Sunetra Choudhury

Sunetra Choudhury is the National Political Editor of the Hindustan Times. With over two decades of experience in print and television, she has authored Black Warrant (Roli,2019), Behind Bars: Prison Tales of India’s Most Famous (Roli,2017) and Braking News (Hachette, 2010). Sunetra is the recipient of the Red Ink award in journalism in 2016 and Mary Morgan Hewett award in 2018.

Articles by Sunetra Choudhury

‘We admit certain miscalculations on our part’: Himachal CM Jairam Thakur

In the run-up to the Himachal Pradesh assembly elections at the end of this year, the focus is on the incumbent BJP’s main challengers: the Congress, which tasted success in recent bypolls, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) looking to repeat its stellar performance in Punjab

New Delhi, Mar 11 (ANI): Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur calls on Union Power Minister R.K. Singh, at Shramshakti Bhavan, in New Delhi on Friday. (ANI Photo) (ANI)
Updated on May 24, 2022 03:21 PM IST

Regional parties may be biggest gainers in upcoming Rajya Sabha elections

An analysis of Rajya Sabha seats that will go to elections on June 10 in 15 states shows that regional parties such as the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the YSR Congress Party and the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) stand to gain by increasing their tally from the current 25 to 27 seats out of the 57.

The biggest gainers in the upcoming elections to 57 Rajya Sabha seats will likely not be the Bhartiya Janata Party(BJP) but regional parties. (HT ile)
Updated on May 21, 2022 12:03 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Mix of old, new candidates for Rajya Sabha entry as elections near

Among the new entrants is likely to be Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary, with the support of his alliance partner Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named.

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) national president Jayant Chaudhary.(HT File Photo)
Updated on May 20, 2022 01:33 AM IST
BySunetra Choudhury and Pankaj Jaiswal, New Delhi

Mining lease inadequate reason for Jharkhand CM Soren’s disqualification: Ex-CJI

The Election Commission of India last week sent Soren a notice asking him to explain why he should not be disqualified over the lease

Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 11, 2022 09:47 AM IST

EC grants CM Soren more time to reply to notice over mine lease

Jharkhand chief minister had written to the ECI on Monday, seeking a four-week extension of time to respond to the notice. The ECI, however, granted Soren 10 days to submit his reply.

Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren. (HT file photo)
Updated on May 11, 2022 08:16 AM IST

Congress section prepares pitch for Rahul to helm ahead of introspection meet

Rahul Gandhi was elected Congress president in December 2017, succeeding mother Sonia Gandhi, and remained in the position till he resigned in May 2019 after the party won only 52 seats in the Lok Sabha elections.

Ahead of the Congress’ introspection meeting in Udaipur, a section of the party has prepared a pitch for the return of Rahul Gandhi as president. (PTI)
Updated on May 08, 2022 05:33 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Prashant Kishor may float a political party

The political strategist said on Monday that it was ‘time for him to go directly to the people’, creating a buzz in political circles.

Interestingly, Prashant Kishor, who is in Patna was scheduled to meet chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday evening but did not. (ANI)
Updated on May 03, 2022 04:54 AM IST
By, , Patna, New Delhi

What is Prashant Kishor up to in Bihar?

Kishor’s announcement of ‘Jan Suraaj’ comes at a time when there are murmurs of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar facing an existential crisis within the ruling coalition

Political strategist Prashant Kishor. (HT PHOTO)
Published on May 02, 2022 12:59 PM IST

What preceded Kamal Nath’s resignation as MP leader of opposition

Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath’s resignation as the leader of the opposition in the state assembly on Thursday comes on the heels of an incident last month.

Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath. (ANI)
Updated on Apr 29, 2022 05:59 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Kamal Nath quits as CLP leader. Will Congress enforce one-man-one-post for all?

The Congress announced the decision to accept Kamal Nath’s resignation on Thursday. A statement said seven-time MLA Govind Singh had been appointed as the new Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader.

Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath’s resignation as leader of the Congress legislature party in Madhya Pradesh was accepted on Thursday. Govind Singh replaces him (ANI)
Updated on Apr 29, 2022 12:25 AM IST

Jharkhand secretary responds to EC notice; governor meets PM Modi, Shah

Taking note of a complaint by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the poll body had recently written to state chief secretary Sukhdev Singh seeking “authentication” of the documents related to granting of the mining lease to the chief minister.

Jharkhand governor Ramesh Bais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Updated on Apr 28, 2022 05:42 AM IST
By, , Ranchi/new Delhi

Congress may still act on some of Prashant Kishor’s ideas

Meanwhile, a person familiar with happenings on both sides said the door was still open for a deal, and that Kishor and the Congress may well revive their discussions after the Gujarat elections.

Prashant Kishor on Tuesday rejected the Congress’s offer to join the party.
Updated on Apr 28, 2022 05:47 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Cong makes changes with revival hopes in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal. Will they work?

The changes are aimed at “course correction”, streamlining the party’s messaging and consolidating internal divisions, but challenges remain

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi with Rahul Gandhi and other party leaders (Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)
Published on Apr 27, 2022 04:35 PM IST

After rounds of hectic parleys, Prashant Kishor declines Congress offer

While the Congress thanked Kishor for his “effort and suggestions”, he said that, more than him, the party needed “leadership and collective will to fix the deep-rooted structural problems” in order to revive its fortunes.

On Tuesday, the Congress said that Prashant Kishor turned down the party’s offer of joining as a member of the newly formed Empowered Action Group for the 2024 polls. (Samir Jana/HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 27, 2022 01:25 PM IST
By, New Delhi

BJP leaders gear up to celebrate 8 years of Modi government

Elaborate preparations are underway to mark eight years of the Narendra Modi government on May 30 by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the central government, people familiar with the matter said.

Elaborate preparations are underway to mark eight years of the Narendra Modi government on May 30 by the BJP and the central government. (HT file)
Updated on Apr 26, 2022 02:20 AM IST
BySunetra Choudhury and Smriti Kak Ramachandran, New Delhi

Modi sends ministers, officials to visit ‘aspirational districts’

While ministers have been asked to spend a day or two in some of India’s 118 “aspirational districts”, bureaucrats of deputy secretary and higher rank have been asked to travel to border areas and give an “on-the-ground assessment’’ of government schemes to their respective ministries.

Within days of Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposing these field trips for bureaucrats, the people said each ministry is drawing up specific to-do lists and assigning nodal officers. (Reuters)
Updated on May 02, 2022 06:51 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Ahead of Sonia meet, Cong panel submits report on Kishor’s proposal for revamp

The committee comprising AK Antony, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ambika Soni, Mukul Wasnik and others, has given its inputs ahead of Prashant Kishor’s final meeting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi any time over the next few days to decide if the strategist will become an office bearer of the party.

Election strategist Prashant Kishor. (HT/File)
Published on Apr 22, 2022 02:30 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Kishor meets Congress brass at Sonia’s house, could join party

Kishor’s presentation was full of data and results of various polls, one of the people cited above said, seeking anonymity.

Electoral strategist Prashant Kishor (PTI)
Updated on Apr 17, 2022 04:54 AM IST

‘There is so much Nagaland can contribute to India’: BJP's Phangnon Konyak

Speaking to Sunetra Choudhury on phone from her home district of Mon, Konyak said deep-rooted patriarchy holds women back, but her election proves things are changing. Edited excerpts:

S Phangnon Konyak.
Updated on Mar 30, 2022 08:50 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Prashant Kishor meets Priyanka and Rahul, political circles abuzz

HT reported last year that Kishor approached the Congress party in early 2020 with a plan to help with its 2024 election campaign.

Electoral strategist Prashant Kishor (PTI)
Updated on Mar 26, 2022 04:47 AM IST
By, New Delhi

An inside report: What is happening in the Congress?

