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Smriti Kak Ramachandran

Smriti covers an intersection of politics and governance. Having spent over a decade in journalism, she combines old fashioned leg work with modern story telling tools.

Articles by Smriti Kak Ramachandran

BJP’s Sankalp Patra: From construction of Ram Temple to development of Ayodhya

In the manifesto, the BJP referred to the temple’s construction as “people’s five-centuries-old dream” that has become a reality

Prime Minister Narendra Modi releases the BJP election manifesto in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo)
Published on Apr 15, 2024 08:49 AM IST

UCC, CAA, one election in BJP’s ‘Modi ki guarantee’ manifesto

BJP releases manifesto for 2024 elections, focusing on development, welfare, and governance, with promises on social groups, sectors, and policies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday. (PTI)
Updated on Apr 15, 2024 05:39 AM IST

BJP Lok Sabha poll manifesto: A mix of welfare politics, ideological causes

The BJP says the party’s poll manifesto is intended to improve the quality of life for millions who are on the fringes of the economic and social order.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the release of the BJP’s Lok Sabha poll manifesto at the party’s headquarters in Delhi on Sunday. (Photo by Ajay Aggarwal/ Hindustan Times)
Updated on Apr 14, 2024 08:14 PM IST

Will continue with reform, perform, transform: PM Modi at BJP manifesto release

Prime Miniter Narendra Modi said the plan to implement the BJP’s manifesto will begin immediately after the June 4 results

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the launch of the BJP's Lok Sabha poll manifesto at the party headquarters in Delhi on Sunday. (Photo by Ajay Aggarwal/ Hindustan Times))
Published on Apr 14, 2024 03:20 PM IST

As Opposition alleges political vendetta, Modi defends anti-graft action

In an interview with HT’s sister publication Hindustan, Modi said only 3% of the cases being probed by the ED are of politicians

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (ANI)
Published on Apr 12, 2024 09:01 AM IST

Amid youth push, BJP list also leans on experience as party stretches age limit

There are as many as 20 leaders who are between the ages of 70-74, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is 73 and defence minister Rajnath Singh (72).

Ranjit Chautala and Hema Malini are among the few names who have edged past BJP’s unofficial age limit of 75 (AFP)
Updated on Apr 12, 2024 04:53 AM IST

BJP keeps its cards very close to the chest

The BJP has also kept the candidature from Rae Bareli a top secret. There is chatter that the party will declare the candidate only after the Congress names its contestant

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Union minister Nitin Gadkari in Nagpur on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)
Updated on Apr 11, 2024 09:21 AM IST

SS Ahluwalia replaces Pawan Singh as Asansol candidate for Lok Sabha polls

Singh had earlier withdrawn his candidature after the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) flagged his songs as misogynistic

Asansol will go to the polls in the 4th phase voting on May 13. (@SSAhluwaliaMP)
Updated on Apr 10, 2024 04:03 PM IST

The challenge of retaining seats and doing one better

There are several states where the BJP’s performance was enviable in the last general elections, such as Karnataka, Rajasthan, Haryana, Jharkhand and Bihar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a roadshow ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in Chennai on Tuesday. (PTI Photo)
Updated on Apr 10, 2024 09:22 AM IST

BJP parries Rajput angst

Rajput organisations had requested both the BJP and the Congress to consider fielding members of the community, but their anger seems to be directed at the ruling party for now

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a public meeting ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. (PTI Photo)
Published on Apr 09, 2024 08:06 AM IST

Lok Sabha polls: Of 419 candidates named by BJP so far, 16% are women

To be sure, the BJP has fielded more women candidates in every election since 2014, when women made up only around 9% of its candidates (38 of 428)

BJP candidate Navneet Rana during an election rally before filing her nomination from the Amravati Lok Sabha constituency for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, in Amravati, on April 4 (PTI)
Updated on Apr 09, 2024 12:18 AM IST

BJP tries to navigate tricky waters in Ladakh

Residents want guarantees that they will have full rights on jobs and land and no industry or development work that threatens the fragile ecosystem of the high-altitude region will be allowed.

A child holds a placard during Sonam Wangchuk's hunger strike in Leh-Ladakh last month. (ANI Photo)
Published on Apr 08, 2024 08:21 AM IST

BJP manifesto expected to be focussed on women, youth, farmers, poor

A 27-member committee of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headed by Union minister Rajnath Singh has met in the Capital twice to draft the document

Union minister Rajnath Singh at the BJP manifesto committee meeting. (ANI)
Updated on Apr 05, 2024 08:28 AM IST

Modi rally in Jamui today, expected to boost NDA’s poll campaign in Bihar

The BJP is confident of repeating its 2019 performance in Bihar, where it won all 17 seats it contested, even as doubts remain whether the allies will be able to do the same

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (REUTERS)
Updated on Apr 04, 2024 06:46 PM IST

‘Modi ki Guarantee’: Pivot around which BJP’s poll campaign revolves

The message to candidates and cadre is to keep pushing the narrative about “Modi ki Guarantee” instead of relying entirely on “Modi ki rally”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (ANI)
Published on Apr 03, 2024 08:29 AM IST

Operation TN: With Katchatheevu, BJP sets its narrative in the Dravidian fortress

Except Karnataka, where it has been in power multiple times, the party has been chipping away at the barriers that prevented its expansion in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin in Chennai. (ANI File Photo)
Updated on Apr 02, 2024 09:03 AM IST

Centre targets Opposition again as Katchatheevu row escalates

Union govt accuses Congress and DMK of neglecting national interests in ceding Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka in 1970s; Modi and Jaishankar criticize opposition.

