Gilles Verniers (for Info only, not official)

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Gilles Verniers

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    ...No regional party has succeeded in winning more than one or, at the most, two terms in Gujarat. Most attempts to create regional parties were short-lived. In fact, most non-Congress and non-BJP governments were led by leaders who defected from national parties: Shankersinh Vaghela in the mid-1990s, and Chimanbhai Patel before him. Why is that the case? Is this because there is no appetite for regionalism amongst Gujarati voters? Evidence from a post-poll survey conducted in 2004 by Lokniti-CSDS points to the contrary. ...

    Indian Express on Oct. 16, 2017, 1 a.m.

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    ...No regional party has succeeded in winning more than one or, at the most, two terms in Gujarat. Most attempts to create regional parties were short-lived. In fact, most non-Congress and non-BJP governments were led by leaders who defected from national parties: Shankersinh Vaghela in the mid-1990s, and Chimanbhai Patel before him. Why is that the case? Is this because there is no appetite for regionalism amongst Gujarati voters? ...

    Indian Express on Oct. 16, 2017, 1 a.m.

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    ...Gujarat is probably the Indian state where turncoats play structurally the most significant part, quantitatively as well as qualitatively. There are few states where not only Congressmen and women defect to the BJP in such large numbers, but the party’s prominent leaders too, as is evident from the recent shift of the Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, Shankersinh Vaghela. Certainly, Vaghela has not rejoined the BJP yet, but he voted for the BJP candidate against Ahmed Patel during the last Rajya Sabha elections. In fact, the movements of Vaghela reflect the porosity between the Congress and BJP in Gujarat. Indeed, Vaghela defected first to the Congress. After the BJP’s 1995 electoral success, Keshubhai Patel and Vaghela were locked in a fierce rivalry for the post of chief minister. ...

    Indian Express on Oct. 5, 2017, 12:03 a.m.

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    ... It would be tempting to say that the results of the 2017 state elections in Uttar Pradesh speak for themselves. A rapid look at the numbers provides more detail on the magnitude of the BJP’s victory and the defeat of its opponents. With 39.7 per cent of the votes and 75.7 per cent of the seats, the BJP scores the best performance recorded by any party in Uttar Pradesh since the Janata Party victory in 1977. It tops the Congress’s 1985 vote share (39.3 per cent) as well as Indira Gandhi’s seat share when she returned to power in 1980 (72.7 per cent). If we only consider the 384 seats where the BJP contested, the vote share increases to 41.5 per cent, which is nearly equivalent to its 42.5 per cent vote share in 2014. ...

    Indian Express on March 14, 2017, 2:21 a.m.

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    ...Tashi Tobgyal It would be tempting to say that the results of the 2017 state elections in Uttar Pradesh speak for themselves. A rapid look at the numbers provides more detail on the magnitude of the BJP’s victory and the defeat of its opponents. With 39.7 per cent of the votes and 75.7 per cent of the seats, the BJP scores the best performance recorded by any party in Uttar Pradesh since the Janata Party victory in 1977. It tops the Congress’s 1985 vote share (39.3 per cent) as well as Indira Gandhi’s seat share when she returned to power in 1980 (72.7 per cent). If we only consider the 384 seats where the BJP contested, the vote share increases to 41.5 per cent, which is nearly equivalent to its 42.5 per cent vote share in 2014. The party’s strike rate, or the ratio of seats won against seats contested, is equally impressive and fairly stable through the seven phases of the elections. ...

    Indian Express on March 13, 2017, 1:12 a.m.

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    ...The inclusion of all sections of the society in the public sphere is critically important for any democracy. For all its successes in giving representation to different social groups, India has a mixed track record when it comes to women’s participation and representation in politics. Women were given equal vote the day India became Independent, something that took the UK and the United States 100 and 144 years, respectively, to achieve. India has also produced a number of powerful and consequential women politicians — more than most democracies — who have held, and still hold power, at the highest levels in state and national politics. The 73rd constitutional amendment ensures, by reserving seats for women in the panchayat system, that at least a third of India’s 3.2 million elected representatives are women (the 33 per cent quota was raised to 50 per cent in 2009. Several states have since introduced gender parity in representation in municipal bodies). But the presence of strong women politicians, and a million women elected representatives at the grass roots, has not ensured gender parity in state assemblies or Parliament. ...

    Indian Express on March 8, 2017, 12:03 a.m.

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    ...First, through the crisis, Akhilesh Yadav presented himself as a dedicated chief minister, who was the victim of the machinations of a cabal of schemers from the party, led by his uncle. Respecting social conventions, he refrained from criticising his father publicly and let his uncle be seen as the villain of the piece. Second, the Election Commission granted Akhilesh Yadav the party symbol, vesting him with authority and legitimacy to seize control of the party. Third, he disposed off most of his uncle’s and father’s remaining loyalists by allocating a large number of tickets to the Congress. This alliance has turned the election into a three-corner fight, in which the SP stands to gain the most. Large pre-poll alliances are not new in UP. ...

    Indian Express on Feb. 11, 2017, 12:20 a.m.

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    ...The Election Commission’s grant of the bicycle symbol to Akhilesh Yadav on January 16 completes the complex transfer of power from father to son, a process that arguably started the moment Akhilesh stepped in as chief minister in March 2012. The Election Commission’s decision to allot the bicycle to Akhilesh makes sense, as the chief minister currently commands the vast majority of the party’s organisation and cadres. In the documents provided to the commission, 90 per cent of the party’s MLAs, 82 per cent of the MLCs, 62 per cent of the MPs, 61 per cent of the national executive members, and 77 per cent of the party’s 5,731 national convention delegates, have pledged their support to the chief minister, over the party’s formal head. The commission was even helped in its decision by Mulayam Singh Yadav himself, who, curiously, did not put up much of a fight, neglecting to submit even a proper dossier to the commissioners. This is not the first time that the ECI has been called to arbitrate over the allotment of a symbol to a splitting party. ...

    Indian Express on Jan. 19, 2017, midnight