What’s the problem with the Grand Old Party? What are its roots and symptoms? And what’s the way out? HT spoke to Congress leaders, activists, and former partymen to decode all that has gone wrong

Since the 2019 debacle in the Lok Sabha elections, the second in a row, it has not won a majority in a single assembly election on its own. (File Photo)
Updated on Mar 22, 2022 05:03 PM IST

CWC rejects Gandhis’ offer to quit positions

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) unanimously decided that Sonia Gandhi will continue as the interim chief till organisational polls are held and announced a brain-storming session, signalling an urgency ahead of assembly elections in other states and the Lok Sabha polls in 2024.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi with party leader Rahul Gandhi at the CWC meeting in New Delhi on Sunday.(ANI)
Updated on Mar 14, 2022 12:57 AM IST

A bipolar UP contest after three decades makes some in BJP wary

The state, which saw the emergence of caste-based parties in the 90s, has typically witnessed a multi-party fight in assembly elections ever since.

The 2022 election campaign too started out that way, but soon came down to a straight BJP versus Samajwadi Party (SP) fight.(ANI file photo)
Updated on Mar 08, 2022 12:35 PM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Prashant Kishor’s ex-aide who worked on BJP’s 2017 UP campaign joins Congress

Uttar Pradesh polls: Kanugolu, some in the Congress say, could fill the role the party envisaged for election strategist Kishor, who mentored the former and made him part of the team that managed Narendra Modi’s 2014 campaign.

A senior Congress leader confirmed that Sunil Konugulu, who was part of the founding team of the organisation A Billion Minds, has now officially joined the All India Congress Committee as a member and will a new department of the party (Archive)
Published on Mar 04, 2022 12:06 AM IST

French woman held under 1897 treaty sues India

The international human rights body confirmed that on February 16, India sent its response to the charge of violating international human rights law and other rights codified in the 2015 minimum standards of treatment of prisoners, also known as the Mandela Rules.

Marie-Emanuelle Verhoeven with her lawyer Ramni Taneja.
Updated on Feb 22, 2022 03:26 AM IST
By, New Delhi

3 years on, Nagaur MP Beniwal yet to get an official house

It’s not that Nagaur MP Hanuman Beniwal has been ignored by the committees that allot residences to members of Parliament, but the search for a house for him is stuck in a legal battle and one former parliamentarian’s refusal to vacate his home.

Rashtriya Loktantrik Party Lok Sabha MP Hanuman Beniwal speaks in the Lower House during the Winter Session of Parliament, in New Delhi. (ANI)
Updated on Feb 18, 2022 07:54 AM IST
BySunetra Choudhury and Risha Chitlangia, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

‘Law does not say anything in any way that gives govt power to ban hijab’

‘It says the government has to work to promote the education of weaker sections of the society, of backward classes, and arguably these young women, by virtue of being women if nothing else’

Professor Farrah Ahmed (
Updated on Feb 17, 2022 03:54 PM IST

Slow pace of donation drive irks BJP chief Nadda

On Tuesday, BJP chief Nadda told his office bearers that he expected senior leaders to motivate workers to not just donate but to also use this as an occasion to recruit new members.

The objective of the campaign is to mobilise cadre, with the donations being as small as <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>5. (PTI)
Updated on Feb 05, 2022 05:50 AM IST

Interview: I share a relationship with the people of Karhal, says SP Baghel

After filing his nomination papers, the sitting Parliamentarian from SP Singh Baghel told HT that he was delighted to be the surprise nominee for his party and that he has the requisite experience to take on Yadav as he had already fought against four members of the SP family in the past.

Union minister SP Singh Baghel.(ANI photo)
Published on Feb 01, 2022 06:36 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

‘Many people change parties before polls....we have to fight the good fight’

Ahead of the upcoming assembly polls, including in Congress-ruled Punjab, former Rajasthan deputy CM Sachin Pilot spoke to Sunetra Choudhury about the rumblings in the party.

File photo: Congress leader Sachin Pilot. (ANI)
Updated on Jan 28, 2022 04:34 AM IST
By, New Delhi
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