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Isn't India greater than us all?
'The chips are down for the BJP today, it doesn't show that the issues have been rejected. People have supported it because it is perceived as the only party that doesn't feel embarrassed to protect the Hindu ethos.'

Aam Aadmi please, not India Inc
'If the NREGA can yield such handsome dividends, imagine the impact of an initiative to provide universal healthcare, free primary education, safe drinking water, affordable housing and social security.'

How the Left could veer to Congress
The falling numbers is a danger to the Communist bastion in West Bengal.-- TVR Shenoy.

Why is Dr Singh smiling?
On Wednesday, when the torturously long five-phase election finally concluded, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was absolutely confident of forming a Congress-led government once again -- Sheela Bhatt.

Not political spokespersons, only spinmeisters!
Virtually none of the worthies you see being ushered into television studios to mouth their platitudes convenient for the moment are spokespersons at all. They are just talking heads to keep the masses in front of the television screens engaged -- Mahesh Vijapurkar.

A head start for India's next prime minister
Crises are visible from a distance and grow to size in full public view, yet still seem to catch the government by absolute surprise. -- Aravind Adiga.

Is Mamata Banerjee the change Bengal seeks?
Bengal has grown tired of the 32-year-old Left Front rule and a change is needed. No one is denying that. But the question is: Will this change be for the better -- Indrani Roy Mitra.

Mayawati will be shocked on May 16
Squandering thousands of crores of precious funds on building Utopian parks and installing elephant statues for posterity has crossed all tolerable limits. Statues depicting 'Mayawati and her purse' have sent negative messages all over -- Nazarwala.

TN politicians don't care about Sri Lankan Tamils
Only the BJP, the Congress and the CPI, which are national and not regional parties, made a distinction between support for the plight of the Tamils and support for the cause of Tamil Eelam. They desisted from supporting the latter.-- B Raman.

On water issues, the UPA has failed us
The continuing spate of farmer suicides is significantly linked with irrigation issues, where the UPA's failure is clear -- Himanshu Thakkar.

Kafka & Indian politics
The term 'Kafkaesque' could be very well applied to today's politics in India, for things have gone to such a pitch of absurd, unfair, blatant and outrageous illogical state that it baffles the mind -- Francois Gautier.

Will we see a return to revolving-door ministries?
Accountability is not part of the Congress culture; every failure has been dismissed as a 'collective responsibility' with every victory being laid at the doorstep of the Nehru-Gandhi clan -- TVR Shenoy.

The day Rahul moved centre-stage
'The day Modi wriggles out of the shadows of the Gujarat riots, the real battle with Rahul Gandhi will be joined. Till then, Rahul is taking a five-star excursion into the hurly-burly of Indian politics.'

Heartland trio puts up 'No Entry' sign for Mayawati
Pre-empting her ascendancy to the throne of prime minister of India is the one and only one point programme of her three arch enemies -- Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan.

Nitish Kumar has found the magic formula
In a state that is a by-word for poor governance, he stands up at an election rally and promises 100 per cent literacy -- T N Ninan.

Can India get back funds in tax havens?
What needed to be found out was the identities of the account holders and the modus operandi by which they were sending the money to the secret accounts -- B Raman.

Limitations of delimitation
There are several larger issues relating to the concept and principles of delimitation -- Subir Gokarn.

Haryana: It's advantage Hooda
Hooda is one of Sonia Gandhi's favourite ministers and was projected as a model for others to follow at the party's conclave two years ago -- Aditi Phadnis.

BJP succumbs to Moditva
The seven-year-long process of systematic sabotage and destruction of the very possibility of justice could have been pre-empted -- Praful Bidwai.

PM symbolises iron fist in velvet glove
It is not often that Manmohan Singh allows the steel inside him to be revealed -- Dr Sanjaya Baru.

The Elephant is running on Expressway
Mayawati has pushed her Bahujan Samaj Party into the race for power in Delhi --Ravish Kumar.

Pre-poll alliances and manifestos must for coalitions
given the inevitability of the country being run by flexible and opportunistic coalitions in the foreseeable future, what will it take to turn this situation into a positive force -- Subir Gokarn.

Why Mayawati is frontrunner for PM
Her only ideology is to promote the interests of Dalits, and she is flexible on everything else. This flexibility makes her acceptable to all three political fronts -- Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar.

AP, Orissa, TN hold key to Congress fortunes
What happens if it retreats in AP without progress in Orissa? Add a poor show in TN, and the Congress's chances look shaky -- T V R Shenoy.

The CBI is a habitual offender
If one puts in sequence what all this agency has done in the disproportionate assets case of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in the Supreme Court, it speaks volumes about the Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi-led UPA government's questionable politics.

