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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.
modi Kargil

In High-Altitude Kargil, Modi Connects In Gujarati & Tamil

In an emotional reunion, a young Army officer in Kargil presented PM Narendra Modi with a 2001 picture of him when Modi had visited Sainik School in Balachadi, Gujarat as CM and presented him with a shield. When they met again on October 24 this year in Kargil it was a nostalgic meeting. Interacting with soldiers, Modi pointed out, “There has not been a single war with Pakistan when Kargil has not flown the victory flag”. Emphasising on the importance of 1999 Kargil armed conflict for India, he recalled how he was a witness to the war and had watched it closely as he had come to spend time with the jawans when they were giving a befitting reply to the enemies. Modi had gone to Kargil as an ordinary citizen to drop off the supplies put together by countrymen and said that it was a moment of worship for him. What is of interest is the manner in which the PM was seen freely interacting with the soldiers, enjoying  music with them — like when a soldier crooned AR Rahman’s number Maa Tujhe Salam. The high-altitude conflict zone reflected mini India with Tamil soldiers enthralling the PM with a Tamil song and even a Gujarati song boomed from Kargil —“Gandhiji Gujarati, Modiji Gujarati, Gujarati na bol bala amme lehri lala, amme lala“. Modi tweeted about the videos in Gujarati & Tamil.
Rishi Sunak_02

An Indian Takes Over At 10 Downing Street

It will not only be a great moment in British history but also that of Indian history as Rishi Sunak takes over at 10 Downing Street after being voted in as Tory Party leader on Diwali day. It is 75 years since Winston Churchill, Britain’s greatest hero of World War II, made the terrible remark on Indians saying – “All Indian leaders will be of low calibre & men of straw”. And that was said by a man who is considered as responsible for the Bengal Famine of the 1940s when he allowed Indians to starve while the grain was earmarked for British troops. Only seven years ago was the greatness of Mahatma Gandhi as the apostle of peace and fighter of freedom for India recognised as his statue was installed in the British Parliament in 2015. Britain gets an Indian origin Prime Minister. At 42, he is Britain’s youngest PM in 200 years, educated at Oxford in true blue Britain and Stanford in the US, as rich as royalty thanks to his wife Akshata, daughter of Narayana Murthy of Infosys fame, and as fund manager at Goldman Sachs conversant with the financial markets. The controversies over his wife’s non-domiciled tax status in the UK and the US green card he kept for too long are behind him now. He is expected to unite Britain at a time of a grave financial crisis.
ookla

Indian Downloads Slower Than In Nepal, Pakistan & Sri Lanka

With 5G being the flavour of the times, the emphasis on the present day mobile and broadband speed is turning out to be low priority.  According to Ookla Speedtest Global Index, the Indian ranking in media mobile network speeds as well as fixed broadband speeds globally has slipped marginally from 117 and 78 respectively to 118 and 79 respectively. However, the median download speed marginally increased from 13.52 Mbps in August to 13.87 mbps in September. In the case of fixed broadband median the average speed also increased from 48.29 Mbps to 48.59 Mbps. For the record, China tops the Speedtest Global Index with Shanghai as the fastest city with a median download speed of 158.63 Mbps for mobile networks. During its trail phase, the Indian 5G networks have generated a download speed of 500 Mbps. The Ookla report also goes on to state that close to 90% of existing Indian mobile owners will shift to 5G as and when it comes about. Reports indicate that it will take from two to three years for 5G to cover the entire country. Till then Indians will have to live with the present download speeds which puts India’s ranking lower than Nepal (115), Pakistan (116) and Sri Lanka (117).
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Raj Thackeray’s Political Hat Trick In 3 Days, Son Amit Also More Active

While Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has scored his third political victory in as many days, his son Amit has asked the government to grant as bonus a month’s salary for police personnel in the state. Raj Thackeray’s Diwali celebration at the historic Shivaji Park on Friday (Oct 21) evening has deep political overtones since chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis appeared on his stage. Shinde made a loaded statement there. He said, “I wanted to attend this celebration for the last 10 years but could not come.” The barb has been aimed at his erstwhile boss Uddhav Thackeray, who is at loggerheads with cousin Raj.  The first win for Raj was the prompt response to his appeal by Fadnavis to withdraw the BJP candidate from Andheri assembly by-election. The second was his letter to Shinde seeking relief to farmers. Soon thereafter, the CM announced the writing off the farmer loans. The third victory is the presence of CM and DCM on his platform.  Amit also has been sending out clear political signals. Response is awaited to his appeal to Fadnavis, also the home minister, to consider the case of police personnel for a bonus so that their Diwali becomes joyful.
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Photo : BCCI

India Vs Pakistan: Will It Be A Super Sunday?

India captain Rohit Sharma was a cool captain, deftly fielding questions on the eve of India’s opening ICC Men’s Twenty 20 World Cup match against Pakistan at the majestic Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. He readily acknowledged that Pakistan has always been a competitive side ever since he played against them in 2007 for the first time and that the supporters would hope to see a good match. Sharma has been the full time captain of the Indian team across all formats since October 2021. At the outset he pointed out that giving security (of their position in the team) has been the biggest change in the last 12 months.  The highest run getter in the Twenty20 format – the second being Virat Kohli — Sharma confessed that the team knows that India has not won an ICC event since 2013, but is not burdened by such thoughts. India and Pakistan have played three matches in the last 12 months, one in the last year’s World Twenty20 and twice in the Asia Cup. Well into his 30s, Sharma will not have the services of Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja and so he will have to depend on the exploits of Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Hardik Pandya and Arshdeep Singh to deliver the goods with ball, and also hope the spinners rise to the occasion.
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DMK's TR Baalu Expresses Concern On Tamils In Pakistan

 A day after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global watchdog on terror financing and money laundering, announced that Pakistan is “no longer subject to its increased monitoring process” as it has agreed to continue to work with APG (Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering) to further “improve its AML and CFT (Anti-Money Laundering & Counter-Terrorist Financing) system” and India noted that it was scrutiny that had forced Islamabad to take anti-terror steps, DMK leader TR Baalu decided it was a good time to move the Modi Government for seeking help for a miniscule group — Tamils in Pakistan. In a letter to External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, Baalu pointed out that the Tamils in Madrasi Bara in Karachi have been living there for decades and were taken there by the British. “During the British days, they were taken to East Pakistan to do account related jobs and they subsequently moved to present day Pakistan.” Post partition, these people opted to live in Pakistan. However, in view of deteriorating ties between the two countries these expats have not been able to visit their ancestral villages in Tamil Nadu or enable their children to maintain a cultural and language connect with Tamil Nadu. Urging the EAM to arrange for a visit of the Pak Tamils to their villages, Baalu offered to extend support of MK Stalin government in imparting Tamil language skills to next-generation Pak Tamils.
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Post Vedanta-Foxconn Fiasco Maharashtra Govt Goes All Out To Revive Nanar Refinery Project

