Daily Briefing: The nationwide crackdown on PFI; Jaishankar’s tough stand on Russia at UNSC; and more

The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | 23-09-2022 | 11:45 am

Daily Briefing: The nationwide crackdown on PFI; Jaishankar’s tough stand on Russia at UNSC; and more

Big Story After some of its top brass were arrested by Central agencies along with over 100 of its workers for allegedly supporting terror activities, the Popular Front of India (PFI) is set to hold a hartal today in Kerala, where it is dominant. 🔴 Here’s what happened: Launching a multi-agency operation spearheaded by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), law enforcement agencies conducted searches across the country and arrested 106 PFI workers for allegedly supporting terror activities. 🔴 PFI’s response:  PFI state general secretary Abdul Sathar, in a statement, slammed the use of the “state machinery” and claimed that Central agencies were being used to “silence the dissenting voices”. In protest, PFI workers took to the streets across Kerala and stalled movement of vehicles, demanding that the NIA and ED stop their action.🔴 But, what is the PFI? The PFI was created in 2007 through the merger of three Muslim organisations in southern India, the National Democratic Front in Kerala, the Karnataka Forum for Dignity, and the Manitha Neethi Pasarai in Tamil Nadu. Read our explainer for more. Only in the ExpressIn an exclusive interview with The Indian Express, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot spoke about his plans ahead of the upcoming election for the post of Congress party chief, possibly running against Digvijaya Singh, and how he plans to navigate the party’s ‘one person, one post’ principle. Here’s what he had to say. From the Front Page🔴 Meanwhile, in one line, Rahul Gandhi on Thursday sent a clear message to Gehlot: that he cannot hope to remain Rajasthan Chief Minister if he is elected as Congress president. Sources in the Congress said the leadership is in favour of Sachin Pilot succeeding Gehlot, but the Chief Minister is keen that the views of the MLAs — most of them are with him — be taken. 🔴 Speaking at the UNSC session on Ukraine, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar delivered one of his toughest statements on Russia in the last seven months, since the invasion began. “Let me emphasise that even in conflict situations, there can be no justification for violation of human rights or of international law,” he said. 🔴 Observing that economic backwardness, unlike caste-based backwardness, “can be temporary”, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court  asked if problems of the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) can be addressed through affirmative measures like providing scholarships and fee concessions instead of reservation.Must Read Naktala Udayan Sangha’s pandal in Kolkata, being one of the most high-profile pujas in the city, is not creating the usual buzz like every year. The reason for the lack of enthusiasm: the puja’s association with former state Cabinet minister Partha Chatterjee, who is now under arrest in the teacher recruitment scam. The ‘brand ambassador’ of the Naktala puja committee last year, Arpita Mukherjee, is now a co-accused with Chatterjee in the case. Read our report about the Puja and its politics in West Bengal.DGCA, the civil aviation body, has written to the telecom department flagging concerns over the likely interference of 5G C-Band spectrum with aircraft radio altimeters. For context: a radio altimeter is an instrument that provides direct height-above-terrain information to various aircraft systems. The primary concern of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation emerges from the fact that these altimeters as well as a part of the 5G telecom services operate in the C-Band.In our opinion section today,  Badri Narayan writes on why the Congress’ anti-RSS campaign undermines its Bharat Jodo Yatra: “During the Bharat Jodo yatra campaign, some of the party’s members tweeted an image of the “khaki half pant on fire” – the garment has been a stereotypical metaphor for RSS and Hindutva politics in secular discourse that has occupied significant political space for decades. Congress is trying to project Hindutva and RSS as being divisive. But those who understand the public psyche know that this perception is changing fast.”And FinallyBajrang Punia recalls what his wife told him after an injury: “the blood is no biggie, strap on some gauze and go for the bronze.” Bravado manifesting to work like boldness, has been central to Bajrang Punia’s big tournament outings all these years. After 1 Olympic medal and 4 from the World Championships, bravado ceases sounding like a reckless thing he marinates his bulk in, when he’s tossed into glazing fire. The wrestler tells us how he won bronze at the world Championships.Since you are here, check out our national cinema day crossword, an ode to the silver screen. In today’s episode of the ‘3 Things’ podcast, we take a look at why the Vedanta-Foxconn row could cost the BJP in Maharashtra, how death penalty cases are carried out in India, and how Mumbai police found a new cybercrime hotspot.Until tomorrow, Rahel Philipose and Susobhan Roy 

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Bharat Rashtra Samithi to convene Dalit Conclave in Hyderabad: KCR
The Indian Express | 4 hours ago | 07-10-2022 | 11:45 am
The Indian Express
4 hours ago | 07-10-2022 | 11:45 am

