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Friday, August 19, 2022

Your Daily Wrap: Uddhav resigns ahead of trust vote, Udaipur accused booked under UAPA; and more

From Uddhav Thackeray resigning as Maharashtra CM to further updates on the situation in Udaipur where a tailor was killed by two men, here are the top stories of today.

(Clockwise) Uddhav Thackeray pays respects to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Ashok Gehlot, Mohammad Riyaz and Ghouse Mohammad from Udaipur, and M Venkaiah Naidu.

In top story of the day, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray stepped down from his position, minutes after the Supreme Court refused to stay Maharashtra Governor’s direction to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government to take a floor test in the Assembly on Thursday.

But even as the Uddhav Thackeray government battles a rebellion, it has cleared a proposal to rename Aurangabad as Sambhajinagar and Osmanabad as Dharashiv. The renaming is seen as an effort by the Shiv Sena to burnish its Hindutva credentials in what could be its last major decision in the 31 month-old Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government.

Calling the “beheading” of an Udaipur tailor by two men over a controversial social media post as an act of terrorism, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot today said the police have booked the accused under stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). “The Udaipur murder was meant to spread terror. Information has also surfaced that the killers have contacts abroad,” Gehlot said. The chief minister’s statement comes against the backdrop of the Union Home Ministry handing over the case to the National Investigation Agency. The Rajasthan Police, meanwhile, said one of the two accused has links to Pakistan-based Dawat-e-Islami organisation and had visited Karachi in 2014.

On Udaipur killing, Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes: “The savage execution of Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur will deepen the darkest forebodings about India’s future. It is important to name this gruesome act for what it is, without aestheticising it. It was an execution and not a murder. Murders are horrible. But this act was far more sinister. It enacted the logic of execution.”

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In Bihar, Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM received a major jolt today when four of the five MLAs of the party joined the RJD, which has now regained its single-largest party status in the 243-member Assembly leaving behind the BJP. The RJD had 76 MLAs before the four AIMIM legislators joined it. The ruling BJP briefly enjoyed the position when all three MLAs of the Vikassheel Insaan Party joined it three months ago. The BJP has 77 MLAs.

The election to the office of the vice-president of India would be held on August 6, the Election Commission announced today. Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu’s term will end on August 10. Earlier this month, the EC announced that the Presidential election would be held on July 18. As per the schedule, the last date for nomination is June 29 and the counting of votes will take place on July 21.

Political Pulse

Bhagat Singh Koshyari took over as the Governor of Maharashtra in September 2019, two months before the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi assumed power in the state. The 31-month period since has been marked with constant friction and antagonism between the two sides. Koshyari’s order asking Uddhav to prove his majority on the floor of the House on Thursday, ending days of uncertainty following the revolt raised by Eknath Shinde and 40-odd MLAs against the Shiv Sena chief, marks a culmination of that. Zeeshan Shaikh reports.

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Days after the Samajwadi Party lost its strongholds of Azamgarh and Rampur to the ruling BJP in the UP Lok Sabha bypolls, the leadership of the principal Opposition, especially party president Akhilesh Yadav, has come in for sharp criticism from within and outside the party. Among the principal reasons listed by local SP leaders as well as the party’s main ally Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party for these humiliating losses are included Akhilesh’s curious decision to stay away from the campaigning in these constituencies besides his bid not to put any aggressive efforts to retain the crucial seats. Lalmani Verma reports.

Express Explained

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has asked Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to prove his majority on the floor of the House on Thursday. The floor test is expected to establish the veracity of rebel leader Eknath Shinde’s claim that his faction has the support of more than 50 MLAs in the House. What is a floor test? How do the numbers stack up in the Maharashtra Assembly? What is likely to happen tomorrow? We explain.

As PM Narendra Modi met world leaders invited for the G7 Summit in Germany over the weekend, he presented them with a range of art and craft pieces sourced from various parts of the country, with many of them coming from Uttar Pradesh. We look at who was presented what and the specific craft traditions behind those pieces.

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First published on: 29-06-2022 at 10:27:30 pm
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