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MVA Experiment Fails: Shiv Sena, NCP And Congress Going Their Own Way

The moment Uddhav Thackeray stepped down as Maharashtra chief minister, internecine differences in the then ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) started simmering. Now they have come out in the open, the reason being the impending election to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Former Union minister Milind Deora has complained against the reorganisation of the election wards for the coming election. He has complained that the Shiv Sena, when in power, restructured the wards to ensure maximum electoral benefit for itself. Deora has appealed to chief minister Eknath Shinde to undertake a fresh drive to reorganise the wards in a transparent manner. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), the third MVA partner, has declared that it will start preparations for the civic election, not caring who comes along. NCP chief Sharad Pawar chaired a meeting of his party workers in Mumbai. He surprised them by announcing that he himself will lead the campaign in Mumbai. The Sena’s unilateral decision to support Droupadi Murmu in the Presidential election has angered the Congress party already. Senior former minister Balasaheb Thorat vented the ire just a day before. Now that Deora, too, has jumped in the fray, the two-pronged attack is bound to push the Sena into a corner, it is felt. According to Deora, the Sena-engineered reorganisation can cost the Congress party around 20 seats in the BMC.
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Rishi Sunak Is The Front Runner But Penny Mordaunt Might Swing It

India is fascinated with a PIO as the front runner for occupying 10 Downing Street as Prime Minister of the world’s fifth largest economy but the anticipation among Tories is that Penny Mordaunt might be able to beat him in the head-to-head runoff. She nearly doubled her support to 67 votes behind Sunak’s 88 as Nadhim Zahawi and Jeremy Hunt were eliminated. In an intense phase of campaigning, Sunak is using a staff of 20 besides a personal chauffeur to rush around London while Penny has been clever in making her campaign – “PM (Penny Mordaunt) for PM.” A new poll among Conservative Party members suggests that PM will indeed become PM. As a former military woman, she made some startling observations, including stating the fact that women cannot have a penis in order to ward off criticism that she is too “woke” to be leading the Tories. While Sunak is promising to run the economy like Margaret Thatcher, Penny feels a lot more is needed than just tax cuts to revive the $3.4 trillion economy that is in danger of going into recession in the face of runaway inflation. Under fire for his wife’s non-domicile tax status in the UK, the son-in-law of former Infosys czar NR Narayana Murthy is still certain to take a good shot at becoming UK’s Prime Minister.
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Sharad Pawar To Face More Intensified Saffron Attacks

Rather than rebutting Shiv Sena barbs, Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde faction seems to have decided to focus its attacks against Nationalist Congress party founder Sharad Pawar. The person deputed to do so is Deepak Kesarkar, a former close aide of Pawar and now principal spokesman of Shinde. Interestingly, Kesarkar attended the NDA meeting held in New Delhi to finalise strategy for the election of its Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu. Kesarkar was first elected to the legislative assembly on an NCP ticket from Sawantwadi in Konkan. He later switched sides to join the Sena and was a minister of state for home in the previous BJP-Sena government led by Devendra Fadanvis. A non-assuming person, Kesarkar is known for his sharp tongue. In his fresh onslaught, Kesarkar has accused Pawar of engineering every past split in the Sena, including the one started by firebrand leader Chhagan Bhujbal in 1991. According to Kesarkar, once Pawar himself had told him that Narayan Rane had walked out of the Sena because of Pawar himself. “Pawar was instrumental in making Raj Thackeray desert the Sena,” Kesarkar says. Pawar, architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government led by Uddhav Thackeray, is perceived as the main adversary by the BJP and now the Shinde faction. Attacks against him are expected to intensify further.
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"Murmu No Symbol Of Tribals", Cong Stoops To A New Low Of Name-Calling In Prez Polls

With more political parties like Samajwadi Party allies in Uttar Pradesh, the Akali Dal in Punjab and even the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena deserting the Opposition ranks for NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu, a nervous Congress has stooped to the extent of describing her as “representing an evil philosophy of India.” Aware that Murmu is poised to win the Presidential election hands down, Congress leader Ajoy Kumar, who was once Lok Sabha MP from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, insisted that she should not be considered as a symbol of Adivasis even though she is a Santhal. “Yashwant Sinha is a good candidate. Droupadi Murmu is a decent person, but we shouldn’t make her a symbol of tribals. She represents the evil philosophy of India. The Modi Government is fooling the people.” In the same breath, he didn’t even spare incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind, saying atrocities happened against Dalits under his watch. Taking on the Congress, two BJP leaders — Union Minister Arjun Munda and senior leader Babulal Marandi — demanded that Ajoy Kumar apologise for his remarks. “Congress is frustrated. Tribal people got nothing during Congress rule. Congress is having trouble because for the first time PM Modi and NDA leaders have nominated a tribal woman for President’s post.” they said.
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Is Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani A Worry For The TMC?

After Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s exit from the Modi Government on July 7 there were speculations whether the Minority Affairs ministry would be wound up. Questions were asked about who would take Naqvi’s place as there was no second Muslim MP in the ruling BJP to fill his shoes. PM Narendra Modi handed over the charge to Women & Child Development Minister Smriti Irani. Curiously her appointment was slammed by Trinamool Congress (TMC) Rajya Sabha MP Jawahar Sircar who wanted to know how could a “Hardcore Hindu, married to a Parsi be given charge of Muslims, Christians. Is this BJP’s brand of secularism?” Sircar was countered by Law Minister Kiren Rijiju who wanted to know why minorities meant only “Muslims and Christians”.  A Buddhist from Arunachal, he hoped, “one can free mind from the shackles of pseudo secularism and appeasement politics. Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jain and Parsis have been notified as minority communities under Section 2 (c) of National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992”. The TMC possibly could be upset with Smriti’s added responsibility and acquiring a profile in Bengal when she went to launch the Sealdah Metro; Mamata’s party may have good reason to get worked up. Meanwhile it is learnt Naqvi moved out of his official residence 7 Safdarjung Road, just a day after his Rajya Sabha tenure ended. That is some record.
Sharad Pawar

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Sharad Pawar’s Salvo On Aurangabad Renaming A Damp Squib

NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s salvo about the renaming of Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar has proved a damp squib as no political party in Maharashtra has reacted to his assertion that his Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was not consulted beforehand by then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Thackeray’s Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) cabinet decided to rename Aurangabad after warrior king Sambhaji Maharaj during its last moments in office. The decision was welcomed all around. However, Pawar during his visit to Aurangabad a few days ago, maintained that the NCP was not aware that such a decision would be taken. Moreover, Pawar said that since the resolution to this effect was moved by Thackeray himself, democratic norms dictated that a proposal by a chief minister is unanimously endorsed by his council of ministers. Critics of Pawar point out that the ultimate cabinet meeting was attended by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, a nephew of the NCP boss. Ajit is said to have not opposed the proposal nor did he express any reservations. The NCP ministers present could have requested Thackeray to withhold it but they, too, acquiesced.  In fact, it is pointed out that Sharad Pawar himself has not opposed the renaming. He merely has said that the NCP was not consulted prior to its passing.  The expected storm it seems has withered away without a blast.
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Former Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Deb