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, whose 22-year-old Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has been rechristened as Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), announced to hold a Dalit Conclave soon in Hyderabad “with Dalit brothers from all over the country”, a statement from his office said.The Chief Minister announced the passing of a unanimous resolution for the party’s name change at their general body meeting Wednesday. Apart from Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Kumaraswamy and his 20 MLAs, Tamil Nadu MP and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) chief Thirumavalavan were present on the occasion. Rao, also known as KCR, said former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav were to attend Wednesday’s meeting but were dissuaded given their situations.One of the key points during KCR’s address was his pet scheme ‘Dalit Bandhu’, which offers one-time financial aid of Rs 10 lakh to the Dalit families without any collateral.The VCK chief met KCR again Thursday at the latter’s official residence Pragathi Bhavan and commended him on the pro-Dalit schemes that he believed would be implemented nationwide.“The MP appreciated the Telangana government for introducing numerous schemes for Dalit empowerment and no state is implementing such a huge number of programmes in the country,” the statement said.During Wednesday’s address, KCR had said that it was “just an internal meeting” to change the name of the party.“They (Akhilesh and Tejaswi) will be invited to the launching function of the party. Leaders of many parties across the country are coming forward to move with us,” he said. KCR said that discussions were held with the economists and experts from various fields, adding their advice was taken while forming the BRS.“As the CM of Telangana, I will travel all over the country. No one should have any doubts about this. Radiant India needs to be made. India will grow better than America If the resources in the country are used at optimum level. We still have a good time. We will expand across the country,” he said. KCR said Maharashtra will be the first state to start the activities of the BRS. “The national party’s affiliated farmer association will be started from Maharashtra first,” he said.Hinting at the direction the BRS is set to take, KCR said: “We will move ahead through Dalit movement, peasant movement and tribal movement by taking these issues as the main agenda. We will remove many socio-political disorders in the country.”

Bharat Rashtra Samithi to convene Dalit Conclave in Hyderabad: KCR
C R Paatil: From constable to Gujarat BJP face and PM Modi confidant
The Indian Express | 4 hours ago | 07-10-2022 | 11:45 am
The Indian Express
4 hours ago | 07-10-2022 | 11:45 am

Chandrakant Raghunath Paatil was appointed as the Gujarat BJP president in July 2020. A confidant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Paatil, 67, is considered to be the most formidable leader in the state BJP under whose leadership the saffron party hopes to break the Congress’s 1985 record (149 of the total 182 seats) in the upcoming Assembly polls. On his part, Paatil has set his target at the maximum level: all 182 seats.Paatil’s tenure at the helm of the state BJP recently saw a change of guard in the BJP government with Vijay Rupani replaced by Bhupendra Patel as the Chief Minister overnight and the subsequent stripping of key portfolios of two ministers in the new government.A few days ago, Paatil asserted that Patel will be “repeated” as the CM after the state Assembly polls, slated for December, as he has done “good work”. He also said that PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah would decide the ticket allotment to party candidates for the polls.Paatil is known to have been a key player behind several major decisions taken by the state government, including the recent rollback of the Gujarat Cattle Control (Keeping and Moving) in Urban Areas Bill 2022, whose passage in March had set off massive Maldharis’ (cattle rearers’) protests across the state. The first word on the government’s rethink on this Bill came from Paatil after his meeting with a delegation from the Maldhari community.Similarly, it was Paatil who announced that the controversial Par-Tapi-Narmada Yojana in tribal areas of South Gujarat, which had triggered huge tribal protests, will be scrapped.Paatil, who is also a three-time MP from the Navsari constituency in South Gujarat, holds the record of winning a parliamentary seat by maximum margin ever in the country.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has emerged as a new challenger for the BJP besides the existing arch rival Congress, had bagged 27 seats in the February 2021 civic body polls in Surat, Paatil’s home turf. The AAP has since been targeting Paatil over various issues including his Maharashtrian origin.Born in Pimpry Akaraut village of Jalgaon district of neighbouring Maharashtra, Paatil, or “CR” as he is popularly known, is the first “non-Gujarati” to lead the BJP in Gujarat. A class XI dropout, Paatil has a degree from the Industrial Training Institute (ITI) as a turner. As per his 2019 Lok Sabha election affidavit, he had one criminal case of breach of trust and cheating pending against him. By occupation, he is a farmer and a businessman.Paatil’s father, who was a police constable, shifted in 1951 to South Gujarat in the then undivided Bombay Presidency. Paatil, like his father, joined the Gujarat Police as a constable in 1975, and was forced to resign in 1984 for attempting to “unite Police Constables under one roof of a Union”, as per his website.He joined the BJP in December 1989 under the leadership of former PM late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and launched a Gujarati daily “Navgujarat Times” in 1991 from Surat.The Gujarat High Court has been hearing a PIL filed by former Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani which states that the Remdesivir injection Paatil distributed from the BJP office in Surat during the Covid-19 wave was “illegal”. Paatil’s website claims that he procured these injections “directly from the Pharma Company and distributed them”.

