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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Daily Briefing: Election Commission in talks with J&K district chiefs; deadlines for Capt Amarinder to fulfill promises

From Madhya Pradesh hitting a fresh record of daily vaccinations after a dip, to Republic Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami's response to the Mumbai Police -- here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
June 24, 2021 8:18:01 am
A look at the top news today, July 21, 2021.

Good morning,

Big Story 

In a precursor to the delimitation exercise in Jammu-Kashmir, the Election Commission held a virtual-mode meeting with Deputy Commissioners of all J&K districts to discuss details of existing electoral constituencies. The government, official sources have indicated, is keen to hold elections in J&K as soon as possible.

From the Front Page 

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was in Delhi for two days but returned without  meeting either Congress president Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. And in a highly unusual move, the Congress high command came out in public to say that it has directed him to work on implementing the party’s 18 key poll manifesto promises within a timeframe.

Meanwhile, top fashion designers Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra and Ritu Kumar for questioning in connection with a probe into money laundering allegations against Punjab Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira.

 A 13-member collective of the nation’s biggest news media companies has moved the Madras High Court challenging the Constitutional validity of the Centre’s new IT rules. The plea contends that the rules will gag free speech, usher in an era of fear and surveillance, and burden legacy media with over-regulation.

Must Read 

After hitting an all-time high of 17.44 lakh vaccines on Monday, only to slump to a mere 4,842 doses on Tuesday, Madhya Pradesh’s daily number of vaccines administered rose yet again to 11.17 lakh yesterday — the second highest number of jabs given under the state’s vaccination programme. The high vaccination numbers were due to each district being given specific targets, officials said.

With Covid playing havoc, financial savings of households, especially bank deposits and equity investments, are on the decline. The RBI’s preliminary estimate of household financial savings is at 8.2 per cent of GDP in the third quarter of 2020-21, exhibiting a sequential moderation for the second consecutive quarter after having spiked in the pandemic-hit first quarter of 2020-21.

Responding to a lengthy questionnaire sent to him by the Mumbai Police in the Television Rating Points (TRP) scam case, Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami claimed he was not involved in decisions regarding the placement of his channels — an issue that is central to the case. Instead, he alleged that the distribution team was responsible for channel placement. “Neither I, nor anyone else from the editorial team is involved,” he wrote. 

BJP MP and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi has stirred up trouble with the Indian Veterinary Association after purported audio clips of her using abusive language and threatening three veterinarians were circulated on social media. On Wednesday, vets across the country observed a “black day” in protest against Gandhi. The IVA has also written to PM Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on her “unparliamentary behaviour”

And Finally 

Nearly two decades after the controversial Coca-Cola plant in Palakkad, Kerala  was shut down following a massive agitation by local residents, it is back in the spotlight once again. The massive 34-acre property will soon serve as a 600-bed Covid hospital, complete with 100 oxygen beds, 40 ICU beds and 10 ventilators. 

Delhi Confidential: Ahead of party chief J P Nadda’s visit to Bhopal to attend its meeting on Thursday, the state BJP executive has been rejigged. The new list of members drew a lot of attention due to a separate column indicating the caste of each person. 

In today’s episode of ‘3 Things’, we look at the possibility of Opposition parties coming together to form a third front against the BJP,  how the second wave impacted West Bengal, and a report by poll rights group ADR on the donations received by political parties from electoral trusts in 2019-20.

Until tomorrow,
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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