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Abdul Sattar

Maharashtra Minister Abdul Sattar Ignites Fire, BJP Roasts Opposition

Maharashtra agriculture minister Abdul Sattar’s objectionable comment about NCP MP Supriya Sule has ignited a conflagration in the state, once again bringing her cousin Ajit Pawar at the centrestage due to his continued silence. At the same time, BJP has reminded the opposition that it had remained mute when women were insulted by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut. Known for his acidic tongue, Sattar has been getting embroiled into one controversy after another. A confidant of chief minister Eknath Shinde, the minister has issued an apology but maintained that he had not abused Supriya or women in general. NCP leader Ajit Pawar has attracted attention, again, due to his silence over the whole affair. He is said to be at his grandparents’ place. He has not written even a twitter message about the whole affair. State NCP president Jayant Patil has a hard time to rationalize Ajit’s silence.  Without backing Sattar’s statement, BJP leader Chitra Wagh said the opposition was silent when slanderous words were used against Kangana Ranaut, Swapna Patkar or Ketki Chitale. Patkar was lambasted by Sanjay Raut using some unparliamentary words. Ketki was kept in custody for weeks just for forwarding a twitter post against NCP chief Sharad Pawar while Ranaut was at the receiving end for many of her utterances by the then Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) leaders.
Mallikarjun Kharge 1

With Kharge Heading The Party, Cong Leaders Confident Of Forming The Next Govt In Karnataka

Mallikarjun Kharge’s emergence as AICC president has given a lot of confidence to Congress leaders in Karnataka that they will be able to form the next government in the state when assembly elections are held early next year. A clear sign of this was the manner in which Kharge’s Sadashivanagar residence in Bengaluru was packed with visitors — hundreds of party leaders and workers — calling on him early this week. In the fractious Karnataka politics message went out that the new Congress chief would not be another power centre but someone who would play a referee in the all -out war between two factions of DK Shivkumar and Siddaramiah. It was interesting that very important visitors had lined up, seeking a ticket for their kin in 2023 polls. Among the senior leaders who called on Kharge were former Governor Margret Alva, former Assembly Speaker KB Koliwad and Allum Veerabhadrappa. The rush to meet Kharge was so much that he had to skip his 1.15 pm flight back to New Delhi and instead take an evening flight. He was confident that he would get everybody’s support. He has already asked party leaders to chase a target of 150 seats– a target set by Rahul Gandhi.
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Lessons For Bollywood: Kollywood Box Office Jingles With A Clutch Of Low Budget, Breezy Films

A clutch of new releases, strong on story, low on budget and even lower on big moolah expectations have brought cheer to the Tamil cinema industry. Love Today, Coffee with Kaadal and Nitham Oru Vaanam have individually and together warmed the cockles of cinema addict’s hearts. Each film intuitively explores and expounds the new age gen now youth, their family anchors of tradition and the gentle compromises made to get on with life, technology  driven and frantically lived. Reality and coping mechanisms with strife and challenges are woven strongly into these plausible stories. Most cheering news, crores are not riding on these and every house full show is money for jam. Take Love Today, Pradeep and Nikita are married, youth stereotypes, madly in love. They proclaim and believe that each knows the other inside out, trust unlimited.  The couple exchange their mobiles for a day. And their complacent world falls apart with complicity. Sundar C’s Coffee with Kaadal is a true fraapuchino. Take Srikanth, married, with a child. Suddenly he finds that his one night promiscuous stand is to be married to his younger brother. Nitham Oru Vaanam is a riddle. The jury will be out on all three, but trade analysts would strongly applaud –low investment, breezy returns. Bollywood are you listening?
Suryakumar

@surya_14kumar

Suryakumar Yadav’s ``Bindaas’’ Batting Wins Praise From Rahul Dravid

Surayakumar Yadav has won the highest praise from his coach, Rahul Dravid. A bulwark of the Indian team for over one and half decade, Dravid has waxed eloquent about Suryakumar’s `bindaas’ batting in the Twenty20 format. A few hours after Suryakumar had taken the Zimbabwe bowlers to the cleaners in the ICC Men’s World Twenty20 in Melbourne, playing shots some of which one would not find in coaching manuals, Dravid who earned the sobriquet `The Wall” said: It’s a joy and pleasure to see the way Suryakumar deploys the willow. In the second match after his debut at Motera in March 2021, he thrashed the England bowlers for a 31-ball 57 that floored England and won the match for India. There was a Caribbean streak to his batting; it has not changed much after nearly 21 months. On November 6, Suryakumar — also known as SKY, an acronym derived from his name — went on a leather hunt against the hapless Zimbabwe bowlers and took 21 runs of fast bowler Richard Ngarava and closed out his innings at an unbeaten 61 off 25 balls with 6 x 4s, 4 x 6s; two of which were swept from outside the off stump over backward square leg and over fine leg. Sterner tests await Suryakumar Yadav in the remaining part of the World Twenty20.
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@poonam_mahajan

Who Was Behind Killing Pramod Mahajan? Poonam’s Query Raises Hackles

BJP MP Poonam Mahajan’s question, “Who was the mastermind behind killing my father Pramod Mahajan” has created a sensation in political circles since she has raised the question 16 years after the influential BJP leader was shot at by his own brother Pravin, who also is no more. Addressing a BJP rally in Mumbai on October 6, Poonam said everyone knows who killed Pramodji. “But who was the mastermind behind this dastardly act, why was he not found,” she has asked. “It was your government,” she remarked. However, instead of making any allegation against any individual or political party, Poonam came down heavily against Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray, accusing him of dividing society on lingual and religious issues. Poonam and BJP’s Mumbai unit president Ashish Shelar, who also spoke, were addressing the party’s Jagar Yatra (Awakening March) at Bandra (East), the backyard of the Thackeray family residence Matoshri. Poonam lobbed a volley of questions at Uddhav. “If you were so keen on the 50:50 formula of power sharing, why was no BJP corporator allowed to become Mumbai’s mayor,” the two-term MP asked. Hard hitting at Uddhav for instigating the Marathi-Gujarati conflict, Poonam pointed out that the BJP Gujarat unit’s president was a Marathi Manoos. Are you not proud of this fact, she thundered.
Naveen 1

BJP Halts BJD’s Winning Spree In Odisha, Wrest Prestigious Dhamnagar Seat From BJD

In Odisha BJP finally managed to check BJD’s by-poll winning spree since 2019 by winning the prestigious Dhamnagar by-election. It won by a margin of 9,881 votes. Biju Janata Dal supremo Naveen Patnaik said he was not surprised by BJD’s loss. “I always respect the verdict of the people. We expected that BJP would win this by-election” said Patnaik. Why did BJD fail in Dhamnagar by-election when it was predicted to win by a margin of 30,000 votes? Analysts say, one, BJD’s strategy of playing women empowerment card, by fielding Abanti Das failed to counter BJP’s sympathy waves. BJP’s Suryabanshi managed to retain his father’s seat, though more women exercised their franchise this time. Two, possibly BJD’s women card failed to make an impact due to low voter turnout. Three, for BJD it was a self-goal, as it first promised former MLA Rajendra Das of a ticket then changed it at the last moment by nominating a new comer Abanti Das. This created internal dissension and mistrust. BJD also failed to prevail upon Rajendra Das to withdraw from the election race as an Independent. He polled 8,153 votes denting BJD’s vote share and finally making BJP win. Dhamnagar election debacle is a wakeup call for Naveen babu whether he should pursue experiments with women empowerment or rely on the tried and tested politicians to win the election race.
supreme-court-of-india