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge and Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Updated on Apr 02, 2024 07:58 AM IST

Modi attacks DMK for ‘double standards’ over Katchatheevu

Modi on Sunday accused the then Indira Gandhi government of “callously” ceding Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka and sparked a war of words with the Congress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Bloomberg)
Published on Apr 01, 2024 10:51 AM IST

Bureaucracy to politics: A familiar career shift

Over the years, several bureaucrats and diplomats have earned their stripes, traversing the highs and lows of the power corridors

For representational purposes only. (Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)
Published on Apr 01, 2024 08:36 AM IST

BJP brings turncoats, ex-bureaucrats on board to meet its 400+ seats target

In 2019, there were about 75 candidates across parties who switched sides before the election, but at least 47 of them lost.

Former Congress leader Ravneet Singh Bittu (R) with BJP chief JP Nadda after joining the party in New Delhi on March 26. (ANI)
Updated on Apr 01, 2024 07:51 AM IST

Coalition ‘dharma’: Alliances and rifts keep BJP edgy

After its attempts to rebuild ties with the Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab failed and talks with Biju Janata Dal in Odisha yielded no results, the BJP is ironing out differences with its allies in Maharashtra

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde flanked by deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar in Mumbai earlier this month. (HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 29, 2024 08:57 AM IST

Electoral funding: The big money game

Speaking at the Times Now Summit 2024, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said she declined the offer to contest the 2024 Lok Sabha polls as she does not have ‘that kind of money’

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the Times Now Summit 2024 in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI Photo)
Published on Mar 28, 2024 08:38 AM IST

BJP points out ‘partiality’ of the poll panel, takes complaint to ECI

On Tuesday, the BJP went to the poll panel with a complaint over what it claimed was a biased response to its requests and complaints by state commissions in Opposition-ruled regions.

The office of the Election Commission of India in New Delhi. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 27, 2024 08:42 AM IST

In its lists of candidates, BJP sends a clear message with three missing names

PM Modi reiterated his instruction to party leaders to not make at the meeting of the union council of ministers on March 3.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with top BJP leaders at the Central Election Committee meeting at party headquarters in New Delhi. (ANI)
Published on Mar 26, 2024 10:05 PM IST

BJP's fifth list for Lok Sabha polls: Arun Govil, Kangana Ranaut named

BJP announces fifth list of Lok Sabha contenders for upcoming elections, including ministers, actors, and industrialists, with some key exclusions.

Kangana Ranaut will contest the Lok Sabha election 2024 from Mandi, Ramayan's Ram Arun Govil from Meerut.
Updated on Mar 25, 2024 08:29 AM IST

No BJP-BJD deal after weeks of Lok Sabha seat talks

Discussions between the two parties started in the first week of March, raising hopes of them coming together for the first time in 15 years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik.(PTI)
Updated on Mar 23, 2024 07:52 AM IST
ByDebabrata Mohanty, , Bhubaneswar/new Delhi

BJP unfazed by INDIA outcry over Kejriwal arrest as ‘corruption’ still a key poll plank

The general election is inching closer, and zero tolerance to corruption, scams, irregularities will be the centerpiece of BJP’s poll pitch

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal after his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate on Thursday in an excise policy-linked money laundering case. (PTI Photo)
Published on Mar 22, 2024 08:38 AM IST

BJP fields 9 candidates for Tamil Nadu in third list for Lok Sabha elections

L Murugan, who is minister of state for information and technology, was renominated as the party’s candidate for the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh in February.

BJP has released its third list of candidates for Lok Sabha elections(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Mar 22, 2024 02:12 AM IST
BySmriti Kak Ramachandran and, New Delhi/chennai

Kerala conundrum keeps BJP on the edge

Kerala BJP is banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity and outreach towards the Christian minority and is hoping to win a couple of seats

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Union minister V Muraleedharan and other Kerala BJP leaders in Pathanamthitta on March 15. (PTI Photo)
Updated on Mar 21, 2024 10:00 AM IST

BJP’s Karnataka campaign in choppy waters

A few senior party leaders, overlooked for the upcoming general elections, are threatening to derail the campaign with their rumblings

Senior Karnataka BJP leader and former chief minister BS Yediyurappa with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Shivamogga earlier this week. (ANI Photo)
Published on Mar 20, 2024 07:49 AM IST
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