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NCP Protestors Pull Away Dhoti Of Koshyari Look-Alike, One Lakh Rupees Reward For His Cap

Nationalist Congress party (NCP) demonstrators in Pune tried to pull away the dhoti of a youth dressed as Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Monday following his controversial statement about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj a couple of days ago. Koshyari has attracted statewide ire after he quipped that Shivaji Maharaj was an icon of the past while modern icons are like Babasaheb Ambedkar or Union minister Nitin Gadkari. Anger erupted as soon as various news channels made the statement viral. The comparison has been condemned by all opposition parties. Protest actions have been taking place all over the state. NCP organized a protest near Savarkar statue in Pune where demonstrators had brought a young boy dressed as Koshyari. The boy was wearing a dhoti and a black cap, like the one Koshyari wears. Some protestors tried to pull away the dhoti worn by the boy. In Beed town of Marathwada, Shiv Sena (Thackeray) district chief Anil Jagtap has announced a reward of one lakh rupees on behalf of his organisation for bringing Koshyari’s black cap. NCP spokesman Mahesh Tapase has complained against Koshyari to President Draupadi Murmu. He has demanded that Koshyari should be removed forthwith. A few months ago, Koshyari had invited another round of protests when he had said that no money would be left in Maharashtra if Gujarati and Rajasthani people were removed from here. Later, he apologized for it.
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Sporadic Violence Ahead Of Panchayat Polls Gives Trinamool Congress Jitters

With months to go for the Panchayat Election 2023, reports of back-to-back violence, crude bomb blasts, recovery of firearms and live bombs are being reported in some districts of West Bengal. Some of the districts of South Bengal — Birbhum, North and South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, and Junglemahal areas have seen recent cases of political violence with bomb blasts killing three minors and injuring several people including children in separate incidents. Both Didi and second in command of the party, her nephew Abhishek Banerjee have been categorical to keep away from violence after the party suffered brutal electoral losses in last Lok Sabha polls due to political violence that took place during Panchayat Election 2018. Incidentally, both Bengal Police and Bengal Special Task Force (STF) have arrested a number of people having allegiance to the ruling party for being involved in the blasts and clashes. This has largely prompted Oppositions to claim that Bengal is “on a bed of bombs and arms”. However, senior cabinet minister Firhad Hakim countered stating the Union Government has eased inter-state border vigilance so that arms could be smuggled into the state to create anarchy. According to political analysts, the panchayats of Bengal have emerged as the epicenter of political violence as they provide critical opening for the parties to strengthen their hold over nearly every aspect of rural society besides the dominance and political influence to the grassroots.
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Saraswat Bank Signs MoU With GCSE To Offer Concessional Loans To Saraswat Entrepreneurs

To a cheering audience at the recently held 3rd Annual Conclave of Global Chamber of Saraswats Entrepreneurs and Professionals(GCSE) in Goa, Chairman of Saraswat Bank Gautam Thakur announced a lucrative and special loan scheme to support young Saraswat entrepreneurs. Honouring his commitment, Saraswat Bank’s top brass signed a Memorandum of Understanding with GCSE on November 17.  Saraswat Bank has initiated an exclusive scheme Loan For Entrepreneurs And Professionals (LEAP) that would provide loans/ OD facility for first generation entrepreneurs from the Saraswat Community at a concessional rate of interest. Founder Director of GCSE Siddharth Sinkar, said, “Not only will LEAP boost the morale of the existing young first generation entrepreneurs for scaling up their businesses. This will also promote the entrepreneurial drive amongst the Saraswat minds.” This facility will be offered only to members of Saraswat Chamber. While GCSE would do the basic due diligence of applications routed through them, the final decision to grant loan will rest with the bank.
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Clash Of Kollywood Titans: Vijay Draws First Blood With ‘Varisu’ Song Ranjithame Getting 5.5 Crore Hits

2023 Pongal will see one of the most anticipated clashes of the Kollywood Titans, Vijay and Ajit when their films, Varisu and Thunivu are to be released simultaneously. Cinephiles of these two super heroes are waiting to clash, to establish the box office draw of their heroes. Tamil Nadu witnesses an opening day craze that’s like no other in terms of fan hysteria and foot stomping action. For instance, Rajini fans do a milk abhishekam on larger than life cut-outs. Vijay just amps up such maniacal following with his hit song Ranjithame which cornered 5.5 crore hits in a fortnight. Apart from his super dancing skills (Rahul Gandhi is a self-confessed fan of Vijay’s dance moves), this action hero is a crooner too, trained by his mother Shobha. In his 28 years Vijay has belted out many hit songs. His very first film song, “Bombay city, Sukha roti” was an instant hit. Dirty dancing his way to woo Rashmika Mandanna, Vijay belting out Ranjithame Ranjithame is on his way to launch yet another Kollywood anthem. Vijay’s voice, the double entendre lyrics are mere foils. It is sexy Rash who rivets as she transforms into Ranjithame. From that Sami Sami song of Pushpa fame, Rash has zoomed up to pan India popularity. Kollywood sure aces in cinematic masala for a rush of testosterone.
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Dharavi Redevelopment On The Horizon, May Take 7 Years To Complete

The ambitious Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP) appears to be finally taking off after official procrastination of over three decades to launch it. The estimated time to complete the massive scheme is around seven years. Bids for DRP have been submitted by three giants – DLF, Adani and Naman. This was in response to a tender published by the state government on October 1. Soon, the technical bids will be examined. The next step will be to open financial bids. Officials feel that it will be possible to wrap up the bidding process by the end 2022. Actual working on the project can start early next year. According to previous projections, the DRP would have cost around Rs.23000 crore. However, now the picture will be clear only after financial quotations are examined. The DRP’s highlight is rehabilitation of nearly 68,000 families by offering each a minimum of 400 sq ft apartment. In return, the developer will be able to exploit 4 FSI on the land mass admeasuring almost 210 hectares. DRP was originally conceived nearly 30 years ago. It was revised in 2004. Its focus remains resettling about 68,000 families and a large number of commercial establishments already existing for decades. Dharavi is planned to be redeveloped as a counter to the sprawling Bandra Kurla Complex that is almost saturated. Dharavi can pour billions in government coffers if the project is implemented professionally, officials feel.
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Gautam Adani Has Seen It All: Kidnapping, 26/11 Terrorist Attack, Business Crises

Gautam Adani’s story would make for a good Netflix series like Succession. India’s business tycoon Adani is numero uno on all parameters. What makes Adani different and what are his success mantras is well captured by the veteran journalist RN Bhaskar in his book Gautam Adani: Reimagining Business In India And The World. Bhaskar who has been tracking Adanis since 2007 has brought to light information that not many know. Bhaskar writes, “In many ways Gautambhai is destiny’s child. He has escaped accidents, major trading crises and even terrorist attacks (26/11). For instance, in January 1998, much before he became a big industrialist, Gautambhai and Shantilal Patel, an associate, were kidnapped. Adani and Shantilal Patel were abducted at gunpoint after they left Karnavati Club in a car and headed for Mohammadpura Road in Ahmedabad. A scooter reportedly forced the car to stop, and then a group of men came in a van and abducted both men. They were taken to an unknown place in a car before being released, the police chargesheet said.”  The case was finally closed after 20 years when an Ahmedabad court in November 2018 acquitted the two main accused – Fazl-ur-Rehman alias Fazlu and Bhogilal Darji alia Mama. Reason for their acquittal was because Adani refused to press charges. “One reason for not pressing charges could be that a large ransom was paid, estimated at $1.5 mn,” says the author.

