What really happened at the not-at-all-secret meeting with former Pakistani officials at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house.
In a conversation with Karan Thapar, Sanjay Kumar, the director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and Prashant Jha, author and associate editor at Hindustan Times, discuss the likely outcome of the Gujarat elections.
The physical segregation of Muslims in Gujarat is a part of the larger Hindutva objective to alienate those considered the ‘other’ from mainstream political processes.
A worsening agrarian crisis and rising unemployment has morphed into concrete political anger against the BJP – a matter that the party hasn’t addressed in its election campaign.
Rejecting the charge as “innuendos and falsehoods”, Singh said he was deeply pained by the prime minister’s “ill thought transgression”.
The Congress, while questioning the Gujarat model, has not countered the narrative of communal polarisation in the state.
The saffron party’s election strategy was similar when its leaders were unsure of a victory in Bihar.
Many textile traders who were involved in the protest say they will vote for the BJP again because the Congress fielded an unknown candidate and was not able to win their confidence.
The 24-year-old Patidar quota stir leader asked people in Surat to not vote for the BJP, but for ‘a party that will be in a position to form a government’.
The senior leader heading a faction of the JD(U) talks about how the Gujarat elections are likely to set the tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Nitish Kumar’s demand for quota for backward classes in the private sector and more.
Given Bhuj’s large Muslim population, the prime minister shifted away from his broader campaign tenor and raked up issues with the potential to polarise communities.
In conversation with the newly-inducted Congress leader on what he expects from the upcoming elections, his party’s agenda and more.
While urban voters are leaning towards the BJP, agricultural crisis and growing unemployment have alienated rural Patidars from the party.
It still remains to be seen whether the Gandhi scion can emerge as a formidable opponent to the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Modi.
With a likely erosion of BJP votes due to anti-incumbency effect and a fraction of Patel vote going to the Congress, both parties appear to be neck and neck at the current stage.
The note ban followed soon after by the new tax regime have hit the predominantly mercantile state hard, but the urban voters still cannot see themselves siding with the opposition.
While the global investor’s summit has helped to catapult Modi to the top job in India, it has done precious little to create jobs in his home state.
In Gujarat, there is a general apathy of the ruling party towards Muslims, matched only by the apathy of the common Muslim towards the electoral process.
While the party has been relentlessly campaigning for simultaneous elections to parliament and state assemblies, it has not expressed unhappiness with the decision not to align Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections.
While the Congress and BJP are in a verbal spat over the election commission’s decision to not announce the Gujarat election dates, former chief election commissioners are mostly refusing to get drawn into the debate.
With the date of the Gujarat assembly poll yet to be announced, the model code of conduct has not kicked in.
With the Congress banking on anti-incumbency and the BJP seeing dwindled support among the dominant communities, the ruling party is unlikely to have an easy ride in Gujarat.