SC Order On EWS Quota Big Boost For BJP, Modi Ahead Of State Polls

In a big win for the Modi Government ahead of Gujarat and Himachal polls, the Supreme Court on November 7 backed a 10% quota in jobs and education for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), introduced just before the 2019 general elections. The EWS quota is not discriminatory and does not alter the basic structure of the constitution, said the majority judgement of SC bench. Two judges Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice Ravindra Bhat dissented. Justice Bhat said he supported quota for the economically backward, but the exclusion of the socially backward sections is not allowed in the Constitution. Economic destitution, economic backwardness is backbone of this amendment and on this account, amendment is constitutionally indefensible. “However, excluding the classes such as SC/ST and OBC is not constitutionally permissible,” Justice Bhat said.  CJI Lalit concurred with his view. The decision stands at 3:2. The EWS quota introduced through the 103rd constitutional amendment helped the BJP to reach out to those castes who were left out of the reservation system, like the Patels in Gujarat, Jats in Haryana, Marathas in Maharashtra and Lingayats in Karnataka. As many as 40 petitions were heard by the SC for 6 days. Tamil Nadu, which has among the highest reservations in the country, opposed the EWS and asked SC to revisit the Indra Sawhney or the Mandal judgement.
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Mamata Strikes A Bond With MK Stalin's Wife Durga During Chennai Visit

When West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited Chennai to attend a family function of State Governor La Ganesan early this week, not only did she make it a point to catch up with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin at his residence but she also reportedly struck a bond with Stalin’s wife Durga. She told Durga Stalin how Bengal people worship Goddess Durga. Apparently, anyone who warms up to Durga Stalin is ushered into her puja room, so that’s what happened with Mamata too. Later, Mamata chatted up with Stalin over a cup of coffee. While details of their discussions are not available, it would be interesting to see the kind of impact the TMC chief has on the DMK’s future course in politics. That is of course if both the TMC and DMK plan to work together for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. It would be interesting to see if Stalin begins to temper his pro-Congress image as we know Mamata is opposed to any kind of tie-up or linkages with the Congress. At the moment, Stalin has a good equation with the Congress both at the state and national level. Even Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra had started from Kanyakumari endorsed by DMK top leaders. Mamata who is desperate to expand beyond Bengal needs to tie-up with the DMK.
Meenaxi

instagram

Is Meenakshi Sheshadri Making A Comeback?

Another popular yesteryear actress is keen to make a comeback. Fifty-nine year old Meenakshi Sheshadri is keen to get back to acting. Interestingly, most of the top actresses of the past are making their comeback statement by appearing on popular reality shows like the Indian Idol, The Kapil Sharma Show Or KBC. So too Meenakshi, she chose the Indian Idol show. She looked fit. Her dancer’s grace and poise for all to see. For the uninitiated Meenakshi is trained in four Indian classical dance forms — Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, and Odissi. In the early 90s she was dating singer Kumar Sanu but Ghayal director Rajkumar Santoshi was very keen to marry her. She shocked and surprised her fans by abruptly giving up her acting career and moved to the U.S. around 1996 after finding her life partner. Meenakshi is not the only actress of the 80s and 90s who is making a comeback. Neetu Singh Kapoor did it after 26 years via a Karan Johar film. Now she is busy with a web series. Bhagyashree of Maine Pyar Kiya fame made a quiet comeback; she was seen in Thalaivi but it was Super Moms that got her noticed. Earlier, we saw the dhak dhak girl Madhuri Dixit coming back to India landing film roles, doing reality shows and endorsing many products.
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Is Senthamizh Seeman A Strong Challenge To DMK?

A massive anti-Hindi rally held on November 1 at Rajarathnam Stadium, Chennai sent a clear message to those planning a strong bid for Tamil Nadu’s political power reins. Pouring rain did not deter fiery Naam Thmizhar Katchi Founder Seeman who is a successful film director, riveting orator and die-hard Dravidian. His lieutenant, director Amir added colour to the procession’s power slogan, “We are Tamils, TN should have only Tamil rulers. Tamil is our life breath, don’t shove Hindi down our throats”. Is there a hidden challenge to DMK’s Dravidam? DMK critics are already grumbling about the mercenary greed of Udhayanidhi Stalin who as a film distributor is fast buying potential hits, Hindi movies too. The other parties, contenders for coalition with DMK, are happy to play a silent role. Seeman, an avid Kalaignar and LTTE Prabhakaran fan, has a natural flair as a magnetic orator. His only flaw, he gets emotionally carried away, and lives to rue indiscreet talk. His Naam Thamizhar Katchi started in 2010, has a disciplined and youthful cadre, willing to be moulded into a strong movement. What impressed many, after the rally was that every bit of garbage was collected on the 1.7 kms stretch by the cadre, bagged and the place left clean. He is aiming to get 12% votes and at least 10 Assembly seats in 2026.  Seeman is surely aiming to be a Seen Man.
Raahul yatra

Pawar, Uddhav Nod To Join Rahul Yatra, Hope To Revive MVA

The Nationalist Congress party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray have accepted the Congress party’s invitation to join the yatra which arrives in Maharashtra on Sunday (Nov 6) in Nanded district of Marathwada region. Currently undergoing medical treatment, Pawar is learnt to have decided to join the yatra on November 8; either Uddhav or his son Aaditya will walk with Rahul. Details of their participation are being worked out. Several top Congress leaders called on Pawar and Thackeray on Saturday to extend the invitation, to which both leaders have responded enthusiastically, according to the delegation led by party observer for Maharashtra, KH Patil. Rahul will stay in Nanded district for five days and begin his yatra on Monday from Deglur bus stand. He will be in Biloli tehsil on Tuesday and Wednesday, in Kandhar tehsil on Thursday and will enter neighbouring Hingoli district on Friday evening, as per party’s planning. The reported nod by Pawar and Uddhav for joining the yatra has revived the talk of reunion of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) once again. Since the fall of the Thackeray government in July this year, various leaders of the three partners have been making contradictory statements against each other’s parties. But Pawar and Uddhav have steadfastly avoided voicing any such criticism. Congress leaders feel that Rahul’s visit will give a boost for the unity moves.
ajit pawar

Ajit Pawar Does It Again, Skips Party Meet When Uncle Sharad Is Addressing

Former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar’s absence from the Nationalist Congress party (NCP) conclave in Shirdi on Saturday resulted in diverting attention from the speech of party founder Sharad Pawar, who remained present despite his current hospitalization. Ajit was stated to be away for personal reasons. Ajit is said to be unhappy in the party for a variety of reasons though he has refuted such talk again and again. But his abrupt absence from NCP’s rally in Delhi earlier this year and on Saturday when Sharad Pawar was speaking has fuelled speculation. Ajit had taken oath of deputy chief ministership with Devendra Fadnavis as chief minister after the 2019 assembly elections but their government could not last even 72 hours. Since then, Ajit returned to the party fold but has kept everyone guessing about his intentions. His presence during PM Narendra Modi’s Pune visit only rekindled the forecasts and predictions. Though undergoing treatment, Sharad Pawar made it a point to inspire his followers by making a token presence. He spoke for a few minutes and his remaining speech was read out by former assembly speaker Dilip Walse Patil. When workers noticed that Ajit was absent, unease prevailed at the venue. Interestingly, Ajit had spoken at the party meet on Friday for nearly 90 minutes, castigating chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis for abandoning the farmers who were facing calamities like excessive rains and flooding.
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Established Branded Jewellers Unfazed About Newbie On The Block