Fissures Within Tripura BJP Widen As Former CM Biplab Deb Sidelined

Even though BJP continues with its winning streak in the bypolls of Tripura State Assembly, all is not well within the party. Internal feuds continue to loom large just months ahead of the Tripura State Assembly Polls in early 2023. The rift which transpired after the sudden replacement of the chief minister Biplab Deb a month ago, resurfaced after the former CM was sidelined during the programme to host Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu. Deb was not seen along with Murmu and chief minister Manik Saha on the dais. He had to be content sitting with the group of common legislators perfectly hinting at “dais to diaspora”. The incident has not gone down well with Deb’s followers. They have taken up the matter with National president J P Nadda and also intend to personally meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi. The rift basically ensued as these followers believed that the replacement of former chief minister with low-key medical practitioner Saha, who was also a late entrant and an ex-Congressman, was temporary. Fissures have deepened further with a clear indication when a relatively weak candidate was nominated to the prestigious Agartala seat during the recent bypoll against a strong Congressman. It was literally a walkover for Sudip Roy Burman who recently went back to his original party – Congress – from BJP.
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PM Modi Unveils National Emblem At New Parliament Complex, Winter Session To Be Held In The New House

PM Narendra Modi unveiled the national emblem cast on the roof of the new Parliament building on July 11. The emblem made of bronze, weighing 9,500 kg and 6.5 metre in height was cast at the top of the central foyer of the new parliament building. It took over nine months to cast. A supporting steel structure weighing around 6,500 kg has been constructed to support the emblem. To take the emblem to the roof, it was divided into over 150 segments and assembled on the roof; it took nearly two months to complete. Modi performed puja at the launch of the emblem. Opposition parties were presumably not invited for the event as they had boycotted the launch of Central Vista bhoomi pujan in December 2020. Nonetheless, AIMIM leader Asauddin Owaisi questioned the propriety of PM Modi unveiling the emblem, insisting it should have been done by Lok Sabha Speaker, perhaps forgetting PM Modi was after all leader of the Lok Sabha. “One can’t take Owaisiji’s objections seriously; he always takes an adversarial position,” said BJP spokesperson Dr Sudhanshu Trivedi. The proposed four-storey building was expected to be completed by August 15 to coincide with Azadi ka Amrit Mahatosav plans. However with the unveiling of the emblem now one can expect at least the winter session of the Parliament to be held in the new complex.
EPS at GC meeting

EPS at AIADMK’s General Council meeting

EPS Takes Total Control Of AIADMK, Sacks OPS From The Party

Presented with a fait accompli of a General Council meeting ratifying Edappadi Palaniswamy as the Interim General Secretary until elections are formally held in the AIADMK party, former CM and now former Coordinator O Panneerselvem will be exhausting all legal avenues before charting his future path. In seizing total control over the party, EPS also had OPS ejected from party membership saying he had been given enough opportunities to discuss issues and sort out differences. The only recourse available now for OPS would be to approach the courts with his claim that the entire GC meeting was illegal as he had not co-signed the notice convening the meeting. The courts did not take kindly to OPS seeking to stop the meeting and OPS didn’t attend the meeting either, preferring to go to the party HQ on Lloyds Road and camp there with his supporters. The BJP washed its hands of the AIADMK internecine tussle and will sit it out until it’s clear who is legally and officially in control of the party.  OPS had no support from the top duo of BJP and is out in the political wilderness. He tried to play his cards too smartly, keeping a foot in the Sasikala camp while keeping channels open to the DMK leadership. OPS’ hold was on the treasury but he has lost that too.
Raj

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Will Raj Thackeray Break His Silence Over Maharashtra’s Political Developments?

The curious silence over the past fortnight of a normally strident voice has led to much speculation, especially in view of the impending Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election, which will take place after the monsoon. Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has hardly spoken about the current political developments though his party’s lone MLA supported the Shinde-Fadanvis alliance during the trust vote and election of the State Assembly Speaker. While stray comments emerge from the MNS camp, Thackeray himself has refrained from speaking. Raj underwent surgery recently and is convalescing. While a few prominent visitors have called on him at his Shivaji Park residence in the past few weeks, he himself has not made any public appearance nor addressed any meeting or the media. Otherwise a regular media feature, Raj is said to be biding his time to speak out. The BMC is called the Shiv Sena’s oxygen plant, being the richest civic body in the country. Hence there is little doubt that the Sena will try its best to maintain its stranglehold on it. However, with the changing political equations in Maharashtra, the Eknath Shinde faction and the BJP will spare no efforts to snatch it away. In such a scenario, the role of MNS and Raj Thackeray will be crucial. Whispers are heard that an announcement can be expected soon about this.
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Signals Sent Out By Shiv Sena Rebel MLAs Create Flutter

Are some members of the Shiv Sena breakaway group likely to reconsider their decision to follow Eknath Shinde out of the party? Guesswork is rife owing to some prominent rebel MLAs repeatedly declaring their loyalty and respect towards Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. When BJP’s watchdog Kirit Somaiya described Uddhav as ‘mafia’ before television cameras, several Sena rebel MLAs took strong objection to the derogatory term and warned the former MP to mind his language. Buldhana MLA Sanjay Gaikwad has declared that many like him will walk out of the alliance with the BJP if Uddhav is attacked. Former ministers Gulabrao Patil and Deepak Kesarkar have declared that Uddhav will not be criticized by alliance members. Another rebel MLA, Suhas Kande, said he will lead a delegation of the rebels to the Thackeray residence, Matoshri. But Shinde’s trusted aide Kesarkar added a rider. He said, “If there is any talk for a patch up, our ally BJP, too, will be in the picture.” On the other hand, Uddhav, his son Aaditya and their spokesman Sanjay Raut have adopted a tough posture in response to the various pronouncements by the Sena rebels. The situation is further confounded as actress and Sena functionary Deepali Sayyad has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take the initiative. “Uddhavji and chief minister Shinde will not defy your word,” she has said.

Movie star Relationships

If you carry out celebrity media, you may why do guys disappear online dating be familiar spanish bride together with the hype that surrounds super star human relationships. There are some super star couples who have survived over several decades while others who have never made it past 72 several hours. While celebrity love life is usually entertaining, there are also a handful which have been outright cunning. One of the popular topics on the internet today is the newest celebrity relationship. Social media makes it easy for fans to find the edited version of what these celebrities are approximately. But it is up to the journalists to coat these connections pretty and frankly. They must also respect the privacy worth mentioning celebrities. The best celebrity interactions are not only those that have been called the best in Hollywood. These relationships are often times more complex than people give them credit with regards to, and their achievement often is dependent on how well their very own fan base reacts. A couple that lasts are often less examined by the rigors of celebrity. One of the most popular relationships in the entertainment market is that of The celebrity and Jay-Z. Their partnership contains endured for more than two decades, and they currently have led a successful career. In addition , they can be parents to three children. However , their romance has not been without its fluctuations. The celebrity and Jay-Z have faced a variety of road blocks, including separations and cheating. However , that they still stay the ultimate few goals. A further popular celebrity romantic movie is that of The talanted taylor and Tom Hiddleston. Their dating is rumored to have recently been a promotion stunt. Yet , it is often confirmed the pair had been spotted with each other. As far as the media is concerned, the most interesting idea about their romantic relationship is that they are now dating. Although many legendary couples will be fictionalized, you can also...
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Modi Govt On Mission Mode To Set Up CBSE-Affiliated Eklavya Schools In Tribal Areas

Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Tudu Bishweswar who hails from Mayurbhanj, Odisha is on overdrive to appease the tribal communities who constitute about 23% of Odisha population. This explains why as many as 87 Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS), a co-ed school affiliated to CBSE have been sanctioned for Mayurbhanj which is highest for any state as well as district in India.  Eklavya Schools are being set up in States/Union Territories with grants under Article 27 and are being implemented by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. Every block with over 50% of Scheduled Tribe population having at least 20,000 tribal persons will now have EMRS and all backlog have to be completed by the extended target date 2025. Already, the parliamentary committee has expressed dismay over the slow pace of EMRS implementation work by the Tribal Ministry which for not being able to meet the original target of 452 Eklavya Schools by 2022 forcing the government to now extend the deadline to 2025. Tudu, BJP MP, is also under pressure to arrest the large number of tribal children who drop out of school — 55% at primary and nearly 71% at secondary level. It is clear the Modi government is on mission mode to uplift tribal communities and its action of nominating Droupadi Murmu also from Odisha as NDA’s presidential candidate indicates it means business.
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When Tamil Nadu BJP Leader H Raja Turned A Press Meet Into Stand Up Comedy

Tamil Nadu’s senior BJP leader H Raja may have lost elections, and his national Secretary post but neither age nor defeat have withered his chutzpah and energy to take on the DMK and chief minister MK Stalin whom he calls friend. At a recent press meet, Raja took on the DMK’s A Raja for his secessionist speech, daringly, yet managed to entertain the onlookers with his extempore slugs of wit. He nailed it when he demanded Stalin should either put A Raja behind bars for sedition or face his government’s dismissal under Article 356, if Raja was his mouthpiece. “No one should think this can’t happen. Even a lame duck PM like Chandrasekhar dismissed your father’s government in 1991”. Raja claims that Jagat Gasper, a protégée of the first family is an arms peddler, and Stalin has to show him the door. Stalin, according to Raja, has a talent for claiming credit for efforts of the Centre. The BJP government under the leadership of Modi brought home over 10,000 medical aspirants from Ukraine’s war zone Stalin quickly pounced on this opportunity to claim “It was our efforts that all came home unscathed“ . The sucker punch line H Raja delivered that turned the press meet into a Stand Up comedy, “If a neighbour celebrates the birth of a child, we must offer congratulations. But if you claim responsibility for that too….it becomes awkward”.
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Presidential Elections: Left Parties Frown On Mamata's Bid To Keep Yashwant Sinha Out Of West Bengal, Offer To Host Him

Opposition Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha had decided to skip Jharkhand and West Bengal due to the stand taken by JMM chief Hemant Soren and statements made by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in favour of NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu. Mamata was open to letting her MLAs do what they want on the Presidential vote; she was also not keen about a Sinha visit to the state. However, it seems Opposition leaders have not taken kindly to Didi dropping Sinha like a hot potato for her electoral calculations in Bengal. In fact CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge do not want Sinha to skip Bengal or Jharkhand in his campaign as they feel it would send a wrong message. Yechury has even assured Sinha that the Left Parties would host him in Bengal. Meanwhile, Droupadi Murmu is reaching Kolkata on July 9 for a meeting with 69 BJP MLAs. She has also sought a separate meeting with Mamata. Now, it is clear Murmu’s presidential candidature has caught Mamata in a cleft stick– she can no longer wax eloquent about uniting the Opposition, but keep her focus on her home turf in Bengal.
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Fearing Sena-Like Exodus, Congress Undecided About Action Against Cross-Voters In Maharashtra

The Congress high command is in two minds about taking disciplinary action against its seven erring Maharashtra MLAs for defying a party whip in the recently held Rajya Sabha and Legislative Council polls, fearing an exodus like the one witnessed by the Shiv Sena over the past fortnight. Due to the cross-voting by several MLAs, including seven of the Congress, it became possible for the BJP to bag an extra seat in both elections despite its numerical minority. The hurt was aggravated when a dozen Congress MLAs, including former chief minister Ashok Chavan, failed to turn up for voting when the saffron government led by Sena rebel Eknath Shinde was facing a floor test in the lower house. The issue was raised by another former chief minister, Prithviraj Chavan, demanding stern disciplinary action against the defaulters. Subsequently, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole and a defeated party candidate, Chandrakant Handore, rushed to Delhi to appraise Rahul Gandhi. This was followed up by a meeting with Sonia Gandhi. However, they failed to get any specific direction from Delhi.  Already, there is discontent in the party because of its support for renaming Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar. Hence, Sonia and Rahul are said to be proceeding cautiously. It is expected that they will wait till July 11 when the Supreme Court hears petitions regarding the developments in Maharashtra.
EPS gives OPS out

Decks Clear For Anointing EPS As Sole Leader Of AIADMK, OPS Faction Loses Out

The decks are clear for Edappadi K Palanisamy to take over the AIADMK party as its General Secretary at the July 11 meeting to be held in Chennai.  A division bench of the Madras High Court on July 7 dismissed a contempt application seeking to punish the former CM and AIADMK leader and his supporters for alleged non-implementation of its earlier orders. The bench of Justices M Duraiswamy and Sundar Mohan also dismissed the applications to stay the general council meeting and the one against Tamil Magan Hussain, who had been nominated as the permanent presidium chairman of the party at its June 23 general council meeting. Since their orders passed in the small hours of June 23 had been stayed by the Supreme Court on July 6, the judges said they were dismissing the applications and petitions. OPS has lost the battle because EPS was able to gather a brute majority favouring a “single leader” rule that had been in force till the death of party supremo and CM J Jayalalithaa in 2016. EPS ran a sustained campaign in the background to woo all important party functionaries to his side. His clever portrayal of OPS as a “double agent” leaning towards Sasikala as well as the ruling DMK helped swing support. Only the anointing of EPS as leader of the principal Opposition party in TN remains to be completed now.
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Will Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Be Our Next Vice President?

