Sometimes it is hard to believe that the UPA government, which lurches from crisis to crisis these days, is the same government that won a triumphant victory after a successful first term. And yet, the principal players are much the same. The few portfolios may have been changed but it is the same men and women who took the UPA through its first term who are in charge today. Read more

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I don’t know if you saw the results of the Headlines Today poll on the Gujarat Assembly election. The poll was conducted a couple of weeks ago and the results were released on October 4. The election is still some time away and the pollsters did their work before the campaign got into full swing. So yes, it is possible to argue that these responses – and therefore, the results – are premature and that things will change significantly between now and election day. Read more

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I don’t think the Indian government’s response to the Washington Post article about Dr Manmohan Singh can be termed the subject of a major controversy. A controversy occurs when there are at least two conflicting points of view, both strongly expressed. Read more

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Two things need to be said about this week’s Cabinet reshuffle. The first is that it was an exercise in spectacularly inept political timing. It is bizarre to shift the country’s home minister at a time when parts of Assam are still in flames and to replace him with a man who knows nothing about that situation and has never before held this portfolio. Read more

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So, was it worth it for Sharad Pawar and the NCP to raise the banner of revolt? Though the media breathlessly suggested the imminent break-up of the UPA, the crisis ended not with a resignation but with the tiniest of whimpers. Read more

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How can you tell when a government is in crisis? There are the obvious ways, I suppose. You can tell that a government is in trouble when it is on the verge of losing its majority. When its coalition appears to be cracking up. When its MPs begin to revolt. And so on. Read more

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Opinions will differ on the merits of Pranab Mukherjee’s budget. There will be those who will say that the finance minister has done the best job possible given how difficult the economic situation is. And there will be others who will argue that he has produced a pedestrian budget that is lacking in imagination. Read more

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One of the advantages of studying English literature in school is that you come to grips with the themes of the great classics. The disadvantage is that school teachers go out of their way to make these classics so boring that you promptly forget all about them once your exams are over. Read more

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Some years ago, around half-way through the life of UPA I, I was on a flight with a very senior minister in the Cabinet. The talk turned to the Indo-US nuclear deal which the Prime Minister had just announced that he had secured from George Bush. Read more

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Why do you suppose Prime Minister Manmohan Singh picked this time to launch a new initiative to repair ties with Pakistan? Speaking to reporters at the SAARC Summit in the Maldives, the Foreign Secretary said that the Prime Minister’s tacit agreement to resume the composite dialogue (halted after the 26/11 attacks) came after an emotional appeal from Yusuf Raza Gilani, the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Read more

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