The news that the Aditya Birla Group (ABG) is planning to move into selling branded jewellery has, expectedly, not elicited any reaction from the Tatas which got into the market first with the Tanishq brand. Other players in the jewellery retail business, as well as the umbrella All-India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) which is the industry’s national apex body, are unfazed, too. While ABG’s decision marks a departure from its traditional areas of strength, textiles and cement, it has not even made ripples in the market. Besides Tanishq, the branded jewellery sector already has major players like Reliance, Kalyan, PC and SHUBH. With ABG’s entry, for which the group has earmarked almost Rs5,000 crore, there will be more big-format retail stores for jewellery retail including its in-house brands. “One more joins the stream,” says former GJC chairman Dr C Vinod Hayagriv, who is managing director of C Krishniah Chetty headquartered in Bengaluru. “The more the merrier!” But will it shake up the market? “Doubt it,” says his successor Ashish Pethe, partner in the Mumbai-based Waman Hari Pethe Jewellers. An independent industry report forecasts that future growth in the sector will be led by the development of such large brands.
TN Governor Ravi

DMK May Hate Governor RN Ravi’s Ways, But They Cannot Shift Him

The Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi may make mysterious air dashes to the capital New Delhi. But, when in Chennai, he does what he can to light a match under the DMK’s ideological stand on various issues, most of all religion and NEET. The Governor can do little about the national entrance test as it is a Supreme Court cleared reform, apart from sitting on the legislation that the Assembly passes Where the Governor tends to get on the nerves of the rulers of the land of the Dravidians is when he harps on sanatana dharma, which is more a personal matter of faith though it becomes political as it clashes with the DMK’s ideological belief in atheism. The Stalin government has tried to make Governor Ravi the enemy No.1 of the state on the grounds that he sits on Bills and breaches Constitutional propriety. Clashes with Governors are not a new thing even in Tamil Nadu where Jayalalithaa passed a resolution in the House against Chenna Reddy with whom she had running battles. With regard to god and religion, the DMK has changed somewhat over time as the party line is one of leaving faith and religion to the individual. But, as the Centre is unlikely to budge on the Governor, TN can only disparage him rather than unseat him.
Arwind Kejriwal

Delhi Model At Play: Kejriwal Goes For A Journo, A La Manish Sisodia In Gujarat As CM Face

On a day, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal announced in Ahmedabad his CM candidate for Gujarat, he was virtually pushing for the Delhi model of governance. Yes, in picking a journalist-turned-politician Isudan Gadhvi as AAP CM candidate, Kejriwal was actually seeking a repeat of Manish Sisodia story — Delhi’s Finance & Education minister — a former TV journalist. However, will the Delhi model work in a large state like Gujarat? Interestingly, Gadhvi, a popular TV anchor was picked via popular vote just the way Bhagwant Mann was picked in Punjab. Gadhvi was pitted against state party unit chief Gopal Italia who played a key role in the Patidar community agitation. Aged 40, Gadhvi hails from a financially strong family of farmers in Pipliya village of Dwarka district and belongs to the OBC. He had quit his media job a year ago to join AAP. While the Delhi CM urged Gujarat people to give his party one opportunity and said he will quit politics if he fails to deliver in the next five years, the AAP found it will be put to test in its own home ground as Delhi Municipal Corporation elections will be held on December 4. The results will be out on December 7. With Delhi civic polls clashing Gujarat poll dates, Kejriwal would really be spoiled for a choice.
Collage Maker-04-Nov-2022-05

Sons Of Uddhav Thackeray And Eknath Shinde Likely To Collide On 7 November

Political enmity between Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde is percolating to their sons if the goings on at Sillod town of Aurangabad district are to be believed. Soon after the Shinde faction walked out of the parent Sena, Aaditya took the reins of the assault against it and the BJP, whose coalition government has been sparing no opportunity to humble the rivals, including the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). On behalf of Shinde, the attack is led by agriculture minister Abdul Sattar, who lords over the fiefdom in Sillod. Aaditya has been touring the state over the past few weeks, trying to create anger against the Shinde government, consistently charging it with betrayal and monetary manipulations. As part of this campaign, his followers sought permission to hold a public meeting at Sillod in Mahaveer Chowk at 4 pm on November 7. Coincidently, Shinde’s son Dr Shrikant, a Lok Sabha member, also has scheduled his public meeting at Zilla Parishad school grounds at Sillod, also at 4 pm on 7 November. According to reports, Aaditya’s side has been asked to find another venue by the local administration as both venues face each other. His supporters feel that this has been engineered by Sattar.
Vellapally

Who is Thushar Vellappally Named By KCR In Operation Lotus?

Kerala politician Thushar Vellappally is in the eye of the storm with Telangana Chief Minister, K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) naming him as the kingpin behind BJP’s Operation Kamala to woo TRS MLAs for Rs 50 crore each. Son of SNDP leader Vellappally Nadesan, Thushar heads Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS) and is State Convenor of NDA Kerala. BDJS has not really made any inroads in Kerala. But Home Minister Amit Shah has found Thushar very resourceful. He came close to Amit Shah because of an incident in UAE where he was arrested for defaulting on a payment of Rs 6 crore. Following his arrest, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan was approached for help. But, since it was a country-to-country issue, the CM directly requested the Home Minister to intervene. Shah moved in quickly and UAE agreed to release Thushar provided that the overdue amount was deposited in a local bank. This condition put everyone in a spot. But Vijayan tapped his good friend, LuLu Group’s MA Yusuff Ali to do the needful which he duly obliged. Thushar was released, and all cases against him in the UAE withdrawn. The so-called Shah and Vijayan link ensures that the Congress-led UDF remains out of power in Kerala and the CPM remains BJP’s default team.
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@KatrinaKaifFB

Has ‘Chikni Chameli’ Kat Come Of Age?

After Fitoor it is probably for the first time Katrina Kaif will be seen headlining a film Phone Bhoot that releases this week. The 39-year old actress, who has acted in over 50 films, has been one of the top three actresses in Bollywood charging a hefty fee of Rs 10 crore per film. Phone Bhoot is a horror comedy that co-stars not so popular Ishaan Khattar and Siddhant Chaturvedi. Katrina is the big name here and a lot depends on how the audience reacts to the film. Phone Bhoot is Katrina’s first release after her marriage to Vicky Kaushal who has been involved in the promotion of the film.  Of course her ex-flame Salman Khan has not been far behind, he was promoting it on Bigg Boss. Interestingly, there are three releases this week — Mili, Double XXL and Phone Bhoot — and all three are driven by women. Trade analysts feel Katrina’s film will get a good opening of Rs 4 crore. Till date Katrina hasn’t really got noticed for her acting skills but is remembered for item songs like Chikni Chameli. In fact, she has had some of the best songs to her credit and that makes her hugely popular. Katrina has worked opposite all the top Bollywood actors. The actress who has overcome her Hindi language barrier is now focusing on her acting skills and getting choosy about her roles. Looks like Kat will walk the talk.  
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@imVkohli

Virat Kohli's Prank Raises Bangladesh’s Hackles

Virat Kohli is in the news yet again. Not alone for his run getting ability —  he scored a third half century in the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup  against Bangladesh at the Adelaide Oval — but also for a prank on the field that some believe was tantamount to faking a throw. Law 41.5.1 says that it is unfair for any fielder wilfully to attempt by word or action, to distract, deceive or obstruct either batter after the striker has received the ball. The Law further says: It is for either one of the umpires to decide whether any distraction, deception or obstruction is wilful or not. The operative part is wilful which the umpires Marais Erasmus and Chris Brown deemed that Kohli’s mock throw was not wilful. Bangladesh’s Nurul Hasan though felt that Kohli’s action was to distract the player Hossain Shanto running towards the non-striker’s end, while the throw from Arshdeep Singh was directed towards the striker’s end. Obviously the on-field umpires did not intervene to summon the India captain Rohit Sharma or Kohli or have reported the incident to the match referee. It has been a matter of opinion among the fans and experts alike, but the umpires just went on with the game that India won by five runs.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the accident site

Will BJP Spare Oreva Owner Because Of His Close Links To A Central Minister?

