New column: Priyanka Gandhi as Political Finance

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In a new piece for Foreign Policy, I try and decode the meaning behind Priyanka Gandhi’s surprise entry into electoral politics as part of the Congress Party campaign in 2019.

Here’s the bottom line:

Priyanka Gandhi play is not only about winning allies and lifting spirits; it’s also about cash. The party is short of it, and Gandhi substitutes for the political finance that the Congress desperately needs.

Read more about my take on the “Priyanka-as-political-finance” strategy here.

 

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As Uttar Pradesh Goes, So Goes India

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In our latest “India Elects 2019” essay, Jamie Hintson and I look at the battle for Uttar Pradesh. Rather than wade into the guessing game around seat forecasts, we focus on three issues critical to sealing the final UP outcome: voter mobilization, Hindu voter consolidation, and rural anxiety about the economy.

Here’s a glimpse:

Insiders have long claimed that replicating 2014 is a pipe dream for the BJP. The last general election result was a perfect storm of anti-incumbency voter bias, a slumping economy, and a presidential contest with only one compelling candidate. While a sweep of UP may no longer be in the cards, the BJP must retain a strong majority of seats there. To have a shot at doing so, the party will have to energize its base, keep its coalition from fracturing, and address (or, more accurately, be seen to address) the needs of India’s rural dwellers. If it fails, a second term could be jeopardized. To paraphrase an old U.S. electoral maxim: as Uttar Pradesh goes, so goes the nation.

You can read the full piece here.