The Maharashtra government has intensified its campaign to ensure that the state does not lose the multi-billion rupee Nanar refinery project in Ratnagiri district in Konkan region. The precaution is said to be taken to avoid recurrence of the Vedanta-Foxconn fiasco that occurred a couple of months ago. With an estimated Indian and international investment of over Rs 3 lakh core, Nanar was projected as the largest such refinery in the world. Nearly 7500 acres of land was acquired for it though some land holders were against it. The previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) regime then decided to shift it to a nearby village, Barsu, though opposition from others quarters continued. After losing Vedanta-Foxconn, the Shinde-Fadnavis government held a cabinet sub-committee meeting, which took place after a lapse of 14 months. After discussing pros and cons, it was felt that the project should stay at Nanar and the opposing villages deleted from its planning. After keeping this area of about 2000 acres out, the proposed project can be developed on the acquired 5500 acres of land, it was suggested. Chief minister Eknath Shinde and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis have been wooing various industrialists to start their projects in Maharashtra. Coincidentally, the sub-committee met just when it was being announced that Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan was to visit Pune to attract industry through his “Invest MP” initiative.
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Congress Leader Shivraj Patil Once Again Puts His Foot In His Mouth

Former Union home minister Shivraj Patil has put his foot in his mouth on many occasions in the past and his latest ‘Jihad’ remark has come as no surprise for those knowing him. Patil was in the news last time when it was found out that he had completely deleted the sordid 26/11 terrorist attack tragedy on Mumbai by Pakistan from his autobiography Odyssey of My Life. A lightweight figure in Maharashtra politics, Patil was always rewarded due to his total loyalty to the Gandhi clan. In active politics for over 45 years, Patil was always close to the powers that be. He has not participated in any protest or demonstration. Due to his penchant for ‘correctness’ and razor-sharp crease of his suits, Patil never indulged into the hurly-burly of street politics. Every time a Maharashtra chief minister was to be changed by the Congress high command, Shivraj Patil’s lackeys would indicate that his name was being considered. On a couple of such occasions, he camped in Mumbai but was never sounded by the party. He would then himself discount the news reports and criticize the media for circulating them. Patil had claimed after the 26 November 2008 Pakistani attacks that he had air travelled to Mumbai in a cargo plane along with about 250-300 NSG commandos. However, the claim was rubbished by the officials who had been on that aircraft. As a result, the entire episode vanished from his autobiography.  QLab Pro
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Former Vice President Venkaiah Naidu Makes A Big Push For The Prestige Of Mother Tongue

It was interesting to hear former Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu hold forth on the language issue. Unencumbered by any office, he spoke freely on Hindi imposition which is a pet project of the RSS and Modi Government. Naidu handled the sensitive subject in his own inimitable style. Addressing a News Broadcasters Federation, he said “‘We are a federal country, we have different states, but we are one nation. My preference is always for my mother tongue, then brother tongue and then any other tongue.” Recalling how as Rajya Sabha Chairman he had ensured all members could speak in their mother tongue. Describing mother tongue as eyesight, Naidu described English as spectacles. “Without eyesight, there is no use for the most expensive pair of glasses.” It was politically significant that Naidu called on people to “try and learn one language that is spoken by a large number of people — be it Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali or Marathi”.  By this, he meant those from Hindi-speaking areas should also pick up an Indian language. “There should be no imposition of any language and also no language should be opposed. We should also not oppose English,” he said. Known for his quips as Rajya Sabha Chairman, Naidu made it clear he may have retired on August 11, but isn’t tired. And would continue to interact with people.  Scrivener Crack
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Top Cop Who Killed Sandalwood Smuggler Veerappan Back In Tamil Nadu?

Remember the dramatic shoot out of Sandalwood brigand Veerappan? Tamil Nadu top cop and late Jayalalithaa’s alter ego, the much decorated K Vijay Kumar was assigned to capture Veerappan, the Sandalwood smuggler who was literally running a YouTube studio from the dense jungles of Sathyamangalam and teasing the cops. He had kidnapped Karnataka superstar Rajkumar. Enter Vijay Kumar and Veerappan’s story ends forever. Vijay Kumar, is now back in TN, after resigning from a high profile posting in Delhi as Special Security Officer to the Ministry of Home Affairs, following a notable stint as Security Advisor to J&K. He held plum posts 6 years after retirement and is said to be close to Amit Shah and Ajit Doval. Who is the new brigand Vijay Kumar has been sent to capture? Before we presume why he is back it is relevant to track two other top guns who came to TN from the Force. First was Governor RN Ravi now comfortably ensconced in the Raj Bhavan stonewalling many a bill to vex the ruling party DMK. Second, K Annamalai, an IPS officer posted in Karnataka has taken over as TN BJP chief. He has already made a name for his son et lumiere profile quickly. Now is Vijay Kumar back in TN to ferret out proxy terrorist units like the PFI or play a new role? Watch this space.  Stardock WindowBlinds 
Rishu Sunak and Boris Johnson

Cynical Boris Johnson Backed Liz Truss To Have Comeback Chance

The return of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister of Britain is a distinct possibility. He will be up against his former protégé and now rival Rishi Sunak for the right to reside on Downing Street. There is reason to believe that Boris deliberately and cynically backed Liz Truss as the candidate for PM against Rishi though he knew he was backing the wrong candidate for the job. This was his way of creating a comeback trail for himself. Had he proposed the correct candidate in Rishi he may not have stood this chance of getting back in the job because Tory MPs would have realised what their wrong choice could do to the country and its economy. The master and his protégé had fallen out during the partygate crisis after Rishi had first stood by Prime Minister Boris. But, as the crisis grew in such proportions that Boris was in danger of being dethroned, Rishi pulled out to make a play for the top job. And that is when Boris plumped for Truss in the hope of swinging the nomination for her. This was cynical politics at its best and Boris was never averse to pursuing it. In what could be a shortened contest in view of the emergency situation in Britain, it might become a straight fight between Boris and Rishi with Penny Mordaunt likely to be left behind, once again. Teorex Inpaint Crack
Collage Maker-17-Oct-2022-12

Raj Thackeray’s Second Political Win In 2 Days, Son Amit Also More Active

While Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray has scored another victory with his latest suggestion to the state government to help out distressed farmers, his son, Amit has asked the government to grant as bonus a month’s salary for police personnel in the state. Raj Thackeray’s latest appeal has come close on the heels of his earlier letter to deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to withdraw from the Andheri assembly by-election and the withdrawal of the BJP candidate soon thereafter. The letter written by Raj to chief minister Eknath Shinde seeking relief to farmers was released for publication and the CM’s announcement of writing off the farmer loans taken from the land development bank in the state was made within hours. Shinde said this Diwali gift involves the loan waiver of Rs 964 crore. In his letter, Raj had praised the state government’s policies of recording panchanamas of farmers’ losses but felt that this would not be enough. Demanding that the state should declare a ‘wet drought’ caused by excessive unseasonal rains, Raj said the losses suffered by farmers were unprecedented. Sending out clear signals, Amit is becoming more and more active. Government’s response is awaited to his appeal to deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio, to consider the case of police personnel so that their Diwali becomes joyful. MiniTool Power Data Recovery Keygen
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Why Continuity In Govt Matters In Security: How Nirmala Sitharaman As Raskha Mantri Revived 20-Year Old Deesa Air Base

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week laid the foundation stone for a new air base at Deesa in Banaskantha district, Gujarat near the India-Pakistan border, it brought to light the importance of continuity in decision-making in the government. Deesa is a greenfield air base spread over 4,519 acres and as Modi himself put it “the international border is just 130 km away. If our forces, especially the Air Force, are in Deesa, we will be able to respond to any challenge on the western border”.  According to Indian Air Force (IAF) officials the land for the base was acquired back in 1983. The approval to construct a full-fledged air base was given by the Centre in 2020. Although the land for Deesa air base was allotted an in-principle approval given was to the IAF by the Vajpayee government way back in 2000, the project was put on a back burner by the UPA government for the next 14 years. It was kick-started only after the 2017 massive floods in Banaskantha. That is when PM Modi and then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked IAF to provide flood relief. The Air Headquarters then headed by Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa found it difficult to provide relief as there was no airfield nearby. Nevertheless Deesa was still lying-in files. It was then that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stepped in and got all approval done along with Rs 1,000 crore funding.
Alia Bhatt