With Pressure Mounting Rahul Avoids Savarkar Topic, Still Roasted By ‘Saamana’

Although Congress leader Rahul Gandhi refrained from saying a word against Veer Savarkar in his public rally at Shegaon in Vidarbha Friday evening, the Shiv Sena (Uddhav) has taken him to task for raking up ‘irrelevant and avoidable’ issues. In the same breath, it has reiterated its reverence for Savarkar, Pandit Nehru, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Sardar Patel. Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ in its editorial has lamented that even though Rahul’s Bharat Jodo yatra had been evoking huge public response, the march took an undesirable turn due to Rahul’s tirade against Savarkar. Why Rahul and the Congress repeatedly speak against Savarkar is beyond comprehension, the edit has wondered. “Rahul has caused embarrassment for even Congress people in Maharashtra by his uncalled for comments,” it said. Savarkar’s grandson Ranjit had yesterday passed some snide comments against Pandit Nehru at his media conference. Disapproving them, the editorial opined that all freedom fighters had made sacrifices for the country’s independence; hence it is unfair to speak against them. Savarkar was, in fact, the apogee of Indian freedom fighters, it stated.  After Rahul’s remarks against Savarkar, widespread protests had erupted all over the state. To avoid further aggravation, Rahul avoided any reference to Savarkar. Instead, he focused his attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In his well-attended rally, Rahul alleged that the Modi government had abandoned farmers’ interests and was working for select capitalists. The yatra is scheduled to enter Madhya Pradesh tomorrow.
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Brazil Once Again The Favourite To Win "The Beautiful Game's” FIFA World Cup!

Qatar22 FIFA World Cup is almost upon us with the host nation — hoping to progress to the Group of 16 (second stage) — all set to challenge Ecuador, the fourth smallest nation in South America in the inaugural match on Sunday (Nov 20). Easily one of the greatest sports spectacle in the world ever since it was founded in 1930, the sport of football — that earned the sobriquet” The Beautiful Game” and was popularised by the greatest ever player — Brazilian Pele — has a mass appeal nonpareil. The Arab world’s first World Cup will be FIFA’s 22nd and the title has been won by Brazil five times, Germany and Italy four times each, Argentina, France and Uruguay two times each and England and Spain once each. As usual Brazil is the strong favourite to win the title and give Neymar his first World Cup, followed by Argentina which hopes to win the Cup and decorate Lionel Messi’s illustrious career. Cristiano Ronaldo will take the centre stage once again but his team Portugal is not as fancied as Brazil and Argentina or even Germany, England and France, the winner of the title four years ago in Russia. The Italians will be missed, but 32 qualifiers in eight groups will portray their brand of football to the millions watching the matches at the venues and on the small screen.
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Veer Savarkar League

Descendants Of Mahatma, Nehru And Savarkar Clash, Opposition Unity In Maharashtra In Peril

Great-grandsons of Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru and a grandson of Veer Savarkar are at the centrestage of a controversy that can imperil opposition unity in Maharashtra. At the same time, Hindutva sympathizers are consolidating to repulse the criticism of their icon. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, while reiterating his organisation’s reverence for Savarkar, has warned those attacking Savarkar and questioning his patriotism. Raut said, “We highly respect Savarkar. Our leader Uddhav Thackeray has already made this clear. Hence, we are not on the same page with the Congress party.” Very soon, Raut was contacted by Congress spokesman Jairam Ramesh, who adopted a conciliatory tone. He said differences on some core issues existed before the formation of Maha Vikas Aghadi and some still exist. However, the three parties had come together for the same objective, which is still relevant. Ramesh told the media that MVA was and would remain intact. Reviving the issue, Mahatma Gandhi’s great-grandson Tushar endorsed the criticism leveled by Rahul Gandhi. He said historical evidence was available to prove that Rahul’s statements were factual.To counter, Savarkar’s grandson Ranjit has dug out some of Mahatma Gandhi’s letters to the British government. At one place, a letter ends with a respectful salutation.  ‘’But we know that it was the protocol of those days. We won’t misinterpret such use of words,” Ranjit has said.

PM’s Favourite Officer Gets Another Year-Long Extension In Enforcement Directorate

Who is the Prime Minister’s most favourite officer? Well, after getting yet another year-long extension on November 17, Enforcement Directorate (ED) chief Sanjay Kumar Mishra will now have a longer term than the senior most bureaucrat in the country, the cabinet secretary. Mishra, an Indian Revenue Service officer, will now enter his fifth year as the ED director while the maximum term that any cabinet secretary has had so far is four years. Mishra was appointed the ED chief in 2018 and the latest order says he will continue in his chair till November 18, 2023. A number of sensitive and high-profile probes, especially against various opposition leaders, are being led by the ED presently and the move is hence expected to attract swipes from the opposition parties. The government had last year brought in an ordinance to enable itself to give a five-year term to the ED and CBI chiefs, up from two years. The government had argued before the Supreme Court, where the move was challenged, that the tenure of the ED chief had been earlier extended “in public interest” as various cases being probed by the agency were at a crucial juncture and continuity of officers means proper and expeditious disposal of cases. The ED is investigating cases against Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, TMC leaders in West Bengal, AAP minister Satyendar Jain, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut and Congress leaders including Gandhi family.

Ex-IAS Is Bengal’s New Governor, Mamata Tells Amit Shah She Was Not Consulted

When Union Home Minister Amit Shah called up West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to inform her about the appointment of Dr CV Ananda Bose as the new Governor for her state she apparently told him that he had not consulted her before taking a decision but was only routinely informing her. The HM retorted that “consultation with states did not require consent”. Speaking in a lighter vein, he assured her that she would perhaps have better equations with the new governor than may be even Meghalaya Governor La Ganesan who had temporarily held the charge after Jagdeep Dhankar was elevated as Vice President. Bose, the 1977 batch IAS officer, recalled his emotional relationship with the state; his first job as bank officer was in Kolkata. Although from Kerala, he was named Bose by his father, who was a freedom fighter, apparently after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Bose joined the BJP before the 2019 general elections. During the Covid pandemic, Bose was asked by the Union Labour Ministry to prepare an action plan for the welfare of migrant workers. He was Principal Secretary to the late Congress veteran K Karunakaran during his term as Kerala Chief Minister. He was District Collector of Quilon district (Kollam). Born in Mannanam, Kottayam district, Bose has penned over 40 books in English, Hindi and Malayalam.
Steve Smith

“I’m Back, Baby” Says Steve Smith After Giving Up The Fidgety Shuffle

The quirkiest of techniques in a big walk across the stumps will not be seen anymore at the batting crease. Steve Smith, who made batting seem almost comical in his big shuffle and his mannerisms like tugging at his pads and gloves, has transformed into a still, almost statue-like approach to facing the cricket ball. He is so confident now about his reformed batting technique that he was heard telling his partner David Warner – “I’m back, baby”. Once the world’s top rated Test batsman who defied the fastest of bowlers while walking across his stumps to play them, Smith found himself less wanted in the white ball game. He was almost an anachronism in the T20 game because he was wedded to the old-fashioned technique of playing in the V. His innings in his new style against the white ball world champions England was significant. “I’m actually using the middle of the bat for once. I’m just standing a lot stiller, not moving as much. I feel good at the moment,” he told the commentary team on the mike during a break for drinks. Even more classical now at the crease, Smith is looking forward to making runs again. Maybe, his batting clone Marnus Labuschagne, will also give up the copycat gestures soon.
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Can Ranveer, Rohit Break The Box Office Jinx This Christmas?

