Home > Elections 2002
 Prem Panicker
 Sheela Bhatt
 Pankaj Upadhyay
 Onkar Singh
 Tara Shankar Sahay
 Josy Joseph
 R Swaminathan
 G Vinayak
 Uttam Ghosh
 Ganesh Nadar
 Jewella C Miranda
 Sharat Pradhan
Basharat Peer


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Beginning February 7, rediff.com correspondents hit the campaign trail in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur and Uttaranchal, as also in Guna, Mirzapur, Rajkot, Tripura West and Andipatti.

If you have any specific query/issues you want them to answer/focus on, or pose to the politicians they will be meeting, please write to us and we will try to accommodate as many as possible.

Scroll down, or click on the names on your left, to know about our reporters on the job, and the states/constituencies they expect to cover over a 14-day period.

Our reporters reply to earlier queries


Prem Panicker


On occasions when he gives cricket the slip, and is not too busy batting it out as managing editor of this site, Prem Panicker relaxes with travels into politics -- like he is doing now.

This year around, he is in eastern Uttar Pradesh, through Rae Bareli, Amethi, Ayodhya and Pratapgarh, on the trails of such star campaigners as Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Sonia Gandhi and Mulayam Singh Yadav.

His issues of focus include, to name just two, the Ayodhya dispute and criminalisation of politics.

Check out a few of his earlier reports on elections past in Baramati, Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Pune...

And check out his takes on Elections 2002.

Ask Prem




Sheela Bhatt



In her 23 years as a journalist, Senior Editor Sheela Bhatt has developed a knack for covering polls and politicians, in the process pulling off more exclusives than can be listed here.

She goes through this election as a roving correspondent for Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh.

For a taste of her previous articles, click here and here.

And you will find Sheela's coverage of Elections 2002 here.

Ask Sheela




Pankaj Upadhyay


Desk-bound for most part of the year and then some, Associate Editor Pankaj Upadhyay has mastered the fine art of turning a deaf ear to everything around him.

But when he steps into the field, as he did during the 1999 general election, and on another occasion thereafter, he makes sure his ear is to the ground!

This time Pankaj visits Guna, on the trail of debutant politician Jyotiraditya Scindia. In case you want to read up on his takes on the last poll, click here and here.

Click for Pankaj's updates from Guna.

Ask Pankaj




Onkar Singh


If Senior Special Correspondent Onkar Singh were a cricketer, you'd liken him to a pinch-hitter -- the specialist with the ball who can, at a pinch, up the order and do mayhem with some well-timed blows.

Thus, though Onkar has specialised in political reportage ever since he made his debut in 1975, you find his byline popping up in the unlikeliest of places -- a movie story, a sports report, a business interview, you name it. A specialist on Punjab politics, Onkar returns to home territory to cover the election campaign in the state.

Check out a couple of his past election reports.

Click for Onkar's reports on Elections 2002.

Ask Onkar




Tara Shankar Sahay



Senior Special Correspondent Tara Shankar Sahay, another of our election specialists, trails the campaign this time in Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh. A seasoned reporter, he is based in Delhi, and brings with him a rich political familiarity that's seldom paralleled.

Here is a sample of Tara's reportage, resurrected from the 1999 election.

Click for Tara's reports on Elections 2002.

Ask Tara




Josy Joseph


Senior Special Correspondent Josy Joseph is based in Delhi. On normal days, he prefers the company of men in uniform, and militants, to men in dhotis. But in times of war, like this, he is ready to do his bit.

In Punjab, Josy, whose seven years in journalism have made him a jack-of-many-beats, is on the campaign trail in Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar, and also in the districts along the tense India-Pakistan border.

Check out one of his earlier election reports.

You will find Josy's reports on Elections 2002 here.

Ask Josy



R Swaminathan



Besides a minor addiction to betting on the wrong horse, Assistant Editor R Swaminathan suffers from a touch of poll fever -- a disease that has been with him since the 1996 parliamentary election, when he first got on the campaign trail.

This year he visits eastern Uttar Pradesh, on a whirlwind tour of Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Ballia, Mirzapur and Allahabad...

Now for a taste of Swami's writing skills.

Here are Swaminathan's despatches from UP.

Ask Swami




G Vinayak

Correspondent G Vinayak is your quintessential journalist -- the kind who believes in letting his work speak for himself.

Hence, "Sorry, no photo," he says. Also, "Sorry, no bio necessary, I am a journalist with a fair degree of experience and everything else about me is irrelevant."

What is relevant, he points out, is that he is covering the Manipur election. That he believes that while Uttar Pradesh and Punjab are the marquee acts in this round, Manipur presents several issues of importance and interest, which he plans to cover these issues in depth. Further, Vinayak will make a detour to Tripura, to cover the bye-election there.

For a list of his recent reports, click here report.

Ask Vinayak




Uttam Ghosh



A natural behind the lenses, Designer-Photographer Uttam Ghosh is pretty incisive with the pencil too.

He is looking forward to his tour of Uttar Pradesh, and promises to bring you, besides the daily quota of pictures, caricatures of the dust and heat of campaign.

Click for his despatches from the battlefield.


Ask Uttam




A Ganesh Nadar



Contributing Correspondent A Ganesh Nadar is, as he puts it, "a journalist, businessman and farmer" who packs into his reportage his trademark earthiness that is quite refreshing.

Ganesh will cover the Andipatti assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu, where AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa is contesting a by-election.

Here are a few samples of Ganesh's earlier election reports.

For his reports from Andipatti, click here.

Ask Ganesh




Jewella C Miranda


Our lady in Tamil Nadu. Don't let that angelic smile fool you for a second, for Senior Photographer Jewella C Miranda can be the very devil with the camera...

Sharp, and as tough as they come, she's a veteran in campaign coverage. Her motto: Catch 'em unawares!

She will cover the Andipatti by-election, focussing on the other lady there, J Jayalalithaa.

Click here and here for samples of Jewella's work.

And you will find her shoots from Tamil Nadu here.

Ask Jewella


Sharat Pradhan


Special Contributing Correspondent Sharat Pradhan will be our point man in Lucknow.

A seasoned political observer who has put in over two decades of journalism in India's most decisive political bastion, he has seen UP change hands more than he cares to remember -- from the Congress to BJP to SP to BSP to...

If you want to read Sharat's previous reports click here and here.

Click here for Sharat's coverage of Elections 2002.


Ask Sharat




Basharat Peer



Correspondent Basharat Peer, who tours northwestern Uttar Pradesh, brings with him the kind of youthful enthusiasm that makes any story, even campaign trails, easy.

And so he has planned for himself a really hectic schedule: Aligarh, then Atrauli, Rampur, Sambhal, Saharanpur, Meerut, Mathura, Pilibhit, and on to Kanpur, from where he hopes to file "a most interesting story of the six eunuchs and a magician in the fray".

Check out a few of Basharat's reports here.

Click for Basharat's updates from Uttar Pradesh.

Ask Basharat