Manish Chandra Pandey

Manish Chandra Pandey is a Lucknow-based Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times’ political bureau in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Along with political reporting, he loves to write offbeat/human interest stories that people connect with. Manish also covers departments. He feels he has a lot to learn not just from veterans, but also from newcomers who make him realise that there is so much to unlearn.

Articles by Manish Chandra Pandey

Political messaging at play as Nitish Kumar plans UP rallies

Kumar’s rallies are due in places like Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gorakhpur, the bastion of UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who after being a five-term Lok Sabha MP is now a party MLA from the region, Azamgarh, Prayagraj and many other places across east and central UP with a sizeable presence of most backwards.

Kumar’s UP rallies would be interpreted as pre-poll posturing, both to keep the buzz about him contesting from the state alive as also to rattle the BJP. (HT file)
Updated on Dec 08, 2023 08:40 AM IST

BJP on firm ground as assembly poll losses in Hindi belt expose Opposition faultlines

Despite the Congress’s win in southern Telangana, all eyes now would be on whether key players like Samajwadi Party turn up at the New Delhi meet of the opposition bloc on December 6.

BJP workers in Lucknow celebrate the party’s win in three states. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)
Updated on Dec 04, 2023 05:22 AM IST

Post assembly poll results: Buzz on U.P. cabinet expansion, seat-sharing likely to grow

Once the results come in, many expect the Yogi Adityanath government to undertake the much-expected expansion of the state cabinet, an exercise through which BJP would look to ramp up its caste connect.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister , Yogi Aditya nath going to attend cabinet meeting on May 9, 2017. (Subhankar Chakraborty/HT FILE PHOTO)
Updated on Dec 03, 2023 06:28 AM IST

Cheers! Diwali sparkle ushers in ‘happy hour’ in Uttar Pradesh

In 10 days since November 1, liquor consumption touches ₹1400 crore in state, a 15% increase over the same period last year

Post Diwali, there will be Christmas in December and New Year followed by Holi in March and after which the stage will be set for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, all occasions when consumption peaks. (Pic for representation)
Updated on Nov 12, 2023 07:36 AM IST

Ayodhya’s transformative journey: Team Yogi paves road to 2024 with bus ride, temple run

The cabinet meeting that Yogi held in Ayodhya on Thursday was only the second one outside Lucknow. It came two days ahead of Deepotsav on November 11 and about 72 days before the grand inauguration of the Ram temple on January 22

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath along with his cabinet ministers visited Ayodhya’s Ram Temple construction site before the cabinet meeting in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh India on Thursday (Deepak Gupta/Hindustan Times)
Published on Nov 09, 2023 08:27 PM IST

Yogi-Shah meet sparks cabinet rejig speculation

The BJP has summoned OBC leaders from across the country to Delhi to discuss the issue of caste-based census demand, over which nearly the entire opposition as well as some from within the BJP too are unanimous

Top BJP leaders from UP, including chief minister Yogi Adityanath, deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya - the OBC face of the BJP in UP - among others are likely to be in Delhi on Thursday. (File Photo)
Updated on Nov 02, 2023 06:34 AM IST

Mission 2024: Congress bats for Azam as it looks to woo Muslims back

The development, part of Congress’s effort to reconnect with Muslims, would see it raise the issue of alleged ‘injustice’ under the BJP rule to the most vocal and numerically dominant among all minority groups, which backed it till 1989, when Congress last ruled UP.

Azam Khan (FILE PHOTO)
Updated on Oct 24, 2023 09:20 AM IST

Gift packs, name change call precede Smriti Irani’s Amethi temple run

She covered all prominent temples of goddesses across all five assembly segments of Amethi from where she is set to challenge the Congress yet again in 2024 Lok Sabha polls, now about six months away.

Gift packs sent by Union minister Smriti Irani to temples in Amethi. (HT photo)
Updated on Oct 23, 2023 08:04 AM IST

Navratri: Festive hues with shades of women empowerment in Uttar Pradesh

Sponsored by the Yogi Adityanath government, the initiative is timed to specially cater to women, more so in rural areas, where religion acts as a bridge past issues of caste and becomes a great unifying force of sorts.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath performing ‘kaslash sthapana’ on the first day of Navratri festival in Gorakhpur (ht photo)
Published on Oct 18, 2023 11:25 AM IST

Dalit outreach: Yogi raises dropping of Kanshi Ram’s name from universities by SP

