Sunita Aron
Articles by Sunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | Today, all roads to UP go through Delhi

Unlike the past, which saw all roads to Delhi going through UP, now, it is the general elections which will help decide the fate of UP. This is what the Congress must understand. Can Rahul Gandhi pull the reverse gear through his yatra?

The rampant feeling in the rank and file is that Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra will pull the reverse gear. (PTI)
The rampant feeling in the rank and file is that Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra will pull the reverse gear. (PTI)
Published on Sep 15, 2022 05:38 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | Can caste census challenge Hindu nationalism?

The question is: Will the caste census have the same traction as Mandal? Can it actually break the Hindu bloc?

The BJP leadership is aware of the fact that caste census can throw a spanner in their ambitious political moves to wean away marginalised sections from the OBC bloc. (Sambit Saha/HT Archive/Representative Image)
The BJP leadership is aware of the fact that caste census can throw a spanner in their ambitious political moves to wean away marginalised sections from the OBC bloc. (Sambit Saha/HT Archive/Representative Image)
Published on Aug 24, 2022 06:16 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | The BJP's ambitious plan for 2024

The BJP appears to be gearing up to win all 80 seats in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. With the Opposition in complete disarray and its own internal strategies already in motion, can the BJP create yet another history in the state?

The BJP is also not content with just a favourable political climate and the popularity of its double-engine government, as the leadership knows it won’t be enough to achieve the target of 80/80. (HT Archive/Representative Image)
The BJP is also not content with just a favourable political climate and the popularity of its double-engine government, as the leadership knows it won’t be enough to achieve the target of 80/80. (HT Archive/Representative Image)
Updated on Aug 04, 2022 04:45 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | In Lucknow, Yogi Adityanath is having the last laugh

Disgruntled ministers fail to leverage their grievances in the Delhi durbar

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow(Pramod Adhikari/HTPHoto)
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow(Pramod Adhikari/HTPHoto)
Updated on Jul 25, 2022 01:25 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | In action-filled 100 days, Yogi attempts an image makeover

As communal temperatures run high across the country after the Udaipur beheading, CM Yogi Adityanath has preferred restraint to rhetoric. This has not gone unnoticed.

Make no mistake. The CM’s past remains a key feature of his politics. (PTI)
Make no mistake. The CM’s past remains a key feature of his politics. (PTI)
Published on Jul 04, 2022 09:08 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | What unites and divides the politics of UP and Maharashtra

To draw political analogies in a complex setup like India's is tough, but there are lessons and precedents from up north (UP) for the west (Maharashtra) during this political turmoil. 

The coming days will unfold many more twists and turns in the sordid tale of Maharashtra. As of now, the BJP looks like it's making gains, while the Shiv Sena is in the doldrums, facing its worst existential crisis. (File Photo)
The coming days will unfold many more twists and turns in the sordid tale of Maharashtra. As of now, the BJP looks like it's making gains, while the Shiv Sena is in the doldrums, facing its worst existential crisis. (File Photo)
Published on Jul 01, 2022 09:08 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | What the Azamgarh and Rampur bypolls reveal about the BJP

The BJP yet again makes its place by displacing the main Opposition party, the SP, and now occupies the thrones in the two Muslim-dominated regions. Here's how they did it:

As for the BJP, yet another win adds to their victory record beginning in 2014. (File Photo)
As for the BJP, yet another win adds to their victory record beginning in 2014. (File Photo)
Published on Jun 28, 2022 12:25 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | ED summons, an isolated Congress, and a rocky Opposition

The ED summoning Rahul Gandhi exposed chinks among Opposition parties, as 17 small and big parties met in Delhi.  

Perhaps it’s high time that the Congress realises its prime responsibility as a grand old national party to reactivate the UPA and unite the Opposition despite traditional rivalries. (ANI)
Perhaps it’s high time that the Congress realises its prime responsibility as a grand old national party to reactivate the UPA and unite the Opposition despite traditional rivalries. (ANI)
Published on Jun 17, 2022 02:05 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | How State FM sees UP’s dreams of a trillion-dollar economy

Finance minister Suresh Khanna’s statements on the UP government's bold ambition to become a trillion-dollar economy are apt, especially with the complexities that surround the politics of welfare.  

The finance minister said the lines were meaningful but one has to delve deep to understand the sentiments. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)
The finance minister said the lines were meaningful but one has to delve deep to understand the sentiments. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)
Published on Jun 08, 2022 12:21 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP| House challenge: From brawls to tech-driven bonhomie?

Will tablets and technology ignite healthy discussions in an era when attacks are growing increasingly acerbic and personal?

