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Getting India back on track



The 2014 national elections will be a critical waypoint along the road to restoring India’s economic growth. One survey after another has suggested a deep yearning for change. The electorate—in both the cities and villages—seems seized by the need to return the country to high growth. The transformations that began with the economic reforms unleashed in the 1990s have given Indians a taste of what structural change can bring to their lives. The explosion of resentment against corruption only testifies to the popular desire...
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Opinion poll gives NDA a clear majority



For the first time in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, a poll on Monday predicted a clear majority for any pre-poll alliance with NDTV projecting that NDA would get 275 seats in the 543-member House. This is 16 seats more than the poll had predicted last month. BJP on its own would win 226 seats — the highest tally ever for the party and the best by any party since 1991, the poll done by Hansa Research estimated. UPA would win just 111 seats, with Congress sinking to its lowest-ever tally of 92 seats, it said.
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Think local, Mr Modi



Narendra Modi will have empty coffers greeting him. If pollsters' predictions come true and the opposition politician becomes India's prime minister next month, he will have to contend with a grim fiscal situation. Total public expenditure is growing at a pace of 15 per cent annually, faster than the expansion in the nominal economy. Meanwhile, tax collections have increased only 10 per cent in the first 11 months of the fiscal year that ended in March. Mr Modi might be tempted to hit the brakes on spending.
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BJP 1.0 to BJP 2.0: The party is at an inflection point



Taking a longer view, it is exciting as a political watcher to see the BJP go through a moment of transformative change. The 2014 election could just be an inflection point for the party. The expression "could just" is used instead of the simpler "is" because the change invested in needs to be validated by electoral success. This will then establish that the change has been worth it and persuade or nullify residual internal doubters. Such inflection points are not unknown in political history.
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Tectonic shifts after May 16



One of the deadliest truisms in our business of reading election trends is, never trust journalists with their predictions. But when all journalists agree on the outcome of an election, take it easy. You know for sure that exactly the opposite will happen. We would only hope this doesn’t extend to psephologists as well. Because if it did, you might end up looking very stupid by 11 am on May 16. I shall, therefore, be a coward and confine myself to drawing upon the opinion poll data to predict (yes, predict) lasting shifts in Indian politics.
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Here's what I would have said at Brandeis



One year ago, the city and suburbs of Boston were still in mourning. Families who only weeks earlier had children and siblings to hug were left with only photographs and memories. Still others were hovering over bedsides, watching as young men, women, and children endured painful surgeries and permanent disfiguration. All because two brothers, radicalized by jihadist websites, decided to place homemade bombs in backpacks near the finish line of one of the most prominent events in American sports, the Boston Marathon.
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BJP adds one lakh members everyday, gathers a storm of volunteers