@aliaa08

Brand Alia Has A Big Draw On All Platforms

She is the insider who made it big in Bollywood with her extraordinary talent. Alia Bhatt, who is in the family way, is all over the place – print, TV, internet — endorsing all kinds of products. And her spontaneity, innate talent and charm seems to be emoting well with her audience. Once upon a time marriage or pregnancy were considered a taboo. Not anymore. In fact, stars are cashing on it. Kareena, Anushka and Dia have all done it. The trend of pregnant celebrities endorsing products is increasing by the day. Reportedly, Kareena Kapoor Khan earned around Rs 12 crore via endorsements during her pregnancy. In the case of Alia, she has already endorsed over 23 products. She also features with her husband Ranbir Kapoor in Spotify ads done during the promotion of Brahmastra. Experts from the adworld say there’s a correlation between brands, and ad recalls of products endorsed by the celebrities during their pregnancy as for a large number of women these stars are their idols. And social media has given more heft to these celebrities. According to Duff & Phelps (now Kroll) Celebrity Brand Valuation Report, Alia’s brand value stood at $ 68.1 million in 2021. That’s huge for the 29-year old actress who entered Bollywood 10 years ago. No wonder she is wearing several hats — model, actor, producer and promoter.
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Is The NBFC Sector Over Regulated?

They are a supplemental channel of credit intermediation alongside banks. Over the years, the NBFC (non-banking finance companies) sector has undergone a major metamorphosis in terms of size, complexity and interconnectedness within the financial sector. The RBI has a scale-based regulatory framework to address the risk profiles of NBFCs. This covers a host of issues such as capital requirements, governance standards, prudential norms et al. The dynamics of the NBFC sector changes faster these days.  This forces the banking regulator to be on the guard, and tweak the regulation when required. The RBI has now made it difficult for NBFC groups to escape tighter oversight. NBFCs that are part of a common group or are floated by a common set of promoters shall not be viewed on a standalone basis. Henceforth, the total assets of all the NBFCs in a group will be consolidated to determine the threshold for their classification in the Middle Layer. The group may have multiple NBFCs.  If the consolidated asset size of the group is ₹1000 crore and above, then each of these companies will be classified as an NBFC in the Middle Layer, and, consequently, regulations as applicable to the Middle Layer shall be applicable to them. These guidelines have come into force from October 1. Is it a regulatory overload or a right move?
Mamata Banerji

aitcofficial.org

Trinamool Congress Infighting Leaves The Party In Docks

Factional feud and infighting among senior leaders of Trinamool Congress (TMC), for the past few days, has made it split wide open ahead of the party’s Lok Sabha dream. While the BJP is trying desperately to regain its lost grounds in Bengal, the TMC infighting among the senior guards is adding fodder to saffron motive. Local MLA Tapas Roy took a jibe against party colleague and MP Sudip Banerjee of indulging in “anti-party” activity by “keeping a good rapport with BJP” as well as a “corrupt politician who has spent days in jail” for his involvement in a Ponzi scam 2017. Though Sudip did not make any counter claims but referred to the common saying “Hathi chale bazar…..”. Sudip is Didi’s representative in Delhi who has interacted with PM Narendra Modi several times on her behalf. In fact, Didi had invited Sudip and his wife, MLA Nayana Banerjee to a programme held in her constituency, making it clear about her support. Another local MLA Tapas Chatterjee expressed his dissatisfaction for not being invited to Didi’s event held at a venue situated within his constituency. In both incidents, senior party leaders, MP Sougata Roy and local MLA Madan Mitra came out in support of Roy and Chatterjee respectively. However, according to party insiders, on both occasions, Didi has expressed her anger with close circuit. She is quoted saying that Chatterjee could have spoken to her instead of going to the media.
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Pawar & Thackeray Families Face New Challenges, Timing Perplexing

A public interest litigation against Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray and his family and an allegation that certain forces are bent upon splintering the family of NCP chief Sharad Pawar have come out back on back, raising speculation about the timing of both. The PIL against Thackeray and his family members, demanding to know the source of their income and wealth, came up before the high court in Mumbai on Wednesday. It has been listed for hearing on November 16. The petition has been filed by Dadar resident Gauri Bhide and her father, said to be close to the Thackeray family. The Bhide’s have a printing press near Saamana office in Prabhadevi. The other powerful family belongs to Sharad Pawar, whose grandson and NCP MLA Rohit Pawar had kicked up a storm after alleging that some forces were trying to wreck the family. When asked for his reaction, NCP leader and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar was evasive. Ajit said, “I shall ask Rohit what he exactly meant by making such a statement.”  To add to the suspense, Rohit later said he had not blamed the BJP for the plans to dismantle the family but had merely said that some forces opposing the NCP were trying to create a rift in the family. Reactions of Pawar and Uddhav are awaited eagerly.
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Social Media Influencers Setting The Agenda For Brands?

Lobbyists play an important role in the political space across the globe. Their services are widely used to influence key decisions. In the world of commerce, they take a different nomenclature. Influencers are setting the game for many big brands.  Increasingly brands see influencer-marketing as one of the mainstream forms of digital marketing. The reason is simple. There are over 20 lakh content creators in India. Chennai-based Social Beat launched www.influencer.in, a marketing platform, to help brands create quality content and amplify the reach among the target audience by leveraging verified digital influencers across Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Linkedin and the like. The platform has just released “The influencer marketing report 2022”. The report expects the influencer marketing industry to grow to Rs 2,500 crore by 2025 from Rs 900 crore in 2021. According to the survey, 61.2% of all brands recognize the power of influencer-marketing to tap into a newer audience pool to boost brand awareness.  The survey finds 36.9% of brands rely on Instagram and 20.6% on YouTube for their dedicated influencer-marketing efforts. Facebook continues to be popular, with 18.7% of brands using it. About 50% of marketers indicate that they spend up to 10% of their digital marketing budget on influencers annually. Well, they are the change-driver of a new kind!
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AICC

As Scripted Kharge Wins, Congress Gets Its First Non Gandhi President In 24 Years

Election of Mallikarjun Kharge as Congress President by a comfortable number of votes — he polled 7897 votes against Shashi Tharoor’s 1072 — was on expected lines. Kharge with blessings of the Gandhis had to win. Except that Tharoor had hoped to poll about 2000 to 2,500 and that did not happen. After all, he had campaigned extensively in four states. He was hoping to tap on the latent discontent within the party. That is why party MP Karti Chidambaram backing Tharoor remarked “We are very pleased that we crossed the four digit mark – 1,072 votes”. In 2000, when Jitendra Prasada contested against Sonia Gandhi, he had polled a paltry 94 votes against Sonia’s 7,400 votes. In 1997, when Sitaram Kesri was elected party chief, he had polled 6,224 votes, Sharad Pawar 882 and Rajesh Pilot 354. Little wonder, Tharoor who lost the elections felt that the revival of the party “has truly begun today“. After all, winning trust of 1000-plus delegates is no small achievement. Meanwhile in poll-bound Himachal there is rush to file nominations as the last date for filing papers is October 25, day on which the solar eclipse falls. With Diwali holidays and the eclipse, candidates have no choice of good muhurat. Denial of nomination to a sitting Kinnaur MLA Jagat Singh Negi is also irking party leaders. Rahul Gandhi’s aide Krishna Allavaru is reportedly pushing for a Youth Congress pick.
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End Of Sasikala’s Political Ambitions?