C R Paatil: From constable to Gujarat BJP face and PM Modi confidant
Daily Briefing: Budget review and rising inflation; Sena vs Sena battle of words
The Indian Express | 4 hours ago | 07-10-2022 | 11:45 am
The Indian Express
4 hours ago | 07-10-2022 | 11:45 am

Good morning, Big Story 🔴 With days to go before the inter-minesterial consultations for 2022-23 revised estimates of Union finances, internal discussions within the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Finance seem to suggest that the cascading impact of a worse-than-anticipated global downturn may dent the budget arithmetic in the second half of the current financial year. 🔴 So far, the political leadership  has been somewhat sanguine with the upsides – an uptick in GDP growth during April-June; steady tax revenues, among others. But policy makers are now pointing to multiple headwinds: pressure on the twin deficits (fiscal deficit and the current account deficit), concerns over private investment and job creation, and the continuing distress in the MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) sector. Read why policy makers are worried. 🔴 Meanwhile, India’s service sector activity lost growth momentum and eased to a six-month low in September due to slow new business inflows amid inflationary pressures and competitive conditions, a survey showed.Only in the Express Days after the TRS was renamed as the Bharat Rashtra Samithi, Amrith Lal writes on how KCR’s national pitch differs from Stalin’s: “The southern leaders — M K Stalin, Pinarayi Vijayan, Siddaramaiah — have emphasised regional/linguistic pride and have been projecting a state-centric story to counter the BJP’s political narrative that is perceived to be focused on privileging Hindu, Hindi, Hindutva identities. KCR, however, seems to have decided to abandon his regional legacy and embark on a path similar to the one taken by Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal.”Reversing a decision by former Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, the Supreme Court has revoked the appointment of Registrar Prasanna Kumar Suryadevara as a permanent employee of the court, The Indian Express has learnt. Sources said Suryadevara has been repatriated to the News Division at All India Radio as of September 30.From the Front Page The group of men in plainclothes, seen restraining and flogging at least four men held against an electricity pole, one after the other, in video clips of the incident, have been identified as police personnel of the Local Crime Branch (LCB) unit of Kheda district in Gujarat.India on Thursday abstained from voting on a draft resolution in the UN Human Rights Council on holding a debate on the human rights situation in China’s restive Xinjiang region.Must Read With the BMC polls approaching, the political grounds in Maharashtra are heated and the bitterness is reflected in the words that the BJP and the Uddhav Sena are flinging at each other. From Raavan to Katappa, Penguin to Spider-Man, Kamalabai to Champa: The acerbic political battle ahead of the BMC polls is reflected now in the constant name-calling.The promise of a job in Thailand, a boat ride across the border to Myanmar and a sinking realisation that he had been scammed — that his dream job was all about scouring the deep, dark web for potential victims to carry out financial frauds. The story of Stephen, a Tamil Nadu engineer who was rescued from Myawaddy in southeastern Myanmar’s Kayin state, in pockets controlled by armed rebels, returned home on Wednesday with stories of his days spent in captivity in a company engaged in online scamming. The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) 20th National Congress will begin on October 16 in Beijing. The 20th Congress is likely to endorse an unprecedented third term for President Xi Jinping. The session comes at a critical time for China and the world. Here’s what to watch out for.And Finally While India’s 14-member World Cup T20 squad chase the title 15 years after their first one, there’s a backroom staff of 16 consisting of masseuse to team video analyst to head coaches, who will silently plot and plod on to keep the 11 wound up to the challenge of winning, writes Devendra Pandey.Delhi Confidential: The Congress after accepting the Parliamentary panel on commerce has nominated Rajya Sabha MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Commerce.🎧 In today’s episode of the ‘3 things’ podcast, We talk to our correspondents about the death of 66 children in Gambia linked to four syrups manufactured by an Indian pharmaceutical company, a police officer in Gujarat publicly flogging a group of muslim men who had been arrested for pelting stones at a garba event and the three scientists who have won the Nobel Prize for Physics.Until tomorrow,Rahel Philipose and Susobhan Roy 