Are MP funds well-spent?
It will be interesting to examine how well the funds under MPLADS have been used by the people's representatives-- A K Bhattacharya.

Resurgence of the Congress & BJP in UP
People believe that political representatives, no matter from which party, are not really interested in problem solving and development -- Dr A K Verma.

A safe little back door to power
Party-affiliated journalists, industrialists, shrill ideologues, fixers, defeated ministers and the PM have found the back door to politics -- the Rajya Sabha -- Latha Jishnu.

India's diversity in diversity
In the ongoing elections, though all these diversities are playing a role, the primarily lower caste parties are especially important -- Ashutosh Varshney.

By default, BJP gains ground
In the last month of political churning, the Congress has lost some confidence and the BJP has gained some.

Polls have been reduced to electoral jugglery
The great Indian tamasha as the elections are fondly called have genuinely become all tamasha this time, where we all seem to be waiting for the next trick up the sleeves of political wheeler-dealers.

On fighting terror, Cong and BJP have poor records
While the Congress' campaign has been marked by false projections and assertions, the campaign of the BJP has been rich in rhetoric and negative -- B Raman

UP Muslims seek protection against BJP
Muslims all over India hate the Bharatiya Janata Party [Images], and more so in UP, and want it to be defeated at any cost-- Nazarwala

Does the Third Front have a future?
The Third Front can provide a useful counter to the deplorably communal NDA and a Left-of-Centre alternative to the UPA. But it may be wrong to see the present combination as a cohesive force which can make a convincing bid for power -- Praful Bidwai

Why Dr Singh and Advani need to talk
The present elections and the personal charges traded obviously have had its impact on the personal relations between the two leaders -- Mahesh Vijapurkar.

How we can reform the politician
The time is ripe to resume the debate on electoral reforms and to infuse a self-sustaining momentum to the quest for an equitable polity -- M P Anil Kumar.

Why polls 2009 could be the Jaya and Maya show
Are we headed for two extra-constitutional, autocratic power centres for the price of one government?

Why we should fear the Samajwadi Party
Mulayam Singh Yadav could well be in a position to carry out at least some of his promises in the next Lok Sabha if neither the BJP nor the Congress is in a position to lead the government -- T V R Shenoy.

Election 2009 seems like 543 mini elections
It is apparent that Election 2009 is an 'anti-Congress' election. The heat is less against the UPA and more against the Congress -- Sheela Bhatt.

My dilemma with Shashi Tharoor
It would be naive of someone with Shashi's intelligence to not see that he is striking at the very root of what makes India a viable nation -- Rajeev Srinivasan

India is a cargo cult democracy
From top down, to candidates in specific constituencies, the choices before voters range from the uninspiring to the obscene -- Devangshu Dutta

Why politicians get richer after every term
If India is going to get into this mode of wealth being a determinant, where even those who managed to come in with a modest background but because of some political patronage but then grew in every which way, then the Lok Sabha could well be called a House of Lords! -- Mahesh Vijapurkar

The drift and decline of the Left
The Communist movement in India is a group that prefers to cut deals behind closed doors rather than reach out to India to win the people's mandate. -- T V R Shenoy

Triage: A winning strategy for the BJP
By wasting no energy on the naysayers, ensuring that the faithful do not stray, and spending more of their efforts on the undecided, the BJP should be able to successfully work a triage strategy and ride it to power in 2009. -- Rajeev Srinivasan

The Great Election Circus lacks drama & horror
The Great Election Circus is now appreciably a less confrontational, dramatic and colourful exercise. Many factors have contributed to this sea change, the principal one being the disappearance of larger-than-life national political figures. -- Sunil Sethi

Maya, Mulayam battle for the Muslim vote
This is Mulayam's last major political battle for survival. His loyal supporters are desperately trying to retain his earlier score of 35 MPs. But Mayawati wants to eliminate him politically and aims to surpass his previous score -- Nazarwala

Sanjay Gandhi is reborn in the BJP
The BJP has stooped to a new low in endorsing Varun Gandhi's toxic campaign. Many people had some sympathy for the BJP because it opposed the Emergency. But with its celebration of the Sanjay Gandhi cult, it has forfeited that sympathy and further lost credibility -- Praful Bidwai

Why Varun Gandhi's voice may be stilled
Varun's foray into politics may turn out to be a one-shot affair just as Rithambara hasn't been able to repeat her blood-curdling call for a communal holocaust -- one last khoon-kharaba -- in recent years. -- Amulya Ganguli

Why Varun and why not Geelani?
Varun Gandhi has been gaoled for reportedly making provocative statements. Would any ministry, ever dare apply the same draconian laws against the Hurriyat Conference chairman? -- T V R Shenoy