The Gujarat assembly elections will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5; while results will be declared on December 8, the Election Commission announced thus ending speculation that it could be put off in view of the Morbi bridge tragedy on October 30.  The tragedy that claimed 135 lives has potential to unravel BJP’s plan to return to power with huge numbers. But then Saurashtra region has always been the party’s underbelly, which is perhaps why there has not been much change in election schedule. Of course, CEC Rajiv Kumar did admit there was some delay in announcing the dates due to the recent tragedy. The term of the 182-member Gujarat assembly ends on February 18, 2023. Meanwhile, police officials went to the office of Oreva Group, contractor for the renovation of Morbi bridge to verify claims made by its nine arrested staff members. There is a lot of public anger as the top management of Oreva — known mainly for making ‘Ajanta’ wall clocks — has not faced any action. That includes its managing director Jaysukhbhai Patel, who had publicly claimed that the bridge will hold up for “at least eight to ten years” when it was reopened, ahead of schedule, on October 26. He is highly networked into the BJP; his daughter is married into a central BJP minister’s family. Is he being spared because he is kadva Patel?
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Modi Announces A Maha Package For Maharashtra, Effort To Blunt Opposition Onslaught

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a Rs 200,000 crore package for Maharashtra in the form of over 200 different projects in a bid to blunt opposition criticism over the flight of industrial investments from the state. Modi made this announcement while video-participating in the state government’s ambitious ‘Maharashtra’s Megaplan’ gala event, organised to mark the beginning of creating 75000 jobs in a year. Actual appointment letters were issued to some of the candidates at the main event in Mumbai. Similar functions took place at all divisional headquarters. Modi was confident that millions of job opportunities would be generated in Maharashtra in coming years and said the Centre would keep on supplementing these efforts by the state. Modi’s reassurance is viewed against the backdrop of the decision of three major industrial projects preferring Gujarat over Maharashtra. Opponents of the Shinde-Fadnavis government have been trying to exploit the situation politically, hinting that the shifting was a well-planned move. Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray has been heading a battling force to corner the state government about losing large projects by alleging that it is being done at the behest of the Centre to benefit Gujarat. Realising the potential damage, the government has launched an all-out campaign to rubbish the criticism. Modi’s announcement is expected to serve the purpose, to some extent.
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‘Saamana’ Displays Smiling Modi, Shinde And Fadnavis On Front Page, Miffs Followers

Strange things continue to happen in Maharashtra’s political arena, again and again blurring or highlighting interparty differences.  On Thursday, ardent followers of Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray were shocked when the daily ‘Saamana’ was delivered at their doorstep. The entire front page was displaying smiling images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, state chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. So far, all three names have been taboo for the mouthpiece ever since rebellion took place in the party and the Shinde-Fadnavis government came to power.  Justifying the decision to accept this advertisement, released by the state government, Uddhav’s confidant and former minister Anil Parab said this was not anybody’s private or personal advertisement, it has been released by the government utilizing public money. Parab did not comment on the inclusion of the name of Sena MP Arvind Sawant in the advertisement. Taunting the Uddhav faction about accepting the advertisement, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Sandip Deshpande has questioned it, “How big a ‘box’ has reached ‘Saamana’ office?”  In another development, state Congress president Nana Patole has declared that the Sena under Uddhav is not a ‘natural ally’ of the Congress party. Though Patole is not taken seriously in politics, the timing of this strange comment has miffed the party. Not a single notable Congress leader has reacted to it so far. Incidentally, Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo yatra is scheduled to enter the state soon.
Lodha1

Maharashtra Tourism Minister In London To Woo Global Tourists, MTDC Privatisation On The Anvil

The Shinde-Fadnavis government in Maharashtra has given Mangal Prabhat Lodha, a reputed builder and staunch BJP loyalist an important portfolio. He has been appointed Minister of Tourism, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Women & Child Development. And one big task he has been entrusted with is to attract global tourists to the state. Toward this objective he has decided to camp for over a week in London for roadshows. Incidentally, his wife Dr Manju Lodha, author-poet, is also in London to release her book Ankahin Kahaniyan at the Nehru Centre to be launched by the Indian High Commissioner. The minister is expected to use this event to hobnob with the biggies and woo them to Maharashtra. Post the book launch Lodha accompanied by Saurabh Vyas, Tourism Secretary, Dr BN Patil, Director, Directorate of Tourism and Dr Dhananjay Sawalkar, Dy Director, Directorate of Tourism will attend World Travel Market between November 7-9.  Lodha and team are likely to privatise MTDC’s 30 resorts. The Lodha team is likely to engage Tatas (Taj group), Mahindra group and other experts from the travel trade and hospitality to revamp, refurbish and make all properties productive and profitable. The current Maharashtra government’s thinking is developing strategy is the job of the government but businesses have to be run by private enterprises.
City_Union_Bank_Vallioor

What Makes City Union Bank Tick?

This is one of the oldest private sector banks in the country. It was incorporated on October 31, 1904. Twenty prominent citizens of Kumbakonam joined together to sign the Memorandum of Association. Initially, it preferred the role of a regional bank and built for itself a place in the delta district Thanjavur. The first branch was opened at Mannargudi in January 1930.  It was included in the Second Schedule of Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, on March 22, 1945. It was originally known as ‘The Kumbakonam Bank Limited’. In April, 1965, two other local banks – The City Forward Bank Limited and Union Bank Limited – were amalgamated with it. Consequently, it was renamed as Kumbakonam City Union Bank Limited. In November 1965, the bank’s first branch in Madras was opened at Thyagaraya Nagar. Its first branch outside Tamil Nadu was opened at Sultanpet in Karnataka in September, 1980. That set the stage for its foray into other states. Its name was changed to City Union Bank in December 1987. Today, it has a deposit base of over Rs. 48,770 core (in the 1st quarter). With a net profit of Rs.225 crore in Q1 FY23, the bank is on a solid ground. Unlike Tamilnad Mercantile Bank, which just went public, the journey of this one has been fairly smooth. Well, longevity lends substance to the brand.
dabholplant

Enron Project Likely To Revive, Centre Keen

Serious efforts are underway to revise the controversial power generation gas-based project at Dabhol in Ratnagiri district. The Shinde-Fadnavis government in Maharashtra has received positive signals to rejuvenate the project, popularly known as Enron. Presently, there is complete closure of the project since 31 March this year. Union power minister RK Singh recently held a meeting at which the power generation from the project was reportedly discussed.  The project was launched by the government of then chief minister Sharad Pawar in 1993-95 with a counter-guarantee by the Government of India. After the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance assumed power in the state in 1995, it scrapped the project then revived it under revised conditionalities. The public sector NTPC is the principal shareholder in Enron. However, the project never fully recovered despite Centre’s efforts since gas supply to it was not adequate. It is now argued that if gas is made available at reasonable rates, power generation can become feasible at cheaper cost. The last per unit cost from the project was Rs.6.50 and the sole consumer was the railways. The railways started purchasing 500 MW of power from this plant on the basis of a subsidy from the Centre from 1 April 2007. The quota dwindled down to about 250 MW due to various reasons. The five-year agreement expired on 31 March this year, finally shutting down the operations.
Rahul

Maharashtra Congress Leaders Toning Up To Accompany Rahul’s Yatra

With Rahul Gandhi slated to enter Maharashtra on November 7 for his Bharat Jodo yatra, prominent state Congress leaders are busy making themselves fit enough to accompany him for whatever distance they can walk. Their adherence to a strict regimen of exercising over the past few days has attracted media attention after former energy minister Nitin Raut, who was with the yatra, collapsed last night and is undergoing treatment at a Hyderabad hospital. While one version says he just could not cope up with the strain, his supporters said he was pushed by someone in a crowd that had gathered to greet Rahul. Former chief minister Ashok Chavan has been taking brisk walks amidst his followers and security personnel. He is said to be walking 5km daily for the past few days. As Rahul enters Maharashtra in Nanded district at Deglur, it is Chavan who will welcome him first on behalf of the state Congress. Chavan and his father late SB Chavan have dominated the district politics for decades. Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole is toning up his muscles to withstand the yatra, whose average daily distance is stated to be 40 km. NCP chief Sharad Pawar was to join the yatra for some duration but his current hospitalization has raised a question mark about his ability to do so. Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray, too, will join the yatra though no details are announced as of now.
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Prestige Battle Between BJP & Cong In Haryana By-Poll