The finger of suspicion pointing at VK Sasikala and others in the matter of the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa might spell the end of her political ambitions. Already disqualified from contesting elections till 2027 after going to jail on a disproportionate assets charge, the former confidante of Jaya might find very few willing to join hands with her in promoting her political future. She might find a faithful loyalist in the pliant O Panneerselvam who was substitute CM whenever Jaya was not qualified to hold the CM post or ill. But none would take her seriously any more in Tamil Nadu’s Dravidian political scene after Justice Arumugasamy Commission indicted her. Having taken charge of everything during Jaya’s illness, including ordering the CCTV cameras in the CCU unit of Apollo Hospital to be switched off, she and her kin who is a doctor took the final call on several decisions regarding Jaya’s medical treatment. No one else, not even acting CM OPS, had access to the CCU area that was cordoned off. Bureaucrats who took orders directly from Sasikala will also be under the scanner when the government orders an inquiry. Any chance of rapprochement with the AIADMK party claimed by Edappadi K Palaniswami may have also evaporated as none would be ready to associate with a hanger-on suspected of doing away with her mentor in the hope of capturing her powerful seat.
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From Wankhede, Joshi To Pawar, Political Power Play At The Mumbai Cricket Association

Politicians, who take pot shots at each other in the Legislative Assembly, and at the hustings in the lead up to the elections day, have in the last three decades, virtually taken ownership of the top post in the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). And, Sharad Pawar has always been the playmaker when not occupying the MCA President’s post. He held the coveted post for 13 years with a resolution passed at a general body to extend his term beyond eight years. But it was the most affable personality in SK Wankhede, the assembly speaker who held the top post for 23 years — from 1963-64 to 1986-87. A former MCA official described Wankhede’s time as the most defining one in the history of the Association when it broke the umbilical cord with the Cricket Club of India and built its headquarters at D Road, Churchgate. Former officials also described Pawar’s contribution as significant because the Wankhede was refurbished for the 2011 World Cup and a new facility worth over many hundred crore now came into existence at the Bandra Kurla Complex. Manohar Joshi was MCA President for eight years and Vilasrao Deshmukh and Ashish Shelar for around one year each. Vijay Patil hails from a family entrenched in politics and now Amol Kale, who is pitted against a cricketing hero Sandeep Patil is said to have good equations with Devendra Fadnavis. Truly, the politicians love the MCA.
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Didi Boldly Bats For Dada But May Be Bowled

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The West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee came out strongly in support of hometown boy and displaced BCCI President Sourav Ganguly. She wants the BJP government at the Centre to back Dada for the ICC president’s post. But it may be too late already as only a couple of days are left for filing a nomination for President ahead of the ICC meet in November. Didi made it clear that she was only batting for youngsters as she also supported Jay Shah continuing for a second term as BCCI Secretary. Ganguly got ejected from the ticket thanks to N Srinivasan, the former CSK owner and de facto boss, shooting down Dada when the cricket group met at Amit Shah’s house where Roger Binny’s candidature to replace Dada was worked out. The sitting ICC President Greg Barclay is seeking a second term and the BCCI may not like to rock the boat there. All Didi got in response to her backing for Dada is a snarky comment from BJP brass asking her why she cannot replace Shah Rukh Khan as Brand Ambassador for Bengal and give Ganguly the endorsement package. Dada lost out because he chose commerce over leadership role in BCCI by signing on with companies competing with the Board’s official sponsors in such fields as betting and gaming.
Collage Maker-18-Oct-2022-06

Political Manoeuvrings Continue In Maharashtra, Pawar & Uddhav To Greet Rahul

Political permutations and combinations continue to take place in Maharashtra though their contexts are different and confusing for the common man. Within a couple of days of the BJP’s dramatic decision not to contest the Andheri (east) by-election against Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena, the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) election slated on October 20 will be fought by all major political parties in the state unitedly to ensure election of a BJP nominee as MCA president. The new MCA office-bearers and executive committee members will represent the Sena (U), the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the BJP. Maharashtra Congress party president Nana Patole went to the extent of commenting that the BJP’s Andheri withdrawal looked as if it was a prelude to the MCA election. Even as dust is settling over the developments, NCP president Sharad Pawar and Uddhav have reportedly consented to join Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo yatra in the state. Rahul will enter Maharashtra on November 7 at Nanded to begin his 383-km walkathon in the state. Pawar and Thackeray were invited to make their presence felt by former chief minister Ashok Chavan and other Congress leaders. Both have given positive signals. The place and day of Pawar and Uddhav participation will be decided soon. However, their consent is viewed as an encouraging sign for the revival of the erstwhile ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi.
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This Diwali Modi Will Be Visiting Baba Kedar As Well As Ayodhya

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will celebrate Diwali with soldiers on October 24, something that he has been doing for the last eight years. Starting from a visit to Siachen in 2014, he has celebrated the festival with troops in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district twice — in 2019 and 2021. This year, the PM will visit Kedarnath on October 21 where he will oversee the ongoing development plans. Thereafter he will visit Badrinath the same day. On October 23, he will go to Ayodhya, in Uttar Pradesh for “Deepotsav.” His visit to the char dham in Uttarakhand is being seen as his attempt to ensure pilgrims have better experience while visiting these shrines. His concern for the pilgrim’s welfare came across even when he recently inaugurated a revamped Mahakaal Temple complex in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. In Ayodhya a grand event of lighting of lamps is being planned. Ever since the BJP came to power in UP, mega ‘Deepotsav’ celebrations have been organised by the Yogi Government. In 2021, Ayodhya created a world record after over 9 lakh diyas were lit along the banks of river Saryu. This year, a record 15 lakhs of lamps will be lit in the birthplace of Bhagwan Ram. It is being said Modi will visit the border village of Maana and interact with the villagers and soldiers.
Collage Maker-17-Oct-2022-12

Revamp Moto's New Electric Two-Wheeler Can Be Modified On The Go

They don’t call themselves producers of vehicles any longer. They have now acquired a new term and status. Well, the country is witnessing the arrival of solution providers of mobility kind even as it is headed towards an increasingly greener automobile eco-system. They are coming in assorted formats – start-up, small, medium and big. Well, Nashik-based Revamp Moto is a start-up, and it came on scene in January 2021. Founded by Pritesh Mahajan, Jayesh Tope and Pushkaraj Salunke, Revamp Moto is on a unique journey.  All three co-founders had worked on prior entrepreneurial ventures before synergising to form the vision of Revamp Moto. It is on a mission to design and produce an electric two-wheeler to enable enterprising micro-entrepreneurs to conduct business “on the go”. Revamp is working on adaptable and sustainable mobility solutions that are safe and affordable for the micro-entrepreneurs. The objective is to come out with a two-wheeler that is simpler for street hawkers, delivery agents, milkmen, vegetable sellers and others. Essentially, it calls for providing them flexibility to quickly modify their vehicles to their needs. This should allow users to switch between use cases of the vehicle in a matter of minutes. Revamp Moto is looking to build an adaptable electric two-wheeler that is modular, reliable, and connected. Whole new options are emerging in EV space, it appears.
Collage Maker-17-Oct-2022-07