The BJP's dilemma over Varun Gandhi
In the people's court, Varun Gandhi is already guilty. Inside the BJP and the RSS, there is little sympathy for his arrogant ways -- Jyoti Malhotra

Why UPA's farm policy won't win votes
The UPA agricultural policy, in all its crucial features an extension of the NDA's, will end up eroding the farmers self-reliance and promoting industrialised agriculture. The farmer will be reduced to a labourer on his own land, kept alive by subsidised foodgrains -- Bhavdeep Kang

Pawar still has a chance to be PM
It is a possible that the emerging political line-ups, the desire to enlarge their respective bases as a proxy proclamation that they want to diminish the Congress et al imply that government formation would be excruciatingly painful -- Mahesh Vijapurkar

The shifting logic of poll alliances
Three trends stand out amidst the clamour and clutter. No party or alliance is likely to be an unambiguous election winner -- Praful Bidwai

Figuring out Arun Jaitley's googly
Is it not rather strange that Jaitley attends 'informal' meetings to manage the party's "election war room"? More so, when the very responsible senior leader sulks and 'boycotts' his own party's crucial meetings? Double standards? Oh, no. Just Jaitley standards -- Nazarwala

Family legacy and the Varun effect
It is the hurt and bewilderment over the loss of a Gandhi to the saffron brigade that has made the media and anti-Hindutva politicos react with such venom and acid -- Tarun Vijay

Will voters overcome politicians, parties?
No one knows which set of parties would band together to run the government because it now appears that a post-poll alliance alone would enable its formation. Which, in turn, means that ideology would be the first casualty and policies would be trimmed to meet political convenience -- Mahesh Vijapurkar

EC should have given Varun Gandhi a hearing
If Varun thinks that he should emulate his illustrious grand-mother and fight ferociously against what he sees as the unfair attitude of the syndicate of so-called secularists against him, he has every right to do so -- B Raman

6 reasons why Congress will lose the election
There is a simple rule that governs whether an incumbent government wins or loses its bid for a renewed mandate. If the people are happy with its performance, it wins. If they are not, it loses -- except when there is no other viable alternative -- Sudheendra Kulkarni

Why India needs its regional parties
It is time for the elite to shed its prejudice and intolerance, and realise that India is best represented through the regional parties -- Seema Mustafa

CPI-M's duplicity in Kerala
How much criticism have you heard about the blatant interference in politics of the Roman Catholic clergy in Kerala, or of the CPI-M's hobnobbing with a party that even the CPI denounces as "communal"? -- T V R Shenoy

What choices does a voter have?
Experience has shown that nowhere can a political party be trusted. Much less the leaders, especially of the smaller parties who are on a regional plank -- Mahesh Vijapurkar

The illusion that is the Third Front
The Third Front, as it exists today, is a mere illusion. Does it have a common programme to which every constituent subscribes? Who is the chairman or the convenor of the Third Front? If this mob succeeds in coming to power who shall be the prime minister? -- T V R Shenoy

It's advantage no one in the elections
India is not evolving towards a bipolar polity, but towards a complex multipolar system, in which regional and caste-based parties are indispensable to government formation at the Centre. The Left may shrink in size but will have a place of its own, which cannot be ignored -- Praful Bidwai

Why regional leaders will decide Delhi's rulers
It is a bit of a sad commentary on our democracy but the general election is going to be only the first step in forming a government. The second step will come only when the party leaders -- specifically from regional forces -- judge their positions after the polls -- T V R Shenoy

Is BJP's 'muscular' foreign policy the answer?
Brawn triumphed over brain last week as the Bharatiya Janata Party announced, after "consultations" with "foreign policy experts", that it was for a "muscular" foreign policy so that "nobody thinks they can mess with India" -- Aditi Phadnis

BJP should drop its alliance with Shiv Sena
If Pramod Mahajan were to be alive today, the Bharatiya Janata Party would have shed the long-time ally Shiv Sena and gone it alone in Maharashtra -- Mahesh Vijapurkar

Elect those who choose India as life-force
Surrounded by failed States and terror dens, India needs a strong leadership that will not hesitate to take punitive action against the erring State or non-State 'player' and organise the strength to withstand a spill over. Wars and inner conflicts are not won with machines -- Tarun Vijay

Why we will have a free-for-all election
The way things are going, India may have a no-limits free-for-all political contest rather than a three-horse race. Parties are approaching one another across the dividing lines of alliances, breaching conventional rules of the political game -- Praful Bidwai

Let the seat-sharing squabbles begin
As things stand today the Congress and the BJP are hard put to summon even a simple majority in the Lok Sabha. When the new House reconvenes in summer could we see a situation where not two but even the three largest parties will be pressed to reach the magic number of 272? -- T V R Shenoy

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