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

New Cabinet portfolios overlap to boost work efficiency

The distribution of portfolios was announced hours after 43 ministers were sworn in and the new council of ministers was a mix of fresh faces and experienced hands with a focus on harnessing effectiveness.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves after a function at the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters following a state election in New Delhi, India.(AP file photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves after a function at the Bharatiya Janata Party headquarters following a state election in New Delhi, India.(AP file photo)
Published on Jul 08, 2021 01:49 AM IST

New Cabinet portfolios overlap to boost work efficiency

New Delhi: Thirty Cabinet ministers and two ministers of state with independent charge will handle all Union ministries as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government moved on Wednesday to create synergies between departments with similar or overlapping domains and break silos to boost work efficiency

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HT Image
Published on Jul 08, 2021 12:53 AM IST
BySunetra Choudhury and Smriti Kak Ramachandran

Stan Swamy’s death exposes the state of the elderly in India’s prisons

Just as Swamy foretold his death during his medical bail hearing in May to the Bombay high court, suffering as he was from a progressive neurological disorder like Parkinson’s, there is a growing elderly population in prisons that struggles to get basic health care needs

Members of The Bombay Catholic Sabha hold a memorial mass outside St. Peter's Church in Bandra on Tuesday for rights activist and Jesuit priest Father Stan Swamy, who died on Monday. (HT PHOTO)
Members of The Bombay Catholic Sabha hold a memorial mass outside St. Peter's Church in Bandra on Tuesday for rights activist and Jesuit priest Father Stan Swamy, who died on Monday. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jul 07, 2021 12:42 PM IST

Will follow any decision by Sonia Gandhi, says Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

Captain Amarinder Singh also avoided commenting on Navjot Sidhu, the cricketer and TV personality who is his biggest detractor with the party, and who seemingly enjoys the patronage of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, both of whom separately met Gandhi ahead of her meeting with Singh.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh speaks to media after meeting Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi, at her residence in New Delhi on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh speaks to media after meeting Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi, at her residence in New Delhi on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)
Published on Jul 07, 2021 03:30 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Will follow any decision by Sonia, says Punjab CM

New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi met with Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday to resolve the crisis facing the party in the state ahead of next year’s assembly elections

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HT Image
Published on Jul 06, 2021 11:56 PM IST

Congress may have new leader in Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi top contender

Among the larger changes in the organisation, the Congress Party is expected to have a new leader in the Lok Sabha and at least two senior Congress leaders confirmed to HT that Rahul Gandhi is a top contender for the job.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (ANI Photo)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (ANI Photo)
Updated on Jul 05, 2021 05:17 AM IST
By, , Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Amid power tussle in Punjab, CM Amarinder meets leaders

In attendance were current lawmakers, former MLAs, present and former chairpersons of boards and other government bodies, and four MPs. Current state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar was not present.

Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh(HT file photo)
Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh(HT file photo)
Updated on Jul 02, 2021 07:27 AM IST
By, , Chandigarh, New Delhi

‘CM, Sidhu will have a working arrangement’: Harish Rawat

Sunetra Choudhury spoke to Harish Rawat, general secretary in charge of the state and one of the members of the panel appointed to sort out the crisis, on the way forward

 Congress General Secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat.(PTI)
Congress General Secretary in-charge of Punjab affairs Harish Rawat.(PTI)
Updated on Jul 02, 2021 08:57 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

If a film is given a certificate, it does not mean that it is forever: Benegal

Syam Benegal , who in 2016 headed a committee that looked at the process of film certification and recommended a limited purview for the certification board has a different view.

Director Shyam Benegal.
Director Shyam Benegal.
Updated on Jul 01, 2021 05:42 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

India jumps to 10th place in cybersecurity index

“It is great news and an acknowledgement of multiple initiatives that we have taken along with CERT (Cyber Emergency Response Team),’’ said India’s National Cyber Security Coordinator (NCSC) Rajesh Pant.

The rankings come at a time when the government has been dealing with several instances of cross-border cyber attacks.(Shutterstock)
The rankings come at a time when the government has been dealing with several instances of cross-border cyber attacks.(Shutterstock)
Published on Jun 30, 2021 06:18 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Kishor again meets Pawar amid talks of a new front

"Prashant Kishor is a personal friend. He knows my husband and he knows me also for a long time and so he came to see me today (Wednesday). He didn’t meet Pawar Sahab today," NCP’s Supriya Sule said.

