a) Secret agent: on JD(S) in Karnataka polls

A kingmaker with only one option is no kingmaker at all. The Janata Dal (Secular) is probably headed for a third-place finish in Karnataka but is banking on making its seats count in a hung Assembly, which many opinion polls suggest is likely. The party’s ‘secular’ outlook did not prevent it from partnering in a coalition government with the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2006; notwithstanding the protestations of patriarch H.D. Deve Gowda, another such arrangement between the two parties cannot be ruled out. Mr. Gowda likes to put all the blame on his younger son, H.D. Kumaraswamy, for the 2006 partnership and vows it will not be repeated. But the reasons that drove the party to join hands with the BJP at that time have not disappeared now. The support bases of the two parties are in different regions, with the JD(S) confined to Mysuru and southern Karnataka where the Vokkaligas have a strong presence. The BJP relies heavily on the Lingayat vote in north and central Karnataka. Therefore, neither party is fearful of conceding space to the other. The Congress remains the principal rival for both. Although the 2006 experiment ended badly with Mr. Kumaraswamy refusing to keep his end of the bargain, senior BJP leaders are not likely to let the past hold the future hostage. Indeed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicated as much when he praised Mr. Gowda and sought to blame Congress president Rahul Gandhi for not showing the JD(S) leader enough respect. This might have been intended to send separate signals to JD(S) leaders and the BJP cadre. One, that the BJP is still willing to do business with the JD(S). Two, that in constituencies where the fight is between the Congress and the JD(S), the BJP, rather than finish a close third, would have the JD(S) win. Not surprisingly, both Mr. Gowda and Mr. Kumaraswamy have sought to downplay Mr. Modi’s remarks. Too much proximity to the BJP prior to the election is not going to help the JD(S), which would like to keep its supporters interested in the contest as a three-way fight. Prior to its coalition with the BJP, the JD(S) had indeed been in a coalition with the Congress, but the prospects for such a situation have dimmed in the years since. In addition to its concerns of the Congress encroaching on its political space, the JD(S) has one other difficulty: the rise of Siddaramaiah in the Congress. The Karnataka Chief Minister was earlier a front-ranking leader of the JD(S), and his rebellion remains a sore point with Mr. Gowda and his son. But depending on the nature of the verdict, it will not be averse to building bridges with a Congress without Mr. Siddaramaiah, even if only to increase its bargaining position with the BJP. Without doubt, the JD(S) is the unknown agent in the political mix.

b) Targeting Tehran: on Netanyahu’s revelations on Iran

The timing of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that Iran had a robust nuclear weapons programme is not lost on anyone. On Monday, Mr. Netanyahu shared thousands of documents related to Iran’s nuclear programme at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump is considering ripping up the Iran nuclear deal. Mr. Trump, who has never hidden his opposition to the deal signed by the Obama administration with Iran and five other countries, is expected to take a decision before May 12. The documents Mr. Netanyahu cited were stolen from Iran by Israeli spies and suggest that Iran had a robust nuclear weapons programme before the multilateral deal was signed — while Iran had always maintained that its nuclear programme was for civilian purposes. Mr. Netanyahu argued that the documents pointed to an act of deceit on Iran’s part, a claim the U.S. immediately backed. But Israel’s opposition to the Iran deal is not new. The Obama administration had gone ahead with multilateral talks with Iran despite opposition from two of the U.S.’s strongest West Asian allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia. But with the new U.S. administration under Mr. Trump taking an increasingly hostile line towards Iran, Israel has also stepped up its attack on the nuclear deal. Mr. Netanyahu’s ‘revelations’ are clearly aimed at setting the stage for, and influencing, Mr. Trump’s big decision on the deal in the coming days. The problem with Mr. Netanyahu’s presentation is that it relates to a pre-nuclear deal Iran. Even if the documents are authentic, they suggest that Iran had a nuclear weapons programme. There is no indication that Iran has violated the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the international agreement signed between Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and Germany. Even the Trump administration, which backs Israel’s claims, doesn’t say Iran is in violation of the nuclear deal. After Mr. Netanyahu’s press conference, the International Atomic Energy Agency too said it has no credible information to show that Iran has violated the agreement. So, if Iran indeed had an active weapons programme as Israel claims, the nuclear deal has ended it. This only bolsters the argument in favour of the deal. In other words, the U.S. and Israel are yet to make a convincing argument on why the Iran deal should be scrapped. But if Mr. Trump does pull the U.S. out of the pact and reimposes sanctions on Iran, that would be a disincentive for Tehran to stay in compliance with the agreement. So, practically, if Mr. Trump decides to pull out of the Iran deal, it would start the unravelling of an agreement that nobody has violated.


1) Probably

Meaning: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

Example: “She would probably never see him again”

Synonyms: Possibly, Perhaps.

2) Hung

Meaning: (Of an elected body) having no political party with an overall majority.

Example: “A hung parliament”

3) Polls

Meaning: The process of voting in an election.

Example: “The country went to the polls on March 10”

Synonyms: Vote, Ballot.

4) Coalition

Meaning: A temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties forming a government.

Example: “A coalition between Liberals and Conservatives”

Synonyms: Alliance, Union.

5) Protestation

Meaning: An objection or protest.

Example: “He was warned by the referee for his loud protestations”

Synonyms: Objection, Protest.

6) Patriarch

Meaning: A powerful and usually older man in charge of a family, or the male leader of a society in which men hold power.

7) Ruled out

Meaning: Exclude, eliminate.

Example: Heavy rain ruled out the picnic.