The billion rupee question everybody in Bollywood is asking: Can Ranveer Singh and Rohit Shetty recreate the magic at the box office this Christmas? Forty-eight year old director-producer-TV host Rohit Shetty is one of the most successful filmmakers who has had a 90% success ratio at the box office with his movies like Singham and Golmaal series. But this Christmas he returns with a period comedy that is reportedly inspired from the 1982 comedy movie Angoor directed by Gulzar starring Sanjeev Kumar and Deven Varma. But, Rohit denies it. One of the highest paid stars, 37-year old Ranveer Singh has been signed for Cirkus. It may be recalled Ranveer Singh’s Jayesh Bhai Jordaar was a disaster and the trade is a little sceptical about him currently, but has full faith in Shetty who seems to have a Midas touch. Those in the trade say that all said and done Cirkus and YRF’s Pathaan starring Shah Rukh Khan are two films that the exhibitors and the entire trade is banking on and hoping that these two films will revive Bollywood. A trade pundit said that both the films come with a good mix of star power and entertainment value and SRK and Ranveer Singh are the last of the superstars the film industry has and there may not be another after them.
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Widespread Protests In Maharashtra As Rahul Repeats Remarks Against Veer Savarkar

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra will face an acid test on Friday due to reiteration of his caustic remarks against Hindutva icon Veer Savarkar as workers of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) have been directed to protest by remaining present at his rally at Shegaon in Buldhana district. In Mumbai, the freedom fighter’s grandson Ranjit Savarkar has demanded arrest of the former Congress president, who has dared anyone to stop his long march in the state. Chief minister Eknath Shinde’s supporter MP Rahul Shewale had demanded that the yatra should be stopped. Enraged by Rahul’s statements against Savarkar who is held in great esteem by MNS, party chief Raj Thackeray has directed his workers to reach Shegaon to protest. Maharashtra BJP, too, has condemned Rahul for his comments. Rahul’s diatribe against Veer Savarkar, meanwhile, has evoked widespread protests across the state. Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray, too, has expressed displeasure about the remarks amidst media reports that he will not participate in the yatra for which he and NCP president Sharad Pawar have been specially invited to join at Shegaon, a famous pilgrimage town in Vidarbha. Rahul is scheduled to address a public meeting there tomorrow. Uddhav’s son Aaditya had embraced Rahul during the yatra a couple of days ago, generating large scale criticism for cozying up with a ‘Hindutva critic.’
G 20

PM Modi Seals His Ties With G-20 With Special Gifts From India For Every World Leader

Many of us may have noticed world leaders turning on warmth and bonhomie while greeting PM Narendra Modi. Be it French President Emmanuel Macron giving a friendly tap to our PM on his shoulders as he walked in or US President Joe Biden acknowledging him, it just showed the bond world leaders have been sharing with Modi. On his part, Modi also seemed to be making an effort to seal his ties with every leader. He had special gifts for each one of them showcasing India’s culture and arts. Like he gifted a Kangra miniature painting portraying ‘Shringar Rasa’ to the US President. The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak received Mata Ni Pachedi, a sacred textile piece made by nomadic communities in Gujarat. While the head of state from Italy got the Patan Patola Dupatta packed in a ‘Sadeli’ box, which in itself is a decorative piece of woodcraft native to Surat. The Patan Patola textile woven by the Salvi family in Patan area of Northern Gujarat is so well crafted that it becomes a feast of colours, with the front and the reverse being indistinguishable. Leaders from France, Germany and Singapore received Agate bowls from Kutch which are supposed to have healing powers. Modi gifted a tribal art piece, Pithora paintings, to his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese. As for the host country, Modi gifted Indonesia a silver bowl from Gujarat and a Kinnauri shawl from Himachal.

Can BJD Put Dhamnagar Defeat Behind To Win Padampur By-Election?

The mood at BJP Odisha HQ is upbeat after winning the recently held Dhamnagar by-election. The party is hoping to repeat the feat in the Padampur by-election to be held on December 5. Smarting under the defeat Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal is also taking no chances. It plans to replicate BJP’s sympathy wave strategy in Padampur with the hope of securing women and youth votes. BJD is fielding 29-year old highly qualified Barsha Singh Bariha, elder daughter of the late BJD MLA Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha. Besides, to woo voters BJD has promised to accord district status to Padampur by carving it out of Bargarh district. The BJD government has already announced a slew of projects worth Rs 488 crore for Padampur before election dates were announced which shows its thorough preparedness. It has also inducted politician Raju Ghibela into its fold as he had earlier polled 2% of total vote in the last election as an Independent candidate. If Barsha wins, BJD will make history. This is because Padampur has a history of not voting the same party for two successive terms. BJD had won Padampur seat in 2000, 2009 and 2019 while BJP’s Pradip Purohit lost by a margin of 5,734 votes last time, while Congress finished third. Looks like BJD is determined to rewrite history at Padampur. All eyes on December 8 results.
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Odisha’s IISER Appoints “Geek Gayak” Sandeep Ranade As Visiting Scientist

The prestigious Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Berhampur, Odisha has appointed Sandeep Ranade popularly known as “Geek Gayak” as a visiting scientist. Ranade probably is the first non-PhD scholar to be appointed to this post. He is expected to inspire students to do research in different areas of music. Pune-based Ranade, a software engineer, became globally popular after he won the Apple Designer of the Year Award 2021 for his App –NadSadhana. According to developers at Apple, “NaadSadhana is the sort of future-world app that could only be created by someone with an extremely specialized, almost-impossible skill set. Sandeep Ranade was that someone.” Ranade began singing from the age of four and by the 11th grade he had developed a great liking for vocal music. He has a masters from Johns Hopkins, two decades of tech-world experience, and a thriving career as a Hindustani classical vocalist. He returned to India to pursue both technology and music. He gave the app a test run by recording “Na Corona Karo,” a song about taking precautions against Covid-19 that went viral in social media after it was shared by AR Rahman and others. Ranade says his App is fully based on AI, and is trained not to adjust to the complexities of each instrument, but to the mix of the orchestra and the mood of the singer.
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Will TMC Minister’s Remark Against President Murmu Affect Didi’s Tribal Votes?

West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee is on a two-day tour to the two most tribal-dominated districts of Jhargram and West Midnapore amid off-the-cuff remarks by one of her ministers regarding President Droupadi Murmu. The tour also holds significance, with an increase in Maoist activities and considerable hold of the BJP in this area. Didi first conducted administrative review meetings in West Midnapore and Jhargram, followed by a political rally at Midnapore College grounds. She also met the leaders and functionaries to brief them ahead of the rural polls. Incidentally, there is a potential electoral impact since tribal voters account for about 5.8% of Bengal’s total population and in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won five of the eight tribal-dominated seats across the districts of Bankura, Purulia, Jhargram, West Midnapore and Birbhum, popularly called Junglemahal. However, Didi recovered her lost ground by winning 28 of the 54 tribal-dominated seats in south Bengal which includes four Assembly seats in Jhargram and 13 of 15 constituencies in West Midnapore in 2021. According to party insiders, Mamata is worried about the reports of infighting in Jhargram between her tribal MLA Dulal Murmu and a strongman of the district leadership, Ujjal Dutta. She is also worried about the absence of her most trusted lieutenant Anubrata Mondal, who was also looking after the party functioning in West Midnapore, besides Birbhum.
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Thackeray Family Members Adorn Banner Outside Matoshri, Trick To Activate Party Machine

A huge banner has been installed outside Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray’s residence, ‘Matoshri’ in Bandra East at his own behest. It displays pictures of Balasaheb, Meenaatai, Uddhav himself and Aaditya Thackeray. The 70 feet long and 8 feet broad banner has been put up “to prevent defacing of the area outside Matoshri.” The banner also informs the visitors that it has been arranged by the Sena’s Bandra (East) unit following directions of Uddhav. An ace photographer, Uddhav was unhappy since the area outside his residence was used by various Sena leaders on different occasions like birthdays and anniversaries to display their own images and hoardings. This banner will be a permanent fixture so as to protect the frontage of ‘Matoshri,’ which is regarded like a holy place by Shiv Sainiks. The Sena’s new name, ‘Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray)’ and its election symbol ‘Torch’ have been inscribed prominently on the banner. The imposing artwork has been viewed as a new initiative by the Uddhav Sena to instill fresh confidence in the rank and file to rejuvenate it for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections though their date is to be announced. Party leaders are in upbeat mood after the unilateral victory of its candidate Rutuja Latke in Andheri (East) assembly by-election last month though they feel the party machine needs to be kept active one way or the other.