Cong Polls May Throw Surprise In The Margin Of Kharge’s Victory

Congress President Sonia Gandhi who cast her vote in party polls, surprised everyone with her remark – about how she has been waiting for a “long time” to vote in a new party chief. Coming from someone who has led the Grand Old party for the longest time – a record 24 years – it may seem a bit rich. Of course in between, her son Rahul did briefly take over from her in December 2017 through a process of uncontested polls but he gave it all up in 2019 after the Lok Sabha polls rout. While it is interesting to watch the Gandhis pursue agenda of party polls with an assurance that their man is Mallikarjun Kharge, the wager is it could throw some surprise by backing Shashi Tharoor. Yet the party is going to ludicrous lengths to assert about “purity of the election process” with AICC media functionary Jairam Ramesh unflinchingly comparing party’s Election Authority Madhusudan Mistry to the legendary TN Seshan. Meanwhile, many in the party are wondering why Priyanka Gandhi Vadra hasn’t joined the Bharat Jodo Yatra yet. Is she upset with her brother or was preoccupied with her rally in Solan on October 14? Must give it to Chhatisgarh CM Bhupesh Bhagel who is forever trying to be on the right side of the Gandhis; like he managed to be in Solan and joined Rahul Gandhi’s rally in Ballari the next day in Karnataka. Now, all eyes on October 19 result.
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BJP's Andheri By-Election Withdrawal Was Scripted, Says Sena MP Sanjay Raut

In a day of fast developments, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has alleged that the BJP asked MNS leader Raj Thackeray to write a letter urging Devendra Fadnavis to withdraw from Andheri (east) assembly by-election since an internal BJP survey had shown that it would lose to Shiv Sena (Uddhav) candidate by about 45000 votes. “What Raj had written was according to a script prepared beforehand.” Raut told reporters at the session’s court where he was brought for a hearing. He was reacting to Maharashtra BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule’s announcement about the withdrawal by the BJP from the crucial fight. Similar theories abound about the chain of events that led to the final BJP decision to opt out. First, Raj wrote a letter to BJP. It was supported by NCP president Sharad Pawar and CM Eknath Shinde’s confidant Pratap Sarnaik, Thane MLA. Fadnavis declared that the BJP would give a serious consideration to it in view of the appeal that a deceased’s spouse should be allowed to get elected unopposed. The culmination was Bawankule’s endorsement. In a related development, Raj has written another letter to Fadnavis on Monday, thanking his ‘Dear Friend’ for showing the magnanimity to withdraw from the fray. However, BJP candidate Murji Patel’s supporters were not happy, they shouted slogans against Raj after their leader withdrew from the by-election. But Patel said he was a disciplined soldier of the BJP and hence withdrew the moment he was asked to.
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What’s Giving Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Heebie-Jeebies?

Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin recently lamented, “Every morning I dread waking up to some new controversy caused by some of my senior ministers “. Stalin warned these controversial cohorts in no uncertain terms during the recent DMK General Council meet “Should I resign or those who are guilty ready to resign? Of this motley council of ministers the enfant terrible septuagenarian, Durai Murugan has irked the government on more than one occasion. Recently, Durai Murugan accompanied by Health Minister Ma. Subramanian, visited a primary health Center in his own constituency, Katpadi and berated the doctors there for poor maintenance of precincts and ordered immediate transfer of a few doctors to a distant gulag.  The Indian Medical Association took up the matter with Stalin who reversed the transfer decision. Minister for Transport K Ponmudi insulted women by referring to them as “OC (in Tamil it means free) bus passengers “. TN women have taken umbrage to his statement. In the case of finance minister PTR Palanivel Thiagarajan, the less said the better. The sheen of his grand entry as party intellectual and finance wizard, wore off fast with other aspirants putting him in his place. It seems that the late Kalaignar would not allow a minister to ride with him in his car for such misdeeds. Stalin too is trying out this mode of punishment.
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BJP Revives Plan To Assault Aaditya Thackeray’s Constituency Again

Mumbai BJP has revived its plan to make fresh forays into the Worli assembly constituency represented by Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aaditya on the occasion of Diwali. Several events, accordingly, will be organized between 19 and 23 October in the area by inviting leading film and television stars. During Navratri, BJP had held gala Garba gatherings in Worli, which is a predominantly Marathi-speaking constituency. So far, the Shiv Sena had monopolized it. However, in the new political equation, the BJP is keen to snatch it away from the Sena (U) by trouncing Aaditya. The strategic Jamboree Maidan in Worli will be the venue of the BJP’s ‘Deepotsav’ in which many cultural and cuisine attractions will be offered so as to ensure substantial footfall. Ever since the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance was established in 1989, Mumbai had been gifted to the Sena by the BJP for the municipal corporation and assembly elections while in the other parts of the state and the Lok Sabha elections, BJP was given more weightage. The situation changed in 2019 when the Sena broke away from the BJP to form Uddhav’s government in tandem with the NCP and the Congress. Stung by the shock, the BJP has decided to try its best to win the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which has been under the Sena since 1985.
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Bandicoot Company Launches Gait Training Solution For Paraplegics

Kerala-based GenRobotics, which introduced Bandicoot, the robotic scavenger, is now getting into robot-assisted gait training solutions. Called G-Gaiter derived from the word Gait (manner of walking), it helps to speed up rehabilitation of paraplegic patients. The product is assembled with the world’s first Pneumatic Leg Orthosis Technology-G Plot. It is designed to maximise muscle strength, range of joint motion and gait function of paraplegic patients. G-Gaiter aims to make a difference in the lives of millions of people by assisting them in the recovery of paraplegic conditions caused by spinal cord injuries, stroke, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, accidents, war injuries sustained by soldiers etc. Unlike the conventional method, G-Gaiter provides an AI-powered natural gait pattern which helps to reduce therapy load and enables efficient and effective recovery. The tagline says it all “Run back to walking”. Genrobotics, which came to limelight for introducing Bandicoot, a robotic machine which cleans any type of manholes, is backed by marquee investors like Anand Mahindra, Zoho Corporation, Rajan Anandan, Unicorn India Ventures and SEA Funds.
Collage Maker-14-Oct-2022-01

Naveen Patnaik Banks On Women’s Group To Wrest Dhamnagar Seat From BJP

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) finally named Abanti Das to contest the Dhamnagar by-election to be held on November 3. Abanti Das, Mission Shakti specialist, is very actively involved with women Self Help Groups around Odisha. Political analysts say once again chief minister Naveen Patnaik has played his card well by focussing on women voters to win the prestigious seat left vacant with the untimely death of BJP MLA Bishnu Charan Sethi. BJD is positive of Abanti Das because she is a fresh face and that fits into BJD’s strategy of giving breaks to newcomers. Also, BJD did not want to repeat the mistake of fielding a candidate which would trigger internal fights and give advantage to BJP like it did in 2019. This explains why BJD did not opt for its former two MLA’s Rajendra Kumar Das and Muktakanta Mandal as they are constantly at loggerheads. But, Patnaik’s move has not gone well with the former BJD MLA Rajendra Das. He has defied BJD supremo by filing nomination as an independent candidate. Abanti Das is the chairperson of Tihidi block at Bhadrakh who has vast experience in Mission Shakti. BJD is counting on her vote mobilisation networking abilities to win the by-poll election. BJD sources say “winning this time is expected, since BJD has won all the by-polls conducted since 2019”.
Collage Maker-15-Oct-2022-12