8) Vows

Meaning: Solemnly promise to do a specified thing.

Example: “The rebels vowed to continue fighting”

Synonyms: Pledge, Promise.

9) Drove

Meaning: Urge or force (animals or people) to move in a specified direction.

Example: “They drove a flock of sheep through the centre of the city”

Synonyms: Impel, Urge.

10) Confined

Meaning: (Of a space) restricted in area or volume; cramped.

Example: “Her fear of confined spaces”

Synonyms: Restricted, Limited

11) Rely

Meaning: Depend on with full trust or confidence.

Example: “I know I can rely on your discretion”

Synonyms: Depend, Count.

12) Conceding

Meaning: Amit or agree that something is true after first denying or resisting it.

Example: “I had to concede that I’d overreacted”

Synonyms: Admit, Acknowledge.

13) Hostage

Meaning: A person seized or held as security for the fulfilment of a condition.

Example: “They were held hostage by armed rebels”

Synonyms: Captive, Prisoner.

14) Intended

Meaning: Planned or meant.

Example: “The intended victim escaped”

Synonyms: Deliberate, Intentional.

15) Sought

Meaning: To ask for advice, help, approval, permission, etc.

Example: Legal advice should be sought before you take any further action.

16) Downplay

Meaning: Make (something) appear less important than it really is.

Example: “This report downplays the seriousness of global warming”

17) Proximity

Meaning: Nearness in space, time, or relationship.

Example: “Do not operate microphones in close proximity to television sets”

Synonyms: Closeness, Nearness.

18) Dimmed

Meaning: Make or become less bright or distinct.

Example: “A smoky inferno that dimmed the sun”

Synonyms: Fade, Dull.

19) Encroaching

Meaning: Intrude on (a person’s territory, rights, personal life, etc.).

Example: “Rather than encroach on his privacy she might have kept to her room”

Synonyms: Intrude, Trespass.

20) Rebellion

Meaning: An act of armed resistance to an established government or leader.

Example: “The authorities put down a rebellion by landless colonials”

Synonyms: Revolt, Insurrection.

21) Sore point

Meaning: An issue about which someone feels distressed or annoyed and which it is therefore advisable to avoid raising with them.

Example: Don’t ask him about the job search – it’s a bit of a sore point.

22) Averse

Meaning: Having a strong dislike of or opposition to something.

Example: “As a former CIA director, he is not averse to secrecy”

Synonyms: Opposed to, Against.

23) Bargaining

Meaning: Negotiate the terms and conditions of a transaction.

Example: “He bargained with the local council to rent the stadium”

Synonyms: Haggle, Barter.

24) Robust

Meaning: Strong and healthy; vigorous.

Example: “The Caplan family are a robust lot”

Synonyms: Strong, Vigorous.

25) Ripping up

Meaning: To tear something into small pieces.

Example: She ripped up his letters and burned the pieces.

26) Deceit

Meaning: The action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth.

Example: “A web of deceit”

Synonyms: Lying, Pretence.

27) Backed

Meaning: Give financial, material, or moral support to.

Example: “He had a newspaper empire backing him”

Synonyms: Sponsor, Finance.

28) Hostile

Meaning: Showing or feeling opposition or dislike; unfriendly.

Example: “A hostile audience”

Synonyms: Antagonistic, Aggressive.

29) Stepped up  

Meaning: To increase, augment, or advance especially by one or more steps.

Example: Step up production.

30) Revelation

Meaning: A surprising and previously unknown fact that has been disclosed to others.

Example: “Revelations about his personal life”

Synonyms: Disclosure, Surprising fact.

31) Authentic

Meaning: Of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine.

Example: “The letter is now accepted as an authentic document”

Synonyms: Genuine, Original.

32) Violate

Meaning: Break or fail to comply with (a rule or formal agreement).

Example: “They violated the terms of a ceasefire”

Synonyms: Contravene, Breach.

33) Bolsters

Meaning: Support or strengthen.

Example: “The fall in interest rates is starting to bolster confidence”

Synonyms: Strengthen, Support.

34) Scrapped

Meaning: Abolish or cancel (a plan, policy, or law).

Example: “He supports the idea that road tax should be scrapped”

Synonyms: Abandon, Drop.

Antonyms: Keep, Restore.

35) Reimpose

Meaning: Impose (something, especially a law or regulation) again after a lapse.

Example: “Price controls were reimposed on fifty-three basic foods”

36) Disincentive

Meaning: A factor, especially a financial disadvantage, that discourages a particular action.

Example: “Spiralling house prices are beginning to act as a disincentive to development”

Synonyms: Deterrent, Discouragement.

37)  Compliance

Meaning: The action or fact of complying with a wish or command.

Example: “The ways in which the state maintains order and compliance”

38) Pull out

Meaning: Withdraw from an undertaking.

Example: “He was forced to pull out of the championship because of an injury”

Synonyms: Withdraw, Resign.

39) Credible

Meaning: Able to be believed; convincing.

Example: “Few people found his story credible”

Synonyms: Acceptable, Trustworthy.

40) Unravelling

Meaning: Investigate and solve or explain (something complicated or puzzling).

Example: “They were attempting to unravel the cause of death”

Synonyms: Solve, Resolve.

Want to learn more, Check the Previous Day of THE HINDU EDITORIAL which was published in our Bankersdaily and learn new words to enhance your Vocabulary.


Aspirants can also check the previous month THE HINDU EDITORIAL and can improve the vocabulary list & can ace the exams. Learning the language is easy and this will make the process simple.