On August 6 the country will have a new Vice President and there is a lot of speculation about who it will be. Though the BJP has not revealed its card, there is a strong rumour that it is most likely to be Union Minorities Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.  A day ahead of his term ending in the Rajya Sabha, Naqvi quit as minister. He and JDU’s RCP Singh, who is Minister of Steel, also attended the Union Cabinet meeting where PM Narendra Modi praised both of them. Soon after the Cabinet, Naqvi visited BJP headquarters to meet with party chief JP Nadda. Initially, when Naqvi didn’t make it to the list of Rajya Sabha nominations it was felt that he would probably contest the Lok Sabha by-election from Rampur in Uttar Pradesh, his native State. However, after BJP fielded Ghanshyam Lodhi in SP stalwart Azam Khan’s stronghold, it was felt that Modi was likely to field the only Muslim minister in his cabinet in the vice-presidential elections. Another name doing the rounds is that of Karnataka Governor Thawarchand Gehlot. Seventy-four year Gehlot was leader of the Rajya Sabha before he moved as Karnataka Governor. Yet, what could still work in Naqvi’s favour is that he is much younger at 64 and has been very familiar with Rajya Sabha working.
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A Raja Threatens Modi Govt, Give Us More Autonomy Or Else DMK Will Push For A Separate Tamil Nadu

DMK MP A Raja, a confidante of the late M Karunanidhi courted the country’s ire and shock while addressing a meeting of local cadres of DMK in Tamil Nadu. Raja, in the presence of the chief minister MK Stalin, threatened the Centre that TN would secede if the state was not granted more autonomy. “We will not stop until TN gets state autonomy ….I request the PM and the HM not to force us to revive the demand for a separate TN, an ideological demand made by Periyar for Thani (separate) Nadu “. The outburst, perhaps deliberate, is to remind the Modi government of their unhappiness with the TN Governor’s role, NEET issues not being addressed, inequitable distribution of GST, imposition of Hindi; the usual litany of woes that a non-BJP ruled states has with the Union government. Both AIADMK and BJP have condemned Raja’s seditious speech. But, what is intriguing is the CM playing the role of a mute spectator. Analysts are saying that the CM was using Raja as a trial balloon to assess people’s mood. Political analyst Sumanth Raman says “He embarrassed Stalin…sidelined in the DMK and sulking. Except for such fringe elements, no one in TN talks about separatism “. Says DMK Rajya Sabha MP TKS Elangovan, “Raja aired his frustration “. The grapes of wrath are bound to be sour. A Raja may soon discover, discretion is the best part of valour.
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Rousing Reception To Droupadi Murmu In Ranchi Gives Cong Heebie-Jeebies, Fears A Maharashtra Redux In Jharkhand

NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu’s visit to Ranchi to seek electoral support from MPs and MLAs of Jharkhand was a resounding success. She not only managed to strike an emotional  chord with her electors as she disclosed that she was connected to Jharkhand by blood as her grandmother belonged to the state but seems to have also got assurance of support from the ruling  Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM). Murmu, who was the Governor of Jharkhand (2015- 2021) shared with the NDA legislators that when she was declared as candidate, she had shared her apprehension with PM Narendra Modi about her ability to do justice to the responsibilities of the high office. To this Modi had told her that “The Constitution will guide and show you the right path.” He had also recalled how she had groomed “Jharkhand while being Governor”. During her stint, Murmu handled ticklish legislation issues amending tenancy laws. Significantly, Murmu called on JMM supremo Shibu Soren and his son Chief Minister Hemant Soren seeking their support. She was welcomed by the Soren duo at the Chief Minister’s residence. Though JMM-Congress is only a post poll alliance, and 18 Congress MLAs backing isn’t a big deal, state Congress Rajesh Thakur is already uncomfortable at the thought of JMM keeping away from UPA candidate. Is it because it could be a redux of Maharashtra once again?
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Odisha State Assembly Session

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Unfazed With BJP’s Plan To Make Monsoon Session Stormy

Even though the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik have a good equation, that has not stopped BJP from trying to foist its flag in the state.  So every time there is an election in the state, BJP puts all its might only to come a cropper. Patnaik is a revered leader who has transformed Odisha which is helping the common man. BJP’s goal was to emerge as an alternative to the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha by 2024. Now that seems to be impossible given the fact BJD swept the panchayat and urban elections a few months back thereby derailing BJPs  ‘look east’ campaign. But BJP is not giving up easily. Its State President Sameer Mohanty, National Vice President Baijayant Panda and Odisha State BJP in-charge Vijaypal Singh Tomar have jointly prepared a 3-month strategy to make the monsoon session stormy. This plan will see BJP raise its decibel level on Mahanadi water dispute, power outages, unemployment, mineral theft, PMAY corruption, law and order, tender fixing including Naveen babu’s foreign trip. BJD seems unfazed since it is well-versed in handling opposition darts.  One has to wait and watch whether BJP’s going for the jugular strategy yields dividends?
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Presidential Elections: Worried About Losing Tribal Votes In Bengal, Mamata In Two Minds About Murmu

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s recent remarks that NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu’s chances are better in the presidential elections stirred a lot of political interest making every one wonder whether she was already having second thoughts about the Opposition choice, Yashwant Sinha. A fortnight before the polls, Mamata even began to distance herself saying she had no role in Sinha emerging as the choice even though Sinha was TMC V-P. “Now we know Droupadi Murmu’s chances are better because of developments in Maharashtra.  BJP didn’t discuss with us before announcing their candidate for Presidential elections. They should have taken our suggestions then we could have considered,” she said. A section in the BJP even began to feel that perhaps Mamata’s rethink could make her endorse Murmu. However, such musings were short-lived as Didi loudly wondered in a TV interview on July 4 why the suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma was “not arrested” even after Supreme Court’s much contested observations. Of course, digging a little deeper, it seems Mamata was feeling increasingly nervous about Murmu’s candidature. Maybe she realizes that by opposing Murmu in the Presidential poll, she could lose her party’s tribal vote bank in south Bengal which she had regained from the BJP in the 2021 state Assembly elections. Her arch BJP rival Suvendu Adhikari has already participated in several events across the state’s Junglemahal region, which has a significant tribal population.
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PM Modi Wows Global Leaders With Made In India Gifts

The exquisite array of gifts Prime Minister Narendra Modi carried to the G7 summit tells the story of an extraordinary politician who has made India and Indians proud. And the GI Tag on a few of these gifts came as an added bonus to promote Indian artisans and their body of work. The gifts ranged from a Gulabi Meenakari brooch and matching cuff links, GI tagged from Varanasi for the U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady. Japan’s PM Fumio Kishida was gifted Black Pottery, a process specific speciality of Nizamabad. The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was gifted an ultra special platinum painted tea set to commemorate the Queen’s platinum jubilee year. Emmanuel Macron was the recipient of a Zari Zardozi box crafted in Lucknow, encased in hand embroidered khadi silk in the colours of the French flag. The contents were even more exotic — it held Attar Mitti, a fragrance mix of jasmine, rose and musk.  Germany’s Chancellor was gifted brassware from Moradabad .The Italian PM was delighted to receive a semi-precious stones inlaid marble table top, reminiscent of the Pietra Dura that originated in Rome.  So what is unusual about PM gifting exotic memorabilia? Normally, one expects such esoteric tastes to a “Manor Born “. Or praise the team designated to choose. Ultimately, it is the leader’s forethought to showcase India discerningly, abroad.
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Dilip Ghosh and Sukanta Majumdar

BJP High Command Cuts Rebel Leaders In Bengal Unit To Size, Keeps Them Out Of Panchayat Polls Core Committee

