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Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022

Your Daily Wrap: Nitish Kumar severs ties with BJP again, Maharashtra cabinet expansion; and more

From Nitish Kumar resigning as the Bihar chief minister to the UP Police arresting Shrikant Tyagi, the man who abused and pushed a woman at a housing society in Noida, here are the top stories of the day.

(Clockwise) Nitish Kumar with Tejashwi Yadav, the oath-taking ceremony at Maharashtra's Raj Bhavan, Shrikant Tyagi, and Serena Williams.

Janata Dal (United) supremo Nitish Kumar resigned as the chief minister of Bihar today, dumping the BJP for a second time. Soon after announcing his resignation, Nitish, along with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, went to the Raj Bhavan to stake claim to form a new government. Speaking to the media later, Kumar said he submitted a list of 164 MLAs to the governor who will decide when the oath-taking can take place. Meanwhile, launching a scathing attack on the BJP,  Tejashwi Yadav said: “Across the Hindi heartland, the BJP does not have any alliance partners. History tells us that the BJP destroys the parties with which it forms an alliance. We did see that happening in Punjab and Maharashtra.”

The RJD had emerged as the single-largest party in the 2020 Assembly elections. With the discomfiture between the BJP and the JD(U) building up for the last two months, we take a look at how the numbers stack up in the Assembly. And with the game of numbers set to begin in the state, the one man whose actions will be most closely watched is Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha.

Moving to Maharashtra, where the new cabinet was finally sworn in today. For Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, the Cabinet expansion exercise proved to be an exercise in managing expectations as the number of aspirants far outnumbered the 18 ministers — nine from the Shiv Sena and nine from the BJP — sworn in. Among those who took oath was rebel Sena MLA Sanjay Rathod, whose induction took many by surprise, given the BJP’s protests against him earlier. Rathod’s smooth run had run into a controversy after a resident of Parli Vaijanath in Beed district had died on February 8 after reportedly jumping off the balcony of a flat in Pune’s Hadapsar area. Soon after her death, photos and audio clips had surfaced purportedly linking Rathod to it. Though Chavan’s family had not pressed any charges and no FIR was filed, the BJP had protested, saying police were under pressure. But CM Shinde today said Rathod was inducted into the Cabinet because “nothing was found against him”.

The Uttar Pradesh Police today arrested Shrikant Tyagi, the man who abused and pushed a woman at a housing society in Noida. Tyagi was on the run since Friday, when an FIR was registered against him for assaulting the woman. Senior officers said Tyagi kept changing locations and devices to evade arrest. Addressing a press conference, the police also explained why Tyagi had an ‘MLA sticker’ on one of his vehicles, adding that an investigation is also being conducted regarding the gunners provided to Tyagi by the Ghaziabad Police.

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The spectre of another change in chief ministership has risen in Karnataka following the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to the state last week. Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who has come under severe criticism from within the BJP itself following the recent murder of a youth leader in Dakshina Kannada district, went into self-isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 for a third time on August 6, and cancelled his scheduled visit to Delhi. The cancellation of the visit to Delhi has been read by BJP leaders as a possible sign of the exit of the CM.

In the world of Sports, Tennis star Serena Williams announced that she will be retiring very soon but did not provide a specific date. Featuring on the Vogue’s September issue’s cover, the 23-time Grand Slam champion, in an article for the magazine, said, “Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair. But I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give.”

Umpire Rudi Koertzen died in a head-on collision near Riversdale on Tuesday. The 73-year-old was on his way back home from Cape Town after a golf weekend when the tragic incident took place. He stood in a record 209 ODIs and is one of just three umpires to officiate in over 100 Tests. Koertzen officiated in a record 209 ODIs, surpassing iconic umpire David Shepherd’s record of 172 ODIs after the Cricket World Cup match between the West Indies and England in 2007.

Political Pulse

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During outgoing Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu’s farewell on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised concerns about the functioning of the House. He said that while the Rajya Sabha had every right to pass, reject or amend Bills referred to it by the Lok Sabha, stalling or blocking them did not suit a parliamentary democracy. Monday’s speech is not the first time Modi has raised concerns about the functioning of the House of Elders, and the PM is not the only person to have expressed reservations about the functioning of the Rajya Sabha.

From the Urdu Press: As Parliament discussed inflation early last week after days of disruptions, the Urdu dailies took a dim view of Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s reply to the fractious debate, calling it “callous and insensitive”. On the raging discourse over the revdi politics, a view emerged from them that the central dispensation was indulging in hypocrisy and double standards over some government measures for “relief and welfare” of ordinary citizens as compared to its outsize deals and extravagant sops and bailouts for corporates and crony capitalists. They interpreted the Congress’s countrywide protests in black as an urgent turn in the crisis-ridden grand old party’s oppositional role.

Express Explained

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Actor Ashton Kutcher suffered from a “weird, super rare form of vasculitis” two years ago that “knocked out” his vision, hearing, and “all my equilibrium”. After a clip of his upcoming interview on National Geographic’s ‘Running Wild with Bear Grills: The Challenge’ was released on Monday, Kutcher clarified on Twitter that he “fully recovered” and it is now “all good”. What is vasculitis, and how can it be treated? We explain.

United States Under Secretary of Defence for Policy Colin Kahl confirmed that Washington has supplied some “anti-radiation missiles” to Ukraine, which could be fired from some Ukrainian Air Force aircraft. The statement has put meat on Russian allegations that an American anti-radar missile, AGM-88 HARM, which is part of NATO’s inventory, has been used in the theatre of conflict. What kind of missile is this and what impact can it have in the ongoing war in Ukraine? Read this Express Explained article to know more.

First published on: 09-08-2022 at 09:14:52 pm
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