Prashant Kishor did not comment on the meeting.(PTI)
Prashant Kishor did not comment on the meeting.(PTI)
Updated on Jun 24, 2021 01:59 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Rashtra Manch meets at Pawar’s home, calls for ‘alternative vision’

But the discussions at the two-hour meeting didn’t mention the formation of a third front to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) because no Congress leaders attended the meeting, said leaders present at the event.

The meeting was called by Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Yashwant Sinha on behalf of Rashtra Manch, an anti-BJP platform that he co-founded in 2018. In picture - Sharad Pawar along with Yashwant Sinha and other parties leaders.(ANI)
The meeting was called by Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Yashwant Sinha on behalf of Rashtra Manch, an anti-BJP platform that he co-founded in 2018. In picture - Sharad Pawar along with Yashwant Sinha and other parties leaders.(ANI)
Updated on Jun 23, 2021 01:38 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Chirag and Tejashwi: A tale of two Bihar GenNext leaders

The idea of Paswan joining the Mahagathbandhan, the grand alliance against the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government, would bring together two young leaders who share strikingly similar circumstances in their political careers but have ended up in very different places

Patna-Oct.20,2020-LJP chief Chirag Paswan with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav during ‘Shradh Karma’ function of former Union Minister late Ramvilas Paswan at Lok Janshakti Party office in Patna. Bihar India on Tuesday Oct 20,2020( Photo by Santosh Kumar/ Hindustan Times)
Patna-Oct.20,2020-LJP chief Chirag Paswan with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav during ‘Shradh Karma’ function of former Union Minister late Ramvilas Paswan at Lok Janshakti Party office in Patna. Bihar India on Tuesday Oct 20,2020( Photo by Santosh Kumar/ Hindustan Times)
Updated on Jun 22, 2021 02:17 PM IST

Pawar to host meeting of civil society, Opposition leaders today

The announcement of the meeting -- under the banner of Rashtra Manch, an anti-BJP platform set up in 2018 -- came hours after Pawar met political strategist Prashant Kishor in Delhi over tea, the second meeting of the two in 10 days

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar.(HT File Photo)
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar.(HT File Photo)
Updated on Jun 22, 2021 07:14 AM IST
By, , Hindustan Times, New Delhi/mumbai

‘May 2021 is as horrific as November 1918, during the influenza pandemic’

The Age of Pandemics author Chinmay Tumbe, who studied death registrations in five states, found they exceed by at least 10 times the official toll from the second wave of Covid-19

Chinmay Tumbe. (HT file)
Chinmay Tumbe. (HT file)
Updated on Jun 16, 2021 07:43 PM IST

Ajit Singh: Face of Jat politics in UP and champion of farmers’ rights

Son of north India’s tallest farm leader Charan Singh, Ajit was pushed into abruptly swapping a 15-year-long career as a computer scientist in Silicon Valley to the dusty fields of Western Uttar Pradesh in 1987.

Image courtesy: HT
Image courtesy: HT
Updated on Jun 16, 2021 04:14 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Amarinder in charge, key role for Sidhu: Cong panel

The committee made five major recommendations, said a panel member on condition of anonymity.

Over the past two weeks, the panel spoke to 150 party lawmakers and functionaries. Singh and Sidhu, who have been locked in a bitter verbal war, also met the panel. Gandhi will now take the final call.
Over the past two weeks, the panel spoke to 150 party lawmakers and functionaries. Singh and Sidhu, who have been locked in a bitter verbal war, also met the panel. Gandhi will now take the final call.
Updated on Jun 11, 2021 02:15 AM IST
By, , Hindustan Times, New Delhi/chandigarh

‘I wasn’t being able to fulfil the aspirations of people’: Jitin Prasada

Jitin Prasada said, "Defeats and wins are part of politics. I am talking about the distancing at large from the people of a political party, especially in my state."

Jitin Prasada talked about the general disconnect between the party and the people in his home state of Uttar Pradesh.
Jitin Prasada talked about the general disconnect between the party and the people in his home state of Uttar Pradesh.
Updated on Jun 10, 2021 02:48 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Cong panel failed to resolve issues: Pilot

NEW DELHI: Last year’s crisis in Rajasthan that the Congress papered over by setting up a committee to address the issues raised by then deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot against chief minister Ashok Gehlot have resurfaced, with the former expressing his displeasure at the lack of action

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HT Image
Published on Jun 08, 2021 12:18 AM IST

Panel has failed to resolve issues: Sachin Pilot

Sachin Pilot told Hindustan Times that the Congress high command has failed to deliver on the promises that were made to him when he along with 18 legislators returned to the party after a month-long drama.