Congress In A Cleft Stick On EWS Quota; Could Hurt Its Support Base Among Jats, Lingayats & Marathas

When the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of the Modi Government’s decision to implement 10% reservation in jobs and higher educational institutions for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in the general category, the Congress initially welcomed the court’s ruling. The party even claimed credit for implementation of the reservation meant for the poor among general category people. The 10% quota, based on economic status, excludes the SCs, STs and the OBC, who already have 49.5% seats reserved for them in government jobs and higher education. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said the amendment was the result of a process initiated in 2005-06 by the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government. The government had appointed a three-member commission, headed by Major General (Retd) SR Sinho which submitted its report in July 2010. Both the Congress and Modi government have cited the Sinho Commission report as the basis for the legislation. Now, it seems the initial enthusiasm for the EWS quota of the Congress has waned and the party is caught in a cleft stick. That is because the DMK is in no mood to implement EWS quota as Tamil Nadu is already providing 69% reservation. The DMK is stoking anti-Brahmin sentiment over EWS. Interestingly, the Congress manifesto for the 2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections had taken a different stand. Any anti- EWS stand by the Congress could ultimately hurt its Jat, Lingayat and Maratha support base.

After Humiliating Defeat In T20 World Cup Will BCCI & Selection Committee Go For The Jugular?

Will heads roll following the Men in Blue team’s inept display against England in the semi-finals of the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia? Not just going down to the Jos Buttler-led team, but beaten hollow defending a competitive total of 168 was most disappointing, which mirrored the inability of the bowling department to rise above the commonplace. The discerning were quite appalled at the team’s think tank for ignoring the claims of leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal right across the tournament. Rishabh Pant and Chahal ought to have been given permanency on the back of Pant’s run-getting ability on Australian pitches and the potential of Chahal in the big grounds. The BCCI whose president now is Roger Binny and the selection committee must look for ways to cause a big churn in the composition of the white ball teams. Hardik Pandya has to be the front-runner to take over as Twenty20 captain. Perhaps also the one day format should his back does not flare up.  The team needs to come out of the stereotype. The choices are limited; Pant has been named the vice-captain of the white ball teams and he could be given a run before next year’s World Cup in India. The BCCI is not known for knee jerk reactions… but fresh ideas are the need of the hour.
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EPS Determined To Keep Door Shut On OPS, Sasikala

Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) is determined to fork out on his own path if the BJP pushes him too hard to take back OPS and Sasikala to make a united AIADMK. If push comes to shove, EPS will not hesitate to break the alliance with the BJP provided he is secure in the legal status quo of his heading the party with the Two Leaves symbol and the Lloyds Road HQ. The local BJP chief K Annamalai asserted recently that the BJP-AIADMK alliance is intact and that the AIADMK lead by EPS will lead that alliance into the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The national leadership seems, however, to favour a united AIADMK party along with the two politicians who are right now out in the cold – OPS and Sasikala. OPS made a show of going out to meet Amit Shah at the India Cements diamond jubilee celebrations but all he got was a perfunctory greeting from the Home Minister who later went into a huddle with his own party men in Chennai rather than invite allies over. The Prime Minister was in Tamil Nadu too but on a schedule in four states in two days too busy to pay much attention to Tamil Nadu politics.

When Biryani Robbed Tamil Nadu Minister Of His Audience

Our voters are very clear about what they want, when they want. This single-minded focus makes mincemeat chunks out of the best laid plans of er…mice and men. Take the case of Tamil Nadu’s Revenue Minister KKSSR Ramachandran and his well-planned address to his constituency in a marriage hall at Tenkasi’s Alangulam, clutching his eloquently prepared keynote address, intended to delight his eager audience. DMK District Secretary, Siva Padmanabhan, wanting to please his boss and other DMK functionaries, announced, “We want to celebrate our election victory. Our generous Presidium chairman has arranged a sumptuous non-vegetarian feast, cooked with 22 goats and many chickens for you, our cadres”. Good intentions can go horribly wrong when hit by bad timing. No sooner had he said non-veg biryani the crowd deserted the hall and ran towards the dining hall, drawn by the irresistible Biryani aroma. A stricken Ramachandran was heard extorting the crowd “Friends, please remain seated. The Biriyani will be there for later “. He looked crestfallen as the audience was in no mood for speech. Reality hurts. Ramachandran learnt his lesson – the best way to a voter’s heart is the stomach but timing is very important.

Dimple Yadav filing her nomination

UP By-Elections Will Test Akhilesh Yadav's Leadership Qualities After Mulayam's Exit

A series of by-elections in Uttar Pradesh on December 5 will put to test the mettle of Samajwadi Party leadership of Akhilesh Yadav after his father Mulayam Singh Yadav’s death. More so as he has chosen to field his wife Dimple from the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat, a constituency that has traditionally backed the party patriarch. Dimple, who lost the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Kannauj, was hoping to ride on the sympathy wave in Mainpuri. Apparently, it is not going to be a cake walk for her as Akhilesh has not managed to secure a truce with his uncle Shivpal Yadav. Of the five assembly constituencies under the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat, two of the five seats are currently held by Akhilesh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav as MLAs. However it is significant that the BJP has fielded Raghuraj Singh Shakya, a former MP and someone close to Shivpal Yadav, as its candidate. Shakya joined the BJP earlier this year after quitting Shivpal Yadav’s Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party. With tacit support of Shivpal Yadav, the BJP is hoping to breach this Yadav bastion. BJP is also hoping to pick up the Rampur assembly seat that fell vacant after SP MLA Azam Khan was convicted by an MP-MLA court in a 2019 hate speech case.
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Eknath Shinde, Follower MLAs, To Revisit Kamakhya Temple To Fulfill Vow

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde and all his supporter MLAs who left the Uddhav Shiv Sena under his leadership are planning a pilgrimage to Guwahati to fulfill their earlier vow before Goddess Kamakhya to return to bow before her once they had formed a government. Although it is said that the visit will be taking place on November 20 or 21, Shinde himself is yet to announce the exact date. However, preparations are underway to schedule Shinde’s courtesy calls on Assam’s political elite, including the state governor and the chief minister. Shinde and the supporters had been camping in a Guwahati hotel earlier this year to ensure that the government led by Uddhav Thackeray along with the Congress and the NCP crumbled down after the Sena’s split. They returned to Mumbai only after all the fine details were worked out with the BJP to install him as chief minister. During their Guwahati sojourn in June-July this year, several well-wishers had made their stay comfortable. The Guwahati trip will be undertaken to propitiate the Goddess and thank all those who helped, according to Shinde camp leaders. A highlight of Shinde’s temple visit will be to perform a special type of pooja, which he had done in the earlier stay as well.

