It is the season to be jolly about our jolly good democracy, and to liven up the party, the news channels have lined up the number crunchers, the opinion makers, the big guns, the heavyweights and the usual suspects. A quick rundown on some of the voices we have come to rely on to make sense of or, at times, just share in our bewilderment at the unfolding circus that is the general election.

Vinod Mehta on Times Now. Dinesh

The editor-in-chief of Outlook has earlier edited Debonair and The Pioneer. He was the founder-editor of India’s first Sunday paper, The Sunday Observer. Mehta has authored three books, including a biography of Sanjay Gandhi.

Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar

A former India correspondent for The Economist, Aiyar has been the editor of Eastern Economist and The Financial Express. He is the consulting editor for The Economic Timesand currently writes a weekly column, Swaminomics, in The Times of India.

Mahesh Rangarajan

Rangarajan is a historian of ecological change and a political analyst who has been a fellow of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. He was a corresponding editor for the journal, Environment and History. His books include Fencing the Forest and a two-volume Oxford Anthology of Indian Wildlife.

Swapan Dasgupta

A former managing editor of India Today, Dasgupta has also worked with The Statesman, The Telegraph and The Indian Express. He has edited a collection of essays: Nirad Chaudhuri: The First 100 Years

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta

Guha Thakurta has worked with Business India,Business World, The Telegraph, India Today and The Pioneer and anchored a show for CNBC TV18. He has also produced documentary films and radio programmes. He anchors two shows for Lok Sabha TV and also works with the Bengali television news channel, Tara Newz.

Gautam Adhikari

The former editor of the Mumbai daily DNA was a senior consultant at the National Endowment for Democracy and the World Bank and was director of the Asian Centre for Democratic Governance. Adhikari is now the editorial adviser to the Times group.

Yogendra Yadav

Widely regarded as India’s foremost psephologist, Yadav is senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) and co-director of Lokniti, a CSDS programme for research into, and promotion of, studies related to democracy.

Ramachandra Guha

Author, historian and commentator, Guha’s areas of interest include the environment, and social, political and cricket history. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan this year. His last book, India after Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy, is a history of independent India.

Karan Thapar

Television interviewer and commentator, Thapar is best known for his interview programme The Devil’s Advocate, which he hosts for CNN-IBN. He writes a weekly column for the Hindustan Times called Sunday Sentiments.

Nandan Nilekani on CNN IBN. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint

One of the founders of Infosys Technologies Ltd and its co-chairman, Nilekani is a pioneer of the IT industry in India. He recently authored Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation.

MJ Akbar

Veteran journalist and editor Akbar is currently the chairman of the fortnightly news magazine Covert, which he launched in 2008. He was the founding editor of The Asian Age and writes a weekly column, The Siege Within, for The Times of India.

Bharat Bhushan

The editor of Mail Today, journalist Bhushan was earlier an editor with The Telegraph and before that the executive editor of the Hindustan Times.

Sanjay Kumar

Psephologist Kumar is? the deputy director of Lokniti and a fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Vir Sanghvi on NDTV 24X7

Columnist and TV presenter Sanghvi is known for his writings on topics ranging from food and current affairs to pop culture. He is currently the advisory editorial director of HT Media Ltd and will shortly present a show Made to Order for NDTV Good Times.

Shekhar Gupta

The editor-in-chief of The Indian Express group, Gupta hosts the popular Walk the Talk interview show on NDTV 24x7.

Narasimhan Ram

Ram is the editor-in-chief of The Hindu, and heads other publications of The Hindu group such as Frontline, The Hindu Business Line and Sportstar. He is a Padma Bhushan recipient.

Dorab R Sopariwala

A leading election analyst, Sopariwala is the editorial adviser to NDTV Profit. He spent most of his career in market research, and was the founding managing director of MARG.

Compiled by Sanjukta Sharma and Himanshu Bhagat.

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