The by-election to the Adampur assembly constituency in Haryana on November 3 has become a prestige battle of sorts for the BJP and the Congress. It is a contest that is happening because sitting Congress MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi resigned after he was blamed for the defeat of Congress Rajya Sabha nominee Ajay Maken in June 2022 when he allegedly cross-voted in favour of JJP-backed and BJP-supported Independent candidate, Kartikeya Sharma. Bishnoi was removed from all party posts including as special invitee to Congress Working Committee. On August 3, 2022, he resigned from the Haryana Legislative Assembly and joined the BJP. His son Bhavya Bishnoi is contesting on the BJP ticket; he is the grandson of former CM Bhajan Lal. Not wanting to leave anything to chance as it had lost two by-elections in two years – Baroda by-poll in 2020 and Ellenabad by-poll in 2021, the Haryana BJP has assigned senior leaders to campaign for the by-election. Senior leaders, including state president Om Prakash Dhankar, Ram Bilas Sharma, Capt Abhimanyu and Kamal Gupta have visited Adampur, says party sources. There has been a record of high profile campaigns for this seat by three CMs – Manohar Khattar (Haryana), Bhagwant Mann (Punjab) and Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi). Former CM Bhupendra Singh Hooda charged the Khattar Government of doing nothing except snipping the OBC quota and welfare schemes.
Coorg

track2training.com

Taking Flight: Not Just To A Holiday Resort, But Away From Business Woes

The travel bug has been let loose in India, as in the rest of the world, like the champagne from a just-uncorked bottle. Flights are full despite the high fares, hotels and resorts everywhere are choc-a-bloc and travel agents are doing brisk business with visa appointments, especially for the US and Europe, being available only months later. A new finding, however, is that all this is not only because of the average person having been allowed out of home after more than two years of having been confined since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out. Many travellers to more soothing climes are businessmen and industrialists. In the salubrious hill station of Madikeri in Coorg district of Karnataka, for instance, scores of tourists are strolling about on guided tours to look at the coffee plantations and the historic 17th-century Madikeri Fort and Omkareshwar temple. A difference this time is that they include a large number from other parts of the country who are getting away from falling sales and profits. “Nothing to do with business here,” says one auto components manufacturer from Maharashtra, who is here with his family. “We are just trying, unsuccessfully, to forget about the impending recession.” The only plus point, he adds, is that Coorg is “a nice place for a holiday, a must-visit destination”.
Ashok Gehlot 1

Rajasthan CM Gehlot Showers PM Modi With Praise, Raises Eyebrows In Congress

In an unusual  move, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he shared a stage with him at ‘Mangarh Dham ki Gaurav Gatha’ at Mangadh Hill in Rajasthan’s Banswara on  November 1. He talked about how Modi “receives great honour when he goes abroad. Because he is the PM of the nation of Gandhi, where democracy is deep-rooted. When the world realises this, they feel proud that the PM of that country is coming to them.” At a time, when the Congress is usually targeting the PM, it is interesting that Gehlot chose to lavish praise on him. These words of praise for Modi seem to be coming days before new party chief Mallikarjun Kharge is set to initiate disciplinary action against Rajasthan leaders for defying high command authority. As a shrewd political player Gehlot may have chosen a public forum to send a message to the AICC that he could be exploring other options. On his part, PM Modi reciprocated Gehlot’s gesture by recalling working together as CM and how “he is senior most in our lot of CMs”. Interestingly, Gehlot loyalists had recently opposed Sachin Pilot’s elevation as CM on the ground that he had hobnobbed with the BJP during the 2020 crisis. But then is it okay for Gehlot to warm up to Modi? Or BJP is merely a punching bag for the Congress?
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@NarvekarMilind_

Uddhav’s Confidant Milind Narvekar Attracts Attention Again, But Remains Mum

Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray’s right hand man Milind Narvekar continues to attract attention due to controversial statements made by the group led by chief minister Eknath Shinde. One such latest statement has been made by industry minister Uday Samant against the backdrop of the state’s decision to upgrade Narvekar’s security cover. So far, Narvekar has not reacted to any such statements. Considered quite close to the CM, Samant was among the very first batch of the Sena MLAs to leave Uddhav and rush to Guwahati along with Shinde. At present, Samant has been leading the assault against the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi regime over the flight of industrial investments from Maharashtra to other states, especially to Gujarat. In an interaction with the media, Samant said, “We shall remain behind Narvekar firmly if there is any threat to him. Narvekar will be welcomed if he wishes to join us.” Samant’s statement comes soon after Narvekar has been elected to the cash-rich Mumbai Cricket Association with the support of leaders like Sharad Pawar, Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis. In this regard, Samant has lauded Narvekar’s all-party cordial relationship. He revealed that when he decided to join the Shiv Sena by leaving the Nationalist Congress Party, it was Narvekar who took him to Uddhav Thackeray. “Some people feel jealous if Narvekar is praised,” Samant taunted.
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Tatas Respond Positively To Gadkari, Inadvertently Kick Up Political Storm In Maharashtra

Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s appeal to the Tata Group to invest in and around his hometown Nagpur has received positive response from the industrial giant while a political battle is raging in the state over the group’s earlier decision to shift its Airbus project to Hyderabad from Maharashtra. In his letter to Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran written on 7 October, Gadkari’s missive assumes significance over earlier losing the Rs 22000 crore aircraft manufacturing project for which the Group has tied up with Airbus. The Tata Group chairman has replied to Gadkari that his team would be interacting with a Nagpur delegation of Vidarbha Economic Development (VED) council, as suggested by Gadkari. On the other hand, Tata’s decision has kicked up a political storm in Maharashtra. Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had told the media in Mumbai a day ago that a Tata official had said in 2021 to him that the conditions in the state were not suitable for setting up the Airbus project. Challenging him, Aditya alleged that the project was shifted to Gujarat at the behest of the Centre. The state had lost investments of thousands of crore rupees due to inaction by the Shinde-Fadnavis government. Aditya said, “I challenge Fadnavis to name the Tata company official who said that the situation was not appropriate to set up the Airbus project in Maharashtra.” 
Shahrukh khan

@aryankhan_

Why Is Shah Rukh Khan Miffed With The Media?

