Politics/Nation
Monotony of our political discourse - Kalyani Shankar, Pioneer
With the Lok Sabha passing the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill last week, the issue of triple talaq has, once again, held centrestage in Parliament. While the amended Bill could pass the immediate hurdle in the Lower House, it should be passed by Parliament within 42 days (six weeks), else it will lapse.
After mixed 2018, Mamata Didi eyes the Kingmaker role - Madhuparna Das, Economic Times
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had a mixed 2018, with her rise in national politics being blunted to a certain extent by the rise of BJP in her state. With most regional parties being marginalised after BJP’s victory in 2014, Banerjee bucked the trend, and grew in stature.
Narendra Modi’s chances of returning to power in 2019 elections are 50-50 - Swaminathan A Aiyar, Economic Times
Media analysis in the first half of 2019 is going to focus on the coming general election in May, to the exclusion of almost everything else. Will Narendra Modi return to power? Will Rahul Gandhi beat expectations and win? Will a Third Front government emerge, as in 1996-98?
Bolstered by poll victory, Rahul keen on solo fight - Hari Shankar Vyas, Pioneer
After emerging victorious in three BJP-ruled States, it appears that Rahul Gandhi is ready to fight alone in other States. He recently instructed party leaders from West Bengal to start preparations for fighting on all 42 seats of the State.
The optics of the Third Front - Ajay Gudavarthy, Hindu
Politics is the art of the possible as much as it is a vision of the future. It needs to speak to the existing reality and re-signify it to change the terms of discourse to create new possibilities. If it is too utopian, it fails to become experiential — and if it is too pragmatic, it fails to change anything substantially.
Cong to placate SP with MP berth to salvage UP alliance - Deepak Kumar Jha, Pioneer
The Congress on Thursday indicated it was ready to meet the expectations of the Samajwadi Party (SP) for a ministerial berth in the newly-formed Madhya Pradesh Government to salvage the ongoing talks on grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh to take on BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
2019 Lok Sabha polls: Akhilesh to go for non-Cong front - Pioneer
Apparently miffed over the exclusion of the lone Samajwadi Party MLA in the Cabinet of  Congress-led Government in Madhya Pradesh, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav said that his party would go for an alliance of non-Congress parties for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 
‘Pappu Pass Ho Gaya’ - Pioneer
Let us get one thing straight, it is not easy being Rahul Gandhi. To have lost your grandmother and your father to highly publicised assassinations is not something that anyone can even empathise with. But to then enter the political picture in India and immediately be portrayed as a ‘Clown Prince’ and a pappu (idiot) by the Opposition and doing yourself no favours by slips of the tongue (far too many) and being painted as an arrogant capo of the Lutyens mafia, must have taken a personal toll.
The year of a few hits and misses - Kalyani Shankar, Pioneer
The year 2018 was the most crucial for political parties as they learnt a few hard lessons. Next year, however, will see them battle for the top office. Parties need to move from the existing machinery and build a new narrative to woo voters
Federal Front staggers - Deepak Kumar Jha & Omer Farooq, Pioneer
After lukewarm response to his proposed Federal Front from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik, TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao is in Delhi hoping that his proposed meeting with BSP chief Mayawati and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav will help his effort to prop up non-BJP non-Congress alliance for the next year’s Lok Sabha polls.
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