SUDANSHU TRIVEDI: He has done a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and he certainly needs all his engineering skills to come up with the most credible of spins for every crisis. Speaks in a rational tone, has the gravitas of experience, for he has been political advisor to Rajnath Singh when the latter was party chief. When he is really passionate about a defence, expect him to break out in a Sanskrit shloka.
SIDHARTH NATH SINGH: Tends to avoid the shouting matches of daily debates, but when he is there he brings a seasoned, and reasoned, argument to the table. Being an old hand, he knows how to play the debate, usually adopting a conversational tone. The confrontations are handled with a slight smile, and the air of one who knows better.
NALIN KOHLI: Makes a lawyer’s argument, preferring reason to decibel, avoids shouting matches. Again has the advantage of experience and of being an experienced hand, both in the BJP and with the media.
SAMBIT PATRA: Easily the most familiar face in studios, he has his own inimitable style, often facing the most critical of anchors with a disarming smile. Expect a well researched argument from him, and also expect one of two witty liners. But Sambit Patra needs to take care not to overdo the puns before he goes the Venkaiah Naidu way. His most memorable line was on Bihar Exit Poll day when each channel showed a different result for the BJP. This had Sambit commenting that he needed to wear a different mood for different channels.
G.V.L. NARASIMHA RAO: A psephologist by profession, he now has to go where no statistics have gone before, and defend the rise and fall in the BJP’s fortunes, moment to moment in this era of breaking news.
ILMI SIBLINGS: Brother Aizaj and sister Shazia are newcomers to the BJP bandwagon, but are fast catching up, clocking time in TV studios. Shazia is usually fielded to take on AAP, while Aizaj counters the Congress, for no one knows the workings, and failings, of an opponent better than a former insider. Both are articulate and have become the party’s Muslim faces in TV studios, but need the gravitas of an old hand. That will come with time, and provided they stay on with the BJP.
SHRIKANT SHARMA: The new kid on the block, he is never short of an argument or a spin. Having spent some serious time at the party headquarters, he has both the opportunity and flair to learn from some of the masters of the craft, who are now in government. Watch this space, for he has some serious TRPs in him.
SHAINA NC: Based in Mumbai, she is always available on the OB van and can be seen on several channels, both Hindi and English, all at the same time. The problem with this is that she sometimes ends up speaking to an English anchor in Hindi. And of course sometimes getting the topics mixed up too.
SUDESH VARMA. A former journalist who wrote a book on Narendra Modi, he now defends him on prime-time debates, carrying his conviction on his sleeve.