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched the BJP's drive to connect with Dalits in Uttar Pradesh, criticizing the Samajwadi Party government for dropping the name of BSP founder Kanshi Ram from universities. He also inaugurated 102 schemes worth ₹136 crore. Adityanath referred to his political opponents as 'Kalanemi' and highlighted the government's efforts to grant land ownership rights to Dalit families. He also mentioned the upcoming Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar International Centre and invoked other Dalit icons. Adityanath's remarks come as the SP and BSP compete for Dalit voters.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath being garlanded during the BJP's Western Uttar Pradesh Dalit Conference, in Hapur, Tuesday. (PTI)
Updated on Oct 18, 2023 10:55 AM IST

Mission 2024:Maya in denial mode again even as top Oppn leader says doors not closed on anyone

On Wednesday, BSP chief Mayawati again denied a fresh buzz, driven by a section of the media which was centred around Samajwadi Party (SP) chief general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav’s reported efforts to broker an arrangement for Maya’s entry into the opposition alliance. She also questioned SP’s silence on the buzz.

In July, Mayawati gave a hint of her ‘go solo’ strategy when she appealed to the weaker sections of society to elect a “majboor (helpless)” government – something that her mentor and BSP founder Kanshiram used to state. (HT FILE)
Updated on Oct 12, 2023 06:44 AM IST

WOMEN’S RESERVATION: Over 1 lakh Muslim women from Uttar Pradesh to send “thank you” letters to Modi

The drive is part of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s efforts to galvanise the community’s women to thank the PM for steps like Women’s Reservation and a host of other measures, including making triple talaq, the instant divorce practice, punishable under law.

UP BJP general secretary (organisation) Dharampal Singh addressing a women’s wing meeting in Kanpur. (SOURCED)
Updated on Oct 08, 2023 08:18 AM IST

Bihar government move on caste census puts spotlight on Uttar Pradesh

These BJP allies from east Uttar Pradesh are unanimous that only a caste count could establish the numerical strength of each caste.

The BJP is seeking to come up with a counter by citing how a lot has been done for OBCs under the ‘double engine’ governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh. (FOR REPRESENTATION)
Published on Oct 03, 2023 05:00 PM IST

UP conundrum: Smaller BJP allies rally behind caste survey

Political experts felt that the BJP could rely on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, its most charismatic leader

Enumerator staff during the survey, in Patna on August 2. (HT)
Updated on Oct 03, 2023 08:00 AM IST

Suspense builds over ministerial berth for Chauhan, Rajbhar

A section of party leaders, who were skeptical of their re-entry, now feel that these leaders have outlived their utility.

Rajbhar has his critics, but the fact that BJP lacks a homegrown Rajbhar leader of his stature and mass appeal, makes him quite useful. (File Photo)
Published on Sep 28, 2023 05:11 PM IST

Ahead of Lok Sabha polls, RSS set to step up mass-connect campaigns in U.P.

Within the RSS, the focus on enlisting ideologically aligned youths who, so far, have known the organisation from afar– a key point that emerged during Bhagwat’s meetings–is set to gain traction from October.

Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat’s three-day Awadh Prant visit that concluded in Lucknow last Tuesday. (PTI)
Updated on Sep 27, 2023 08:50 AM IST

We want to take everyone along, even critics: Bhagwat

The RSS chief or “sarsanghchalak’”, as he is referred to by the Sangh cadres, said this while interacting with professionals and intellectuals – something that he often does at the end of his visits

Bhagwat concluded his three-day visit of Awadh Prant at Saraswati Shishu Mandir in Nirala Nagar of Lucknow on Monday (File photo)
Published on Sep 26, 2023 12:20 AM IST

RSS to step up campaign against religious conversions, focus on social harmony

It has also been decided that the RSS would press the accelerator on its campaign to enlist ideologically inclined youths. The process would gain momentum in the coming months

Discussions were held on key issues in RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s presence. (FILE PHOTO)
Published on Sep 24, 2023 11:15 PM IST

The enduring enigma called Azam Khan

In the 2024 Lok Sabha polls too, SP will use Azam and his son to campaign for the party, SP leaders indicated

SP leader Azam Khan. (HT file)
Published on Sep 15, 2023 03:01 PM IST

Ghosi result set to rekindle loyalists vs turncoats debate

BJP candidate Dara Singh Chauhan and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar were the two principal characters whose performance was on test in this bypoll. Both are OBC leaders and known turncoats.