In Tamil Nadu, Battle For The Ballot Will Be Over Dravidam Vs Hindutva

November 11 saw intense VIP presence in Tamil Nadu as both the PM and HM descended on this political beehive. Overtly, the PM continues his inaugural optics series; first, in Karnataka for a stunning new airport terminal, and a Vandhe Bharat train to link Karnataka and TN with superfast speed, and presiding over the Dindigul-based Mahatma Gandhi University Convocation in Gandhi cap. The TN leg was more covert than overt, as it saw high voltage political confabulations among the BJP top brass and other functionaries. Is K Annamalai the handpicked Desert Fox, Rommel to implement the BJP’ pincer movement in TN? The secret sketch of BJP to capture at least 8 seats, target 25 in the 2024 general election. Amit Shah is as much Annamalai’s political muse as the PM, and the see, talk, plan strategy is implemented, in military style. Take the pivotal booth committees, Annamalai is to constitute 67,000 such frontline grassroots units to ensure votes for BJP. Even the constitution of such committees is laid down formally — members from SC, ST, women and youth are a must, and at least 5 ideologically vocal members who can influence with their eloquence. To stave off any rebel challenge, Annamalai has already announced that the alliance with AIADMK will stay. 2024 is definitely Dravidam Vs Hindutva. The pincer is all laid out. Charge as planned, strike on all fronts.
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Back With A Bang At 68, Superstar Kamal Haasan Is Giving Younger Stars A Run For Their Life

He is popularly known as the Alwarpet Aandavar in Kollywood lingo — the God of Alwarpet. One is not sure of his divine provenance. But his enduring charisma and box office draw is never in question, a contemporary of the other superstar, Rajini. Kamal Haasan recently celebrated his 68th birthday. The whispers that buzzed around him, “OMG, 68? This guy has luck tucked into him in every way. Even age falls flat “. This film icon has dabbled in many fields with his abundant talent — acting, singing, Bharat Natyam dance, script writing, politics, opinion maker and now businessman. Oh, and still had time for extramarital dalliance, never a reputation impediment for Kamal, but only added macho and magnetism for his huge fan following which applauds and approves his lifestyle. Kamal, the multifaceted artist also has a knack of keeping his various personas, distinct, one not intruding or intervening on the others.  Of late he is focused on his Khadi Fashion Apparel business in the U.S., and the Internet is rocking with pictures of his youthful models, Kamal leaning on them, literally. How many 68‘s look so youthful, clued in on contemporary fashion? After a bad patch in politics, the Kamal of Devar Magan, the Nayakan of Mani Rathnam, the unforgettable Michael Madana Kamaraj and now Vikram, the super hit hero is back with a bang.
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Repatriated SBI UK Head Sharad Chandak Tipped To Be Dy MD

State Bank of India’s Sharad Chandak, Head of UK Region and also the Head of its subsidiary SBI UK has been transferred back to India. Chandak, an old guard at the bank, is currently Chief General Manager in SBI India hierarchy and is likely to be promoted to the Deputy Managing Director’s post of the bank and stationed in Delhi. Talking to Chandak says despite Covid and other odds faced by various banks and businesses at large in the UK, the SBI subsidiary succeeded in giving the parent SBI a dividend of 2.5%. With an Open Banking platform for non-customers of the bank the YoNo App that was launched during his tenure expanded remittance operations to Nepal and soon Sri Lanka operations will commence. To have a wider outreach to areas where bank’s branches do not exist, Chandak with his team has drawn up plans to start “Kiosk banking.” These kiosks are likely to be opened where the footfall is high like the malls. In 2023 Chandak said SBI UK will launch a development finance product that will offer financial support to those in the real estate sector. Sudhir Sharma, CEO (designate) will move into Chandak’s seat. Sanjay Pandey, currently Executive Director and Deputy CEO in the UK also returns to India and his colleague Varsha Bhat who is in the UK will take charge.
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Jitendra Awhad Threatens To Resign His Assembly Seat, NCP Furious

Controversial NCP leader Jitendra Awhad’s announcement to resign his membership of the legislative assembly to protest against police atrocities has created a political storm in Maharashtra as the former minister has dragged chief minister Eknath Shinde into the whole affair. Awhad has announced his intent as Thane police have filed a second case against Awhad within 72 hours. The case pertains to a BJP woman worker’s complaint that he had pushed and molested her in a crowd that had gathered in Thane during Shinde’s visit on Sunday (Nov 13). Awhad is already out on bail in a case when his supporters assaulted a cinegoer in his presence a couple of days ago in regard to some debatable references to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in a Marathi movie. According to the complaint filed by the aggrieved, he had gone to watch the movie with his wife. When Awhad and his supporters stormed the theatre and stopped the screening, the cinegoer demanded a refund of his ticket money. It was at this juncture that he was roughed up. He has alleged that this happened in Awhad’s presence. The NCP has condemned the police action and warned that the level of politicking in the state had been deteriorating day by day. Maharashtra NCP president Jayant Patil has declared that he will try to convince Awhad not to take the extreme political step.
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Sooraj Barjatya Is Always Grounded Despite His 'Unnchai'

Rajshri’s high profile star cast movie Unnchai released with a slow start but saw a jump on the second day of its release. Sooraj Barjatya, the filmmaker who is known to make family films has this time returned with a film that is outside his comfort zone but has the underline thread of friendship Rajshri style. Those in the trade would not like to criticize Barjatya’s film but those who have watched say it is not an extraordinary story. Yes, his name gives them a reason to not run it down and this has translated into a cash register ringing. A visit to Barjatya’s office, Rajshri which is India’s leading film, TV, music and digital studio set up in 1947, gives you the feeling that cinema is still alive and their functioning reminds us of the Indian values. All what he shows in his films is from families around him. For him to show the stars drinking in a song was full of reluctance. He is a gentleman director of the film industry who never raises voice or gets upset with any actors or people around him. Only once he lost his cool by his own admission with Abhishek Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor. He is humility personified. Nobody likes to hurt him.  Salman Khan is one of his best friends and looks like he will return in his film as Prem very soon.
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Rahul To Take Yatra Break For Gujarat Poll Campaign, May Skip Parliament Session

There is speculation whether Rahul Gandhi who is busy with Bharat Jodo Yatra would be attending the winter session of Parliament in December. The session is expected to be held soon after Gujarat and Himachal assembly results are out on December 8. As such he has kept himself away from the election campaign in Himachal because of yatra. So did the incumbent AICC chief Mallikarjun Kharge. However even as the yatra is now moving northwards, Rahul has not included poll-bound Gujarat– in his route map. Incidentally, Gujarat was a state, he had extensively campaigned in 2017 and had got good results. This time his yatra has decided against entering Gujarat; may be as late political secretary Ahmed Patel is no longer around. So he has chosen to spend some time in Rajasthan and will be visiting Bulandshahr in western UP before reaching J&K via Delhi. It is now being said that the Wayanad MP will spend a day campaigning in Gujarat on November 22 — the state goes to polls in two phases on December 1 and 5.  After this Rahul may most likely skip the winter session as he  would not like to be seen taking any break from the 3,500 km long foot march from Kayakumari to Kashmir Yatra.
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Amish Tripathi Bags Additional Portfolio Of Education At Indian High Commission UK

Celebrated author, writer and bureaucrat and currently Director, Nehru Centre in London, Amish Tripathi (48) has obtained a two year extension to serve in London. In addition to his current posts as Director, Nehru Centre Amish has been offered an additional portfolio — Education. With this he is now Minister (Culture & Education), High Commission of India. This move reflects on him as a powerful Indian bureaucrat as extensions are very seldom rather unprecedented and happen in very special cases. Amish says, “My team and I will manage all interactions with the British Education ministry, universities here in the UK and actively support Indian students here.” Following a memorandum of understanding struck on July 21, 2022 that is a part of the UK-India Enhanced Trade Partnership by the UK and India to recognise each other’s higher education qualifications, Universities in the UK expect a surge in applications from Indian students. In 2020-21 the UK attracted 84,555 Indian students, with 73% coming for masters courses mostly of one year’s duration. In the year ended March 2022, as many as 107,978 Indian students were issued study visas to the UK, marking a significant rise of 93% compared to the same period before that. The UK government had indicated in 2019 that it was going to reintroduce the post-study work visa route for international students graduating from July 1, 2021 resulted in a massive boost in student numbers.

