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Apollo Hospitals Pick 60% Stake In Ayurveda Hospital Chain AyurVAID

Apollo Hospitals is diversifying into the ayurveda business. The hospital chain has acquired a 60% stake in AyurVAID, a pioneering chain of new generation Ayurveda hospitals, for a consideration of Rs 26. 4 crore. Cochin headquartered AyurVaid, operates nine hospitals and clinics across India. The hospitals are located at Kochi, Gurugram, Uttarakhand and Bengaluru. Bulk of Apollo’s investment will go towards upgrading existing facilities, setting up new centres, strengthening enterprise platforms and digital health initiatives. AyurVaid, which has set up new generation ayurveda hospitals with around 150 beds, specialises in applying Ayurveda to solve modern health problems. “We believe there is immense scope to deliver evidence-based integrated medicine, combining allopathic and traditional models, to improve outcomes and quality of life of our patients,” according to Pratap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals. Elaborating on the acquisition, he said that it is a transformational journey which will lead to the evolution of care models In India and around the world. Apollo hopes that its investment will push the turnover of AyurVAID from Rs 15 to Rs 100 crore in three years’ time.
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Kodak Moment As Sonia Joins Son Rahul On Bharat Jodo Yatra In Mandya

When Congress president Sonia Gandhi briefly joined her son Rahul Gandhi at the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ in Karnataka’s Mandya district on October 6, it created a photo opportunity. Amid cheers and slogan-shouting by party workers, as she walked beside her son Rahul and other leaders for a few kilometres, there were several Kodak moments. “We have weathered many storms and will overcome all challenges. Together we will unite India,” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi as he posted a photograph of him walking with his mother, with his arm around her.  Another picture of the mother-son duo that was widely shared on social media by Congress leaders was of Rahul Gandhi bending to tie his mother’s shoelaces. “Those shielded by love fear nothing! On the road, the picture prompted Congress leader Shashi Tharoor to post in Hindi, which said “There are blessings even when she breathes, no one can replace a mother as mothers are mothers.” Sonia Gandhi, 75, joined the Bharat Jodo Yatra on the 27th day. Meanwhile, Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai sought to downplay the participation of Sonia Gandhi in the Yatra, saying “she has walked for half-a-km and gone.” He also asserted that Congress’s mass outreach programme will have no impact in the poll-bound state.” Sonia is likely to be back for a rally in Ballari on October 15.

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Udit Raj's Attack On Prez Murmu Spoils Kharge Narrative For Congress

In a desperate attempt to draw attention, Congress Dalit leader Udit Raj dragged office of President of India into a controversy by tweeting that ‘no country should get such a President’. His tweet on President Droupadi Murmu, India’s first Adivasi woman, set the National Commission for Women cracking after him; it slapped him with a notice demanding an apology for insulting the President. Udit Raj was once a BJP MP from Karol Bagh (Delhi) and had switched parties. BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla tweeted, “Udit Raj uses unacceptable language for the 1st woman Adivasi President! Does the Congress endorse this insult of Adivasi samaj?” Udit Raj is the third Congress leader to comment on President Murmu. Earlier it was Ajoy Kumar and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. As his tweet created a furore, Udit Raj said those were his personal comments. What provoked Udit Raj’s tweet? Apparently, President Murmu at a civic reception in Gandhinagar said that Gujarat manufactures 76% of the country’s salt and that “it can be said the salt produced in Gujarat is consumed by all Indians.” The Congress hasn’t sacked Udit Raj as its spokesperson. But, party sources admit the idea of elevating Dalit leader Mallikarjun Kharge as Congress chief was to pose a counter to NDA’s President Murmu. With Udit Raj’s mindless attack on the President, much of the goodwill would be lost.
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Electronics Mart India Locked In A Legal Battle With Bajaj Electricals

Is having a famous surname boon or bane? Ask the Hyderabad-registered Electronics Mart India Ltd (EMIL), a leading consumer durables and electronics retailer. It is facing a court battle on this front. It was originally set up as a proprietorship firm under the banner of Bajaj Electronics in 1980 over the years it became a public limited company with the present name but sells goods under the brand name Bajaj Electronics. But they are not connected with the famous Bajaj conglomerate. Bajaj Electricals Ltd (BEL) have filed a suit against EMIL, its promoters and Astha Bajaj, director of EMIL, alleging infringement of the trademark “BAJAJ ELECTRICALS”. In the suit, BEL has prayed for a perpetual order to restrain EMIL, its directors, subsidiaries and other associated persons or entities from infringing and passing off its said registered trademarks by manufacturing, marketing, selling and/or dealing in any products bearing the said trademark or using any name/mark containing the word “BAJAJ” for any goods/products or service/ business activity including on any e-commerce/online platform, except for using the trade mark/trading name “BAJAJ ELECTRONICS” for the electronic retail business/retail stores in the State of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, alone. The suit and interim application are currently pending before the Bombay High Court. If the legal proceedings are not decided in EMIL’s favour, then it may not be able to use the trademark “BAJAJ ELECTRONICS” outside the states of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana. By arrangement with

Largesse Showered Upon Ashok Chavan By Shinde-Fadanvis Revives Doubts About His Plans

The suspense about former chief minister Ashok Chavan’s next move has deepened as the Maharashtra government has sanctioned a Rs728 crore water grid scheme for his Bhokar assembly constituency though it has reversed almost all the decisions of the earlier Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. On his part, Chavan has maintained studied silence about his plans. It has been reported time and again that Chavan will walk into the BJP fold along with his nine supporters MLAs. Chavan has not reacted to such news items, adding to the rumour mongering. Chavan had disclosed a few days ago that chief minister Eknath Shinde had approached him in 2014 with a proposal to form a coalition government with the Congress by the Shiv Sena. The Congress party has not reacted to this claim. However, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has ridiculed Chavan’s disclosure. Pawar said, “I am president of my party. Had any such proposal been mooted, I would have been informed.” The Shiv Sena under Uddhav Thackeray or CM Shinde have preferred to remain mum about Chavan’s statement even after a week.  Chavan’s absence at a crucial confidence vote in the state legislative assembly began generating doubts about his loyalty with the Congress. Now that Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo’ yatra is to enter Maharashtra soon, the controversy has been revived.

How India's Latest Attorney General Was Picked

Attorney General R Venkataramani, 72, is the third Tamilian to hold this position. The first person was K Parasaran. He served as A-G when Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were Prime Ministers. G Ramasamy was the A-G when the late Chandrashekhar and Narasimha Rao were Prime Ministers. Several names were thrown after senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi refused the post. Venkataramani was a surprise appointment. It was widely expected that the Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta would be elevated as A-G but the Prime Minister has chosen Venkataramani. He has been handling cases in the Supreme Court for 34 years. He is inclined towards spirituality and is a Carnatic music aficionado; he is passionate about MS Subbulakshmi songs. The ‘caller tune’ in his mobile is the song ‘Kurai Undrum Ellai‘ sung by MS. The Attorney General has the right to participate in Union Cabinet meetings and speak in Parliament. Venkataramani has thanked the Prime Minister, Home Minister and Law Minister for appointing him to such a responsible post. His appointment has been well received by judges and lawyers. Even though there are many senior advocates from northern states, the reason why he was picked by the Government will always remain a well-kept secret.
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Tamil Nadu CM Stalin Wished The Malayalis On Onam But Stays Silent On Puja