Nothing seems to work for the Bengal BJP at present. While Trinamool Congress manages to make a significant dent in North Bengal by gaining the maximum number of panchayat and gram panchayat boards under Siliguri division, the Bengal BJP is grappling with internal feuds. Taking cognizance of this, the central BJP leadership has sent out a strong message to the leaders who have been vocal against the present state leadership. Towards this it has excluded Dilip Ghosh, former state president and MP from Medinipur, and Locket Chatterjee, MP from Hooghly, from the panchayat coordination committee. Instead, Debasree Chaudhuri, MP from Raiganj, has been given the charge. Interestingly, Ghosh had spearheaded the 2018 panchayat polls which helped BJP to make inroads and become West Bengal’s principal opposition party. Similarly, Locket who was in charge of the committee set up to celebrate the Modi Government’s 8th Anniversary celebration, also failed to be a part of the Panchayat Committee. Insiders said both Ghosh and Chatterjee had been voicing their dissent against the current president Dr Sukanta Majumder. Debasree is known to be close to Majumder.  When asked why Ghosh has been excluded from the committee, BJP says Ghosh is one of the members of the National Working Committee. But so is Debasree. Locket’s exclusion is understandable as she continues to show her allegiance to the former state president.
SIDDARAMAIAH

Former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah

With Minorities Looking At Other Options In Karnataka, Congress Banks On Siddaramaiah To Win State Elections Next Year

After attending a closed door meeting with Rahul Gandhi on election strategy for Karnataka elections early next year, an ecstatic Siddaramaiah could not avoid interacting with select journalists from Delhi media at a 5-star hotel. That’s because the Congress leadership more than ever seemed dependent on him. A party survey showed that 20 to 30% Muslims votes had shifted to formations like the SDPI and AIMIM.  In a four hour discussion with state stalwarts like Siddaramaiah and DK Shivkumar, Rahul had expressed anxiety about Muslims moving away from the Congress and urged the need to win them over.  He wanted both Siddaramaiah and DK Shivkumar to work together.  What made Siddaramaiah happy was that the party was now ready to endorse his AHINDA formula under which party candidates were selected from minorities, backward castes and Dalits. However, even as he was interacting with journalists, he received a call from Randeep Surjewala, AICC General Secretary in charge of Karnataka warning him not to utter a word to Delhi media as they tend to misinterpret his statement on Karnataka politics. Nonetheless, Siddaramaiah could not help conveying that he was the top leader in Karnataka not DK Shivakumar.
Eknath Shinde CM

Why BJP Backed Sena’s Eknath Shinde For CM’s Post

Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis sprung a surprise by announcing that Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde would be the new Maharashtra CM. However, this is not the ‘large-heartedness’ of the BJP, as Shinde believes, but a masterstroke that the BJP has played to cut to size the stature of Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray’s son Uddhav and grandson Aaditya in the party and the state politics. “With Shinde at the helm of affairs in the state as well in the party with the backing of 39 MLAs, the significance of Uddhav Thackeray in the party will drop significantly,” said Jay Prakash Singh, a senior political analyst. He added that the move will help Fadnavis and the BJP garner sympathy votes during the upcoming civic elections for letting go of the CM’s chair for the sake of Hindutva.  Fadnavis will be very much in the driver’s seat as deputy CM and this is the wish of the party high command. Fadnavis has declared, “BJP is the single largest party in the legislature… I will ensure the smooth functioning of the government.” However, is causing embarrassment to the Thackerays the only reason why Fadnavis passed on the CM’s chair to Shinde? “Once bitten, twice shy!” Singh asserts. “Fadnavis wants to play safe as he doesn’t want to face a situation similar to that of 2019. NCP leader Ajit Pawar went back to the party fold less than 48 hours after rebelling. What’s the guarantee that the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs won’t return to the Thackeray camp in the coming days/months?”
rahul-gandhi

Newstrack.com

RaGa's Phone Call To AIADMK’s Edappadi To Back Presidential Candidate Yashwant Sinha Stirs Up Hornet’s Nest In TN

Notwithstanding the fact that AIADMK has backed the NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu for presidential elections, that did not stop Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from calling up AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami to seek his support for Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha. The call apparently surprised AIADMK’s top brass as O Panneerselvam was present in Delhi when Murmu filed her papers. So why and how did Rahul reach out to the AIADMK when it is already an ally of the DMK? It is being said Rahul’s call to the AIADMK leader was put through by election strategist Sunil Kanugolu. Having worked with AIADMK, Kanugolu had access to top AIADMK leaders. It seems the idea to approach the AIADMK was the brainwave of Viduthali Chiruthali Kathchi (VCK) leader T Thirmamaavalavan. The Chidamabaram Lok Sabha MP wants the Congress to move away from the DMK and forge an alliance with the AIADMK for 2024 Lok Sabha polls as the mood in the state is going against the DMK. On his part, Edappadi politely told Rahul about his party’s commitment to support Murmu.
Jutsice Chandru committee (1) (1)

Tamil Nadu All Set To Ban Online Gaming Sites With A Stake

The online gaming industry may be in for a rude shock as the Tamil Nadu government seems bent on banning any site offering online gaming with a stake. By stake it means money you pay to place a bet. The government, worried over reports of suicides due to debt problems of some addicted gamers, had appointed a committee headed by retired Justice Chandru of the Madras High Court to recommend what action to take.  The committee which submitted its report to Chief Minister MK Stalin on June 27, recommended that the government enforce a ban of not only gaming sites but also the advertisements that promote it which are often seen during the cricket telecasts. The problem is that a blanket ban will not care to distinguish between the legitimate e-gaming sites and the gambling sites, including many offshore sites that are operating freely in the internet environment as it exists. The three largest online skill games associations are already concerned over reports suggesting that the GST rates on online skill games are to go up from 18 % to 28 %. Banning by one state could be emulated by other states. Karnataka had been contemplating action on online gambling in which several sites are claiming revenues in excess of Rs 1,000 crore per annum.
Draupadi Murumu (4)

This Droupadi Is All Set To Preside Over Maha Bharat

When BJP announced the name of 64-year old Droupadi Murmu from Odisha as NDA’s Presidential candidate penny and jaws dropped. One of India’s best management minds Prof R Vaidyanathan said: “The choice of Droupadi Murmu is a massive tectonic shift in Indian polity. Mark my words, not many developed nations could have mustered the consensus for such a role model like Droupadi to adorn the Presidential chair”. Murmu, a capable administrator comes from the adivasi Santhals of Odisha with stints as a Minister and later, a Governor. A devoted Sanathana dharmi, the first thing Murmu did was to visit the Shiva temple. Undoubtedly, the polity and power shift is in favour of the OBC’s. The RSS, focusing on the importance of the Vanavasis, set up 600,000 vidyalayas in tribal areas to bring the tribals under the umbrella of education. So the choice of Murmu is a logical step for inclusion. Two significant irritants cast their shadow on the tribals of India –.the Naxalite threat and the Christian Missionary Conversion issue, parading under the euphemism, “Soul harvesting by planting the cross”.  With successive government’s tough stand, the Naxal threat spread over 185 districts has now come down to 25. Murmu is bound to face and preside over more such irritants and challenges as our nation moves up to pole position.
Collage Maker-28-Jun-2022-06

Fotocorp

Will Congress Replace Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot With Sachin Pilot To Quell Dissension?