Sandeep Patil, A True-Blue Mumbai Cricketer Takes On Amol Kale For The MCA President’s Post

Sandeep Patil, Shivaji Park and Mumbai cricket’s“ladke’’, has taken a shot at the president’s post of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) that’s going to take place on October 20. Patil who became a darling of the Mumbai maidans clouting 6s in the 1970s and 1980s, went on to become the “Adelaide Hero’’ when he slammed a breathtaking 174 against the hostile bowling attack in Dennis Lillee, Rodney Hogg and Len Pascoe unleashed by the Australian captain Greg Chappell. This grand knock came on the heels of his 62 against Pakistan’s Imran Khan & Co, at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. Raised at the Balmohan Vidya Mandir under the famous coach Anna Vaidya, Patil became a World Cup hero in 1983 hammering a 32-ball unbeaten 51 in the semi-final against England at Old Trafford. One of India’s brightest stars in the 1980s, Patil made a swashbuckling 129 in the Old Trafford Test of 1982, hitting six 4s in a single over from fast bowler Bob Willis. Patil played 46 matches for Mumbai, scoring 3144 runs with 9 x 100s and 18 x 50s. Patil was a great entertainer and brought joy to the spectators. Will the representatives of the 213 maidan clubs, 69 office clubs, 36 school and colleges and 51 former international cricketers throw their weight behind Patil or his opponent Amol Kale, who was the vice-president in the preceding three years?
Vaibhav Ghadiok

Is Autonomous Traffic Management Platform A Must To Build Smart Cities?

The smart city concept is gaining increasing ground across the globe. Is it that easy to develop a smart city? Of course, it isn’t. Yet, the focus on creating smart cities is now acknowledged by policy-makers and city planners alike. What does it take to make a city smart? Well, it involves assorted actions. Ask Delhi-born Vaibhav Ghadiok, a pioneer in the field of robotics and AI (artificial intelligence) with multiple inventions and patents to his name. His latest invention has applications in building smarter cities, modernizing and optimizing traffic management that will have an impact on millions of people. He has architected perhaps the world’s first autonomous traffic management platform at Hayden AI (Silicon Valley, CA, US), which he co-founded and is an Executive VP of Engineering. The main objective of this platform is to clear bus lanes from illegally parked vehicles so that riders can reach their destinations more quickly, smoothly and safely. Significantly enough Hayden AI has landed a contract with New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to install 500 interior-mounted automated bus lane enforcement (ABLE) AI-powered camera systems. Can such automated traffic management be adopted in cities like New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai to improve bus speed and make vehicle traffic safer? Ghadiok should ponder, perhaps.
Collage Maker-14-Oct-2022-06

Amol Kale & Sandip Patil

NCP-BJP Team Up To Control Mumbai Cricket Association, Political Differences Apart

After many twists and turns, the name of BJP sympathiser Amol Kale has been finalised by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and BJP leader Ashish Shelar for presidentship of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). Kale will be fighting against cricketer Sandip Patil. The election has been full of continuous suspense since several bigwigs are involved in the MCA which controls huge finances. The election will take place on 20 October. Initially, Pawar was said to be supporting Patil. However, following meetings between him and Shelar, the last day of filing of nominations witnessed a totally changed picture. Pawar and Shelar were together, isolating Patil. It appeared that Shelar and Patil will face each other. But even that scene changed. Shelar had filed nomination for the post of treasurer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). As his is the sole candidature, he has been considered elected unopposed. Shelar persuaded Pawar to support Amol Kale, who has been vice president of MCA. Kale is said to be close to deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Another prominent name is that of Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray’s trusted associate Milind Narvekar, who is with the Pawar-Shelar group. MCA elections have always been laced with political manoeuvrings. Party differences are obliterated to help each other. It has happened again. 
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Cong Cribs As EC Doesn"t Declare Gujarat Poll Dates Along With Himachal

It was sort of deja vu. The Election Commission’s decision to put off announcing Gujarat poll schedule while declaring elections time-table for Himachal Pradesh has evoked predictable response from the Congress. While CEC Rajiv Kumar defended scheduling Himachal elections on November 12 and December 8 as result day, he said Gujarat poll dates would come later; he pointed to a 40 day gap of tenure of two assemblies (Himachal & Gujarat). Ideally, Congress should have cheered Himachal dates considering it has not even bothered to start its campaign in Gujarat and is largely relying on a proxy like AAP. The EC said it was scheduling an early poll in Himachal because of snowing in the upper reaches. In 2017 too the.EC had given separate dates for Gujarat and Himachal. At that time Gujarat poll dates were delayed to put off imposing the model code of conduct in the state as it was felt it would disrupt flood relief operations. Then CEC AK Jyoti had cited how in 2001 the law ministry and the EC had reached an understanding following that there would not be a gap of more than 21 days between the announcement of polls and the date of the notification of elections. That means the model code will be in place for 46 days. When elections to Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh were announced together in 2012, the model code remained enforced for 86 days.
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Avdhoot Tatkare Joins BJP, Jolts Sena (U) And NCP Simultaneously

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sunil Tatkare’s nephew Avdhoot Tatkare has joined the BJP, snapping his ties with the Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray.  A Sena MLA for 2014-19, Avdhoot is the son of Tatkare’s brother Anil. Avdhoot’s decision is considered politically crucial since his action to enter the BJP is looked at as a double blow, to the NCP and the Sena under Uddhav. NCP has recently appointed Sunil Tatkare as its national general secretary. His daughter Aditi is presently MLA and was a minister of state in the previous ministry led by Uddhav as chief minister. Sunil Tatkare himself is a confidant of NCP leader Sharad Pawar. In view of the stature of Sunil, the step taken by Avdhoot is considered significant against the backdrop of future electoral calculations. Avdhoot was welcomed by BJP state unit president Chandrakant Bawankule. After his formal entry, Avdhoot told the media that he had not joined the BJP for any post or with any precondition. However, it is felt that Avdhoot falling out with uncle Sunil happened since his claim was ignored in favour of Aditi. The BJP has been struggling to find a firm footing in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. Avdhoot is considered a prize catch by the BJP since he is considered capable to take on the heavyweight Tatkare in Konkan.
Suella Braverman

PM’s Proposed Air Dash To UK Called Off As Trade Deal Is A Dead Duck Already

The much-anticipated Indo-UK trade deal is a non-starter. A Diwali deadline had been put on its signing by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former British PM Boris Johnson. But the deal is on a back burner now despite Liz Truss wanting to move things along. In fact, it was suggested that PM Modi take a flying trip to the UK to meet Truss and speed up the deal, but that idea was shot down after Suella Braverman, Britain’s Home Secretary, swam into the picture to cloud up the waters with her gripe against Indians. An Indian-origin migrant born to Indian parents, Suella targeted Indians as the worst kind of visa over stayers in the UK. While statistically that may be true, there was little need for her to take off on a rant above Indian migrants at this juncture. The Indian foreign office is miffed with Suella’s tirade, which they see as a spoke in the wheel of the trade deal. Tending to the visa regime and laying down guidelines favouring India in visas was part of the deal. But the Tory government is on such shaky ground regarding the British economy and the mini-Budget that Kwarteng presented under Truss’ tutelage that the India trade deal has taken a back seat. The Diwali deadline is set to run out in 10 days from now.
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No Aadhaar, No Freebies Says Tamil Nadu Govt

Freebies are the inventions of political parties to win elections. More often than not, the poll promises of political parties across the spectrum contain liberal freebies. Once in power, they are, however, faced with the reality of the financial situation: How do we fund the freebies? One is reminded of the proverb `robbing Peter to pay Paul’. This is not a sound strategy. Parties – especially the ruling ones – are discovering this. Well, the Tamil Nadu Government has now decided to mandate the use of Aadhaar identification service in Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, which gives free power to hut-consumers and farmers. Select categories of power users are given free supply to a limited extent. These are funded by the government of Tamil Nadu, and involve expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of the State.  A government order issued by the Energy Department of Tamil Nadu Government on October 6 now makes it mandatory for all those using or desirous of using the freebies’ schemes to provide proof of the possession of Aadhaar numbers.  If they don’t, they have to undergo an Aadhaar identification process. Freebies are indeed a necessary tool to bring about social justice. But the state must know if they really reach the needy. Well, the Aadhaar linkage is inevitable to plug the holes in the power distribution system.
Collage Maker-13-Oct-2022-01

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What’s Keeping Vidya Balan Busy These Days?