Another Hindu festival season is passing without a greeting for the people by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin. While the Governor and leaders of all political parties wished the people for Ayudha Pooja, when all workers of the State spare a thought for the machines that enable their livelihood, etc., Stalin remained silent. In this, he follows his father’s footsteps in not wishing Hindus on their festivals while making it a point to wish the minorities on theirs. The exception is Pongal, which Kalaignar believed was the real New Year of the Tamils and not the birth of the Chithiari month, which is usually followed as Tamil New Year by a vast majority of Tamils. However, Stalin may have embarrassed himself as recently he wished people on Onam. Did he not know that Onam is also a Hindu festival? He tried to fob off his greeting in Malayalam as one for a festival of togetherness and solidarity to strengthen Dravidian links with Kerala and not intended as recognition of any religious festival of the Hindus. BJP’s Tamil Nadu chief K Annamalai lost no time in reminding the public the Tamils that Stalin had wished Malayalis on Onam but would not do so for the Puja or Deepavali or any of the significant Hindu festivals. Stalin might find it difficult to justify his Onam greetings as opposed to his silence in the Puja season.
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Unprecedented Turnout Certain For Rival Senas’ Dussehra Rally, Hindutva To Dominate


Tussle between the two Shiv Sena factions will wear a stark saffron hue that will manifest in many ways on Wednesday in Mumbai on the occasion of Dussehra. It is going to be an unprecedented turnout for the rallies of both sides. The law and order preparation is ready like never before. The central theme of the speeches will be the ardent Hindutva propagated by Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray. The faction led by Uddhav Thackeray claims that the Sena’s Shivaji Park rally will overflow the traditional venue while chief minister Eknath Shinde’s spokesmen say the sprawling BKC maidan will seat at least two lakh sainiks tomorrow. Supporters of both sides from faraway districts have already started their journey towards Mumbai. According to reports reaching the state headquarters, more than 10,000 buses have been requisitioned by the two sides across Maharashtra. Moreover, thousands of supporters will arrive by train or in private vehicles. Adequate sanitary and parking arrangements are being made. Several thorny questions are flung by the rivals at each other. One such sensitive issue is the food to be served to the party workers. Shinde group’s Thane MLA Pratap Sarnaik said he had placed orders for feeding two lakh people. Uddhav confidant and former mayor Kishori Pednekar has questioned the propriety of such a sumptuous menu.
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Congress Insists It Is Giving A Level Playing Field To Kharge, Tharoor

Congressmen are enjoying the media attention their party polls have generated. It just seems everyone is competing for a brief spot in the sun. That is why a little after spokesperson Pawan Khera tweeted about how he had sought leave as “chairman of media and  publicity department to campaign for the candidate” of his  choice and  found AICC general secretary media Jairam Ramesh had  not granted him leave “citing compulsions of running” the department,  party election authority Madhusudhan Mistry made it clear to all party functionaries that if they wished to campaign for either of the candidates — Shashi Tharoor or Mallikarjun Kharge — they will  have to resign from their organisational post first. It must be mentioned at least three spokespersons — Syed Nasir Hussain, Deepinder Singh Hooda and Gourav Vallabh – were first to quit their posts to assist Kharge. Sending WhatsApp messages to all functionaries, Mistry made it clear “Utmost care will be taken to ensure that there is no mala-fide campaign against any candidate”.  More than 9,000 Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) delegates will vote in the poll to be held on October 17. Kharge has the support of many party leaders including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi and is emerging as the front-runner. Tharoor, meanwhile, is focused on his campaign #ThinkTomorrowThinkTharoor.
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Media Protests Force PMO To Withdraw ‘Character Certificate’ Circular

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Himachal to dedicate AIIMS Bilaspur to the nation on Dussehara got shadowed by a controversy over instruction to the media to produce character certificates to cover the event. Following howls of protests from the media, the Press Information Bureau promptly countered it with a face-saving “it may be noted that the circular regarding requirement of certification of antecedent for covering PM events in Bilaspur tomorrow stands withdrawn and all press persons recommended by the state DPR and DPRO are welcome to cover the event”. The Hospital, whose foundational stone was also laid by PM Modi in October 2017 and is being established under the Central sector scheme Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana.”AIIMS Bilaspur, constructed at a cost of more than Rs 1470 crore, is a state-of-the-art hospital with 18 specialty and  17 super specialty departments, 18 modular operation theaters, 750 beds with 64 ICU beds.


After Richa Chadha-Fazal Ali Tying The Knot All Eyes On Arjun-Malaika: Will They?

Richa Chadha who has been tom-tomming about her marriage to Ali Fazal for years has finally tied the knot. Now, the next marriage on the horizon seems to be that of the 37-year old actor Arjun Kapoor with 49-year old actress-TV personality Malaika Arora. Will he or won’t he marry her seems to be the question that’s doing the rounds as they have been dating for a long while now. It did take Arjun quite a few years to openly walk hand-in-hand with his girlfriend Malaika and it is learnt there is little bit of reluctance on his  part to take her to his family dos. Malaika being a former Khan Bahu could be the reason the two are taking time to formalise the relationship. It is definitely not their 12-year age gap. Malaika who married Arbaaz Khan in 1998 and now legally separated has a college going son Arhaan who now seems comfortable with Arjun. It has definitely not been easy for Arjun but slowly everybody is accepting the two. His father Boney Kapoor, an accomplished film producer, is part of the fraternity and very close friend of Salman Khan and all these may be part of the concern. But, one thing is loud and clear: Arjun takes a lot of pride in Malaika being his girlfriend. That’s encouraging, so will the wedding bells ring soon?
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It's All About Jugglery Acts In The Bowling Department For Rohit Sharma!

In recent times India captain Rohit Sharma has been put through the wringer to learn quick lessons on the art of jugglery and find balance to the team in the Twenty20 format. A business-like captain, Sharma has had to mull over a lot with Head Coach Rahul Dravid to consult and pick playing XIs in the absence of fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja during the Asia Cup Twenty20 in Dubai, and also during the home international Twenty20 Series against Australia and South Africa. He has also been compelled to choose playing XIs without Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Arshdeep Singh. And yet he has led India to series wins against Australia and South Africa. But the high scoring match in Guwahati when India made 236 and South Africa replied with 221in a way exposed India’s shortcomings in the bowling department. India’s pace pack found it tough going with Arshdeep and Harshal Patel taken to the cleaners along with left arm spinner Axar Patel. Sharma has voiced concerns about bowling in the back end of the innings. Without Jadeja who is down with a dodgy left knee and Bumrah who is suffering from a back ailment, and as a consequence ruled out of the Twenty20 World Cup, Sharma would have to resort to some jugglery act again to find the balance in Australia. A tough ask on him, indeed!
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Gandhis' Dussehra Get-Together Irks Karnataka Congress Leaders, Rahul Visits Chamundeshwari Temple

Dussehra is an important festival in Karnataka. That’s why when Congress President Sonia Gandhi chose to visit the state to catch up with son Rahul, Karnataka Congress leaders were surprised that she had chosen the occasion of a two-day Dussehra break on October 4-5 in Bharat Jodo Yatra for a family get-together. The Gandhis have chosen to meet up in a resort in Coorg. This amidst reports that Rahul’s knee is already hurting him. Rahul visited Chamundeshwari Temple adjoining Mysuru. But for some reason did not tweet about it; preferred to keep his temple visit below the radar. He was accompanied by Siddaramaiah and Randeep Surjewala who tweeted about the temple visit. Perhaps, sleeping over in a network of parishes, exploring the meaning of Jesus had got the better of him. Unlike Kerala which has narrow highways, Karnataka with its broad roads is a challenge to flaunt crowds. That’s why KPCC president DK Shivkumar took care to set a target of 5,000 persons per office-bearer at district level for the yatra. Party leaders are already worried about the expenses they may have to incur to keep the yatra going for the next three weeks. Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to flag off the Yatra at Melukote in Mandya district on October 6. Priyanka Vadra is joining the yatra the same day when it passes through Nagamangala in Mandya district.
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First Electoral Battle Between Uddhav And BJP In Andheri On 3rd November, Congress Sidelined

The Andheri assembly constituency by-election scheduled to be held on November 3 will be the first electoral combat between the BJP and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), though the Congress party has still kept its stand undeclared, creating some suspense. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar has declared his support of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav) candidate Rutuja Latke, wife of the deceased MLA Ramesh Latke. The other factor that will impact the outcome will be the allotment of the election symbol, Bow & Arrow, claimed by both Sena factions. The Election Commission will decide which claimant gets the symbol. The Sena’s Eknath Shinde faction has decided to allow the BJP to fight the by-election though earlier, it wished to stake its ownership of the seat, since it wants to establish itself as the ‘true’ Sena. But a BJP announcement on Sunday that it will field veteran Murjibhai Patel has put all speculation to rest. Patel had contested the 2019 election as an independent candidate and gained substantial votes. Late Ramesh Latke was a popular personality since he used to help anyone who approached, irrespective of party affiliation or caste or creed. Uddhav Thackeray’s unilateral decision to allow Rutuja is considered a smart move although the Congress party is facing a dilemma since its electoral presence in Mumbai is going to be reduced further.

