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BJP and JD(U) will contest the 2019 polls together, and the capital city that has no people

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Shah meets Nitish, says BJP knows how to deal with allies. BJP president Amit Shah and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar met over breakfast Thursday, with the former confirming that the parties would contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections together. Saying that the BJP was firmly behind Kumar, Shah added that the alliance was on firm footing and won’t break, reports The Indian Express. Later in the day, Shah also said his party knew very well how to take care of its allies and respect them.

India invites Trump for R-day parade. In what could be the biggest foreign policy coup for India in recent times, the White House has indicated that it is “favourably”
considering New Delhi’s invite to US President Donald Trump to attend next year’s Republic Day parade, reports The Times of India.

BJP slams Tharoor’s ‘Hindu Pakistan’ remark, demands apology from Rahul Gandhi. Responding to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s remark that India will become a “Hindu Pakistan” if the saffron party is re-elected in 2019, the BJP said the MP had insulted India’s democracy and Hindus, and demanded an apology from the party president, reports The Times of India.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor | Facebook photo

‘Being gay is a variation, not an abrasion’. The Supreme Court Thursday defended the government when it came under attack for not contesting the challenge to Section 377 of the IPC, which criminalises homosexuality, reports The Hindu.

PM to address 50 rallies in the run-up to the 2019 polls. According to a report in The Hindu, PM Narendra Modi’s rally in Muktsar, Punjab, this week was just a precursor to a blitzkrieg of around 50 rallies that will be a build-up to the BJP’s 2019 campaign

Mayawati bets on regional pact for Delhi dream. The BSP president is tapping regional parties for potential electoral alliances that could help her emerge as a strong contender for the Prime Minister’s post if next year’s general elections throw up a hung Parliament, reports Hindustan Times.

464 new T-90 tanks for the Army. A Rs 3,500 crore project to add 464 tanks has been sent for formal approval of the Cabinet Committee on Security, reports The Tribune.The tanks will be deployed on the western border, and will form 10 new regiments.

‘This is not Pakistan, AMU must follow rules,’ says National SC panel. The National Commission for Scheduled Castes will order Aligarh Muslim University to implement the reservation policy, as all central universities are required to do, unless the AMU submits documents to prove its minority status by August, reports The Indian Express.

‘You think you’re Superman, but won’t do anything,’ says SC to L-G. Delhi’s lieutenant governor drew flak from the Supreme Court Thursday for not taking effective enough measures to handle the Capital’s garbage crisis despite having powers over the municipal corporations, reports Hindustan Times.

Business Class

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries re-entered the $100 billion market capitalisation club after a decade Thursday, reports Business Standard. Tata Consultancy Services had reached this mark in April, while HDFC could become the third Indian company to join the club if its stock appreciates by 18 per cent.

Mukesh Ambani | Commons
Mukesh Ambani | Commons

Walmart, which acquired Flipkart in a $16 billion deal, has assured income tax officials about the payment of taxes on its acquisition of the company, reports The Economic Times.

News it’s just kinda cool to know

In Kangra, Himachal, no helmet means no petrol: In a bid to promote road safety, the Kangra deputy commissioner has barred petrol pumps in the district from attending to two-wheelers whose riders don’t have helmets on, reports Business Standard. A similar rule is also in place in Andhra Pradesh.

Myanmar capital Naypyidaw has all the infrastructure of a city, but no people. In a photo essay for The Wire, photojournalist Shomme Basu documents the eerie city, writing, “The only residents are bureaucrats and cleaners.”

Point of View

The government has decided not to oppose decriminalisation of homosexuality. The Hindu writes in its editorial, “By leaving it to the Supreme Court’s wisdom to decide on the constitutionality of Section 377, the Centre has signalled it is not opposed to the decriminalisation of same-sex relationships as long as these are limited to consensual acts between adults in private.”

The trade war between US and China presents a chance for India. The Times of India writes in its editorial, “If the WTO (World Trade Organization) withers into irrelevance, the importance of bilateral and regional treaties will grow monumentally. This means New Delhi must spruce up its act, moving nimbly to surrender some less important or even counterproductive trade policies to preserve and extend vital economic interests.”

President Xi Jinping and PM Narendra Modi
President Xi Jinping and PM Narendra Modi at the Hubei Provincial Museum | @PMOIndia/Twitter

Do Muslims fear police more than other communities? Political scientist Christophe Jaffrelot thinks so. He and research scholar Shweta Bhutada write in their column in The Indian Express, “Never had the gap between the share of Muslims in the population and their share in the IPS been so wide…That Muslims are not wearing the police uniform increases their vulnerability.”

Prime Time

Playing with communalism

As MP Shashi Tharoor defended his “Hindu Pakistan” remark, Preeti Choudhry of India Today TV asked:”Was Tharoor’s remark misunderstood or is it hundred per cent appeasement?”

BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao accused the Congress of seeking Muslim votes by selling them the “fear” of the Hindu majority, adding, “Congress is an inherently anti-Hindu party.”

Calling Rao’s comments a “ridiculous proposition”, Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha said, “Congress party believes and practises Hinduism. BJP and RSS are practising and promoting Hindutva.”

Bhagavad Gita for college students divisive?

With the Maharashtra government ordering the distribution of the Bhagavad Gita among college students, Times Now anchor Athar Khan asked, “Is Gita distribution divisive?”

Defending the government’s move, BJP spokesperson Suresh Nakhua claimed that the Bhagavad Gita was a philosophical book and not about religion. He added, “I don’t understand what is the problem if the Bhagavad Gita is being distributed.”

Political analyst Garga Chatterjee accused the government of covering up its “failures”, saying, “This government is in a crisis, they have not done anything.”

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1 COMMENT

  1. Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist,Barnala (Punjab)

    Kudos to the Deputy Commissioner Kangra of Himachal Pradesh for his smart and innovative idea
    to promote road safety in this hilly state ?

    It is infact administration with a difference and reformative outlook ! In normal course, two wheeler
    runners by and large have a mindset to overlook road safety measures ! The Deputy Commissioner’s
    directive to the Petrol Filling Stations not to bother about two wheeler riders not having Helmet will
    kill two birds with one stone. This” No Helmet No Petrol” bar will enable two wheeler riders to form a
    habit of supporting a helmet otherwise face odds without the fuel in scooters,bikes and scooties !
    Then this petrol bar decision will prove to be a blessing in disguise for helmet industry be its
    distributors or dealers enhancing their sales and incomes in the bargain !

    Anyway, it a fine and positive step in improving as well as promoting road safety in the state !

    Prof PK Sharma, Freelance Journalist
    Pom Anm Nest, Barnala (Punjab)

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