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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee | Photo: ANI

Mamata Banerjee’s Bengal dilemma — allow Puja for Hindus or contain Covid. Smug BJP looks on

The threat of coronavirus is real. But so is the fact that Mamata Banerjee is caught in a lose-lose situation in West Bengal, which goes to polls next year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' defence industry outreach webinar via video conference, in New Delhi on 27 August

PM Modi’s virtual address on Durga Shasthi to kick-start BJP’s poll battle for Bengal

Modi will address Bengal on 22 October to ‘counter CM Mamata Banerjee’s lies’ about central govt and BJP, said party leaders. BJP also plans a PM rally after Durga Puja.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien and other party colleagues organised a sit-in at Hathras Friday | ANI

In Trinamool march to Hathras & Mamata’s Kolkata rally, Bengal opposition sees 2021 poll ploy

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee targets BJP-led UP govt, will lead a rally in Kolkata Saturday to protest against the alleged Hathras gangrape.
BJP workers in Kolkata

BJP’s West Bengal plan must not be ‘vote for Modi’ and get a Yogi or Biplab in return

West Bengal voters should be told who will replace Mamata Banerjee if the BJP pulls off the big win, and that Narendra Modi won't be the campaign's driving force.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee addresses a press conference at state secretariat Nabanna Monday | Photo: ANI

Mamata gives big push to Hindi & Hindu, BJP calls CM ‘scared’, Trinamool says it’s ‘unity’

Mamata Banerjee re-forms Trinamool’s Hindi cell, announces cash for Hindu priests. Also re-introduces Hindi academy, to preserve language, literature & culture of Bengal's Hindi-speaking people.
File images of Union ministers Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman and Smriti Irani

Amit Shah, Nirmala, Smriti Irani — BJP pulls out the big guns to take on Mamata in Bengal

BJP, which launched its poll campaign with an Amit Shah virtual rally on 9 June, has divided Bengal into 5 zones, with one cabinet minister addressing a rally for each zone.
Political strategist Prashant Kishor's I-PAC is tasked with helping the Trinamool Congress in the run-up to the 2021 Bengal elections | File photo: ANI

Clueless about their own Twitter posts, Trinamool leaders are upset with Prashant Kishor

His I-PAC is strategising for the Trinamool Congress ahead of 2021 Bengal polls, and Prashant Kishor says the leaders’ allegations are ‘baseless’.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah (right) with other BJP leaders at a rally in Kolkata Sunday | Photo: PTI

Amit Shah will spend 3 days in Bengal every month to help BJP ‘snatch’ state from Mamata

BJP is hoping to topple Mamata Banerjee in next year’s West Bengal assembly elections, and Amit Shah’s visits, beginning April, will give it an early boost.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee | PTI

Cornering Mamata Banerjee in 2021 assembly polls won’t be easy. BJP lacks a pan-Bengal face

If the question, “If not Modi, who?” worked for the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, then “If not Didi, who?” may come to haunt it in West Bengal in 2021.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a protest rally against NRC and the central government in Kolkata. | ANI

Mandate against NRC — Mamata says after winning Bengal BJP chief’s home turf, 2 other seats

Two of the Bengal assembly seats where bypolls were held this week are constituencies where Trinamool was struggling to establish voter connect.

On Camera

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat speaks at the book release of 'Gandhi Ko Samajhney Ka Yahi Samay' in New Delhi on 17 February 2020 | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

Listen to Mohan Bhagwat’s Dussehra speech. You won’t say RSS lacks intellectual bandwidth

Mainstream Indian media used to denigrate and ridicule RSS. But it is now publishing its chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statements as front-page news.

Iraq PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi bets big on economic reforms

Kadhimi's govt is pushing a soup-to-nuts overhaul in the next three to five years. The path of least resistance would have been to wait until the general election next summer.

Defence

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh meets his US counterpart Mark Esper at his office in South Block Monday | Twitter | @rajnathsingh

India & US agree on deeper cooperation in Indo-Pacific as Rajnath meets Mark Esper

The hour-long meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his US counterpart Mark Esper came a day before the bilateral 2+2 ministerial dialogue in Delhi.
Illustration: Soham Sen/ThePrint

Trump or Biden? Doesn’t matter to India-US ties as they’re in a full, strategic embrace

Pompeo & Esper’s visit to India for the 2+2 talks is proof that old hypocrisies are history, and supreme national interest has again driven a strategic choice.