No G-23 Camp In Congress Says Cong Presidential Candidate Kharge

In his first media interaction in Delhi, Mallikarjun Kharge asserted that there was no G-23 camp now in the Congress. The Congress presidential candidate who is tipped to win the party polls said all those leaders wanted to fight unitedly against the RSS-BJP and therefore had supported him. Several dissident leaders such as Bhupinder Hooda, Anand Sharma, Manish Tewari and Prithviraj Chavan of the group of 23, who had written to party chief Sonia Gandhi in 2020 seeking scale organisational reforms, have put their weight behind Kharge by becoming his proposers instead of backing Tharoor who was a prominent member of G-23. Party leaders agreed if Kharge got elected it immediately raised the prospect of AICC headquarters functioning full throttle. That is because in his own words he has the habit of “working full-time”. “If I sat in Parliament then I would get up only in the evening at the time of shutdown.” With the Gandhis at the helm, most party functionaries preferred to operate out of their own homes as the Gandhis rarely visited the party office. “Unlike Indiraji and Rajivji who always met party workers before beginning their official work, Soniaji and Rahul never had time for Congress workers, ” pointed out a Himachal leader. Aided by three spokespersons, Kharge will start touring states beginning with Karnataka followed by Chennai on October 7.
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Tesla’s Secret Sauce, Tickling The Palate Of Indian Techies

Imagine being 22, and working as an intern at Tesla’s Palo Alto facility and getting Indian food fix every day. For intern Surya Krishna from south India that by itself is a high point. When the company chose Dosa by DOSA , co-founded by Anjan Mitra and Emily Gilels whose passion for “sharing the cultural and culinary diversity of India with the world “ brought Emily the Michelin rating, the Tesla employees lucked out. DOSA was founded in San Francisco in 2005, inspired by the savory, fermented South Indian dosa. Over the years, DOSA grew to four Bay Area restaurants with 12 consecutive years of Michelin awards under its belt. Dosa by DOSA was later founded in 2017 to share the brand’s favorite, regionally-inspired food and beverages with the rest of America. It is easily the best in terms of convenience. Indian techie invasion brought a tandem culinary revolution to the Bay Area workplace. A global desi thrives anywhere, but his desi cravings for home style food is now on a global footing. Dosa by DOSA which marries Indian flavours and food with revolutionary packaging, logistics and promotion has made the brand a runaway success. Tesla is the pioneer on the cusp of an energy revolution. Partnering with Dosa by DOSA, Tesla has captivated techies decoding the algorithm…the way to their head is through good spicy Indian food.
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Casting Couch Allegations Against Ollywood Producer Akshay Parija

The only refreshing break in the ongoing slugfest between BJD and BJP in Odisha is the Ollywood casting couch allegation going viral with newspaper headlines screaming that an eminent high profile Ollywood film maker Akshay Parija has joined the unenviable list of men who have been accused of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct. Me-too campaign has hit Odisha. Akshay, is an NRI film producer who makes both commercial and parallel cinema. He is in talks with Zee Sarthak for a tie-up. This national award winner has won acclaim for his documentaries on environment issues such as Kadvi Hawa, Agastya, Paiko Bidroho, Kehi Nuhen Kahara and others. According to a FIR filed by a lady in Bhubaneswar Parija established physical relation with her, against her will at her house by luring her with an offer of a role in a film and threatened her if she dared to marry anybody else. It seems to be endemic in the film industry globally. In the case of the Odisha film industry it seems to be rocked by controversies. Popular actor Babushaan’s wife Trupti Satpathy stopped his co-star Prakruti Mishra from boarding an auto-rickshaw for having an affair with her husband. Earlier, actor Anubhav Mohanty and his actress wife Varsha Priyadarshini hit headlines over their marital discord.
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Now Raj Thackeray Demands Ban On Illegal Madrassas In Maharashtra

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena supremo Raj Thackeray has demanded that the government should investigate all madrassas in the state and ban those which are illegal. After MNS successfully conducted a campaign against loudspeakers on mosques, it has again flexed its muscles against what it calls anti-national activities. MNS spokesman Yashwant Chile told the media that his organization would launch a campaign against illegal madrassas in the state if the government did not concede to the MNS demand for a comprehensive survey and investigation. He said MNS was taking this step after receiving several complaints. Chile said unauthorized madrassas were being conducted in many residential areas with the object of turning such localities into Muslim-dominated pockets. Chief minister Eknath Shinde will be submitted a petition to demand such a survey by MNS on Monday (Oct 3). The faction’s spokesman Deepak Kesarkar said a decision in this regard would be taken by the government after consulting all concerned. Vishwas Hindu Parishad’s Maharashtra unit leader Shankar Gaikar’s meeting with Raj Thackeray against the backdrop of this warning is considered significant.
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Three Penal Delisting Has Not Stopped Dharnendra Group From Tapping The Capital Market Again

A seven-year-old company whose revenue is only Rs 10 crore and bottom line is just Rs 54 lakh against a capital base of more than Rs 18 crore is asking for an IPO premium of Rs 60 crore! Still worse, market regulators, despite the group’s murky past, has allowed the promoter to sell at Rs 103 a share which was acquired by him at just Rs 10 in 2021. Pune-registered but Ahmedabad-headquartered Pace E-Commerce Ventures Ltd is entering the capital market with an initial public offer of Rs 66.53 crore. Incorporated in 2015, Pace E-Commerce Ventures offers children’s furniture, bedding, housewares and essentials. It may be recalled that between 1989 and 1993, Gandhi brothers Navinchandra, Dharnendra and Bhupendra floated public issues under the banners Dharnendra Ice-cream, Fly Up Fashions and Dharnendra Agro Food. Few years after their public issues, not only they performed miserably on the operation front but also failed to comply with the listing guidelines which resulted in compulsory delisting of the shares by the stock exchange. In fact, Group flagship Dharnendra Ice-cream was suspended by BSE for 13 years and was eventually delisted by the exchange in 2016. But, that has not stopped the generation-next of the Gandhis from tapping the capital market. By arrangement with

Uddhav’s Man Friday Milind Narvekar Hits Headlines, Will He Desert His Boss?

Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray’s confidant Milind Narvekar has become the focus of political developments following a claim by a senior minister that Narvekar is likely to join the Shinde faction in near future. Known as Man Friday of the Thackeray family for over a decade, Narvekar is regarded as a troubleshooter during any political crisis in the state. It was Narvekar who was rushed to Surat by Uddhav to persuade the rebels to come back to the Sena fold. Off and on, Narvekar has been in touch with both factions. A trustee of the Tirupati Balaji Trust, Narvekar and Shinde have met at least twice in recent times. Minister Gulabrao Patil, famous for his outlandish statements, told a public meeting that Champa Singh Thapa, who was always found by the side of Balasaheb Thackeray, had joined the Shinde camp and Narvekar, too, would be doing so soon. Chief minister Eknath Shinde’s visit to Narvekar’s residence for Ganesh Darshan had generated speculation that the latter was about to desert his boss Uddhav. The statement by Gulabrao Patil has revived it, especially since there are reports that Uddhav has appointed Ravi Mhatre in place of Narvekar as his personal secretary. However, the Sena has neither refuted nor confirmed such reports.