Daily Briefing: Budget review and rising inflation; Sena vs Sena battle of words
Today in politics, October 7: Kharge in Gujarat, Shivakumar before ED, Shinde Sena at EC office
The Indian Express | 4 hours ago | 07-10-2022 | 11:45 am
The Indian Express
4 hours ago | 07-10-2022 | 11:45 am

From the latest developments in the Congress presidential poll, to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s faction meeting the Election Commission to stake claim to the party’s symbol ahead of a crucial bypoll, here are political developments to watch out for:Kharge begins campaign tour: Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge will begin his multi-state tour in Ahmedabad today to gather support for his candidature in the Congress presidential poll, scheduled for October 17. The Indian Express reported that he will go to 10 state capitals in the next five days. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, his counterpart in the polls, has already visited Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala as part of his campaign tour. Meanwhile, leaders associated with the Tharoor campaign have approached Madhusudan Mistry, the head of the party’s election authority, with complaints regarding state presidents endorsing Kharge’s candidature, alleged “intimidation” faced by Tharoor’s proposers, and discrepancies in the list of state Congress delegates who constitute the electoral college in the polls.Amit Shah, Nadda in Assam: Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J P Nadda will reach Guwahati this evening and attend a core meeting of the state’s party unit. They will inaugurate the new state office of the party on Saturday, which will be followed by an address at a rally with an estimated 40,000 to 45,000 booth workers. Nadda will leave on Saturday evening after attending a couple of meetings, while Shah will stay on till Sunday for other official engagements.Karnataka BJP meets, amid Bharat Jodo Yatra: After facing heat on corruption allegations through the PayCM campaign and with the Congress’s Bharat Jodo Yatra gaining political traction in the state, the ruling BJP is expected to draw up plans to counter the Congress at meetings today.D K Shivakumar summoned by ED: The ED has rejected Karnataka Congress chief D K Shivakumar’s plea seeking exemption – until October 21 in light of the Bharat Jodo Yatra in the state – from appearing before the agency in the National Herald money laundering case.Jairam Ramesh, the Congress’s general secretary in-charge communications, has termed the ED’s action “political vendetta Modi-style”.Shinde faction to meet Election Commission: Ahead of the Andheri East Assembly bypoll in Maharashtra on November 3, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena faction is set to meet the Election Commission today to argue its case for the party’s ‘bow and arrow’ poll symbol.In the bypoll, which will be the first major electoral battle between the two Senas since the developments in July, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray’s group has fielded Rutuja Latke, the wife of late MLA Ramesh Latke whose death necessitated the election. The BJP, the Shinde faction’s ally, has picked BMC corporator Murji Patel.(With inputs from PTI)

Today in politics, October 7: Kharge in Gujarat, Shivakumar before ED, Shinde Sena at EC office
‘Politics will continue, don’t drag innocent child into it’: Maharashtra MP Shrikant Shinde slams Uddhav Thackeray’s remark
Times of India | 4 hours ago | 07-10-2022 | 11:05 am
Times of India
4 hours ago | 07-10-2022 | 11:05 am

KALYAN: Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde's son and Kalyan Lok Sabha MP Dr Shrikant Shinde has slammed Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray for 'dragging' the name of his one-and-a-half year old son during the Dussehra rally held at Shivaji Park in Mumbai. Posting a photo along with his son, Shinde, in a letter to Thackeray, expressed a grief over remark and said that he was not writing a letter as an MP or son of chief minister, but as father of one-and-half year-old Rudransh. At Dussehra rally, Uddhav Thackeray had said, "Father is chief minister, son is MP and grandson is now eyeing on the post of corporator. Let him grow up." Replying to Thackeray, Shinde said, "During your appeal about rally, you had invited people to listen to your thoughts of Hindutva. Only you know what thoughts of Hindutva you put forward in Dusshera's rally. I just want to ask you whether it fits to your Hindutva to drag the name of and innocent one-and-half-year old child into your speech?" "Uddhavji, do you have any idea how shocked our family is by your remark? Actually, this is very personal, but I feel compelled to say it. Both son's mother and grandmother were extremely hurt after hearing what you said yesterday. Tears welled up in their eyes...How can a politician say such things about a child whose walking, babbling, gibberish, and laughter are the gift of God?," wrote Shinde "A father's request with folded hands and tears in his eyes. Politics will continue...Criticism will continue. But don't drag innocent child into it," he added.

‘Politics will continue, don’t drag innocent child into it’: Maharashtra MP Shrikant Shinde slams Uddhav Thackeray’s remark