India Insight

Does Swaraj hint at a more politically sharp future for the BJP?

March 5, 2011

India’s main opposition party, the right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have had much to crow about in recent months.

Fight corruption – at your own risk

March 4, 2011

The judges in the Supreme Court had finished hammering out for delivery the next day a landmark verdict in the battle against corruption, when a thousand kilometres away, another anti-graft crusader was beaten to death.

Congress looks to seize the initiative as budget looms

February 15, 2011

It has been a winter to forget for India’s ruling Congress party, as a series of corruption scandals have muted its ability to control parliament, dented its popularity ratings and dappled the formerly dazzling-white kurta of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Congress’s corruption calamities continue as the Thomas saga unravels

January 31, 2011

In a season of corruption charges that have shackled India’s ruling Congress party’s political ambitions, the ongoing saga of the country’s tainted anti-corruption chief is perhaps the hardest to believe.

Karnataka governor’s sanction: Sagacity or political mischief?

January 24, 2011

File photo of a worker preparing for a rally by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Lucknow, April 4, 2004. REUTERS/Kamal Kishore/Files The tussle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Karnataka governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj has reached the President’s House with BJP leaders demanding the recall of Bhardwaj.

Has Congress lost the plot on inflation?

January 14, 2011

“Government Plan To Tackle Prices Is Just Hot Air” screamed the front page of Friday’s Mail Today, as India’s political media lined up to belittle what was billed as a list of anti-inflationary remedies but was robustly rejected as “already failed measures and oft-repeated homilies.”

Is Congress digging its own corrupt grave?

January 13, 2011

Telecom Minister Kabil Sibal’s attack on the competency of India’s independent state auditor appears to show Congress’s growing desperation at its inability to silence corruption charges, and the inevitable backfire may illustrate just how out of touch India’s ruling party has become with the current political climate.

Will the Congress bite the bullet on Telangana?

January 6, 2011

File photo of activists of Telangana Joint Action Committee shouting slogans as they form a human chain during a protest in front of the Charminar in Hyderabad February 3, 2010. REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder/Files

Almost a year after violent protests over demands for a Telangana state carved out of Andhra Pradesh, the Indian government has to grapple with the issue once again.

Congress takes comfort in DMK smiles, for now

January 3, 2011

Smiles, handshakes and declarations of friendship abounded during a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and DMK leader M. Karunanidhi on Monday, as the investigation into a $39 billion telecoms scam that has centred on the Tamil Nadu party appeared to have been forgotten in favour of coalition camaraderie.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (R) speaks to Karunanidhi, President of DMK (Dravida Munetra Kazhagam) party during an election rally in the southern Indian city of Chennai May 4, 2006.  REUTERS/Babu
With parliament paralysed and DMK MP Andimuthu Raja sacked from his role as telecoms minister as a result of the scam, the last thing Singh needed was signs of dissent from a key member of his Congress party’s ruling coalition.

Should the Congress agree to a JPC probe?

December 9, 2010

The parliament building in New Delhi December 1, 2010. REUTERS/B Mathur

With parliament still deadlocked, does it make sense for the Congress to bow to opposition demands and set up a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the alleged telecoms scam?