The UP Vidhan Sabha, the largest in the country with 403 members, was built in 1922 after the capital was moved from Allahabad to Lucknow. About five years were spent on the construction of the building, an example of Indo-European architectural craftsmanship, costing about <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>21 lakh. (PTI)
The UP Vidhan Sabha, the largest in the country with 403 members, was built in 1922 after the capital was moved from Allahabad to Lucknow. About five years were spent on the construction of the building, an example of Indo-European architectural craftsmanship, costing about 21 lakh. (PTI)
Updated on May 12, 2022 09:28 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | An eerie quiet surrounds Uttar Pradesh

Peace prevails in UP while the cacophony over Hanuman Chalisa, loudspeakers and bulldozers, plagues the country. 

Modi shifted from Gujarat with a Hindutva face and a development agenda. Gujarat model was hailed. Can Yogi construct that model? (AFP)
Modi shifted from Gujarat with a Hindutva face and a development agenda. Gujarat model was hailed. Can Yogi construct that model? (AFP)
Published on May 03, 2022 09:31 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | Will Shivpal Yadav break the party founded by his brother?

Though politics is full of imponderables, it appears the breakup will soon be final, with SP patriarch Mulayam also failing to keep the family or the party together. This will benefit the BJP

Shivpal Singh Yadav, the estranged uncle of the national president of the SP, Akhilesh Yadav, is drifting towards the Bharatiya Janata Party. (HT Photo)
Shivpal Singh Yadav, the estranged uncle of the national president of the SP, Akhilesh Yadav, is drifting towards the Bharatiya Janata Party. (HT Photo)
Published on Apr 23, 2022 02:30 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | From a communally charged UP, a message of peace 

At the time when communal clashes are occurring across the country, UP, infamous for divisive politics, remained peaceful. Yogi’s diktats were clear: No communal disturbance.

He promptly imposed restrictions on religious processions and loudspeakers which were raising communal temperatures. (File Photo)
He promptly imposed restrictions on religious processions and loudspeakers which were raising communal temperatures. (File Photo)
Published on Apr 20, 2022 11:03 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | On the eve of the result, looking back at key issues

From the farm laws to the issue of stray cattle, the elections were fiercely fought, with its usual tinge of communal rhetoric. Exit polls notwithstanding, who wins UP is still up in the air

Is there a wave in favour of the double-engine government, led by Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath, or are people in favour of change? (ANI)
Is there a wave in favour of the double-engine government, led by Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath, or are people in favour of change? (ANI)
Updated on Mar 09, 2022 12:54 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | What the Shah-Mayawati bonhomie signals for post-poll UP

Are BSP supremo Mayawati and Amit Shah making it clear that there is room for a post-poll alliance in case of a fractured verdict?   

Mayawati promptly responded to Amit Shah's interview answer, praising his magnanimity in accepting the BSP's strength. (HT File Photo)
Mayawati promptly responded to Amit Shah's interview answer, praising his magnanimity in accepting the BSP's strength. (HT File Photo)
Updated on Mar 02, 2022 11:43 AM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | In rural UP, dynasties, resemblances and great expectations

While dynastic politics has always been part of Indian politics, in UP today, Akhilesh faces a tough battle because of how he inherited the Samajwadi Party 

Because he bears a physical resemblance to his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh often faces a barrage of criticism for his style of functioning from his party seniors as well as opponents. (File Photo)
Because he bears a physical resemblance to his father Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh often faces a barrage of criticism for his style of functioning from his party seniors as well as opponents. (File Photo)
Published on Mar 01, 2022 08:35 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping Up with UP | Beyond the hype, how realistic are Owaisi's plans in UP?

He sees a Muslim head of State in India one day. But for the AIMIM to become a major force against the BJP, Owaisi needs a BSP-like vision and must do more groundwork

Can Owaisi meet the fired-up political ambitions of the community? (PTI)
Can Owaisi meet the fired-up political ambitions of the community? (PTI)
Published on Feb 22, 2022 05:45 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping Up with UP | Is this a make-or-break election for Mayawati?

Her supporters believe that her role as king or kingmaker is crucial this election. Will she side with the BJP if the party needs her or will she slink into political irrelevance? March 10 will tell us. 

Even as speculation is rife about her tacit understanding with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mayawati is keeping her cards close to her chest. (HT File Photo)
Even as speculation is rife about her tacit understanding with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mayawati is keeping her cards close to her chest. (HT File Photo)
Published on Feb 17, 2022 10:50 AM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping Up with UP | BJP jumped from 47 to 312 seats in 2012, can SP do it too?

The SP today stands where the BJP was in 2012, with 47 seats. The BJP took a giant leap from 47 in 2012 to 312 in 2017. Now, it’s the SP’s turn to take that leap

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav greets supporters during a rally.(HT_PRINT)
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav greets supporters during a rally.(HT_PRINT)
Published on Feb 10, 2022 07:52 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping Up with UP | In 2022, Muslims at the crossroads

Some see 2022 as an election that will be a milestone in their desire to stay relevant in the political process.

