Plugged-In: The race for the chair is still on in Karnataka & contempt plea likely in Babri case

Single largest party BJP falls short of majority in Karnataka, Congress and JD(S) come together: The BJP emerged as the single largest party in Karnataka Tuesday but fell nine seats short of a majority. As a result, the Congress joined hands with third-placed rival JD(S) for a post-poll alliance. All eyes are now on governor Vajubhai Vala, who will have to decide whether to call the BJP to try to form the government or go with the JD(S)-Congress combine, reports The Economic Times.

Top Congress leaders with CM hopeful H.D. Kumaraswamy at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru | @smitaprakash | Twitter

Several dead in Varanasi flyover collapse: At least 18 people were killed after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, reports The Finanacial Express.

Shiv Sena corporator held for Aurangabad riots: The special investigation team (SIT) of Aurangabad police Tuesday arrested a Shiv Sena corporator in connection with the communal clashes over the weekened that killed two people. An AIMIM corporator was detained for questioning, reports The Indian Express.

Contempt plea likely in Babri case: Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan Tuesday indicated that “his side is preparing a contempt petition as certain sections are trying to ‘muddy the waters’ in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute even as the proceedings are on”, reports The Hindu.

Sidhu let off in road rage case: In a 30-year-old road rage case, the Supreme Court Tuesday let off former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu with a Rs 1,000 fine, Apurva Vishwanath reported for ThePrint.

Aadhaar an ‘additional facility, not mandatory for pension’: Minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh has said Aadhaar was an additional facility, and should not be seen as mandatory to avail of pension benefits, reports The Hindu

Sharif rejects condemnation of his 26/11 remarks: Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif Tuesday rejected the condemnation of his 26/11 statement by the country’s top civil and military leadership, “demanding the formation of a national commission to find out who committed treason”, reports The Times of India.

Karnataka Elections In ThePrint

Three essential Karnataka lessons for national politics: Editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta writes that the Karnataka result seals Modi’s position as the third genuine pan-India leader after Nehru and Indira.

The ‘Ballari brothers’ gamble did not work out as the BJP thought it would: BJP gave tickets to seven family members and friends of mining baron G. Janardhan Reddy, but only three won – brothers Karunakara and Somashekara Reddy, and B. Sriramulu, reports Rohini Swamy.

Reddy Brothers
L-R: Reddy brothers Somashekhara, Karunakara and Janardhan, along with close confidant B. Sriramulu | By special arrangement

More Dalits voted for BJP than for Congress: Of the 36 seats reserved for Scheduled Castes, the BJP won 14, but the Congress finished only marginally behind with 13 seats. Seven went to the JD(S), one to its ally Bahujan Samaj Party, and one to an independent candidate, Kritika Sharma reports.

Business Class

In light of the Nirav Modi-Mohul Choksi fraud, the Punjab National Bank reported a net loss of Rs 13,416.91 crore for the quarter ended 31 Marchreports The Economic Times. The bank had posted a profit of Rs 261.90 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

Punjab National Bank (PNB) branch in Mumbai
A Punjab National Bank (PNB) branch in Mumbai | PTI

After getting directions from the government, the board of Allahabad Bank has stripped chief executive officer Usha Ananthasubramanian of all her executive powers, reports The Economic Times. Last week, the CBI had named her in the Rs 13,700-crore PNB-Nirav Modi fraud.

News it’s just kinda cool to know

Aliens exist, but probably in a parallel universe: A team comprising researchers from England, Australia and the Netherlands derived this conclusion, and published the results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, reports Business Standard.

Soon, a female Muslim superhero: After a lot of criticism for casting mainly white, male characters in major roles, Marvel is trying to diversify its film slate by including characters of colour and female superheroes, reports The Indian Express.

Scientists ‘sucked a memory out of a snail and planted it in another’: A new study suggests that at least some memories are stored in genetic code, and that genetic code can act like memory soup. If you suck out a code from one animal and stick it in a second one, the second animal will “remember things only the first animal knew”, reports Fox News.

Point of View

The BJP has emerged as the single largest party in Karnataka, but missed the majority mark. The Indian Express writes in its editorial, “Karnataka has voted out the Congress, the party must not exploit the fractured verdict to sneak back into office.”

Violence marred the recent panchayat polls in West Bengal. The Economic Times, in its editorial, criticises the ruling Trinamool Congress and Mamata Banerjee, writing, “Violence had been an integral part of the state’s politics during three-and-half decades of uninterrupted Communist rule. Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress have continued with the tradition.”

The unlikely hero in the Karnataka polls verdict is Janata Dal (Secular), writes Nalin Mehta, a consulting editor at The Times Of India, in his column.