These days Shah Rukh Khan carries an umbrella. Reason: he wants to make sure that paparazzi don’t get a glimpse of him. SRK who was once very friendly with journos is miffed with the entire tribe for going overboard while reporting on his son Aryan Khan’s drug case. He is also angry with the media for publicizing his personal life. But, does hiding behind an umbrella ensure that the media will stop reporting on him or his son? Senior journalists say that SRK cannot complain as every time they tried to reach out to him or his legal team, they were stone-walled. Given this situation they could do nothing but file stories after talking to reliable sources. For Bollywood this is not a new phenomenon. In the eighties, Amitabh Bachchan and Rekha had banned the media for publishing their alleged relationship. They neither gave interviews nor allowed journalists on their sets. Big B broke his 10-year ban and has now become the darling of the media. In the case of Salman Khan it is a love-hate relationship. It came to the fore during his affair with Aishwaryaa Rai. In fact, a leading film magazine, much to his annoyance, stopped writing about him after he misbehaved with their photographer. Now Sallu bhai is a changed man but occasionally the old Salman Khan does surface. Meanwhile, Aryan Khan continues to carry an umbrella and refuses to oblige the waiting paparazzi.
chandru Iyer

Grant Thornton UK Business Head Chandru Iyer To Take Over As British Deputy High Commissioner, Bengaluru

Indian origin British citizen Chandru Iyer, former Head of Business Development, South Asia Group at Grant Thornton UK is changing his career track.  Iyer will don the mantle of a diplomat. He moves from the UK to Bengaluru to take over as the British Deputy High Commissioner. Chandru’s experience in the India-UK business corridor gives him the additional responsibility to oversee the trade and investment in the South of India and South Asia. Incidentally, the term of Alan Gemell, the current British Deputy High Commissioner in Mumbai who is also the Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for South Asia, comes to an end and thus it appears that Chandru’s role becomes more formidable extended to South Asia beyond south India. Chandru’s appointment comes at a time when the relationship between the two countries is extremely amicable and signing of the Free Trade Agreement is just round the corner. Hailing from Nagpur, Chandru needs no introduction to the corporate world, the India –UK business corridor, Department of International trade and the media in the UK. Fluent in various Indian languages Chandru was a popular host at several formal events hosted by Grant Thornton UK including the annual Diwali party. His name featured in the “Top 100 Influential People in India UK business relations”. He was instrumental in developing Grant Thornton’s strategic growth plans in the South Asia region.
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BJP Vs TRS: Munugode By-Poll A Barometer For State And Lok Sabha Polls

The Munugode by-election is a barometer for the 2024 polls in Telangana. Tied in a three-way battle with the Congress and the BJP, it is prestigious for the ruling TRS of KCR. The BJP is fighting tooth and nail with KCR, drawing him out in a personal battle over his daughter they call ‘Liquor Rani’, to come up at least a close second to trigger a series of defections before the big event two years hence. The battle used to be between the Congress and the TDP in the constituency for decades before Telangana was formed and TRS came into the picture. But the Congress got so busy with the Bharat Jodo Yatra of its prince that it brought campaigning to a halt to go to the neighbouring district when barely days remained for the poll on November 3 (result on Nov 6). The BJP, already engaged in a large but shady campaign of wooing TRS MLAs over with inducements, is hoping to seriously challenge the TRS in Telangana in the coming Assembly elections. Surveys indicate a huge anti-incumbency building against TRS and KCR in India’s youngest state and BJP is aiming to not only take Telangana but also try to boost its tally of MPs from a non-BJP state in the south in 2024. It appears the Congress has willingly put itself in a third position where it should have been battling for a comeback.
Chetan Sharma

@chetans1987

Gaffe or Prediction: Chetan Sharma Says India Will Win The World Twenty20 Title

Was it a gaffe or a prediction? Close to midnight Adelaide time on Monday (Oct 31), Chetan Sharma was in good form telling a long time journalist Vijay Tagore:  “I am watching the team, I am with them. They are playing brilliant cricket. There are no problems. We (India) will win the World Cup. Don’t worry,” said Sharma, the Chairman of the BCCI senior national selection committee who is travelling with the Indian team.  Sharma’s soothsayer-like statement came at the end of the answer to a question on Dinesh Karthik being preferred over Rishabh Pant in the first three matches of the ICC Men’s World Twenty20 against Pakistan, Netherlands and South Africa. Sharma has been the Chairman of the selection committee from December 2020 and obviously he is quite optimistic of Rohit Sharma’s team — that lost to South Africa last Sunday (Oct 30) — winning the World Twenty20 for the second time after 2007. Sharma began saying that it would be improper to comment when the World Cup is going on and that it is for the captain and coach to respond to questions on playing XI selections and that he would definitely do that after the World Cup is over. All this happened after he announced the teams for a white ball series in New Zealand and Bangladesh and also a Test series in Bangladesh. At the end of it all Head Coach Rahul Dravid said: We have to play very well in four more games to win the World Cup.
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Twitter

High Death Toll In Morbi Bridge Collapse In Poll Bound Gujarat Puts BJP In A Spot

With as many as 141 lives being lost, 180 people being rescued and innumerable people still feared missing after a British era bridge in Gujarat’s Morbi district collapsed on October 30, there has been a war of words between the BJP and AAP in the social media over an AAP MLA from Delhi Naresh Balyan predicting dhamaka in Gujarat two days in advance. Citing these tweets, the BJP alleged a conspiracy and leaders like Kapil Mishra called the Morbi tragedy a “bhayanak hatyakand” or conspiracy. While AAP leaders dismissed this as an attempt to “evade responsibility and digress from the terrible tragedy”, Balyan explained his tweet as a possibility of “many BJP leaders joining AAP in Gujarat.” Meanwhile, senior Congress  leader Digvijaya Singh asked if it was an “act of God or an act of fraud”. Around 500 people were on the suspension bridge when the cables supporting it snapped, sending people crashing into the Machchhu river below. The bridge could take the weight of only about 125 people and had been shut for seven months for repairs; it was reopened to the public on October 26, the Gujarati New Year, without a fitness certificate from the civic authorities. The Morbi tragedy couldn’t have come at a worse time for the BJP in poll-bound Gujarat.  PM Modi cancelled his road shows in Gujarat and is expected to be in Morbi on Tuesday.
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L To R: Dilip Ghosh, Sukanta Majumdar And Suvendu Adhikari

Suvendu Adhikari Tipped To Be Next West Bengal BJP Chief, Sangh Parivar Not Happy?

It is daggers drawn in the West Bengal unit of BJP.  According to party insiders, the state BJP President Sukanta Majumdar is likely to go; he may be replaced by the Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari. If this happens, Suvendu will resign from the post of LoP giving way to BJP MLA Manoj Tigga, chief whip of the state unit. These changes will be made once Panchayat Poll dates are announced. Majumdar is likely to get a shunting post of central secretary or any post in the parliamentary party. All these developments come against the backdrop of the party’s new state observer and All India General Secretary (Organization) BL Santosh’s discussions with the Bengal committee members following Majumdar’s failure to attack TMC over a series of issues. Besides, it is known that Suvendu even while at TMC had great acceptance, ground-level reach and connect. This will benefit BJP in the Panchayat Polls. However, both RSS and the old guards of the BJP are against Suvendu’s ascension as the next state president. They are rooting for National vice president and former state president Dilip Ghosh, a diehard RSS man. The state RSS and VHP members feel, if Suvendu becomes the state president, the power of the party will go into the hands of Trinamool turncoat which will tarnish the prospects of BJP in Panchayat polls.
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Reliance Retail Eyes Kerala-based Hypermarket Chain, Bismi

Reliance Retail is eyeing the Kerala-based hypermarket and electronic store Bismi, owned by the first generation entrepreneur VA Ajmal. Bismi operates 30 electronics and grocery retail chains across Kerala. Each Bismi Hypermarkets which are a combination of food, groceries and electronics operate in premises of 30,000 to 40,000 sq ft. The standalone single format grocery stores occupy 10,000 sq ft. Started in 2003, Bismi generates a business of Rs 750 cr per annum. The company hopes to achieve a turnover of Rs 4000 cr in the next couple of years. On the anvil are 40 plus Bismi Hypermakets and electronic stores in tier-2 cities across the country. Informed sources said that the talks with Reliance Retail are at an advanced stage and should have been concluded by Diwali. The Bismi valuation is the vicinity of Rs 600 crore. However, Ajmal has refused to confirm nor deny the deal. Reliance Retail today operates 2000 brick and mortar grocery stores across India. It also operates JioMart, an e-commerce platform. The Indian retail market is estimated at $ 900 billion.
NSrinivasan_75

India Cements Ka Mahotsav, Amit Shah To Grace The Occasion?