For, if the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 consolidated the Hindu vote here, the 14-month-long farmers’ agitation in 2021 may have well consolidated the farmer vote. (PTI)
For, if the Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013 consolidated the Hindu vote here, the 14-month-long farmers’ agitation in 2021 may have well consolidated the farmer vote. (PTI)
Published on Feb 09, 2022 08:15 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping Up with UP | Identity politics in the front seat, key issues in the back

As the competition appears to have narrowed down to the SP vs the BJP, communal temperatures have risen while issues of development remain untouched

The key personalities in this election remain the same, though some of them are now holding different positions. (FILE PHOTO)
The key personalities in this election remain the same, though some of them are now holding different positions. (FILE PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 08, 2022 04:21 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | Roadshows to virtual rallies: The fight for power in UP

The pandemic has once again brought leaders back to the streets. But their door-to-door campaign is more for optics than for public contact. Yet, people are ecstatic.

When Union home minister Amit Shah and the party’s national president JP Nadda hit the road, local leaders commended their spirit. (PTI)
When Union home minister Amit Shah and the party’s national president JP Nadda hit the road, local leaders commended their spirit. (PTI)
Published on Feb 03, 2022 08:43 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | West UP is going to surprise political parties

The region, where the BJP got a windfall in the 2017 assembly elections, is now open for all, with no wave in favour or against any party

A farmer cuts wheat by hand while a harvesting a field in the Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh (Bloomberg)
A farmer cuts wheat by hand while a harvesting a field in the Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh (Bloomberg)
Updated on Jan 28, 2022 01:15 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Yogi Adityanath: ‘I do politics of development... how can that be divisive’

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath is the man in the hot seat as the BJP eyes an unprecedented fourth win in a row in UP after a hat-trick of sorts in 2014, 2017, and 2019 (the first and the last, when it won the Lok Sabha elections).

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath in an interview said his government has improved the state’s financial health, doubled the (size of the) state’s economy in three years.
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath in an interview said his government has improved the state’s financial health, doubled the (size of the) state’s economy in three years.
Updated on Jan 28, 2022 08:10 AM IST
BySunita Aron

‘Not looking at community or caste, want to defeat BJP’: Akhilesh Yadav

SP national president Akhilesh Yadav says he is not perturbed by the personal attacks on him by the BJP leaders ahead of the UP elections.

Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav addresses a press conference on the upcoming UP elections at the party office in Lucknow on January 15. (HT file)
Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav addresses a press conference on the upcoming UP elections at the party office in Lucknow on January 15. (HT file)
Updated on Jan 25, 2022 01:20 AM IST
BySunita Aron, Hindustan Times, Lucknow

Keeping up with UP | Mayawati's goals appear beyond the confines of UP

As the UP elections draw close, Mayawati is conspicuous by her absence. But on closer inspection, a bigger picture of her role in national politics emerges 

Now, in 2022, while making little or no effort to regain ground in her strong state, she is eyeing Punjab. (PTI)
Now, in 2022, while making little or no effort to regain ground in her strong state, she is eyeing Punjab. (PTI)
Updated on Jan 20, 2022 07:42 AM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | Congress’s message in fielding women who overcame violence

No political party has done it before — it has fielded women candidates who have been, or are related to, victims of heinous crimes

Asha Singh is the mother of the 2017 Unnao rape survivor. (HT Photo)
Asha Singh is the mother of the 2017 Unnao rape survivor. (HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 18, 2022 07:49 PM IST
BySunita Aron

Keeping up with UP | The caste factor in Yogi and Akhilesh's 2022 battle

While the BJP is handling caste at the party level, Akhilesh is using the time-tested formula of expanding his party’s base by opening the SP's doors to smaller, caste-based parties

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. (File Photo)
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. (File Photo)
Updated on Jan 14, 2022 10:04 PM IST
BySunita Aron

UP elections: Cracks in Hindu vote upset BJP’s calculations

UP elections: The BJP fears deep cracks in the Hindu vote bank that they built, brick by brick, since the 1990s and, more aggressively, from 2012.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath greets the supporters as he arrives at Kaal Bhairav Temple before the inauguration of Kashi Vishwanath Dham Corridor, in Varanasi, ahead of the elections, on December 13. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath greets the supporters as he arrives at Kaal Bhairav Temple before the inauguration of Kashi Vishwanath Dham Corridor, in Varanasi, ahead of the elections, on December 13. (ANI)
Updated on Jan 14, 2022 05:03 AM IST
BySunita Aron, Lucknow

Keeping up with UP | Breaking the spirit of Kashi

Banning the entry of non-Hindus erodes the diverse nature of the city, which sees people from across communities visit annually

These were purportedly put up by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal(HT Photo)
These were purportedly put up by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal(HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 12, 2022 07:59 PM IST
BySunita Aron
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