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Poaching By BJP Worries Opposition In Maharashtra

Besides the Shiv Sena, its two allies, the Congress and the NCP, are feeling apprehensive since the BJP has turned its attention towards their influential leaders in different parts of the state. After debilitating the Sena by denting its legislative and parliamentary wings, the BJP feels it should not stop just there but try to weaken the opposition as much as possible. While a dozen Sena Lok Sabha members have already joined the faction of chief minister Eknath Shinde, it is whispered that two or three more are on their way out. If this happens, the faction led by Uddhav Thackeray will be left with only three LS MPs. Against this background, detractors of Thackeray point out that Uddhav did not find time to call on senior MP Gajanan Kirtikar, who has been recovering from a minor surgery at his Goregaon residence, which is just a few kilometres away from Matoshri. In stark contrast, Shinde made it a point to meet Kirtikar. Though the MP has not revealed his plans, his moves are monitored closely by both sides. BJP leaders have now turned their attention towards affluent pockets in western Maharashtra. On their radar are the sugar barons who are the mainstay of the Congress and the NCP in this belt.
Lalit Modi

Why Lalit Modi Will Never Come Back To India

The release of the book ‘Maverick Commissioner’ by Boria Mazumdar, which could also be the basis for a movie on the cricket admin hotshot who invented the IPL, created waves among cricket circles. Laudatory in many parts of the man who dreamed up a professional cricket league that subsequently became such a success as to attract more than a billion dollars a year in TV and digital rights, the book does not however bring out the details of why Lalit Modi remains a fugitive residing in the UK. It is no secret that Modi, the scion of an industrial family with a history pockmarked with eventful incidents in his student life in the USA, will be arrested by the Chennai Police the moment he sets foot in India. There is an embezzlement charge against him pertaining to alleged pocketing of $80 million facilitation fee from a labyrinth of payments of TV rights. A court in Mumbai is said to have ruled very recently in his favour while stating the principle that facilitation fees are part of legitimate deal making. Whether that extends to an individual allegedly taking it at the expense of the game is another matter. There is no denying that Lalit Modi marketed a fantastic product melding cricket, glitz, glamour and big biz that has become a global super hit in 15 years. However, he remains a fugitive.

Balasaheb Thackeray’s Daughter-In-Law Calls On Eknath Shinde, Kicks Up Political Storm

Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray’s daughter-in-law Smita Thackeray called on Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde, kicking up a political storm. Smita is the estranged wife of Thackeray’s second son Jaidev, who has a legal dispute with his younger brother Uddhav over property. The ‘informal’ meeting assumed inevitable political overtones as it took place in Mumbai on the eve of Uddhav’s birthday on Wednesday (July 27). Smita herself has been in the news time and again for various reasons. She is a film producer and headed a film producers’ body some years ago. She met Jaidev around 1987 when she was working as a receptionist. They were married some time later. The nuptial bond developed cracks during the Sena-BJP alliance government regime. The development became hot news since Jaidev and Uddhav, too, have had serious differences. Smita was once considered very powerful politically. However, she faded away from the public glare after Uddhav took over the reins of the Sena from Balasaheb.  Since then, she has avoided any political activity. Even after meeting Shinde, she said there was nothing political, “I merely greeted Shinde, I have known him for years.” There was no comment from Shinde or other political parties.

BJP Has A Field Day In Odisha, Exposes BJD MP Achyuta Samanta Of Violating Environmental Norms

Odisha’s high profile educationist, media baron and BJD Lok Sabha MP Achyuta Samanta seems to be in the eye of the storm. His media rival OTV (Odisha Television Network) has flashed a story of Samanta’s KIIT University encroaching upon natural water bodies to build its computer science department.  And now local citizens are questioning the government as to how the sub-plot no 121 which is recorded as a water body has been allowed landfill by KIIT to undertake civil construction. Is the Patnaik’s government aware of the alleged encroachment but choosing to remain silent because Samanta is a BJD leader? Incidentally, OTV is owned by Jagi Mangat Panda, wife of ex BJD MP Baijayant (Jay) Panda who is now national VP of BJP.  It is not for the first time Samanta — founder of both KIIT (Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology) and KISS (Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences –is in the news for wrong reasons. Way back in 2018 NGT had reportedly ruled that KIIT and KISS had in an unauthorised manner built a playground, houses and gardens without approval from the Forest & Environmental department. With pressures mounting on the state government to protect depleting water bodies post the directive of Odisha HC to bring in appropriate laws the Patnaik government will have to move fast lest BJP makes a political capital out of it.


Editor’s Note: Big Punch In Small Pack

It is the Third Anniversary of Short Post and as a news media startup launched during the Covid-19 pandemic it certainly feels better than good to find ourselves where we are today. Here, I must cite the unstinted support of our seasoned contributors, all senior editors in the country, who brought a great degree of maturity and sagacity to the Short Post newsroom. But for them, our tagline “Authentic Gossip”, an Oxymoron, would not have matured viably. Our user numbers may be small but our stories have created the desired impact among people who matter — decision makers and influencers. We offer a big punch in a small pack and Short Post with its 225-word stories has been punching above its weight category. Having posted close to 3,000 stories in the last 36 months, Short Post, I feel, is an idea whose time has come.
And this is vindicated by our two marquee advertisers – IDFC FIRST Bank and ICICI Lombard. Both believed in our story and have supported us from Day one. A big thank you to both.
If you look at the media landscape – print, TV and digital — it is a mixed bag. There are job losses as some outfits have closed down while a lucky few were bailed out by large corporate houses. Yes, there is a lot of action in the digital space. However, the entry of corporate houses has raised the question of independence of news media outfits. Sadly, there are just a handful of independent media outfits in the country that are highly respected for their neutrality. At Short Post, our credo is not to take sides, prejudge issues or be biased but, informing readers of behind-the-scenes happenings. In essence, Short Post strives to be a neutral editorial platform — neither anti-establishment nor pro-establishment.
As I said last year, disruptions in the media world are moving at a fast and furious pace. Technology is playing a very big role in how content is generated and consumed. But, we are neither alarmed nor perturbed as it is all a part of the evolution process. What gives us comfort is that AI is unable to create original gossipy content. And that is the news arena where we have achieved a distinction.