It is a pioneering enterprise of the independent era. It was born on February 21, 1946 when the World War was over and political freedom was around the country. It made a humble start with a cement factory at Thalaiyuthu, Tamil Nadu, an almost unmapped tiny village in Tirunelveli, which, over the years, grew to become a self-contained township at Sankarnagar. From a modest beginning in 1949 when Sankar Cement made its first appearance in the market, India Cements has grown in stature — from two plants with a capacity of 1.3 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) in 1989 to 10 cement plants with a capacity of 15.55 MTPA in five States. The company stood the test of time to become a strong player in the field. Well, N Srinivasan-led The India Cements has decided to celebrate 75 years of its birth. Why not? After all, the cement industry is by definition cyclical in nature. The celebrations are a testimony to its capacity – nay ability – to manage the cyclicality.  The celebrations have been delayed by a year because of Covid-19 pandemic. If grapevine has to go by, Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to be the chief guest at the event, which will be held in Chennai in the first half of next month. Since 1989, Srinivasan has been in command. Looking at its remarkable journey, a big celebration is in order.
rishi sand

Odisha Sand Artist Pattnaik Faces Flak For His Rishi Sunak Portrait Resembling Tony Blair

Odisha-based internationally acclaimed sand artist and Padma Shri Awardee Sudarsan Pattnaik seems to be grabbing headlines in the UK for all the wrong reasons. Pattnaik like most Indians was excited with the Indian origin Rishi Sunkak becoming the Prime Minister of UK. So, in his own inimitable style he paid tribute to Sunak by creating a sand portrait of Rishi Sunak on the Puri beach. This creation came in for heavy criticism from the British media which stated that the renowned sand artist Pattnaik has gone wrong in depicting Rishi Sunak; he looked very much like the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Sudarsan is indeed apologetic. He told The Independent, UK which he has uploaded on his Twitter handle “My only intention was to draw Mr Sunak to congratulate him. It was a proud moment for me to witness the historic moment of an Indian origin man becoming prime minister of the UK like many Indians.”  Also, what propelled Pattnaik to draw Sunak was his personal connection with Sunak’s mother-in-law Sudha Murthy who had encouraged him in his initial years. Sudarsan laments the fact that his good intention has created unnecessary controversy but he will make up for it by creating another one, and make it look more accurate.
andy street

West Midlands Mayor To Visit India, Woo Indian Business Investments

With a huge success hosting Commonwealth Games in the City of Birmingham, Mayor Andy Street is set to travel to India between November 6-12 leading a big delegation of business leaders and politicians. Andy’s India trip includes visits to Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai. Andy’s visit in early November comes at a time when the UK is undergoing a huge political, social and economic turmoil and the Free Trade Agreement that was scheduled during Diwali has been postponed. Thus this mission is expected to build on the on-going negotiations for a new UK-India FTA and will promote opportunities for bilateral trade and investment between India, the West Midlands and the wider UK. During his visit it’s learnt that his delegation will sign various MoUs. Meeting with the Chairman of the ICCR Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe has been scheduled in New Delhi and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre will sign a MoU with the ICCR. Andy and Senior representatives from The West Midlands Growth Company (WMGC) and partners including the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) will explore business partnerships with CII members, meet Telangana leaders in Hyderabad and visit WE Hub to encourage women entrepreneurship. They have lined-up meetings with the Tata Group, TVS, Mahindra & Mahindra, Switch Mobility, Firstsource, Air India and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).    
Sriram deepti

Shriram Group’s Diwali Gift To Put Smiles On Hundreds Of Deeptis!

Corporates usually queue up to greet clients with gift hampers during Diwali. But this one has decided to do a different thing.  Shriram AMC (Asset Management Company), a unit of the Shriram group, has launched “Deepti” this Diwali. It’s a financial initiative intended to have a lasting positive impact on the lives of girl children. Through Deepti, AMC will extend its assistance to select girl students who have great visions but struggle for funds to finance them.  Shriram AMC had roped in Mumbai-based Katalyst – a non-governmental organization — to implement Deepti. Shriram AMC has identified two sets of beneficiaries under Deepti initiative. The Deepti will benefit college-goers from economically-challenged backgrounds. Katalyst will help Shriram AMC to identify and reach the target group who are good at academics but lack the relevant training and mentorship to face the corporate world. Typically, Shriam is seeking to invest in their training that will eventually help them in the future. The beneficiaries of Deepti in this category would be engineering college students with good academic profiles and a vision for their career paths. Deepti will also benefit school students who come from poor backgrounds. Deepti is a part of the Shriram group’s vision to work for the cause of women empowerment.
Khushbu

DMK Spokesman In Trouble For Denigrating Women Netas

DMK spokesperson Saidai Sadiq is on a sticky wicket after having called actors-turned-netas such as Khushbu Sundar and Gowthami as “items”. He may have believed he had picked soft targets but ran into a doughty Khushbu who took it up on social media with such force as a defender of women that Sadiq had to make a grovelling apology on TV. But that came only after Kanimozhi, DMK MP, had tendered an apology to Khushbu and others, saying such sexism cannot be tolerated. The high- profile daughter of M Karunanidhi has just been elevated in the party as a Deputy General Secretary and has clout with the top party brass, which is why Saidai’s position is looking increasingly shaky. Also, in picking on Khushbu, he may have strayed into very sensitive territory for, as a member of the DMK before she crossed over to BJP, she was very close to the first family, having known three generation of male leaders in Karunanidhi, Stalin and Udhayanidhi by dint of their film industry links. The issue at hand is, however, clearly about the denigration of women and to say they are an “item” was most demeaning. The speaker is certain to face his party’s wrath for only recently Stalin had said publicly that he has spent sleepless nights because of such unwarranted remarks from his partymen.
MCC crowd

T20 World Cup

Men In Blue Are The Real Crowd Pullers, Anywhere In The World!

More than 90000 spectators turned up for the India-Pakistan World Twenty20 match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 23 and 36000 plus  for the India-Netherlands Group 2 league match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on October 27. The rest of the matches are going to be played at the Optus Stadium at Perth on Sunday (Oct 30) and Adelaide Oval before the last league match against Zimbabwe at the MCG again. The ICC has been smart to schedule India’s matches at venues that will draw a big crowd and rake in the moolah. Among the spectators are the faithful of the Indian kind from different parts of the USA, UK and Continental Europe. A Gujarati couple from Chowpatty, Mumbai but settled in Baltimore said they will follow the Indian team till the end and they have not travelled all the way from Baltimore just for one marquee match against Pakistan. Last October in the UAE, India lost the first two matches against Pakistan and New Zealand, but a year later Rohit Sharma’s team has reversed the trend in Australia by winning the first two matches. These two wins have raised the hopes of India winning the title, but as it happened in the third match on Thursday (Oct 27), Zimbabwe beat Pakistan by one run to almost eliminate Babar Azam’s team from the tournament. However with Virat Kohli ever so determined, India should reach the semi-finals from where it can be anybody’s game!
mamataa_Ganesan

Mamata Warms Up To New Bengal Guv, Will Attend His Family Function In Chennai

Manipur Governor La Ganesan, who is holding temporary charge of West Bengal, and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appear to have warmed up to each other. He has invited Didi to his elder brother’s 80th birthday in Chennai on November 3. Mamata has accepted the invite, in what appears to be her attempt to mend ties with the Raj Bhavan. Ganesan was given additional charge of West Bengal in July after his predecessor Jagdeep Dhankhar became the Vice President. Dhankhar’s three-year tenure in the Raj Bhavan was marked by heated exchanges with Mamata who even blocked him on Twitter in January. But, with Ganesan being nice to her, she too wants to mend her ties. The big question is whether Ganesan’s move has the blessings of PM Modi or HM Amit Shah. The warmth in their dealings has apparently set the tongues wagging in Kolkata. On October 24, Ganesan attended Kali Puja at Mamata’s residence along with his family.  The CM gave a short tour to the Governor amidst the festivities. Governor was “very impressed” by Mamata’s modest residence and asked her how she lives in a small house. Ganesan, who was close to DMK chief M Karunanidhi, has also invited Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin. Bengal BJP leaders dismiss the bonhomie between Ganesan and Mamata as of no consequence. Ditto TMC leaders.
savari