IRDA Told That Senior Citizens Want Physical Copies Of Insurance Policies, Not Digital Ones

Ashok Patni IPS (Retd.) C B Sharma IAS (Retd.) and Brigadier Atul Mishra (Retd.) are on a mission mode. They have formed an informal group comprising mostly senior citizens from across the country to take on public issues.  Former diplomats, journalists, social and consumer activists form part of this group.  They have now moved IRDA (Insurance Regulation and Development Authority) seeking its immediate intervention to right a wrong that is causing serious hardship to common citizens. They are peeved that the insurance companies are using a notification issued during the Pandemic to deny crores of common citizens physical copies of their policies. The non-issuance of physical copies have come in the way of quicker settlement of their claims.  This specific appeal comes in the wake of numerous insured policyholders, especially those living in the rural belt and in remote areas of the Tier-III towns, encountering extreme difficulties in getting their claim benefits from the respective insurance companies. The insurance companies, it is alleged, are taking advantage of an IRDA circular dated March 23, 2020. The circular was issued following the spread of Covid-19. Now that the Covid situation has eased, there is no reason why the policy-holders should not get physical copies of their policies. After all, the ecosystem for a paperless solution is far from fully developed.

India’s Ferrari Breaks Down

Team India’s Ferrari of a fast bowler has broken down and needs repairs. Only a lengthy time out can come to the aid of Jasprit Bumrah, the quick with a quirky action. A stress fracture of the lower back is about the worst injury that any fast bowler has to endure because rest and rehab rather than a quick-fix surgery is the only way out. Any expectation that Bumrah will be available for the T20 World Cup is overly optimistic. Ask Dennis Lillee, the guru among modern fast bowlers, and he will tell you all about lower back injuries and how painful fixing them can be. Neither front-on or square-on delivery style is to be blamed for fast bowlers tend to break down regardless of what is done. And modern fast bowlers have the additional burden of hard workouts at the gym every day, besides bowling. The BCCI and its IPL franchises may claim to have the best medical support teams at hand but there is no remedy for the stress, strain and the pivotal tensions that fast bowlers have to suffer. And Bumrah’s action is so unusual in the sense that it depends on his back strength more than momentum built up in the run-up. The Ferrari needs to go to the “garage” before hitting the road again. And that is a pity as it affects Team India’s chances in the T20 World Cup.
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Gandhis Use Dalit Card Kharge To Block Digvijay Singh, Tharoor May Fade Out

If there was one candidate that the Gandhis were really worried about — it was former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijay Singh. His entry enthused party cadres in north India. Many partymen were hoping Singh would move in as party chief and energise the moribund organisation. It was in this backdrop that the Gandhis adopted a strategy to stop Singh from filing his papers. They endorsed 80-year old Mallikarjun Kharge, a Dalit leader from North Karnataka, as their candidate. After a late-night meeting, AICC general secretary KC Venugopal conveyed to Kharge that the party leadership wanted him to contest.  Entry of Kharge was enough to persuade Singh to withdraw from the fray. It is significant that Sonia Gandhi did not opt for younger Dalit leaders such as Kumari Selja or Mukul Wasnik who are in their 60s. Besides, Sonia opted to endorse Kharge on the day Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra entered Karnataka. Immediately BJP spokesperson Amit Malviya tweeted that Kharge at 80 is an inspiring choice to be party chief…He should just pick Dr Manmohan Singh’s manual on “Living by the Remote Control” and it is all sorted”. Was Kharge chosen because the Karnataka assembly elections are scheduled early next year?  Possibly. Kharge will resign as LoP in Rajya Sabha. Will Divijay Singh succeed him?  Shashi Tharoor files his papers, vows to remain in fray but party hopes he may finally withdraw.
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Dussehra Rallies To Test Uddhav And Shinde Factions’ Claims Of Strength

Both Shiv Sena factions are making all-out preparations to outshine each other by ensuring a larger turnout than that of the rival for their Dussehra rallies. While the Uddhav Thackeray faction says the traditional rally venue of Shivaji Park will overflow with Sena supporters, loyalists of chief minister Eknath Shinde maintain that their meeting will be three times larger, endorsing the claim that they represent the true Shiv Sena. While the political atmosphere in Maharashtra is warming up hour on hour, the police administration is busy planning the traffic flow on that day as it has to ensure that at no place the two factions accost each other. An equally major concern is the traffic management since thousands of vehicles are expected to converge around the two rally venues, Shivaji Park in Dadar for Uddhav supporters and the BKC Maidan for Shinde loyalists. Reports are pouring in about bus reservations being made by both sides to ferry their workers. Some clips have surfaced, claiming that workers from even other friendly parties are being wooed to attend the mega event. Uddhav and Shinde factions have put up colourful hoardings and their teasers are keeping social media alive. Both sides say they are the true torch bearers of Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray. MPs, MLAs and corporators from different towns have been assigned a specific quota of people to be made present for the Dussehra rallies, leading to political suspense.
Collage Maker-30-Sep-2022-02


Khamosh! 'Thappad Se Darr Nahi Lagta’ Star Comes Into Her Own

Her father’s towering presence in Bollywood and politics perhaps made it possible for Sonakshi Sinha to have a dream launch as a heroine opposite Salman Khan in Dabangg in 2010. The role not only won her Filmfare award but her dialogue “Thappad Se Darr Nahi Lagta Sahab made her even more famous. This 35-year old touch-me-not actress, daughter of Shatrughan Sinha, has done over 50 films. Insiders say her traditional look was in a way disadvantageous. But, to her credit Sonakshi managed her career quite well by choosing the right role. Sonakshi who has had no releases in the last two years is now working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali in the web series Heera Mandi. Here, she surprised everybody by choosing Bhansali over Sooraj Barjatya and Amitabh Bachchan for Unncha. More. She is now confronting issues like body shaming in Double XXL. Like all stars, she too has had her share of link-ups with co-stars. A video of her and Salman Khan went viral that led to speculation of her tying knots with the actor. Currently she is dating Zaheer Iqbal, a protege of Salman Khan who has fallen out with him after he walked out of Bhaijaan. Recently, while shooting a teaser for Case Toh Banta Hai Sonakshi slapped comedian Paritosh Tripathi after challenging him to say her dialogue “Thappad se….” Once he said it, Sonakshi gave him a tight slap, and asked “Nahi lagta?”
Collage Maker-29-Sep-2022-12

CPI (M) Hits The Roads With “Nazare Panchayat” And Helpline For Complaints Against TMC

A renewed vigour can be witnessed with the CPI(M) West Bengal Unit. CPI(M) has always relied on its grassroots connections, especially the panchayats. Having been decimated in the 2021 Assembly election with no representation, the Left is now leaving no stones unturned to capitalize on their cadre politics. For 2023 Panchayat polls it has launched its campaign “Nazare Panchayat” (Eye on Panchayat) with a helpline number asking to submit complaints against the Trinamool Congress. It has also shared a video claiming that within the first seven days of the campaign the party has received 1500 complaints. Out of which, 55% are against TMC leaders, 77% of calls are from rural areas and 40% of those are related to panchayat issues. Significantly, the CPI(M) state leadership including state secretary Mohammad Salim, senior politburo members Sujan Chakraborty, Abhash Roy Chowdhury, Debolina Hembram, youth leaders Meenakshi Mukherjee, Satarup Ghosh are leading several protest marches, addressing rallies in the districts. The student and youth wing of the party — SFI, DYFI — recently called for an Insaf Sabha in Kolkata seeking justice for the murder of one of their youth leader Anis Khan witnessing a large turnout. It also held similar rallies in Murshidabad, Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, West Midnapore, Malda, and Raiganj. Incidentally, a supporter with bow and arrow surfaced during the Raigunj rally, which reminded the erstwhile Left agitation in Bengal.