She is one unique actress who was called as woman of change but these days we have been seeing her making reels on Instagram and not really doing the kind of work we would want to see from Vidya Balan. Not that she is not doing a good job in the reels in fact she is putting in as much effort as one would working in a commercial film. But those in the trade feel that Vidya Balan is one actress who does not believe in racing for the top actress spot but is focusing on what she likes doing. Vidya was last seen in Jalsa with Shefali Shah and her performance was appreciated. Currently, she has two films in the pipeline. The 43-year old actress who made her mark in a popular TV serial Hum Paanch entered Bollywood in 2005 with Parineeta. It was a hit.  Since then she has worked in films that are female-led or has done path breaking roles in movies like Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, The Dirty Picture No One Killed Jessica, Shakuntala Devi and Kahaani. Vidya who always got bad Press for her dressing sense did try to do a glamorous role in Kismat Konnection but that was not well received. Those in the trade feel that OTT is an ideal platform for her. Is that the reason why she is focusing on social media?
Collage Maker-13-Oct-2022-06

Is Nitish Kumar Under Pressure To Merge JDU With RJD?

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is under pressure to merge his party Janata Dal United (JDU) with his new coalition partner Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). At its national executive meeting in Delhi early this week the RJD passed a resolution to change its name and symbol. The move is being seen as the RJD setting the stage for its likely merger with JDU, which would mean Tejashwi Yadav holding the reins in Bihar while Nitish moves on to play a role in national politics. Apparently resolution for change in the name of RJD or its electoral symbol ( hurricane lantern] and allied issues vested powers with national president Lalu Prasad Yadav or Tejashwi Yadav, was read out by Lalu’s trusted aide Bhola Yadav. Interestingly, the resolution was put in place before Lalu Prasad left for Singapore for kidney related treatment. The merger resolution caught RJD leaders by surprise as it was not on the agenda and came up suddenly. The RJD’s main argument for the merger is that Nitish will have support of a strong political base when he goes to Delhi. The Yadavs also feel it will be the best way to ensure that Nitish doesn’t go back to the NDA. So far JDU has not officially spoken about the merger talk. BJP leader Sushil Modi says “Nitish Kumar has no other option”. The RJD and JDU’s combined tally is 125 in the 243-member assembly.
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Happy Days Are Here Again For Kanimozhi!

Looks like Kanimozhi is the flavour of the season, not just in the DMK power camp but in the BJP’s net casting too. Just last month, she thanked home minister Amit Shah profusely for facilitating her mother’s trip to Germany for medical treatment. Then followed the significant reshuffling of Parliamentary Committees and appointment of new chairpersons by Narendra Modi. Kanimozhi was handpicked by the PM to head the Committee on Rural Affairs and Panchayat Raj. Not without rhyme or reason; it is well known that PM Modi imbues his decisions with ironclad logic and perceived future insurance. The DMK MP from Thoothukudi has worked hard in her constituency to make the Adopt A Village program noteworthy. Venkatesapuram, a village adopted by her, scored high in most development indices. This focused result-oriented work backed the PM’s choice for his Adarsh Gram Yojana outreach plan. The penny dropped at the just held DMK General Body Meet, Stalin was unanimously re-elected for a second term as party Chief, and he in a surprise move announced Kanimozhi as one of the five general secretaries. This was followed up with courtesy visits to her home by both Stalin and son Udhayanidhi. It may be recalled that the nephew Udhayanidhi had earlier ignored aunt Kanimozhi and now he was cosying up to her. Kanimozhi is a prized 5G asset now –a big contrast to the humiliation of the 2G days.
Collage Maker-10-Oct-2022-02

Patnaik Takes Wind Out Of The Opposition Sail By Launching Mission Millet

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik is forever thinking of newer and newer ways to connect with his voters as he is keen to transform their lives. The latest programme unveiled by him is Odisha Millet Mission that will touch the lives of 95-lakh plus tribals in the state. Of course, these tribals will play a big role in the 2024 Assembly elections. Many in the opposition grudgingly admit that Mission Millet is a game changer.  Realizing its potential — nutritional advantage and as political currency — the Odisha government has already declared November 10 as Mandia Dibas. Political observers say, it is Patnaik’s masterstroke by focussing on a single big constituency comprising tribals it will yield big dividends.  Now, the state government is going all out to promote millet cultivation in a big way in both the tribal and non-tribal districts. It is learnt that the state government now plans to extend millet coverage to 142 blocks in 19 districts. Naveen babu who believes in his work speaking for him has constantly advised his ministers and party workers to “talk less, let the work speak for itself”. Looks like his mantra is working as the Odisha people are quite favourably listening to millet’s wellness advantage. So as of now it is Advantage BJD.
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Dharavi Redevelopment To Finally Take Off, At Over 3X Cost

The ambitious Dharavi Slum Redevelopment project looks like it is poised to take off as the pre-bid talks for the work have received excellent response. The project will now be undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs 23000 crore against the earlier Rs 7200 crore after it has been languishing for a long time due to political, administrative and global financial reasons. Mired in delays due to a variety of reasons, most notably the Covid-19 pandemic, the project was brought back on rails by the Shinde-Fadnavis government as soon as it assumed power. Launching the project will be crucial in view of the election to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, expected to take place later this year. The responding firms include several international undertakings. While eight firms have shown an interest in actual development, about a dozen are desirous to involve as consultants, according to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority. The foreign firms are from Dubai and South Korea. The Dharavi redevelopment project, originally envisaged over a quarter century ago, was revised in 2004. It aims at resettling about 68000 families and a large number of commercial establishments already existing. The response to the pre-bid discussions has been heartening and the real picture will emerge after October 31 when actual quotations for redevelopment and for consultation are received.
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Setback For Uddhav: Uncertainty Envelops Andheri Assembly Bypoll, High Court To Hear Matter On Thursday

Uncertainty hangs over the potential rival candidates for the prestigious Andheri (East) assembly byelection on 3 November owing to procedural, legal and political issues involved in Uddhav Thackeray faction’s nominee Rutuja Latke’s eligibility to contest.  As the fate of Latke, an employee of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), is still uncertain and amidst reports that chief minister Eknath Shinde’s side is eager to enter the fray, the BJP’s perceived candidate Murji Patel’s name has not been declared officially by the party. The flip flop over clearing Latke’s resignation will be argued before the high court on Thursday. Meanwhile, political claims and counterclaims continue. Latke met BMC commissioner I S Chahal on Wednesday (Oct 12) afternoon to press for the acceptance of her resignation but came out without getting any firm assurance. According to former minister Anil Parab, a plea in all likelihood will be heard tomorrow. Parab said that his side has kept Plan-B ready in case Latke is prevented from contesting. Latke told reporters that she was firmly with Uddhav and discounted reports that she had met Shinde.  According to BMC, Latke’s first resignation letter was faulty since she had put some pre-conditions in the letter. An amended letter was submitted two days ago. However, given BMC’s procedure, it could take up to 30 days to process and decide. All these factors will be put before the high court on Thursday (Oct 13).
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Didi Quietly Reaches Out To Mukul Roy To Strengthen TMC In Rural Bengal