India Cements Platinum Jubilee Celebrations Connect Business, Politics And Cricket

In a land where cricket has a mass appeal, it is little wonder that the game has become a connector par excellence. Well, the platinum jubilee celebrations of The India Cements Ltd (ICL) held on November 12 in Chennai saw the Union Home Minister Amit Shah grace the occasion as chief guest. N Srinivasan, vice-chairman & MD of ICL, and Amit Shah have something in common between them. Shah was heading the Gujarat Cricket Association once upon a time. Srinivasan has been a cricket administrator for a very long time – both at the state as well national level. Shah recalled their sports connection and indicated that their relationship required no thanks between them.  Shah’s rare presence at a corporate function threw a surprise of a different sort also. Former Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, O Panneerselvam was seated on the front row! Is this a signal BJP will go along with AIADMK to fight 2024 general elections? Interestingly, Tamil Chief Minister MK Stalin who is very close to Srini stayed out and instead deputed his Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu to attend the function. And of course CSK Captain MS Dhoni was also seen hobnobbing with Amit Shah. If optics matter, there is enough to ponder over for everybody.
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Despite Hectic Poll Season, Amit Shah Doesn't Take His Eyes Off MHA

Union Home Minister Amit Shah inarguably remains the best election strategist and untiring campaigner for the BJP. With Himachal and Gujarat elections on his plate, one must give it to him that he makes it a point not to ignore his ministerial responsibilities as advised by PM Narendra Modi. He held as many as six rallies in Himachal. Even then he was recently seen holding a six-hour-long meeting in Delhi on how to further strengthen the process of information sharing and enhancing liaison between counter-terrorism and anti-drug agencies of the states, MHA officials were stuck in awe. The meeting started at 11 am and continued till 5pm. Shah chaired a high level meeting of Intelligence Bureau (IB) officers from across the country and reviewed the internal security situation of the country. The meeting held extensive discussions on various issues related to national security. At the meeting, Shah underlined the government’s commitment to ensure the country’s security and lauded the IB for its “very important contribution in maintaining peace in the country since Independence, anonymously without any expectations.” “Our fight is against terrorism as well as its support system; till we do not fight strictly against both of them, victory over terrorism cannot be achieved,” he said. He called for the need to control the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) by dismantling its financial and logistical support system.

Nirmala Sitharaman To Visit Baramati Again, Will Ajit Pawar Pose A Rider?

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman is due to tour the prestigious Baramati Lok Sabha constituency soon, as part of the BJP’s mission ‘B for Baramati.’ She had visited Baramati in August this year. The BJP has decided to keep 16 LS constituencies in the state on its radar.  All out efforts will be made to win them in 2024. While most are from the earlier Shiv Sena quota, NCP leader Sharad Pawar’s home constituency Baramati will be the focal point of this mission. Union minister of state Pralhad Singh Patel has been camping in Baramati to prepare for Nirmala’s visit, which is being finalised. Maharashtra with its 48 LS constituencies is the second largest electoral slice after Uttar Pradesh. As the BJP feels that it has little scope in expanding its winning spree in UP and Gujarat, it has decided to concentrate more on Maharashtra. Although the LS election is two years away, BJP leaders have decided to begin preparations well in advance. The electoral scenario in Baramati is expected to change in the days to come owing to Ajit Pawar’s intriguing moves over the past month. Though he has discounted all rumours of his parting ways with the NCP, the friendship between him and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is considered a decisive factor in future permutations and combinations. At present, all concerned have kept their fingers crossed.
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PM Modi's Outreach In The South, Connects With Masses Lined Up To See His Cavalcade

With a focus on the South, PM Narendra Modi has in the past two days been reaching out to people in the four states inaugurating a slew of infra projects. In a marked departure, he was seen connecting with the masses who had lined up to see his cavalcade whether it was in Dindigul in Tamil Nadu or in Bengaluru in Karnataka. In fact, there was a huge crowd to welcome Modi despite the rains in Madurai. People had turned out in large numbers to greet the PM in Visakhapatnam on November 12. While in Visakhapatnam, Modi launched projects pertaining to connectivity, oil and gas sector that will give fillip to Andhra Pradesh’s growth, he will visit a fertiliser plant at Ramagundam in Telangana. Modi described his visit to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu as “an eventful day with diverse programmes”. In Bengaluru, where the PM inaugurated terminal 2 of the international airport and unveiled a 108-feet tall statue of Bengaluru founder ‘Nadaprabhu’ Kempegowda, Modi said, “Unlike previous regimes, his government believes speed as India’s aspiration and scale as its strength”. He also stressed that along with physical infrastructure, social infrastructure of the country needs to be strengthened for India’s advancement. “Whether it is governance or developing a physical and digital infrastructure, India is working on a different level. The world is admiring the strides India has made in the digital payments system, was it thinkable eight years ago?”
Gajanan Kirtikar

Veteran Sena Leader Gajanan Kirtikar Moves To Shinde Camp, But Son To Support Uddhav

Shiv Sena’s senior most MP Gajanan Kirtikar’s tirade against Uddhav Thackeray while joining the faction led by chief minister Eknath Shinde has not surprised many since he had been publicly hinting at his displeasure against the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) formation.  An ardent Shiv Sainik and architect of the establishment of Sena unions in foreign banks, airlines and star hotels, Kirtikar has remained away from any political controversy for decades. This is the first time he has openly come out against the Sena leadership. When Shinde felicitated him at a function in Mumbai, Kirtikar explained why he was moving away from Uddhav. He said, “We were hoping that Uddhav will say goodbye to Congress and NCP. However, no such possibility is on the horizon. But Shinde has been proceeding on the path prescribed by Balasaheb Thackeray. Hence I have decided to support him.” The Sena has 18 Lok Sabha members. With Kirtikar’s decision, the Uddhav faction is left with just six. Though Kirtikar has switched sides, his son Amol has declared that he will continue to be with Uddhav. He said he respected the decision taken by Kirtikar but would not follow him. Kirtikar was among the select few, designated as ‘leaders’ during Balasaheb’s times. He was elected to the state assembly for four consecutive terms and this is his second LS term.
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UAE: American Style Casino Coming Up As Oil Goes Down

With oil on the decline, UAE is rolling out the red carpet to attract all kinds of tourists from all round the world. The latest introduction would be an American style Casino at UAE’s sixth largest city, Ras Al Khaimah by 2026. The Wynn Marjan casino cum resort will be located on Dream Island, an unused area of Ras Al Khaimah’s Marjan Island. The integrated resort will come up in a 18,500 sq m area and would be double the size of Wynn’s Las Vegas property. The emirate’s tourism development authority is believed to be writing gaming laws for the casino using Singaporean and US regulations as the base. For this purpose, a new Department of Entertainment and Gaming Regulator has been set up to consider the social, cultural and environmental impact of the emirates. It will also cover issues of licensing, taxation, operational procedures and consumer safeguards, according to Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority. The proposed casino is expected to be one of the 10th biggest casinos in the world. The biggest casino in Asia is The Venetian at Macau. It is also the second biggest casino in the world with a Venice theme in an area of 51,000 sq m. Wynn Resorts will initially operate the casino on its own for some period of time.
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Ajit Pawar Resurfaces, Creates More Questions Than Answers