Jadeja, Hooda And Now Bumrah’s Medical Problems Trouble India Twenty20 Squad

India’s Twenty20 World Cup plans are going off kilter. First, the competitive all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was not picked in the squad because of a knee surgery and thereafter Deepak Hooda and Jasprit Bumrah complained of back pain and have been rendered hors de combat in the ongoing series against South Africa. Should Bumrah be declared unfit to travel to Australia for the much awaited showpiece event in Down Under, it will be the biggest setback for Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid’s plan of action to make amends for last year’s dismal showing in the UAE when Virat Kohli’s team was eliminated before the semi-finals. With a peculiar action Bumrah has been the linchpin of India’s bowling department for six years. He has been wrapped in cotton wool though for meaningful deployment in the shortest format of the game; Bumrah has not featured in 65 Twenty20 matches after his debut. He has played in 60 matches for India and achieved a 74.58% success rate. He has taken 70 wickets in the first 6-over powerplay and in the back-end death overs. Bumrah was thrashed for 50 runs in 24 balls by the Australian batsmen in his recent Twenty20 at Hyderabad. An official statement from the BCCI said he has been ruled out by the medical team for the first match against South Africa at Thiruvananthapuram. More news is awaited!
Collage Maker-29-Sep-2022-05

Gehlot Cuts It Too Fine, Says Sorry To Sonia And Checkmates Pilot

Emerging from a meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced that he will not contest the Congress presidential polls. His meeting with Sonia at 10 Janpath in New Delhi came just  after a series of missteps he took defying diktats for change in party leadership last weekend; it was also the penultimate day ahead of filing of papers for top Congress post. Gehlot said he had apologised to Sonia for the developments in Jaipur on September 25 when MLAs supporting him defied the high command and skipped the Congress Legislature Party meeting at his residence and submitted their resignations to the Assembly Speaker. While it is not clear if Gehlot’s public regret to Sonia was enough to salvage the damage caused to Congress leadership’s authority in Jaipur, questions still persist over what will happen to Sachin Pilot. Will Pilot remain in the party after this, eating humble pie? When asked if he will continue as chief minister, Gehlot said Sonia Gandhi would decide. He was clearly hinting that the Congress had little choice here in terms of the number of MLAs backing Pilot. Gehlot asserted that he had always been a disciplined soldier of the Congress for 50 years. In Rajasthan, the Congress high command cannot afford to please both Gehlot and Pilot. Either Gehlot hangs in till 2023 assembly polls or the younger Pilot explores other options.


Eknath Shinde Faces Twin Assault By Uddhav Faction And Congress

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde has become the common target for the Congress and the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena as they have joined hands to level serious allegations against the CM. As soon as senior Congress leader and former chief minister Ashok Chavan had disclosed that Shinde had approached him in 2014 with a proposal to form a Congress-Sena coalition government, Shinde’s confidant Naresh Mhaske countered that Ashok Chavan himself had remained absent during a recent crucial voting in the state assembly. Moreover, Chavan had not denied news reports that he was planning to join the BJP, Mhaske pointed out. Maharashtra BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule shot back that the Sena was run by Uddhav Thackeray in 2014. “It must have been Uddhav who himself had asked Shinde to meet Congress leaders,” Bawankule said. Uddhav loyalist Chandrakant Khaire rushed to support the statement of Ashok Chavan. He said that Shinde was trying to join the Congress party along with 15 MLAs when Prithviraj Chavan was the chief minister. However, the plan fizzled out when the news reached Uddhav. The former MP alleged that Shinde had deserted the Sena just for chair and not for any ideology. Shinde faction MP Hemant Patil said the opposition was rattled since Shinde’s popularity was increasing day by day. Hence attempts were made to divert public attention from his good work.
Collage Maker-28-Sep-2022-12

Will Bengal BJP Side With Congress, CPI (M) Against TMC For 2023 Panchayat Polls?

Panchayat polls in West Bengal is due in 2023 and the ground reality is that besides TMC, CPI(M)’s performance stands best with its network of cadres spread across. BJP still struggles with only a “Nabanna Abhijyan” (march to state secretariat) a face saver.  TMC is mired in corruption charges following the arrest of two of its top leaders and BJP leadership expected a groundswell in the party’s favour. That was not to be. Having failed to capitalize on this, prompted the party to seek support from its arch rivals — the CPI(M) and Congress during Nabanna Abhijyan. State president Sukanta Majumder had to tweet seeking support from the arch rivals asking them to participate in their programme, keeping aside political differences. More surprisingly, even his predecessor and critic Dilip Ghosh supported the call. It is a known fact that CPI(M) and Congress support each other to capture a Gram Panchayat or to rule a Zilla Parishad. District BJP leaders have made it clear to the state high command that it will not stop itself from supporting CPI(M) or Congress in forming a panchayat. The district leaders are aware that the majority of the supporters from Left and Congress switched camps in 2021 only to defeat TMC and now they have all moved back. As a support to the idea, the state BJP is all out to capitalize on CPI(M)’s programme Chor Dharo Jail Bharo.

Why Foxconn Partnered Vedanta To Set Up $22 Bn Semi- Conductor Plant In India

Vedanta-Foxconn’s proposed $22-billion joint venture project in India for an integrated display and semiconductor fabrication ecosystem has kicked off a controversy over a sudden change in the project location from Maharashtra to Gujarat. Significantly, the location change came just three months before the Gujarat assembly election.  Both Foxconn and Vedanta’s Anil Agarwal have long experience in dealing with political powers in host countries. During Donald Trump’s presidency in the US, Foxconn planned a $10-bn unit in Wisconsin. The project was announced by Trump himself at the White House in 2017, boasting of it as an example of his ‘America First’ agenda to revive technology manufacturing in the US. However, within months of Trump’s defeat Foxconn drastically pruned the project! The planned investment was reduced to merely $672 million, slashing the number of new jobs from originally promised 13,000 to 1,454. However, it is difficult to understand why Foxconn, the 22nd ranked Fortune Global 500 company needs the shoulder of Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta to enter India when the government allows up to 100% foreign holding in this hi-tech sector. Could there be a political reason on Foxconn’s part to tie-up with Vedanta to ensure best incentive deals from a BJP-governed state? Or, is there an understanding on Vedanta’s part to exit in favour of Foxconn after the project gets started? Time alone can tell the future of the project.

Wave Of Anger Against Bhujbal For Demanding Removal Of Saraswati Portrait From Educational Institutions

Police bandobast has been beefed up outside former minister and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal’s residence in Nasik following his demand that the portraits of Goddess of Learning, Saraswati, should be removed from educational institutions. Chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis have summarily rejected the demand. Addressing a function, Bhujbal had criticised the practice to adorn walls of educational institutions with portraits of Saraswati, who is revered as Goddess of Learning and Knowledge. He had said that instead, portraits of social reformers should be used in such places. “What has Saraswati done for your education? Worship those who fought society to spread education for you,” suggested Bhujbal. Bhujbal also alleged that just 3% of the population has benefited because of Saraswati, who had deprived other sections of education. Fadnavis said Goddess Saraswati was regarded as embodiment of knowledge, arts and culture. Only those disagreeing with these values can make such statements.  Shinde said his government belonged to the people and would do what the people wished. No portraits would be removed just because someone says something.  In the midst of the raging controversy, Bhujbal was not in Nasik, his personal staff told a BJP delegation, which had rushed to his farm house to protest.
Devendra 2

Popular Front Of India Was A Silent Killer: Devendra Fadnavis

Popular Front of India (PFI) was a ‘silent killer,’ according to Maharashtra deputy chief Devendra Fadnavis while chief minister Eknath Shinde has warned that no anti-national activities would be permitted to take place in the state. The ban is welcomed across the state. Also holding the home affairs portfolio, Fadnavis has disclosed that the PFI had kept many prominent people on its hit list. It was planning to engineer unrest. PFI had created a huge financial network. Its modus operandi was something like this: open a large number of bank accounts and deposit small amounts so that no suspicion would arise. Fadnavis said very soon, action would be initiated against PFI and six other organisations under the Centre’s direction. If any evidence was found, more people and organisations would come under the radar, he indicated. Supporting the ban, Shinde said the elements which shouted pro-Pakistan slogans were dangerous for the country and needed to be dealt with ruthlessly. In fact, people subscribing to such ideology had no right to live in India. He said the state home department and the police would ensure that no such activities recurred in Maharashtra. Workers of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) have welcomed the ban on PFI. In Pune, the ban was celebrated by MNS by distributing sweets. Its leader Sainath Babar said MNS chief Raj Thackeray was the first to demand banning PFI.