Looks like the Congress high command may have to opt for leadership change in Rajasthan if it has to halt erosion in the party’s cadre ahead of 2023 assembly elections. Acharya Pramod Krishnam, a close aide of Priyanka Vadra, has openly called for elevating Pilot as CM and a central role for Gehlot. Party sources admit that a groundswell of sympathy is emerging in the state for Pilot, who as PCC chief led the Congress to victory in 2018, but was denied CM’s post. Sources said if Gehlot leads the party to assembly polls, then it’s likely that BJP may sweep the poll. It was felt if Pilot was made the CM, the Congress could somewhat reverse the damage. After all, even state BJP leaders call Pilot “Neelkanth” (swallower of poison). Significantly, Rahul Gandhi recently praised Pilot’s patience at Jantar Mantar. Rahul’s praise seems to have rattled Gehlot which is perhaps why he has begun attacking his former deputy chief minister for taking BJP’s help during his 2020 rebellion. On his part, Pilot continues to play cool about Gehlot’s taunt and takes it in his stride. “Earlier, also the CM had spoken about me saying nakara (useless), nikamma (jobless) and much more. Ashok Gehlot is an experienced, elderly and fatherly figure, if he speaks something I don’t take it otherwise,” he said.
Yashwanth-sinha

Telangana Today

Yashwant Sinha Seeks To Meet LK Advani, Staff Decline Appointment Stating Daughter Pratibha Down With Covid

Before filing his papers for President’s election, joint opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha reached out to BJP veteran L K Advani for a meeting with him and to seek his blessings. The staff of the BJP leader however told Sinha that since Advani’s daughter Pratibha was down with Covid, a meeting perhaps would not be possible now. Interestingly, before the papers were to be filed the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti pledged its support to Sinha. It was also announced that KCR’s son KT Rama Rao would be present. And he did. Prominent among those who joined him to submit his papers included Rahul Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Praful Patel, Akhilesh Yadav, DMK leader A Raja and Tiruchi Shiva, and Farooq Abdullah. Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot was also present. However, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha was not represented as Jharkhand’s ruling party is yet to decide on whom to support in the presidential polls. Also present was Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Congress Leader Jairam Ramesh, TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee and Saugata Roy, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury and CPI’s D Raja, Rashtriya Lok Dal’s Jayant Chaudhary, Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Misa Bharti, Revolutionary Socialist Party’s N K Premchandran and Indian Union Muslim League’s Mohammed Bashir.
Simranjit Singh Mann

By-Election Setback For AAP, Punjab Elects A Khalistani Backer To Lok Sabha

Normally, in by-elections ruling parties tend to have an advantage. This was seen in the manner in which BJP clinched the two Samajwadi Party (SP) bastions of Azamgarh and Rampur in Lok Sabha by-polls in Uttar Pradesh (UP). However, what came as a surprise was that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lost Punjab’s Sangrur Lok Sabha seat — a parliamentary constituency, vacated by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, in less than four months after it swept to power in the state. While the two Lok Sabha seats in UP were previously held by SP chief Akhilesh Yadav (Azamgarh) and senior SP leader Azam Khan (Rampur), the Punjab seat considered a stronghold of Mann has gone to an avowed Khalistani supporter Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) candidate Simranjit Singh Mann. AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha, however downplayed the loss by pointing out that “AAP had retained its vote share with a meagre fall from 37% to 35% and all other parties INC, SAD (Akali Dal) and BJP lost deposits.” The BJP’s tally of Lok Sabha seats in UP has risen from 62 to 64, while the SP has been reduced to three seats. Though the BJP bagged the Rampur seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, it lost the seat in 2019. Interestingly, Akhilesh Yadav had stayed out of campaign in Rampur while Azam Khan fielded a “weak” candidate.
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Didi Leaves Nothing To Chance, Hits Campaign Trail For 2023 Panchayat Polls

Looks like Trinamool Congress Supremo and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is taking no chance as far as elections in her state are concerned. Panchayat polls are in 2023 but Didi is already in an election mode. She plans to visit every district in the state so as to establish direct contacts with TMC booth-level workers and voters. This early preparation by Didi is for several reasons. First, to take stock of the implementation of her government’s development schemes and glean whether local leaders and administration are working in tandem. Second, to nip factional feuds within TMC. Third, to weed out corruption from the grassroots level. Above all, Didi has recruited a special force from outside to give her reports without dilution of what’s happening within her party at all levels. Didi who kicked off her panchayat campaign visiting the Jangalmahal areas in the Jhargram district is likely to visit all 23 districts of the state. Her one message to her party workers is: ensure panchayat polls are peaceful unlike 2018, which was marred by violence and opposition not allowed to contest. That poll violence cost the TMC dearly in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections where it lost 16 seats – from 38 it was down to 22 seats. This worked to BJPs advantage, winning 18 seats. Didi cannot afford that mistake again.
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Didi Makes Efforts For Opposition Unity But Doesn't Get To Preside Over High Table

Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee has had a tough time in forging Opposition initiatives to finalise a candidate for Presidential elections. Even as Yashwant Sinha quit TMC to please Left parties that found it difficult to back a candidate affiliated to a political party, Didi was quite stumped by her efforts to get NCP chief Sharad Pawar to be first a candidate and later to even attend the initial round of meeting she had called on June 15. Pawar’s presence was important for her to forge Opposition unity but for some reason the NCP chief was reluctant to take any lead. Didi had to persuade Supriya Sule and Praful Patel to ensure that the veteran leader was present at the event. Mamata even called on Pawar at his residence along with her nephew Abhishek on June 14. Yet in spite of her extra efforts, not all non-BJP parties turned up. Parties like AAP and TRS gave it a miss while the Left was critical that the meeting was held at short notice. Leaders of regional parties seemed more worried about their worth in 2024. At the meet Pawar surprised Mamata by ruling himself out of the contest right at the launch. This wasn’t how Mamata had planned. So finally on June 21 when Yashwant Sinha’s name was finalised at the Opposition meet, 2nd round, Mamata chose to skip it. 
OPS

With EPS Taking Over The Reins Of AIADMK, Will OPS Be Shown The Door?

Having exhausted all attempts to stop the conduct of the AIADMK General Council (GC) meeting, to be held on June 23, party coordinator O Panneerselvam (OPS), who is expecting to be ousted from his post, has decided to boycott the event. He refuses to be part of what could be the coronation of his party colleague, joint leader, and now enemy No 1 as he aims to crown himself the sole leader of the party. OPS had been telling his supporters in the GC to strategise counter moves to those of the Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) camp who are determined to raise the issue of a single leader and take control of the party. OPS could not scuttle the GC legally as the court refused to stay the meeting. He also wrote a letter to the Avadi Police Commissioner requesting him to deny permission for the meeting at Vanagaram that falls under his Avadi jurisdiction. But the police are unlikely to take OPS’ word as the party has officially convened the meeting. Police are expected to be present in good numbers as OPS has raised the bogey of violence both in the court and with them. It does appear OPS’ days are numbered in AIADMK and he may also lose the post of Treasurer presiding over two big trusts that control about Rs 3,000 crore corpus.

What is the Best Free Online Dating Web page?