In July last year, Sachin Pilot and his supporters left Jaipur to camp at a secret location in Haryana, threatening the stability of the Ashok Gehlot government.
In July last year, Sachin Pilot and his supporters left Jaipur to camp at a secret location in Haryana, threatening the stability of the Ashok Gehlot government.
Updated on Jun 09, 2021 07:54 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Managing intra-party dissent—the contrasting tale of the BJP and the Congress

Hindustan Times speaks to leaders in both parties and dissident camps to understand how the tools may be different in both camps, but the fallout could often end up being the same

Representational image. (HT Archive)
Representational image. (HT Archive)
Updated on Jun 07, 2021 03:11 PM IST

Cong grapples with Punjab infighting

Congress spokespersons did not respond to calls and messages seeking comment, but the fact that calls were being made was confirmed by one of Gandhi’s aides who insisted it is part of a feedback gathering mechanism.

At the core of the issue, according to one camp, is the chief minister’s style of functioning; according to the other, it is the ambition of some of the Captain’s rivals, including Navjot Singh Sidhu.(Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times Archive)
At the core of the issue, according to one camp, is the chief minister’s style of functioning; according to the other, it is the ambition of some of the Captain’s rivals, including Navjot Singh Sidhu.(Gurpreet Singh/Hindustan Times Archive)
Updated on Jun 04, 2021 03:23 AM IST
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The politics of Twitter: Why did Rahul Gandhi stop following his aides?

Hindustan Times has learnt that this action was in response to certain party members complaining that Gandhi was following people selectively, and not all party leaders

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (ANI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (ANI)
Updated on Jun 02, 2021 03:15 PM IST

Why defence ministry chaired the GoM on Class 12 exams

One of the officials quoted above said PM Modi chose Rajnath Singh after consultations because he wanted not only his senior-most minister but also someone who had experience in this area.

Rajnath Singh first became education minister in 1991 when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed its first government in Uttar Pradesh.(PTI file photo)
Rajnath Singh first became education minister in 1991 when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed its first government in Uttar Pradesh.(PTI file photo)
Updated on May 25, 2021 06:16 AM IST
BySunetra Choudhury, New Delhi

Why defence min chaired the GoM on Class 12 exams

New Delhi Defence minister Rajnath Singh was handpicked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week to head the group of ministers (GoM) looking into the feasibility of conducting Class 12 examinations because of his stature as the government’s senior-most minister and cross-party acceptance, HT has learnt after speaking to two senior government officials

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HT Image
Published on May 25, 2021 12:14 AM IST
BySunetra Choudhury

With Shailaja’s omission, decoding the Indian Left’s gender blind spot

The CM may have ruled out a rethink but not everyone is convinced with this decision. HT spoke to a cross section of women Left leaders on the record, including a Communist Party of India (Marxist) politburo member, who don’t agree with the chief minister

KK Shailaja. (File photo)
KK Shailaja. (File photo)
Updated on May 28, 2021 11:23 AM IST
BySunetra Choudhury

Ramp up your vaccination to permanently control this virus: Dr Faheem Younus

The chief of infectious diseases at the University of Maryland talks about the disease, Covid-19 vaccination, etc

Dr Faheem Younus. (Photo: Twitter)
Dr Faheem Younus. (Photo: Twitter)
Updated on May 21, 2021 11:48 AM IST

The inside story of why the BJP lost Bengal

The official party line is that it is focused, at the moment, in protecting workers from a vindictive TMC’s violent attacks post elections, to do any in-depth review of the results

Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. (Samir Jana/HT file)
Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. (Samir Jana/HT file)
Updated on May 17, 2021 01:57 PM IST
BySunetra Choudhury

‘Vaccine is not 100% protective, but it’s highly effective’: Former CDC director

Tom Frieden, a former director of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), runs Resolve to Save Lives, a global public health organisation. He talks about the second Covid wave in India

Tom Frieden. (Photo: Sourced)
Tom Frieden. (Photo: Sourced)
Updated on May 11, 2021 01:52 PM IST
BySunetra Choudhury

Factionalism, poor local leadership behind poll losses: Leaders at CWC meet

The party again deferred its internal election to find a successor of president Sonia Gandhi “in view of the nationwide emergent conditions prevailing on account of unprecedented Corona pandemic.”

Sonia Gandhi Gandhi asked the CWC to “take note of our serious setbacks” and said that “to say that we are deeply disappointed is to make an understatement.”(HT Photo)
Sonia Gandhi Gandhi asked the CWC to “take note of our serious setbacks” and said that “to say that we are deeply disappointed is to make an understatement.”(HT Photo)
Updated on May 11, 2021 09:14 AM IST
By, Sunetra Choudhury, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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