Print Media Played A Great Role In Our Time, Say Gavaskar And Shastri

Little Master and legendary opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar and Champion of Champions of the 1985 World Championship of cricket in Australia, Ravi Shastri applauded the role played by the print media during their time. The two stalwarts of Indian cricket and now media personalities were feted by the Sports Journalists’ Federation of India at a function in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on the eve of the first Twenty20 international between India and South Africa. Gavaskar received an 18-carat gold medal and the Honorary Life Membership and Shastri, the Honorary Life Membership. “In those days, there was considerable interaction between the media and the players. There was a trust factor. You could talk and you could sense that they wanted you to do well, they wished you well and that they wanted you to go forward in your career and that they would help you with their articles. That was such a big thing for a budding cricketer,” said Gavaskar. On his part Shastri said: “You don’t know how thankful we are for that period of time because print media was king. If there is a recall factor of some of the games we played in the decades gone by, it is because of your articles.” Both Gavaskar and Shastri switched to media roles after retiring from all competitive cricket, the former though started writing even when he was playing for India.
Collage Maker-28-Sep-2022-03

Will The Five-Year Ban Reduce PFI’s Pro-Terror Activities Across India?

The PFI ban under UAPA may not wipe it out but will certainly help the probe agencies disrupt its pro-terror strategy in the country. SIMI (after its ban in 2014) had morphed into Indian Mujahideen and PFI. It is perhaps due to this capacity of the PFI to seamlessly change its identity that the enforcement agencies have not been able to recover arms and ammunition since the mother organisations morphed its name and registered themselves as legitimate social organizations. In 2020, the MHA had put together a dossier in the aftermath of the anti-CAA protest violence, pointing to the funding received by the PFI. According to the report, the PFI received funding from countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The PFI members actively operate in the UAE through frontal outfits like the Rehab Foundation and the Indian Social Forum. PFI leaders maintain an office at Muraba, behind Lulu hypermarket in Al Ain in Dubai. Now that the Home Ministry has banned the PFI and its support groups, those who agitate or protest against the notification or favour any comments for PFI may also be considered a threat or supporter of PFI and may be dealt with by the probe agencies. It is surprising to see Congress leaders equating PFI with the RSS and seeking the latter’s ban.
KCR goes national

Will KCR’s Dussehra Gambit Of Merging TRS With Bharatiya Rashtra Samiti Get Him Into National Politics?

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) is making a curious gambit. He is to announce the founding of his national party BRS (Bharatiya Rashtra Samiti) with regional TRS to merge with it on Dussehra day (Oct. 5). The new party will retain the TRS flag, its car symbol as well as the party colour pink. TRS, which came into prominence during the emotional agitation for a separate Telangana, will soon be consigned to history. Will the KCR gambit work is the question as long time Andhra-Telangana observers see a huge wave of anti-incumbency sentiment against KCR. While it is possible that KCR is doing away with the name TRS on the advice of soothsayers, it is his national foray into 150 seats that is loaded with risk. Those trying to unite the Opposition for 2024 are convinced that a single entity to take on the BJP will work better, as it may have been proved in the recent Italian elections where the Right coalition fielded a united single candidate in most seats. KCR’s national opposition unity moves, which he began in flashy meetings with Arvind Kejriwal, Nitish Kumar and HD Kumaraswami are also being met with scepticism by the likes of Mamata and Sonia Gandhi’s Congress. The BRS will dictate who will be PM in 2024, the new party’s intending founder KCR has been heard saying.
Collage Maker-27-Sep-2022-02

In Kerala, PFI Raids Were Conducted By NIA’s Central Team With Local Police In The Dark

Two days before the simultaneous raid by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Popular Front of India (PFI) premises on September 22, 10 companies of CRPF numbering 750 were flown from Ranchi to Kerala. In other states the raid was conducted by NIA officials of the respective states. But in Kerala it was led by the central team. Even Kerala Police were in the dark barring the State DGP. The raids on the PFI top leader’s residences and various offices across Kerala started around 3 am. The arrest, confiscation of computers/laptops, documents, vouchers etc were completed by 6 am. Before the PFI workers got wind of the raid, top leaders like chairman OMA Salam, president CP Mohammed Basheer and 17 others were already on a flight to Delhi’s NIA court.The raids were successful because 20-odd NIA personnel were camping in Kerala for two months disguised as shop workers monitoring PFI’s activities. Taken by surprise the PFI vented their frustration by calling for hartal and destroying public properties. The Enforcement Directorate revealed that a Malayalam newspaper Thejas was not only PFI’s mouthpiece both in India and Gulf but also a conduit for hawala funds. It seems Darbar Restaurant in Abu Dhabi was the hub through which all hawala transactions were made. Also unraveled were acquisitions of hotels/ villa projects in Munnar and a flourishing spices trade, all part of PFI’s funding.
Collage Maker-26-Sep-2022-03

The Champions of 1975 World Cup Winning Indian Hockey Team on the iconic Kalinga turf

Why Odisha Govt Is Betting Big Time On Indian Hockey Team

Ahead of the 15th edition of the Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup to be played in Odisha from 13 to 29 January 2023, the newly elected Hockey India President, Dilip Tirkey who was India’s erstwhile hockey captain, seems confident of Odisha’s preparedness.  According to Tirkey “Within three months India will be able to correct its identified weaknesses “. Tirkey is also bullish about India improving its competitive positioning during the tournament.  This observation comes from the fact that the Odisha government headed by Naveen Patnaik is obsessed and committed to restore back India’s lost pride of place. India has had no win since 1975 and Patnaik is keen that India reclaim its lost position. This is why his government has invested heavily in creating the world class infrastructure for nursing hockey players and eventually bagging the world cup right to host it in Odisha. Odisha is building India’s largest hockey stadium with 20,000-spectator capacity in Rourkela. According to Tirkey, proven coach and high-performance directors like John David, Edgar Maskar and BJ Kariappa have been roped in to spruce up training and fitness level of players. These three eminent hockey personalities are expected to play a major role in developing the hockey programme of Odisha state making it not just as the primary sponsor of world cup but a major nursery for grooming hockey talents in the country so as to win the World Cup.

Why SEBI Has Kept Go Digit General Insurance IPO In Abeyance

Markets regulator SEBI has kept in abeyance the “issuance of observations” with regard to the IPO of Go Digit General Insurance Ltd which had filed draft papers for the IPO on August 17. Go Digit’s proposed IPO consists of a fresh issue of Rs 1,250 crore from the company and an offer for sale of 109,445,561 shares from four shareholders, including the promoter. Though promoted by Kamesh Goyal, former CEO of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company, Go Digit, which counts cricketer Virat Kohli and his wife, Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma among its investors, is largely controlled by the Fairfax Group owned by Canadian person of Indian origin, Prem Watsa, who was awarded the fourth highest civilian award of India, Padma Shri, in 2020. SEBI has not disclosed the reason for withholding the issuance of observations on Go Digit IPO. However, a close scrutiny of the IPO draft papers reveals that the company is yet to obtain IRDAI’s clearance on certain matter related to the promoter-company. Currently, almost the entire promoter holding (83.65%) of the issuer company is held by Go Digit Infoworks Services Private Ltd (GDISPL). While Kamesh Goyal and his Oben Ventures LLP together hold 54.75% of GDISPL’s tiny equity capital of Rs 1.02 crore, Mauritius-registered FAL Corporation of the Fairfax group has a minority stake of 45.25%. By arrangement with https.//
Collage Maker-24-Sep-2022-12