Nationalist Congress party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar’s clarifications about his mysterious weeklong absence and his unannounced resurfacing have created more questions than the answers he has given. Ajit, leader of the opposition in the state assembly, hit out at the media in Pune ‘for writing reckless stories’ about his absence from the scene. Ajit explained that he was abroad from November 4 and returned on November 10. Angrily, he asked the media, “Why can’t you leave me alone? Don’t I have any private life? I have not gone abroad for the past six years. Why did none of you even try to call up my office and find out?” Ajit did not disclose which foreign country he had visited or why he had left the party’s Shirdi conclave last week suddenly or why the party spokesman was not ready to reveal any information about his absence. Moreover, his otherwise vocal cousin Supriya Sule or uncle Sharad Pawar, too, have refrained from saying a word, which is considered significant. Ajit’s silence was more acutely felt when Maharashtra agriculture minister Abdul Sattar’s statement in regard to Supriya had led to widespread demonstrations by NCP workers all over the state. Significantly, Ajit had welcomed the Supreme Court verdict on the reservations for economically weaker sections during this same period. Ajit had left the NCP’s Delhi conference midway as well.
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Will Pakistan-England final draw big crowd?

Hayden Says India -Pakistan Match Was A Spectacle

The ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup began on a promising note for India when it scored a thrilling win against Pakistan at the Melbourne Ground on the first Sunday of the tournament ( Oct 23). Pakistan’s batting mentor and former Australian opener, Mathew Hayden said that he has not seen a sporting spectacle like that at the MCG, a famous cricket venue. Around 92000 paying spectators saw the India-Pakistan match The unfortunate aspect though is that India was given a sound thrashing by the England openers Jos Buttler and Alex Hales in the semi-finals whereupon Rohit Sharma’s team was ejected out of the final. India will not forget the drubbing. And as a consequence the vanquisher of the first Super 12 match will not be present in the cup final whereas the vanquished in the first match —   Pakistan will play the final against England. Beaten in the final of the Asia Cup in September by Sri Lanka, Pakistan is raring to go in order to win the title here. It was at the same venue in 1992 Pakistan led by Imran Khan won the World Cup defeating England in the final. Head coach Rahul Dravid could not hide his disappointment of losing to England in a manner to embarrass the team. The question is: what will the Indian supporters do with the tickets for the last match?
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Round One At Box Office Goes To Katrina’s ‘Phone Bhoot’, Other Releases Do So-So

It has never happened before in Bollywood. Three actresses-led films releasing simultaneously. Katrina Kaif’s Phone Bhoot was the highest scorer at the box office in last week’s release of women-centric films. Katrina’s film earned about Rs 10 crore; the other two films Janhavi Kapoor’s Mili and Huma Qureshi-Sonakshi Sinha’s Double XXL had dismal collections. According to a trade pundit, the audiences are becoming increasingly discerning and don’t enter the cinema hall unless it’s a family fare and has a fun quotient like Phone Bhoot. Mili was a remake and although Janhvi worked hard the audience didn’t want to see her in a freezer. Her last film Goodluck Jerry was appreciated but it was on OTT and people didn’t have to pay for it. Huma Qureshi and Sonakshi Sinha chose a subject close to their heart; but the subject is passe as today‘s girls are not embarrassed by their bodies and nobody wanted to spend money to watch them in cinemas. Most of the films that are now released in cinemas could’ve been released on OTT directly but the OTT platforms now want the producers to release their films in cinemas and only after that they are picking up those films at their cost. The last women-centric film that did well at the box office was Alia Bhatt’s Gangubai Kathiawadi and it was because of the songs and it was larger-than-life cinema.
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How A Phone Call Led To England Storming Into The T20 World Cup Final

A phone call made several months ago was instrumental in Team England cruising into the final of the T20 World Cup. The call was made by the protagonist himself as Alex Hales picked up his mobile and called Rob Key, MD of England cricket, to present his case the moment he heard of Jonny Bairstow’s freak golf accident. Kept out of the England team from before the 2019 World Cup because he had failed a drug test twice, Hales was in cricketing wilderness for three years before he saw a door opening for him. His old partner in opening the innings in white ball cricket Jason Roy was woefully out of form and England’s captain Eoin Morgan had called it quits. Hales backed himself to fill the void. To Key’s credit, he took Hales’ case to the selectors, and they too agreed to give him a chance at redemption. The team management kept their cool as Hales came back into a difficult tour of Pakistan. Having recaptured his form in stands with his skipper Buttler, including in the game against New Zealand in the T20 World Cup league and then against Sri Lanka in a must win game, Hales simply took the Indian bowling attack to the cleaners, treating it with contempt at one of his favourite Adelaide Oval where had once scored a century in the Big Bash.
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Sanjay Raut Raises Eyebrows With Praise For Fadnavis, Plan To Meet PM & HM

After spending 102 days in custody Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s fulsome praise of Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and his indication that he would soon call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as meet Home Minister Amit Shah are perceived as a political signal fraught with multiple possibilities. However, his boss Uddhav Thackeray has said that had Sanjay wished to ‘adjust’ with the powers that be, he would not have spent a 100 days in custody. “Sanjay has shown that he does openly what he wants,” Uddhav remarked. He expressed apprehensions that Raut could be implicated in some other cases. Both leaders were interacting with the media after the MP’s release from custody on November 9. Raut had said at the press meet that the present Maharashtra government had taken some laudable decisions and he welcomed them. He complimented Fadnavis for his major decisions regarding the restoration of powers to Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA). However, he completely ignored chief minister Eknath Shinde. Playing it safe, Fadnavis reacted that he had not come across the praise showered by Raut upon him. However, about Raut meeting him, he parried the question, saying that he was open to meet anyone who sought his time. However, he said if political bitterness were to end in the state, all concerned would have to act accordingly.
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‘The Kerala Story’ Movie Runs Into Trouble

The Hindi feature film, The Kerala Story, directed by Sudipto Sen has kicked up a row. In the teaser now on YouTube, a burkha-clad woman states that her name is Shalini Unnikrishnan and she wanted to become a nurse. “Now I am Fatima Ba, an IS terrorist held in a jail in Afghanistan.” She goes on to state that 32,000 girls like her have been converted and many buried in the deserts of Syria and Yemen. The teaser has received both criticism and praise. Sen has claimed that former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had stated, “Every year 2800 to 3200 girls are converted to Islam and so it worked out to 32,000 in 10 years. CPM MP John Brittas has requested Union Home Minister Amit Shah to take “swift action” against the “mischievous” teaser of the film. A Chennai-based journalist has written to the state Chief Minister seeking an enquiry. Some politicians in the state have called for a ban on the film. The Trivandrum City Police Commissioner has sought legal advice on the letter on what action could be initiated. Adah Sharma, the actress in question, has tweeted the teaser of the movie with the hashtag #TrueStory. The producer, Vipul Shah, has been silent on the controversy.