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Buying Woman to Marry

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Staying away from the Issues of Thailänder Dating

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vidhan-sabha-mumbai

MLC Polls: Defeat Of Dalit Leader Handore, Snub To Mallikarjun Kharge And Message To High Command, Feel Congressmen

The defeat of Congress’s first candidate in Maharashtra Legislative Council elections — Chandrakant Handore– and victory of second candidate Bhai Jagtap by eight votes reflects more poorly on vote management by senior ministers Ashok Chavan and Balasaheb Thorat, who is also PCC chief. Party sources feel defeat of Dalit leader Handore, who was to get first preference votes, was a shocker and, fear it would have implications in the Mumbai civic elections. Handore’s defeat also reflected the mood of MLAs who did not like the way party affairs were being managed. Sources said Handore’s defeat was a snub to Rajya Sabha Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge. Apparently, state leaders were irritated by the way Kharge got around to pushing for neo-Buddhist candidates in every election. Once it had even cost the party post of deputy chairman in the Legislative Council in 2018 as he insisted on the late Sharad Ranpise’s candidature. Many in the party feel the defeat of Handore is also a message of Maharashtra Congress to high command for imposing non-Maharshtrian candidates for Rajya Sabha in the past three consecutive elections — Rajiv Shukla, P Chidambaram and now Imran Pratapgarhi. Post Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde revolt, senior Congress leader Anant Gadgil feels Congress should have never joined the Government. “I had told Ahmed Patel in 2019, let us provide outside support to MVA,” recalls a vindicated Gadgil.
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Amidst ED Summons To Rahul Gandhi, Ashok Gehlot Emerges As Troubleshooter

Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Hooda has been sulking ever since his arch rival and fellow Jat leader Randeep Surjewala got elected from Rajasthan as Rajya Sabha MP and he couldn’t get anyone elected from Haryana. So when Congress high command initially dialled him to make protests in Delhi and at Jantar Mantar over summoning of Rahul Gandhi by the ED a success, a miffed Hooda told them to take help of Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot who had ensured election of three Congress RS MPs. Hooda’s refusal made a desperate party leadership to send out a message to summon Rajasthan MLAs and party workers to reach Delhi to block streets on June 20 — Rahul’s fourth day at ED headquarters. But then it seems after initial reluctance, Hooda relented; his supporters not only made the protests a success in Delhi, Hooda himself turned up at Jantar Mantar. Meanwhile, party sources admit Gehlot had emerged as a troubleshooter in the Congress and he has been carrying messages on behalf of party president Sonia Gandhi. She wanted Ghulam Nabi Azad to handle the AICC Organisation — something he had managed in the 80s; Gehlot reached out to Azad who declined saying it must be given to younger people. He also pacified a miffed Tariq Anwar. Both Azad and Anwar were hoping to get a RS berth.
Retiring Indian High Commissioner UK, Gayatri Issar Kumar

L to R: Retired Indian HC Gayatri Issar Kumar, Lord Karan Billimoria, Bangladesh HC Muna Tasneem & Sujit Ghosh Acting Indian HC

London Calling Indian Business And Netas, UK Is New “Summer-Capital” Of India

Retired Indian High Commissioner to UK Gayatri Issar Kumar at her farewell hosted by the Indian Journalists Association there said in lighter vein that London looked like India’s new “summer capital”.  There is a ring of truth to what she said. Post Covid, no sooner were travel rules relaxed than there was a beeline of ministers, bureaucrats, businessmen air dashing to London. Union Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, Telangana’s IT Minister KT Rama Rao, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Salman Khurshid landed here in quick succession to engage with the Indian diaspora. Goyal’s frequent visits and systematic follow-ups were to generate investments through government bonds and expedite progress of FTA, slated to be concluded by Diwali this year.  Senior BJP leader and RSS ideologue Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, who is set to visit London, is scheduled to address Indian groups and includes the Overseas Maharashtrians Professionals and Entrepreneurs Group. India’s growing soft power is the message. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also plans to visit London.  Sometime in July, the Chief Justice of India and law department secretaries have their scheduled visits and public engagements. And finally, the Commonwealth Games will likely see the entire sports lobby from India travelling to the West Midlands in the UK. Clearly, London is not just a summer capital. Indian business and politics seems to evolve and revolve around it.
EPS and OPS

Not By Choice But Compulsion AIADMK Will Stay Intact And Not Split

AIADMK, the principal opposition party in Tamil Nadu, is in turmoil. A tussle between the two factions headed by Joint coordinators Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) and O Panneerselvam (OPS) has led even to skirmishes and a former minister’s car being thumped as he left HQ. Together, EPS and OPS mean something in Tamil Nadu politics but if they go their separate ways, the former ruling party, founded by MGR and nurtured by J Jayalalithaa, will lose ground rapidly. Prime Minister had played the peacemaker on his last visit to Chennai, telling both party honchos to stay united and play a constructive role as opposition party. What is causing stress now is the playbook of EPS supporters eyeing to bring back the old days of a unitary leader and to hold an election for a revived general secretary post. But, OPS, fearful that he may stand no chance in a party poll, would like to avoid a head-to-head contest. A compromise may be OPS’ best route out but he would end up losing whatever hold he has on the party. A hidden hand in this is, of course, that of the Jaya confidante VK Sasikala whose political ambitions run sky-high. Truth to tell, EPS is the party’s best-known face but he can assert himself only at the cost of the party splitting. June 23, when the party council meets, should be fraught with interest.
Sonia Gandhi

INC.IN

Convalescing Cong Chief Sonia Gandhi To Miss June 23 Date, ED Will Just Have To Wait

So now it is quite obvious that when Congress President Sonia Gandhi avoided the first ED summons in the National Herald case on June 8 citing COVID, it is clear she wasn’t suffering from it. A party statement  now has claimed she was  admitted to the Sir Gangaram Hospital on June 12 citing “profuse bleeding from the nose” where she  is currently being treated for a fungal infection detected in her lower respiratory tract, along with other post-COVID symptoms. That it is not COVID became clear by the manner in which Rahul and Priyanka were regularly visiting Sonia in the hospital. She underwent a related follow-up procedure on June 16 morning. “She continues to be under close observation and treatment.” It seemed very odd that a medical bulletin on Sonia’s health should be issued by the party, instead of the hospital. Of course, the statement was carefully worded, loaded with medical terminology to help Sonia avoid her June 23 date with ED. Towards this end new AICC media head Jairam Ramesh has done a thorough job. Yet, it is surprising why the hospital did not issue a health bulletin on Sonia? This is generally the practice most hospitals follow whenever well-known political leaders are admitted under their care.
kcr

KCR Stargazing For National Role, TRS To Be Rechristened BRS Before Presidential Poll?