OTT Effect: Heroines Want Good Scripts Not Big Co-Stars

Once upon a time in Bollywood it was typical of a heroine to ask the producer who the hero of the film was before signing on the dotted line. Well-known heroines would never agree to act opposite a hero who was a newcomer. Since the glamour quotient of the heroines were high the producers were eager to oblige them. The entry of OTT has reset the entertainment industry. It has changed the mindset and approach; heroines are looking for a good script with a strong character and the conventional running around the trees and getting wet in the rain. Parineeti Chopra is doing a film with Hardy Sandhu. Earlier we saw Alia Bhatt cast opposite Vijay Varma in Darlings and in Gangubai Kathiawadi her hero was Shantanu Maheshwari. But the biggest shocker was Katrina Kaif agreeing to do a film with South star Vijay. Today’s actresses are looking at content and do not want to do dolled-up roles opposite a big star. In soon to be released Vikram Vedha the female lead is Radhika Apte and not any glamour girl opposite Saif Ali Khan. Analysts say that both actors and actresses are not keen to be heroes and heroines but characters in a film that wins them audience appreciation vis a vis keep the cash register ringing. Clearly, this trend has begun all thanks to the OTT boom.
Collage Maker-26-Sep-2022-05

With Gehlot Plotting Revolt, Will Gandhis Take Action Against Him?

The issue of picking the next Rajasthan Chief Minister has turned into a full-blown crisis for Congress high command. With 85 MLAs of the Ashok Gehlot camp in a protest mode, meeting the Speaker and claiming they want to resign if Gehlot doesn’t continue as CM, it has now become imperative for the Congress leadership to establish its authority in Jaipur. The Gehlot loyalists became so defiant that they even dared to skip a CLP meeting to interact with AICC observers Mallikarjun Kharge and Rajasthan in-charge Ajay Maken. The AICC observers first wanted to meet with MLAs collectively, then later sought one-on-one meetings to assess their views. It just seemed Gehlot was working on a different sub-plot. His loyalists instead preferred to attend a meeting at the residence of Cabinet Minister Shantilal Dhariwal where they set out terms and conditions to the party command. In a video that has gone viral, Dhariwal could be heard saying Rajasthan could go Punjab way for the Congress. With Gehlot’s closet rebellion his prospects of becoming AICC President are now dim. Maken has already dubbed the proceedings at Dhariwal residence as an act of “indiscipline”.  As for Sachin Pilot, architect of 2018 Congress victory, Srimadopur MLA Deependra Shekhawat says “Sachin’s appeal isn’t limited to the Gurjar community”. That’s why Gehlot ministers like Raghu Sharma and motor-mouth Pratap Kachariyavas are covertly supporting him.


Gujarati Dandiya To Don Marathi Attire With Eye On BMC Polls

Though anguish is being expressed over major industrial projects shifting to Gujarat from Maharashtra, there is no dearth of enthusiasm in donning Gujarati Dandiya with Marathi attire. This cultural fusion, with strong political overtones, will be enjoyed by Mumbaikars soon. To exploit the situation, Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar has taunted the Sena under Uddhav Thackeray by saying that Hindu festivals were banned by the previous regime. “But henceforth, all Hindu festivals will be celebrated with full vigour.” BJP MLA Mihir Kotecha has organised one such event, meant to assault the so-called Marathi bastions in Mumbai. So far, these prominently Marathi-speaking areas were regarded as a Shiv Sena monopoly. However, after the split in the Sena, the BJP has launched all-out preparations to oust the Sena’s Uddhav faction from power in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). One aspect of the plan is to organize political events, couched as cultural activities. The ‘Marathi Dandiya’ is just an example, which will be replicated in hundreds of localities in the metropolis. Kotecha’s event will be among the largest. It will take place at Kalachowki in south-central Mumbai, a traditional Shiv Sena stronghold. Marathi Dandiyas will be held in various areas between 30 September and 4 October. Around 15000 visitors are expected daily by the conveners.
Untitled design (7)

Australia Woos Indian Students With Unique Skill Oriented Courses

Australia is the latest country to woo Indian students in a big way. In order to avoid competition with traditional destinations, like the US, UK, Canada and Ireland, Australia is offering unique courses to attract Indian students. Skill oriented courses are the ones being targeted to Indian students. Also the Study Australia programme gives enough weightage to enhancing employability skills. After Covid, the Aussie government has gone all out to launch a marketing campaign to attract more students to the 40-odd Universities there.  According to Vik Singh, Program Director, Digital Education Hub, Australian Trade & Investment Commission, of the 260,000 international students studying in various Universities in Australia, 130,000 are from India. The students who go the Australia do not go for the conventional courses. The courses most in demand are those related to sports, healthcare nursing and aged care, he added. The post-study work opportunities being offered has now been made more attractive for Indian students. The Aussie government recently increased the post-study work rights from two years to four years for students pursuing select bachelor degrees. Three years to five years for select post-graduate degrees and four to six year for select PhDs. And it has also made available scholarships at the national and institutional levels. Australia intends to offer world class education, strong career pathways and unmatched lifestyle for students.
Collage Maker-24-Sep-2022-12

Congress MP Manickam Tagore and CPI (M) MP Su Venkatesan at the Madurai AIIMS site.

Not A Single Brick Laid, But BJP President Nadda Claims That Madurai AIIMS 95% Complete

This emperor was fully clothed. But like the Hogwart Wizard of Harry Potter he conjured up (with his rhetoric ) a whole Hospital building in the spot chosen in Toppur, Madurai for an ambitious AIIMS project where even the inaugural brick had been whacked as a memento. The project was launched by the PM on January 27, 2019, and that single brick became the target of brickbat over three years. Even in the run up to the 2021 TN Assembly Elections, the single brick that was laid on the muhurat inaugural was the target of severe ribbing by BJP baiters. So on this Madurai visit, when BJP president JP Nadda, in a full flow rhetoric got carried away and announced that the Hospital was 95% ready, the audience had a collective jaw dropping moment. It’s another matter that the party hacks quickly turned this into a claim of 95% ready on paper yet to be started. Congress MP Manickam Tagore and CPI (M) MP Su Venkatesan visited the site to show that it was ground zero. What ensued was a classic meme fest by comedian Vadivelu. In one particular meme, Vadivelu brings a posse of cops to the wilderness, and points out that AIIMS has disappeared, you must lodge my complaint. Announcing grandiose projects to address an election crowd is easy…skilful oratory suffices. But reality hits sooner than later.

Party May Be In Power Yet BJP Flags Removed From Central Vista

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helm, it seems even his own party cannot get away with any violation of norms. Well that’s what seems to have happened after he threw open the revamped Central Vista on September 8 to the public. While the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) that manages the area has been battling with an avalanche of litter thrown by the visiting public, what caught the attention of the civic authorities was a surge of BJP flags in the area put up without permission around the India Gate. The NDMC is controlled by the BJP, and the enforcement department raised the issue with the authorities after which the flags were removed four days after the event. According to officials, the flags were installed during the mega event BJP organised on September 17 to mark PM Modi’s birthday. A NDMC functionary asserted that it was routine business “to remove flags, banners and posters installed without seeking permission from us. Be it BJP or any party, we remove all such illegal installations in our areas routinely”. According to the rules laid down by the civic body, no flag or hoarding by a political or private organisation can be put without prior permission in the area it governs. “Only national flags and banners or posters related to government functions are allowed in the NDMC controlled area,” says a senior civic official.
EPS and Amit Shah