BJP's Top Pick For Gujarat Polls: Ex- MLA Who Jumped Into River To Save Lives In Morbi

The BJP released its list of candidates for 160 constituencies for the upcoming #and picked up interesting names as it dropped 38 of its sitting MLAs. Its most talked about pick is former Morbi MLA Kantilal Amrutiya who had jumped into Machchu river to rescue people following collapse of the bridge, cricketer Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Rivaba Jadeja, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Hardik Patel. Entry of Amrutiya, a former Congress MLA from Morbi, into the fray is interesting as he is seen as someone who had reached out to people in their hour of distress. The video of the leader skirting the waters of Machchu river had gone viral soon after the tragic incident where 135 people lost their lives. That’s perhaps why the BJP replaced its sitting MLA and Minister Brijesh Merja, and selected Amrutiya who had lost in 2017 on a Congress ticket. Merja was also a Congress turncoat who had defected to the ruling party in 2020 and was made a Minister in 2021. The party has dropped as many as 38 sitting legislators including outgoing Assembly Speaker Nimaben Acharya and  several Cabinet Ministers  The 160 list includes as many as 14 women including 69 sitting MLAs. Rivaba Jadeja is contesting from Jamnagar North.
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Indians On A Roll: Birmingham City University Confers Honorary Doctorate On Shankar Mahadevan

The award-winning Indian singer and composer Shankar Mahadevan is to receive an honorary doctorate from Birmingham City University (BCU) for his outstanding contribution to music and the arts. West Midlands Mayor Andy Street made the announcement on behalf of the University before the globally acclaimed Mahadevan is formally invited to receive the University’s highest honour at a ceremony in 2023. The announcement follows a BCU India and West Midlands India Partnership-organised visit by Mahadevan to BCU’s 400 mn pound campus featuring creative industry facilities, including Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (RBC). Shankar had toured RBC with fellow Indian musicians including Zakir Hussain earlier this year, meeting with students, staff and partners, and committing to exploring links and opportunities between the Bangalore-based Shankar Mahadevan Academy and the Conservatoire. “When I started my career, never did I expect that one day I would be awarded a doctorate for music,” said 55-year old Mahadevan, part of the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio. The honorary doctorate announcement underlines BCU’s commitment both to their strategic partnership work in India as well, reflecting a recent call to urge policymakers to place greater emphasis on the value of the Creative Arts in higher education and recognise the role universities play in strengthening the sector’s growth and innovation.
Vorat Kohli at T20 World Cup

Bookies Favour Team India In T20 World Cup


Bookmakers have made Team India the favourite for the T20 World Cup. They are at 2.25 as against 2.5 for England, 3-1 New Zealand and 3.5 for Pakistan. The expectation is that the winner will come from the India-England semi-final. The slower Adelaide pitch and conditions can be said to favour India more with the short side boundaries suiting the team’s explosive batting. T20i cricket may be the hardest to predict but the chances are this Team India is rolling in higher gear now since beating Pakistan in the opening game. Starting trouble that used to plague India in Cup events is not there this time, which is another reason why the prospects of this team getting to the final seems better. England have a specialist T20 team too but what could hamper them is they are dependent on the top order to get them rolling and the top three could be hemmed in by the kind of movement available for Arshdeep and Bhuvi in the late spring conditions prevailing in Australia now. There is only one selection dilemma and that is probably already solved by Team India wishing to give Rishabh Pant more than just the one chance. He is a better bet to come off on the bouncier Aussie pitch than Karthik who may not be able to force the ball given the bounce.
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PM Modi Skips CJI Oath Taking Ceremony For Himachal Election Rallies

With elections in Himachal Pradesh scheduled on November 12, PM Narendra Modi took permission from President Droupadi Murmu to skip the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud on account of a hectic poll campaign. Amidst reports of rebels in as many 50% of the 68 assembly seats, Modi addressed rallies in Kangra and Sujanpur districts. Results for Himachal are to be declared along with Gujarat on December 8.  In a direct appeal to people of Himachal, Modi urged them to shed their habit of not repeating a government. He pointed to how the people of Uttarakhand had changed the old tradition and made the BJP win. “In UP too, it has happened after 40 years when a party won again and came to government for the second time in a row with an absolute majority. In Manipur also the BJP government has come again. The condition of Congress is deteriorating day by day. The area which was once considered Congress’s stronghold, the party has been completely wiped out from there…It has only two states left, Rajasthan & Chhattisgarh, no news of development comes from these two states.” It is the tenacity of rebels like Kripal Parmar who have stayed on in the fray in Fatehpur seat even after Modi spoke to him that may worry the BJP. The alleged phone call with the PM had gone viral.

Cong Kicks Row Over "Lotus" In G20 Logo; Forgets Lotus Is National Flower Since 1950!

For reasons best known to it, the Congress kicked up a needless row over “lotus” being part of the G20 logo that was unveiled by PM Modi on November 8. It was left to Union Minister Hardeep Puri to put Jairam Ramesh in his place for trying to draw an equivalence between use of lotus — BJP’s symbol and instance of Nehru resisting Congress Party flag being adopted as flag of India. Puri pointed out that lotus wasn’t merely BJP’s symbol but had been declared India’s national flower since 1950 “by the then Congress Government. Jairam was born in 1954. God alone knows why the Congress chooses to denigrate & undermine every national symbol even as it is desperately out to ‘jodo’ itself.” In an explainer, the MEA says the G20 Logo draws inspiration from the vibrant colours of India’s national flag – saffron, white and green, and blue. It juxtaposes planet Earth with the lotus, India’s national flower that reflects growth amid challenges. Modi made it clear that the G20 presidency for India would not remain a central government event and would be a great opportunity for all states to showcase our tradition of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’. That means events related to G-20 will not be limited to Delhi. PM Modi will be travelling to Indonesia next week where the G-20 presidency will be handed over to India.

No Truck With BJP In West Bengal Panchayat Poll, Says CPM

Relying on the strong rural connect CPM is going all out to seal the spot in Panchayat Elections to be held in West Bengal in 2023. Having returned empty-handed in the Lok Sabha Polls 2019 and State Assembly elections 2021, the CPM is clear that this Panchayat Election is a do-or-die situation for its political existence in the state. Incidentally, the CPM had to bite the dust in the wake of anti-land acquisition movements losing around 50% panchayat seats in 2008, leading to the fall of its citadel in 2011. It continued with Trinamool Congress going all guns out for an uncontested win in the 2018 polls. Sources said that the Left top brass believes that terming TMC as “B Team” of BJP led to the decline of their vote share, where anti-TMC votes translated into saffron share. Hence, the recent dictate from the party leadership is that no official or unofficial pact with the BJP in upcoming panchayat elections. Significantly, TMC’s corruption and a beleaguered BJP led to the increase of vote share of CPM in recent past. With vote share declining to 4.71% during 2021 Assembly polls held in March, CPM clawed back with 11.87% in Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls held in December same year. These numbers went up further to 14.2% and 16.75% respectively in the Municipal elections across Bengal held during February and March 2022.
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Ashok Chavan Launches Daughter During Bharat Jodo Yatra

Former chief minister Ashok Chavan’s daughter Shrijaya has become the centre of attraction from the moment Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo yatra arrived in Maharashtra Sunday evening. Despite repeated whispers that Ashok was about to jump into the BJP camp, he led the Congress contingent that was organized to welcome Rahul, along with Shrijaya. A post-graduate in law, Shrijaya had kept herself away from active politics and was concentrating on taking care of family business affairs. However, in 2019, she led the Lok Sabha election campaigning for Ashok, who lost it. Not deterred, Shrijaya spared no efforts to mobilise public opinion for her father for the assembly elections later that year. Ashok won it hands down. Remaining away from the limelight so far, the launching of Shrijaya was noticed when her smiling face appeared on countless posters and hoardings. Her presence at Rahul’s reception was talk of the town. The yatra has been receiving a grand response, according to Congress workers, whose mood has heightened after a long interval. Rahul’s itinerary is more or less final. However, the participation by the Nationalist Congress party and the Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray is still somewhat unclear since NCP president Sharad Pawar is not in robust health at the moment while Aaditya Thackeray is likely to join at some points, it is said.


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.