It could be the biggest crore of them all in Elections 2014, the turbo boost that powers the Bharatiya Janata Party home in the last lap. The BJP has enlisted no less than 10 million new members in the last four months alone; that's almost a lakh every day. The most significant part of the BJP's explosively growing ranks is that a fifth of the new members are active volunteers; almost twice the strength of the Indian Army.
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Lead Story
Opinion/Commentary
Nandan Nilekani and his unique identity! Why he needs to learn from Bill Gates - Ravindra Shukla, CentreRightIndia
Yet another instance of leftist bigotry - J Sai Deepak, CentreRightIndia
Only a Machiavellian approach will work - RC Acharya, Hindustan Times
In Congress war room, Priyanka gets assertive, drives strategy - Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times
Did Nitish trip on poll math? - Raj Kumar, Times of India
Learn from WWI, Vietnam - Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar, Economic Times
'Nitish for CM, Modi for PM' helps BJP - Aman Sharma & Ashok Mishra, ET
Indecent haste on Lokpal - Indian Express
Modi glue binds splintered Maharashtra - Shubhangi Khapre, Indian Express
Getting India back on track - Ashley J Tellis, Mint
The PMO and the PM - AK Bhattacharya, Business Standard
PMO scripts a blockbuster! - Rohit Bansal, Pioneer
Nuclear doctrine must reflect ground reality - Ashok K Mehta, Pioneer
The weakest PM ever - Pioneer
Rahul must stop attacking businessmen - Rajiv Kumar, Mail Today
No country for whistle-blowers - Andrew M Beato & Narayan Lakshman, Hindu
Kejriwal’s regret a ploy to prepare for Delhi polls, say insiders - Mohammad Ali, Hindu
In Bihar, it will take two Modis to pull off a victory - R Jagannathan, FirstPost
Congress Party's New Slogan: 'Mein Nahin Mom' - Arun Jaitley, LensOnNews
Jaitley versus Captain: Hard fight, harder to call - Coomi Kapoor, Indian Express
Andhra has troubling faultlines that run deep - Kingshuk Nag, Times of India
India’s nuclear policy: Good on paper, not on ground - Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, Pioneer
Our Armed Forces have no religion - Deepak Sinha, Pioneer
The Congress does not merit another chance - A Surya Prakash, Pioneer
When Singh was King: UPA-I survived by buying MPs - Vir Sanghvi, Hindustan Times
Red star fading over Bengal - Suvojit Bagchi, Hindu
Where the AAP is eating into the Left’s space - C Gouridasan Nair, Hindu
Japan, India and the balance of power - K Shankar bajpai, Hindu
Politics/Nation
Modi: I was not silent on Gujarat riots - Times of India
UP and Bihar bellwether states - Times of India
Pawar's power fades as close aides quit NCP - Prafulla Marpakwar, Times of India
Rahul has flopped, so Sonia is here: Modi - Times of India
Sanjay Baru book: Congress wants PM to speak up - CL Manoj, Economic Times
BJP may pose Vadra question to counter Rahul Gandhi’s Narendra Modi barbs - Rakesh Mohan Chaturvedi, Economic Times
It's war, not a family tea party: Priyanka to Varun - Times of India
In the spotlight, Modis of Mehsana await their ‘moment of pride’ - Lakshmi Ajay, IE
Kejriwal obsessed with the media - Pioneer
CBI gets taste of Gopal's Gandhigiri - Mail Today
Gandhis at war in UP - Mail Today
PM being blamed for sins of mother-son duo - K Balchand, Hindu
Jayalalithaa, Mamata bat for alternative front - Sruthisagar Yamunan & PVV Murthi, Hindu
Tamil literary world divided as writer backs Modi - M Kalyanaraman, Times of India
Corruption issue to resonate among Indians in the elections: Gallup poll - Arun Kumar, IANS
How NDA’s Dalit coup can hurt UPA in Maharashtra - Shubhangi Khapre, IE
On Ambedkar Day, BJP says UPA favoured Muslims over Dalits - Indian Express
Unethical, betrayal: PM’s daughter voices family anger - Ritu Sarin, Indian Express
PM had little control: Ex-Coal Secy lifts veil on 'graft' in UPA - Times of India
Opinion poll gives NDA a clear majority - Times of India
For Kejriwal’s Tilak Lane house, his IIT batchmates pay Rs 85,000 rent - Ruhi Bhasin, Indian Express
Swamy seeks CBI probe into Vadra's 6 new firms - Pioneer
Snap poll predicts big win for BJP in Delhi - Pioneer
Shahzada enjoys insulting Ambedkar: Modi - Pioneer
Lax PM allowed Coalgate: Parakh - Pioneer
BJP can kill its own to attain power, says Kejriwal - Hindustan Times
Business/Economy
The Neighbourhood/World
Erasing the race card - Kathleen Parker, Washington Post
India-born poet Vijay Seshadri wins Pulitzer for poetry - Times of India
Pump & Dump: A guide to Finance - Mark Forsyth, Economic Times
US-India relations: Business that goes beyond the roadblocks - Chandrajit Banerjee, Economic Times
UN Special Rapporteur finds UK more sexist than India - Zee News
Sindh is not East Pakistan - Aakash Tolani, Pioneer
Killing tigers in China: Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive - Minxin Pei, Indian Express
New Afghan president must deal with an unpredictable neighbour - Deepa Ollapally, Indian Express
White supremacist shoots 3 dead at Jewish sites in US - Chidanand Rajghatta, ToI
RAW agents raced ISI to nab IM’s Pak operative Waqas in Dhaka - Times of India
Questions for Bernanke - V Anantha Nageswaran, Mint
Connecting India, China and the entire Asia - Wei Wei, Economic Times
Rajan’s Wars: Rift among freemasons, tension at home - Sugata Ghosh, ET
Europe's India aversion - Devesh Kapur, Business Standard
East Ukraine tension turns deadly in 'worst case scenario' - Volodymyr Verbyany & Sangwon Yoon, Bloomberg
The growing divide within developing economies - Dani Rodrik, Mint
G20 takeaway: Tensions over money flows bode poorly for global economy - IE
A gesture of defiance: The election in Afghanistan has delivered a powerful message - Economist
UK to curb Islamist extremism in schools - Zee News
Abdullah slightly ahead, partial Af poll results show - Kay Johnson & Amir Shah, USA Today
10 'green' 3D-printed houses built in 24 hours - Times of India
 