Ahead Of AIADMK’s October Meet, EPS Visits Delhi To Seek Amit Shah’s Blessing

Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS), former Tamil Nadu CM and twinning leader of the AIADMK, pulled off a coup of sorts on his Delhi visit. Home minister Amit Shah gave him a full 20 minutes for parleys, yet EPS met the press and reiterated, “It was a courtesy call. We did not discuss politics, we talked about linking Kaveri and Godavari rivers”. Obfuscation is a sleight of hand master strategy of politicians. The internal power struggle of EPS and OPS, the fight for the party’s twin leaves symbol, and even for the party HQ’s, an invincible fortress that J Jayalalithaa imbued with unquestioned power have all pushed the once powerful party to the abyss. Astutely, the BJP Chanakyas have labelled OPS “a clay horse” not a dependable ally. The flailing fortunes of OPS have apparently buoyed up EPS. He has gained the trust of the Trimurthis — Modi, Shah and Nadda which in turn has raised his stock among the cadres. With an eye on the upcoming General body meet in mid-October, EPS has made his Delhi visit good optics to bolster his image. It may be recalled that after a division bench of the Madras High Court gave its verdict, EPS was restored as the (interim) General Secretary of the party.
Nirmala Sitaraman

No Tacit Pact With Sharad Pawar About Baramati, Sitharaman Tells BJP Workers

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has declared in unequivocal terms that the BJP’s central leadership has no tacit electoral understanding with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar regarding Baramati parliamentary constituency. “Don’t be misled by any talk,” she told her party workers. Sitharaman was interacting with BJP workers of Baramati Lok Sabha constituency, a fiefdom of the Pawar family for decades. She has been entrusted with the responsibility of the seat for 2024. She was trying to dispel the widespread impression that Pawar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s camaraderie had prevented any serious BJP attempt to wrest the constituency from the powerful political family. This sentiment was articulated by Daund MLA Rahul Kul, who told Sitharaman bluntly that such signals affected the enthusiasm among the party workers. The finance minister replied that her mission was to strengthen the BJP and hence she was not concerned for any particular family. Sitharaman advised the BJP workers to comb all six assembly segments of the constituency to spread the Union government’s message about the various welfare schemes. She blamed Pawar for ignoring genuine problems of grape growers when he was India’s agriculture minister. “Our colleague Nitin Gadkari led a farmers’ delegation to me and the grievance was resolved,” she recalled. Pawar’s daughter Supriya won the last LS election by a slim margin and the victory was attributed to Modi’s decision to skip the constituency from his campaign tour.

Union Minister Vaishnaw Puts Odisha's Fears On 5G At Rest

The Odisha government felt slighted recently when the Union Telecom Ministry did not include Odisha cities with regard to the pilot run of 5G services to be initiated in 2022. These cities, restricted to 13, were chosen on the basis of their economic returns for the telecom operators and on this criteria the entire state of Odisha was left out.  Miffed, several opposition political parties wrote to Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw over disparity in selection criteria. Vaishnaw, a seasoned bureaucrat turned BJP politician knows that he owes his present position to chief minister Naveen Patnaik who endorsed his candidature to Rajya Sabha on a BJP ticket three years ago. Given his earlier connection with Odisha as an IAS officer, he did not want to be seen as serving narrow political ends with regard to the 5G roll out plan nor create a proverbial storm in a tea cup of ministerial high handedness. This explains why Vaishnaw clarified that Odisha will be included in the 5G first phase launch. His decision to include Odisha in 5G expansion was greeted with jubilation not merely by the Odisha government and people as well.
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NSA Ajit Doval's Role Comes To Fore In Planning Pan-India Action On PFI

Amidst speculations that he is unwell and may step down, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval made a comeback. He sprung nationwide raids on the Popular Front of India (PFI) and ensured the arrest of 105 of its members. Official sources reveal that the massive crackdown carried out on midnight of September of 22 took months of planning and coordination. With directions from Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the security team executed the operation with Doval taking charge. Security officials held meetings discreetly to ensure that secrecy was maintained akin to the time when Article 370 was abrogated. Such was the secrecy that Doval held meetings with Kerala Police at a time when PM Modi visited Kochi for commissioning of the INS Vikrant. After Kerala, Doval moved to Mumbai where he stayed at Raj Bhavan. Action against the PFI was planned for three to four months to ensure that the action across the 11 states was coordinated and executed around the same time to prevent PFI cadres from getting alarmed and fleeing. Seeking remand of the accused, the NIA in its plea said the PFI office-bearers and cadres were involved in recruiting and radicalising Muslim youths to join proscribed organisations like the ISIS. Doval’s role in dealing with PFI is being compared to the way cleared the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi of Tablighi Jamaat attendees two years ago.
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High Court Takes BMC To Task, Allows Uddhav Faction To Hold Dussehra Rally At Shivaji Park

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde’s faction has lost a spirited battle against Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena as the High Court in Mumbai has permitted the latter to hold its traditional Dussehra Rally at Shivaji Park, Dadar. The issue has sentimental overtones as Sena founder Bal Thackeray used to address huge rallies for decades. This is the second time the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been taken to task by the High Court in two days. The issue about getting the BMC permission was hanging fire for several weeks as the faction loyal to Eknath Shinde, too, had staked its claim for the venue soon after the Uddhav faction had filed its applications. Considering the potential breach of peace, the police and finally the BMC decided on Thursday (Sep 22) to reject both the applications. However, even before the BMC had taken any stand, both sides had moved the HC to claim the venue. Terming the BMC’s decision as improper, the court permitted the Uddhav faction to hold the rally but laid down certain conditions like maintaining peace on the occasion. The court said the BMC had misused its powers. Only a day before, the HC had issued stern directions to the BMC to demolish illegal construction in Union minister Narayan Rane’s Juhu beach bungalow. It had castigated the civic body for shifting its earlier stand of not tolerating the irregularity.
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Harmanpreet’s 143 Not Out Against England Reflects The Reignited Spark In Her

Harmanpreer Kaur who cracked a sparkling unconquered 143 against England in the garden city of Canterbury in Kent on Thursday (September 23) has not wasted time to show to the cricket world that captaincy does not affect her batting. Named captain of the Indian team after Mithali Raj bid adieu post India’s failed campaign in the World Cup in New Zealand, Harmanpreet has been in good nick starting from the ODI series against Sri Lanka in July this year. She made 44 and 75 at Pallekele, and has entertained the spectators at Hove and Canterbury. She has been criticised for not delivering consistent scores after a majestic 171 not out in the World Cup semi-final against England at Derby in July 2017. She averaged 21.67 in 2018, 38 in 2019 and 32.67 in 2021, but her average has shot up to 62.50 this calendar. She made a 109 in the World Cup match against the West Indies in Hamilton in March this year, but clearly the leadership role which was denied to her after the 2017 World Cup, has ignited the spark again. Harmanpreet has now scored five centuries in 123 matches/104 innings. She is the second highest run getter this year with 750 runs in women’s cricket in ODIs. No one knows what tormented her in the previous three years; maybe she was not made the captain!


We Have Created A New Segment That Has Resonated Well With Readers: Short Post Editor

Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come, said Victor Hugo a long time ago. I felt likewise. So instead of waiting endlessly for the Covid-19 tide to ebb, I decided to take the plunge and launch on January 28, 2021. This website, the first of its kind in the country, focuses only on short ‘Authentic Gossip’. Clearly, content is king more so if it is short & crisp (225 words), as a large section of our society is steadily shifting to digital and mobile space. To achieve this, I was fortunate to muster editorial support of some of the most senior and respected journalists in the country to bring out credible content that involves, stimulates and entertains our highly discerning readers — from across continents. We have so far uploaded close to 1,000 posts covering areas like Business, Politics, Sports, and Entertainment. Yes, today we have crossed an important milestone in our journey – #ShortPostFirstAnniversary —  and we are confident many more will follow in keeping with our stated vision – to become a one stop site for authentic gossip. So, what next?  With the third wave showing signs of slowing down things can only look better. So as the year rolls by we promise to pack in more punches. Before I sign off I would like to thank our advertiser IDFC FIRST Bank, angel investors Anuradha Verma, Ashish Kakkar and you readers for making this journey possible.