open to the idea of meeting them again.
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Union minister Sanjeev Balyan. (HT archive)
Union minister Sanjeev Balyan. (HT archive)

Farmers’ protest: Union minister Sanjeev Balyan chairs meet on Jat outreach

PUBLISHED ON FEB 18, 2021 09:23 AM IST
Balyan was closeted with elected representatives from the Jat dominated areas of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh a day after the party brass instructed them to reach out to the Khaps and dispel their resentment against the farm laws
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RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat speaks during the inauguration of ‘Kesari Media Studies and Research Center’, in Kozhikode.(PTI)
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat speaks during the inauguration of ‘Kesari Media Studies and Research Center’, in Kozhikode.(PTI)

RSS may decide on new general secretary in March meet

By Smriti Kak Ramachandran, Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
UPDATED ON FEB 18, 2021 03:57 AM IST
The highest decision-making body of RSS, the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha is set to meet in Bengaluru on March 19 and 20.
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BJP National President JP Nadda addresses a rally, in Birbhum. (ANI Photo)
BJP National President JP Nadda addresses a rally, in Birbhum. (ANI Photo)

BJP’s Bengal election campaign to focus on central govt schemes

UPDATED ON FEB 15, 2021 11:24 AM IST
The BJP is seeking to attract the 35.9 million women voters who make up 49% of the electorate, the SC communities that account for 23.51% of the population and the STs that are 5.8% of the population, according to the 2011 census.
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Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)
Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat(Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

'Jai Shri Ram' has become the slogan of election in Bengal, says BJP's Shekhawat

By Smriti Kak Ramachandran, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 14, 2021 04:44 AM IST
In an interview with Smriti Kak Ramachandran ahead of the upcoming assembly polls, he also accused chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s government of corruption, and said “Jai Shri Ram” has become Bengal’s election slogan.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)

BJP does not believe in political untouchability, says PM Modi

UPDATED ON FEB 11, 2021 02:07 PM IST
In his address to BJP lawmakers on the death anniversary of party ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, the PM said, “Politics for us is the means to achieve a national policy. As I said earlier, the government may run with a majority, but nations are run with consensus”
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Ram Madhav. (File photo)
Ram Madhav. (File photo)

Meeting Ram Madhav gave me sense of what was to come: Former Pak envoy

UPDATED ON FEB 11, 2021 12:11 PM IST
Abdul Basit said Madhav’s tone was “unpleasant and aggressive” during the meeting at the India Foundation’s office in New Delhi in 2014, just before the assembly elections in J&K
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)

PM Modi’s politics: From confrontation to conciliation

UPDATED ON FEB 10, 2021 12:30 PM IST
Modi, who led the BJP to massive wins in the 2014 and 2019 national elections, does not shy away from attacking his opponents in bitterly fought elections. But he has on several occasion showered praise on them as well
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Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. (PTI)
Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. (PTI)

TDP MP writes to RS Chair to take action against YSRCP MP for derogatory comment

PUBLISHED ON FEB 10, 2021 08:49 AM IST
On Monday, Vijay Sai Reddy urged the Chair to expunge portions of a speech by the TDP MP; Naidu said the issue should be brought to his notice in writing. Subsequently, Reddy made a comment against the Chair that was later expunged
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Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad(PTI)
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad(PTI)

Tears and praises: Rajya Sabha bids emotional farewell to Azad

By Smriti Kak Ramachandran, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 10, 2021 03:28 AM IST
“I am concerned that whoever is appointed to his position may not be able to match up to him,” Modi said, pointing to Azad, who was sitting across the hall in the slot occupied by the Opposition floor leader in the Rajya Sabha.
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A view of the crowd at a public rally by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in Haldia, West Bengal, on February 7. (Samir Jana / Hindustan Times)
A view of the crowd at a public rally by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in Haldia, West Bengal, on February 7. (Samir Jana / Hindustan Times)

Bengal assembly elections: BJP begins meetings with targeted groups in state

PUBLISHED ON FEB 09, 2021 08:58 AM IST
Some of these meetings are being held by former TMC leaders, who have joined the BJP, such as Suvendu Adhikari. Adhikari and is considered to wield considerable “clout” among several unions
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RJD MP Manoj Jha. (File photo)
RJD MP Manoj Jha. (File photo)

Rajya Sabha: Patriotism is not just raising slogans, says RJD MP Manoj Jha

UPDATED ON FEB 04, 2021 11:36 AM IST
Participating in the discussion on the motion of thanks to the President’s address, Jha criticised the government’s response to the farmers’ protest and the tendency to dub anyone with a contrary opinion as anti-national
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Buoyed by its impressive gains in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls where the party won 18 of the 42 seats, the BJP has set a target of winning more than 200 seats in the 294-seat legislative assembly. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Buoyed by its impressive gains in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls where the party won 18 of the 42 seats, the BJP has set a target of winning more than 200 seats in the 294-seat legislative assembly. (HT FILE PHOTO)

Farmers’ protest: Remarks by global celebrities proof of propaganda, says BJP

UPDATED ON FEB 04, 2021 11:01 AM IST
BJP has been carrying out an outreach on the ground and on social media to counter accusations by the Opposition and a section of farm leaders that the three farm laws passed in September benefit big corporations
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses media at AICC HQ in New Delhi on Wednesday. Party leader Randeep Surjewala also seen. (ANI Photo)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi addresses media at AICC HQ in New Delhi on Wednesday. Party leader Randeep Surjewala also seen. (ANI Photo)

BJP leader responds to Rahul Gandhi, Rihanna on farmers' protest

UPDATED ON FEB 03, 2021 10:05 PM IST
Global pop star Rihanna on Tuesday extended her support to the farmers by sharing a news report highlighting the internet shutdown aimed at crippling the protest movement.
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Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks at Rajya Sabha during the ongoing Budget session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Wednesday. (PTI)
Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks at Rajya Sabha during the ongoing Budget session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Wednesday. (PTI)

Govt should restore statehood in J&K, repeal farm laws: Ghulam Nabi Azad

PUBLISHED ON FEB 03, 2021 12:22 PM IST
Azad said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the only person who can find a solution to both the problems—Jammu and Kashmir and the farmers’ agitation
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Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Venkaiah Naidu. (PTI)
Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Venkaiah Naidu. (PTI)

Don’t record House proceedings, says Rajya Sabha chairperson Venkaiah Naidu

PUBLISHED ON FEB 03, 2021 11:30 AM IST
The use of mobile phones is barred on the floor of the House. While Rajya Sabha television records and beams the House proceedings live, the chair has the authority to instruct that disruptions not be shown
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Opposition leaders shout slogans as they stage a protest in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. (ANI)
Opposition leaders shout slogans as they stage a protest in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. (ANI)

Rajya Sabha to allocate 15 hours to discussion on farm laws

UPDATED ON FEB 03, 2021 10:03 AM IST
In the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, the government and the Opposition members reached a consensus on the issue of holding discussion on the farmers’ issue, allocating 15 hours to the discussion on the motion of thanks
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