Interviews/Profiles

From Harvard to Hazaribagh , Jayant Sinha  - Business Standard

Bihar's lone ranger , Nitish Kumar  - Business Standard

It is fundamentalism of the people who wear liberal mask , Joe D'Cruz, Sahitya Akedami Award Winner  - DNA

If I am guilty, the Prime Minister is too , PC Parakh, Ex-Coal Secy  - Indian Express

The professionals behind BJP’s Internet campaign , Santosh Gupta & Others  - Indian Express

In Delhi Jammu, Haryana, Odisha, Cong will be 3rd , Arun Jaitley  - Times of India

Solitary crusader for Naya Bihar , Nitish Kumar  - Hindu



Reserve Bank of India must end discretionary regulation , KC Chakrabarty, Deputy Governor RBI  - Economic Times

'Corruption is India's reality' , Rahul Gandhi  - Mail Today

Don who stared at defeat and quit , Mukhtar Ansari  - Pioneer



 
2014 Election LensOnNews Pitch Report Phase 3
 

Verbatim

During the 2004 election campaign, Rahul Gandhi told journalists, “My girlfriend’s name is Veronique, not Juanita… she is Spanish and not Venezuelan or Colombian. She is an architect, not a waitress, though I wouldn’t have had a problem with that. She is also my best friend.” Amazingly, not much has been heard of Veronique since then, though for a while she was spotted in India occasionally. Given the Congress vice president’s long relationship with an unmarried South American girl, questions are surely in order. Since 2012, Rahul Gandhi has been seen in the company of Noella, an Afghan princess and jewellery designer, whose mother is also an Italian. She is also the granddaughter of former Afghanistan king, late Mohammad Zahir Shah. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has publicly stated that he had seen the couple together in France over a year ago. The bottom line is that Narendra Modi is a celibate with a celibate wife and a mutual understanding to live separate lives. Rahul Gandhi is a bachelor who goes on holiday in India and aboard with women he does not marry. As the preeminent leader of the Congress and its de facto prime ministerial candidate, he needs to come clean about his relationships.
Sandhya Jain Read more...
 

Lens Blogs

Katju is an affront to Press Council norms; must go -What would you call it when the chairman of the media’s watchdog panel, the Press Council of India, brazenly violates the ‘Norms of Journalistic Conduct’ enunciated by the very same body? more ››
Tamil Nadu wants Narendra Modi as PM: Poll -A CLEAR MAJORITY (53 per cent) of Tamil Nadu voters feel Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is best fitted to be Prime Minister of India... more ››
 

Trending Topics

 
 

Most Read

UP and Bihar bellwether states , Times of India
Did Nitish trip on poll math? - Raj Kumar, Times of India
Pawar's power fades as close aides quit NCP - Prafulla Marpakwar, Times of India
Modi glue binds splintered Maharashtra - Shubhangi Khapre, Indian Express
How NDA’s Dalit coup can hurt UPA in Maharashtra - Shubhangi Khapre, IE
 
LensOnNews, Opinion
LensOnElections

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Soft News

‘Flash Boys’: Michael Lewis does it again

Fascinating. That’s how I’d describe everything about “Flash Boys,” Michael Lewis’s latest book about Wall Street and the rise of high-speed computerized stock trading. Ever since the publication of “Liar’s Poker” in 1989, his hilarious take-down of bond traders at the old Salomon Brothers, Lewis has been the best business and financial journalist of his generation...
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Check the fine print

If you hurry, you may get one. An Australian company is selling the world’s first affordable chocolate printer. The limited edition printer lets you create chocolate in any shape you want in under 10 minutes. Think your dog looks cute? Print candy exactly like poochie (Australian $99, or around Rs.5,500; www.solididea.com ). Researchers at Harvard University in the US have been able to print...
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One country, two time zones

Far too many people in India operate in a time zone that does not allow them an appropriate diurnal cycle. The next Government must bypass disingenuous arguments of national unity from single time zone proponents, and consider the issue of human productivity. A few years ago, this columnist found himself on a ferry to Havelock Island. This picturesque and idyllic place in the Andaman and Nicobar...
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Different strokes: Bush paints Singh's portrait

"The people of India deeply love you," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared grandly (and questionably) to then President George Bush during a White House meeting in 2008. The US President, with his matchless eloquence, was fond of describing Singh as a "good man." Singh will join Bush in retirement shortly, but the Indian Prime Minister evidently left enough...
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