Kerala’s Left Front Govt’s App Hailing Cab Service Hits A Speed Breaker

The adage that governments should not be in business is turning out to be true as far as the App hailing cab service launched by Kerala’s Left Front government goes. Launched on August 17, Kerala Savari seems to have come a cropper. Over 5000 trips were cancelled. A closer look reveals that 5,141 trips were cancelled by the drivers registered with the app while the user cancellation was only 76. According to officials, drivers tend to go for more attractive deals on other private apps and cancel the rides. The private auto services are charging Rs 55 for a minimum distance with Rs 23.50 being added for every one-half km, which is much higher than the standard rate fixed by the government. The slew of cancellations have eroded the trust of the users at a time when the app is available only in Trivandrum city limits on a pilot basis. However, it failed to take-off due to technical glitches for two weeks. The hiccups raised concern among drivers who enrolled for the taxi app. They also complained of no effective marketing strategies. The CPM has been at the forefront of such foolhardy decisions designed to give its historically militant labour unions a leg up on the employment front. A recent example was the government’s failed attempt to take over the Trivandrum Airport which went to Adani.
ajay_Devgn

@ajaydevgn

A Non-Controversial, Successful Star Called Ajay Devgn

Fifty three year old Ajay Devgn is one of the busiest actors in Bollywood. The actor–director-producer has four films in the pipeline; one just released this Diwali. Ajay is not really a Diwali hero as most of the time it has been the Khans who time their movie release with Diwali. And if Ajay has released his film on Diwali it has been a clash most of the time with Shah Rukh Khan; he does not really enjoy a rapport with SRK although his wife Kajol hits off with him both on screen and off screen. Ajay Devgn has been a consistent-intense actor who works at his pace and is not in the rat race. With more than 100 films under his belt, he has won national accolades for his contribution to cinema. He has worked with well- known directors like Prakash Jha, Rajkumar Santoshi and Ramgopal Varma but it was Rohit Shetty who gave him the angry Singham stamp. And the same Shetty’s Midas touch has made Ajay’s poker faced comedy a huge box office hit in the Golmaal series. The actor is also a director and Raju Chacha was his first venture. In recent times Ajay has directed Shivaay and Runway 24 the latter starring Big B. The politically correct devoid of controversy actor has several projects on hand — Thank God has just been released. It will be followed by Drishyam 2, Maidaan and Bhola.
byjus

G Sivankutty with BYJUS employees

BYJU’S Shutting Down Trivandrum Unit

BYJU’S, which recently announced the retrenchment of 5% of its 50,000 strong staff in a phased manner, has now gone ahead and shut down its Trivandrum office. The Kerala government’s General Education and Labour Minister, V Sivankutty in a Facebook post has stated “It is alleged that BYJU’S has closed down its Trivandrum office at Technopark, forcing its employees to resign.” More than 170 employees with the Trivandrum unit have told the Minister that they are seeking compensation and pending salaries. Technopark Today, the community media platform, reported that BYJU’S employees were demanding “payment of salary for the month of October 2022 and one-time settlement of salary for the upcoming three months, from November 2022 to January 2023.”Also, “they have demanded encashment of earned leave and full settlement of variable pay as applicable to each employee.” BYJU’S which commands a valuation of $ 22-billion announced a slew of belt tightening measures after posting a loss of Rs 4,588 crore for the fiscal of 2021. Apart from retrenchment of its staff, the company announced that it is optimising its marketing budget, prioritising spends, reducing operational cost and integrating multiple businesses. The company put the blame of its losses in 2020-21 due to the operations at WhiteHat Jr.
arshdeep singh

@arshdeepsinghh

Arshdeep Singh: The New Sensation Who Puts Batters On The Backfoot

Arshdeep Singh has come a long way in a short span of time and proved his mettle in the big league of international cricket. He was sounded out at the back-end of the IPL Season 15 by the selectors that they are looking at him as a contender for the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup. And that’s because he is a left-hand seamer, and potentially long term prospect — a rare talent among the fast and seam bowling variety in India’s domestic circuit. Last Sunday (Oct 23), the young kid on the block silenced the Pakistan supporters among the 90,000 odd who had come to watch the India-Pakistan skirmish at the Melbourne Cricket Stadium. Making his debut in an ICC event for the first time, Arshdeep manipulated the ball into the right hander bowling from over the wicket and the Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was trapped in front first ball. It was the fifth time that Azam was dispatched for a first ball duck. Azam has scored 3231 runs coming into the match; he had baulked India in the last year’s World Cup opener in the UAE. Arshdeep went on to dismiss Mohammed Rizwan and Asif Ali in his second spell and now has a tally of 22 wickets in 14 matches. The Sardar is turning out to be a real find!
Rishi sunak_003

@RishiSunak

Politics Peaks In India Over Rise Of Rishi Sunak In UK

Rishi Sunak’s rise as UK PM has prompted sharp responses in India. Sunak, the 42-year-old Indian-origin UK leader, is the first-ever UK PM of South Asian heritage, and is the youngest premier the country has seen in about two centuries. For the UK to have a PM of colour is being hailed as a key moment. In India, PM Narendra Modi defined Sunak — the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy — as a “living bridge” and looked forward to working with him. Meanwhile, the Opposition were gloating how a minority member has been accepted. “First Kamala Harris, now Rishi Sunak. The people of the US and the UK have embraced the non-majority citizens of their countries and elected them to high office in government,” tweeted Congress’s P Chidambaram. “I think there is a lesson to be learned by India and the parties that practise majoritarianism,” he stressed. Coming from the Congress, it is a bit rich. The party could have got Sonia Gandhi elected as PM in 2004 itself. But then if one were to go by the account of K Natwar Singh in his book it was Rahul Gandhi’s threat that had made Sonia give up the crown. As for Shashi Tharoor wondering if India could have a minority PM in India, he forgets between 2004 and 2014, Dr Manmohan Singh belonging to Sikh minority was the PM.
rajinikanth_013

Instagram

The Rajini Phenomenon Endures As Fans Throng To Glimpse Their Thalaiva

This Deepawali, the crowds in front of his house, “Brindavan” in Chennai started swelling from 7 am. Men, women and youthful enthusiasts stood rearing to greet Thalaiva with frenzy. The Poes Garden cul de sac of just six families has witnessed this crazed stargazing crowd, year after year. Age does not wither nor custom stale the Rajini phenomenon despite all the criticisms flung at him…fickle political stance, waning star attraction, dropping box office collections, hackneyed formula films…Rajini is Teflon coated and super resilient. The phenomenon has kept his fan base intact for over 45 years now. The 70-year old clad in a simple dhoti, white jubula with vibhuti generously smeared on his forehead came out, stood on a bench and greeted the crowd. The roar that went up must have given him goosebumps. The star still reigns super. After the lukewarm response to his Annathe, Rajini signed up for SUN pictures Jailer, directed by Nelson and its shooting is in progress. With Aishwarya Rai and Ramya Krishnan as female foils, Rajini hopes to stir up a storm. He is working hard to be fit. Neighbours spot a trim Rajini on regular brisk walks, wearing his earphones, even walking backwards, a yogic practice for balance. Is Rajini the ultimate Karmayogi? Do your stuff, move on, don’t let success or failure weigh you down. This phenomenon endures, a cult figure.

TRENDS & VIEWS

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 www.shortpost.in 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.