Samajwadi Party workers celebrating the victory of party candidate Sudhakar Singh in the Ghosi constituency by-election, in Lucknow. (FILE PHOTO)
Published on Sep 09, 2023 11:14 PM IST

Our leadership takes care of loyalists, says Dinesh Sharma

I’ve been campaigning for the cause of the party and our ideology; we also raised slogans against the Congress while campaigning for our party since childhood, says BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP

Dinesh Sharma was declared elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from UP on Friday. (HT Photo)
Published on Sep 09, 2023 12:27 AM IST

BJP fortifies east Uttar Pradesh, faces challenges on western front on road to 2024 Lok Sabha polls

The challenges in western Uttar Pradesh, which has a sizeable Muslim population, are unlike those in east U.P, where the BJP’s campaign has been boosted by the homecoming of OBC leaders like Dara Singh Chauhan

Union home minister Amit Shah campaigning in Kairana for the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. (FILE PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 05, 2023 12:30 AM IST

No one untouchable…in politics, all possibilities are possible, says UP BJP chief

In an interview with HT, Uttar Pradesh BJP president Bhupendra Chaudhary reflects on his one year in office.

UP BJP chief Bhupendra Chaudhary (HT Photo)
Updated on Aug 24, 2023 07:05 PM IST

Ghosi bypoll: Mini political contest high on symbolism

BJP candidate Dara Singh Chauhan filed his nomination papers for the bypoll to Ghosi Assembly seat. In 2022 UP polls, he had won the seat on Samajwadi Party symbol

Deputy CM Brajesh Pathak flanked by SBSP chief OP Rajbhar (L) and BJP candidate Dara Singh Chauhan (R) and others at a public meeting in Ghosi. (Sourced)
Updated on Aug 16, 2023 11:15 PM IST

Last I-Day before 2024 polls: Large dose of nationalism on offer

The I-Day campaign, the last ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, is focused at connecting with the masses on the emotive issue, which is also in sync with BJP’s larger push centering around ‘rashtrawaad’ (nationalism). Over the next three days, the BJP and its allies would be part of this outreach that would manifest itself through ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ - which basically means a Tricolour fluttering at each house,

The Tirangas will be provided in rural areas by chief development officers (CDOs) to block development officers (BDOs) who will in turn pass them on to panchayat secretaries. From gram panchayats, these Tricolours will find their way to each primary school, anganbadi centre, primary health centre and lekhpal. (Pic for representation)
Updated on Aug 14, 2023 12:26 AM IST

Amethi, Rae Bareli on Congress, BJP's mind after SC relief to Rahul Gandhi

A delegation of Congress leaders is expected to meet Gandhi after the monsoon session of Parliament.

Congress, BJP reassess strategy in Amethi-Rae Bareli after top court relief to Rahul Gandhi. (File)
Updated on Aug 07, 2023 05:48 AM IST

Rohini Commission report on OBC subcategorisation stirs fresh interest in run-up to 2024 Lok Sabha polls

Since 2002, the issue of sub-categorisation of OBCs based on their numerical strength within the larger caste grouping has kept cropping up nearer to the elections, only to fizzle out post polls

There is a buzz that recommendations of the commission could be helpful in negating the impact of the caste census underway in Bihar from where the Nitish Kumar government has been pushing for opposition unity against the BJP in 2024 Lok Sabha polls. (FILE PHOTO)
Updated on Aug 03, 2023 12:10 AM IST

BJP’s national team: U.P. gets lion’s share, ex-AMU VC appointed party vice-president

The BJP’s new team has eight members from Uttar Pradesh in the main body, two more than the last team declared on September 26, 2020, showcasing the party’s focus on the state ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, which are less then a year away.

U.P. gets lion’s share in BJP national team (Pic for representation)
Updated on Jul 30, 2023 03:22 PM IST

Tariq Mansoor’s elevation likely to aid BJP’s Pasmanda Muslim outreach

The BJP leaders said that through Mansoor, the party plans to increase engagement with educated Muslims, Pasmandas (backward class Muslims) in particular, to woo the influential minority vote bank.

Former AMU VC Prof Tariq Mansoor has been appointed as BJP national vice-president on Saturday. (HT File photo)
Updated on Jul 30, 2023 03:17 PM IST

Coffee with HT: SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar stresses on joint cadre-connect programme

After a fresh pact with the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Rajbhar has sought time from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a big joint rally in Azamgarh in October

SBSP chief Om Prakash Rajbhar. (Deepak Gupta/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jul 20, 2023 11:30 PM IST
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