Telangana Chief Minister and TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao wants to rebrand his party as Bharat Rashtra Samiti on the premise that he wants it to grow nationally. The whispers inside his own party are that their chief honcho is guided by astrologers who seem to have picked on the name ‘TRS’ as the reason why it won’t do well in the next polls. In fact, short of saying he may be heading for defeat for the first time since the State of Telangana was formed and the party its leading votary formed sweeping the polls twice, soothsayers may have warned KCR that the stars don’t foretell a great future beyond the elections that are due in 2023 in the state. By rebranding his party through a change to Bharat, KCR believes he can build on his national ambitions by seeking to expand beyond Telangana boundaries. While it is moot if the party can so much as seek to do well even in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, it’s likely KCR is thinking of projecting himself in the Hindi belt, towards which he would like to take on the avatar of a national leader, beginning with an active role in the Presidential polls in July. What the stars portend may be a fear driving him but KCR is convinced that a national role awaits him.
J P Nadda

Nadda Puts Bengal Bifurcation Plan On Hold, Don’t Press For WB Divide in Public For Now, BJP Leaders Are Told

BJP has woken up to the harsh reality of difficulty in dividing Bengal politically. This realisation saw BJP Chief JP Nadda telling partymen not to rake up the Bengal bifurcation issue in public. Some BJP leaders were pushing for a separate state/Union territory status for North Bengal from the state’s western plateau. This change of heart comes even as TMC postures on unity in political diversity making BJP top leader thinks it is inopportune time to be treading on the statehood landmine and getting perceived as dividers of Bengal. BJP’s MLA numbers are down owing to cross-overs to the TMC. Nine local BJP MLAs have written a letter to Nadda expressing displeasure over recent organisational changes in the state. More importantly, with the Presidential election in July, 2023 panchayat elections and 2024 Lok Sabha elections, BJP’s top brass won’t risk slicing Bengal politically for the time being. BJP has also realised that there is no common cause among political parties in North Bengal. “The splitting of Bengal is far from being over, BJP has pressed the pause button for now”, analysts say. So, for now the party is focussed on consolidation fearing its anti-Mamata and divide Bengal politics may boomerang.
Sharad Pawar

NCP.org

Pawar's Play At Work, Change Of Guard In Maharashtra?

A lot of meaning is being read into the way NCP Chief Sharad Pawar praised BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis for winning all the 3 seats his party contested. Pawar praised Fadnavis for succeeding in working the “miracle” of weaning away independent MLAs from rival camps using “different means”. He said that there was nothing shocking in the election results, in which a Shiv Sena candidate Sanjay Pawar lost to BJP’s Dhananjay Mahadik. “One has to accept the miracle in which BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis succeeded in weaning away independent MLAs and also those from smaller parties, who would have otherwise supported the MVA. He was successful in bringing people (independent MLAs) close to him by using different means,” said Pawar. Congress sources said the two AIMIM MLAs who extended support to the MVA Government didn’t vote for Sena candidate Sanjay Pawar but only Cong-NCP.  Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who scraped through the polls, however down played BJP’s accomplishment. Political buzz is that the NCP could soon stake its claim to lead the government in Maharashtra. It is being said Pawar would like to see his daughter Supriya Sule installed as the state CM. The MVA Government under Uddhav Thackeray has completed two and half years in office. Guess it must be NCP’s turn now at the top.
Imran Pratapgarhi

Imran Pratapgarhi, The Elusive Poet-Quawwal Who Acted Pricey With Maharashtra Congress Faithfully Voted To Rajya Sabha

Maharashtra Congressmen simply cannot get over the fact that they had to elect AICC minority cell head Imran Pratapgarhi to the Rajya Sabha. It was a tough call to elect an outsider for the single seat that fell vacant in the state. But then it was a whip from Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.  So all the 44 MLAs duly voted Pratapgarhi. Yet what is riling many party seniors is how Pratapgarhi, a well-known poet-qawwaali singer, had played hard to get during the 2019 assembly election campaign. State party managers recalled when asked to do some shows in Muslim-majority pockets in western Maharashtra, the snooty poet had quoted Rs 2 lakh per show. It was a price the state unit found too high to afford. Pratapgarhi had lost from Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Today, Maharashtra has quietly sent him to Rajya Sabha, hoping he may not send a huge bill for the campaign again. In this context, old timers recall how when veteran Ghulam Nabi Azad was sent to the Rajya Sabha for one term in the 90s there was a howl of protest. That too after he had already been twice elected to Lok Sabha from Washim in Maharashtra.
Jagan Reddy with Narendra Modi sent via email

BJP Banks On Allies & Jagan Mohan Reddy For Presidential Polls In July

The term of the first ever President from BJP-RSS, Ram Nath Kovind, is getting over and the race for succession has been throwing up interesting names. While the Modi-Amit Shah-RSS chief trio may come up with an outreach name of their own choice to spring a surprise as they did last time, the importance of the person holding the post in 2024 in having to decide who to call to form the government is not to be underestimated. The odds are the name will be acceptable to allies on whom the BJP will be relying to get its candidate past the post. Kovind got more than two-thirds of the vote, which may not happen in these more polarised times. But the BJP is certain it will seal the numbers as the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party(YSRCP) will be its banker. YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is an ally who has never stepped out of line, maybe because of his experience with the central agencies before sweeping the polls to become Andhra CM. The result is not in doubt thanks to Jagan deciding to stick with the rulers. The UPA has been toying with various names, including that of Nandan Nilekani whose brainchild is Aadhaar, but it lacks the numbers to make any great impression on Presidential polls that have always been won by the candidate of the ruling dispensation.
Naveen Jindal and Nupur Sharma

After Nupur-Jindal Loud Thinking Courts International Ire, BJP To Monitor Spokepersons, Mind Their Language

Post the embarrassment of fire-fighting utterances of the now sacked party voices Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal, the BJP has come up with new guidelines for its spokespersons appearing on TV shows. As per the new guidelines, only the official spokespersons and panelists will now be allowed to appear on TV debates. The party’s media cell has been charged with assigning spokespersons for the talk shows on TV channels.  The party will once again go back to the old system when spokespersons were briefed by senior leaders or ministers such as the late Arun Jaitley or Sushma Swaraj. Looks like the media cell will once again be guided by senior party leaders or ministers.  For a while spokespersons have been operating autonomously, relying on their own understanding of the subject. The media cell has been sorely missing critical inputs of someone like Shrikant Sharma — now a minister in the Yogi Government — who used to give briefs to spokespersons before they went on air. Sharma used to ensure that no one crossed the line or made any controversial comment.  As per the new advisory, spokespersons have been advised to research on the topic of debate before they go on air and prepare themselves keeping in mind the party line.
tks Elangovan

DMK MP TKS Elangovan gives a twist to his rant against Hindi

Stalin's Mind Your Language Class, Asks DMK Leaders To Go Vocal On Hindi But, Cut Out Caste

A message has gone out to DMK party members from the Stalin household to mind their language in public. A full licence has been given to keep knocking the Centre over Hindi and NEET but don’t get into caste politics by dragging names of communities is the message. Stalin has mastered the art of saying it nicely even if he is diametrically opposed to the Centre and its Governor but many down the line may have lost their way in packaging their messages. The DMK MP TKS Elangovan’s rant against Hindi imposition would have been fine with the party except for the twist given in dragging caste into it with the word “shudras”. The higher education minister K Ponmudy had also raved against Hindi and he also overstepped in calling all Hindi speaking people as “Paani-puri wallahs” but the humour had struck home.  Having won the battle against caste hierarchy long ago after having come to power in 1967, the DMK would like to keep social justice as an ideological peg and not give it a spin by airing caste politics. Their high command may have enjoyed the divisions among the AIADMK over the BJP trying to take over, at least in voice, as the main opposition in the State but it does not wish to get tangled in rhetoric taking over practical politics.

TRENDS & VIEWS

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.