With panchayat elections scheduled to be held in the state in February 2023, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is already missing her close associate and party veteran Partha Chaterjee. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader was industry minister at the time of his arrest in the school recruitment scam in July this year. Partha’s absence is strongly being felt because of his knowledge of rural Bengal and network of party workers who reported to him. Partha as general secretary regularly kept in touch with party activists and gave regular feedback. Mamata is aware that her nephew Abhishek, party’s national general secretary and Howrah Lok Sabha  MP, is not very grounded about rural Bengal issues and doesn’t seem to network or care about grameen TMC workers. That is why to overcome these shortcomings in the party set-up, the TMC supremo has reached out to her old associate Mukul Roy who got elected as BJP MLA in 2021 West Bengal assembly elections but nevertheless rejoined the TMC. It must be pointed out Didi’s overtures to Mukul Roy are being done on sly, that is when the nephew is reportedly away in Dubai. It is said Roy didn’t get much work to do since his return to the TMC because Abhishek Banerjee was not in favour of giving any importance to the old guards.
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How Greenikk Is Reimagining Banana Value Chain

Kerala start-up Greenikk, has set up the country’s first full-stack supply chain connecting banana cultivators, traders and exporters on a single platform. Greenikk has built Enabled Centres (ECs) in major producing agri-belts in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. These ECs provide farmers with finance, seeds, crop advisory, insurance coverage, agri inputs including weather tips and market connect. It is covering the entire gamut of production and marketing both within the country and outside. Following its initial success, Greenikk plans to set up similar ECs in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and the rest of the country. On the selection of bananas, the promoters Fariq Noushad and Pervin Jacob said that “After working with banana farmers, dealers and buyers, we realised that it has the maximum potential among all fruits grown in India, if linked to a strong and reliable value chain that would scale up exports.” India accounts for 25% of the world’s banana production at 32.6 million tonnes in a land area of 9.6 hectares with 10 million stakeholders. Greenikk also helps to convert stems of the post-harvest banana plants into natural fibre and re-purpose the other left overs as manure and poultry feed to ensure supplementary income for the farmers and curb pollution.
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As Rahul Gandhi Sprints With Siddaramaiah, DK Shivkumar Comes With An Up Close Shot & Few Ditty Lines

Healthy competition between two leading lights of Karnataka Congress even as Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra is traversing through the state is simply overwhelming. The race between the two CM aspirants — CLP leader Siddaramaiah and KPCC chief  DK Shivkumar — is getting ever so keen  and obvious that it is irrepressible and also spills over into social media as it happened last week. When Shivkumar was away in Delhi answering ED summons, Rahul took Siddaramaiah’s hand and insisted that he join him in a spirited run. The 75-year-old former Karnataka CM quietly gave in and happily sprinted with the Gandhi scion. This display of close rapport between Rahul and Siddaramaiah naturally worried 60-year old Shivkumar with Karnataka assembly polls scheduled early next year. So the big man with deep pockets reportedly picking tabs of the Bharat Jodo Yatra decided to do some damage control. On his return from Delhi, Shivkumar rejoined the yatra for an upclose shot with his leader .The picture/ video is now a pinned tweet on his handle as a counter to his rival. With these ditty lines “Somedays you walk, somedays you sprint! Chasing a dream requires you to do both!
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BCCI Wrong Foots Babumoshai Ganguly With Roger Michael Binny

Who will question the wisdom of those calling the shots in the BCCI,  especially in the choice of its president, in the run up to the elections of a sports organisation that showed a red of  Rs 95 lakh in the mid-1990s, but in close to three decades has assets worth several thousand crore. The 1983 World Cup fame Roger Michael Binny who was a vital cog in the wheels of Kapil’s Devils, accounting for 18 scalps, has been handpicked to lead the BCCI for the 2022-2025 period. Three years ago the BCCI, after a senior politician’s intervention, sided with Sourav Ganguly, when juxtaposed against Brijesh Patel. Three years later, the same people have wrong footed Babumoshai Ganguly and gone for Binny, who has excellent credentials as a former cricketer and individual; he is also the president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association. Binny hails from Karnataka, sort of a BJP bastion. The Lotus blooming in the BCCI is evident with BJP MLA Ashish Shelar (close confidant of Home Minister Shah, and who will be in the vanguard to deliver the BMC to the party) being chosen for the Treasurer’s post. Jay Shah who strove for the Secretary ‘s powers to be restored in the Supreme Court for three years and who made sure of the  IPL money coming into the BCCI coffers during the pandemic will be the Secretary for another three year term.
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Twitter

NCP, BJP And Uddhav Sena Keep Politics Away, Shake Hands To Capture Mumbai Cricket Association

Even as a political battle is raging in Maharashtra, antagonists from the two sides have teamed up to capture the prestigious Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA). NCP boss Sharad Pawar has fielded Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar for the post of MCA president. The MCA apex committee, too, has Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray’s right hand Milind Narvekar and Pawar’s confidant Jitendra Awhad, among others. Former cricketer Sandip Patil suddenly found himself sidelined when Pawar decided to switch his support to Shelar, following a meeting between the two leaders. Till then, Patil was projected as a Pawar nominee. The announcement of the names of Shelar and others in the panel has been made in writing on behalf of “Sharad Pawar—Ashish Shelar Group.” A top BJP leader’s close follower, Amol Kale, will contest the October 20 election for the post of vice president. MCA is the richest sports body in India and has been politically controlled over the years. Then Lok Sabha speaker Manohar Joshi of the Shiv Sena and Pawar himself have headed it for a long time. MCA has invariably favoured politicians over cricketers and the defeated players so far include giants like Madhav Mantri, Ajit Wadekar and Dilip Vengasarkar.
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Jos Buttler Took Diplomatic Stand On ‘Obstructing The Field’ Incident

There was an intriguing sample of the kind of bizarre events likely to crop up during the T20 World Cup. The warm-up games, while providing plenty of action, are also a teaser to how players may react to Mankading and even “obstructing the field” incidents. Jos Buttler, the England captain who was once the victim of a controversial Mankad run out by Ravi Ashwin in the IPL, was at the centre of the storm as Team England was subject to a clear case of obstruction when the bowler Mark Wood was prevented from going for a return catch by Matthew Wade putting a hand on his chest. Wicket-keeper Buttler saw the event differently. He said his team were just setting out on a very long tour of Australia that includes The Ashes and he didn’t want to have an early brush with the notorious Australian crowds with a fair quota of yobos, hecklers and downright racist punters. “They asked if I wanted to appeal and I said ‘no’. I’ve only just got to Australia so I thought just carry on with the game,” Buttler said. He took the diplomatic route out, but his example is unlikely to be followed by players in the T20 World Cup who will exploit every opportunity to win matches. After all, the debate over Mankading is yet to settle after the Deepti-Charlie event in the women’s T20 in England.

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.