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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Daily Briefing: I-T searches four close to Akhilesh; What E Sreedharan’s exit means for Kerala BJP

The Income Tax Department conducted searches Saturday at the houses of a SP leader and three others considered close to SP president Akhilesh Yadav.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
December 19, 2021 8:14:31 am
A look at the top news today, January 18, 2022

Good morning, 

The Big Story 

In a development being termed by the Samajwadi Party (SP) and its leaders as something that was done at the behest of the BJP, the income tax department conducted searches at the house of an SP leader and three others considered close to SP president Akhilesh Yadav. Addressing a press conference, the SP chief said: “This is not a new thing. This is an old trick. The BJP is following the path shown by the Congress. Check the Congress’s history and you will see they too used such intimidation tactics.”

Meanwhile, Stepping up his party’s campaign in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh where the BJP hopes to retain power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attacked Opposition parties and praised Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, saying “UP+Yogi bahut hai upyogi (very useful)”.

Only in the Express

Former Union minister P Chidambaram writes on the suspension of 12 members of the House belonging to different Opposition parties for the remainder of the session until December 24. “If those who have the right to speak (the Opposition) are not allowed to speak, and if those who have the duty to hear (the government) plug their ears, democracy is diminished.” 

From the Front Page 

In the first official government response after The Indian Express reported that the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and two Election Commissioners, despite reservations, did join an online “interaction” called by the PMO on November 16, the Ministry of Law and Justice said that it was “clarified” that the letter expecting CEC presence was for “Secretary or a representative of the CEC familiar with the subject” to attend the meeting.

In the second sacrilege attempt at the Golden Temple within four days, a man in his 20s was nabbed and beaten to death when he climbed the gold railing around the sanctum sanctorum where the Guru Granth Sahib is placed and picked up the Siri Sahib (sword) around 5.50 pm when the evening prayer was being recited. The incident was captured on camera as the Rehras Sahib (evening prayer) is telecast live across the globe by a private channel.

Must Read 

Amid growing concerns over the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, both India and Pakistan are engaging with their regional partners to improve the situation. While New Delhi will be holding its 3rd meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue with five countries, three of which share a border with Afghanistan, Pakistan is set to host the 17th extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers. 

After suffering one of its worst electoral losses in the recent Kerala assembly polls, and with fissures within the party widening — the exit of ‘Metroman’ E Sreedharan has dealt yet another blow to the state BJP. Sreedharan’s bid to quit active politics has come at a juncture when the party is witnessing the exit of workers from several districts, as well as the formation of factions — one led by P K Krishnadas and Sobha Surendran, and the other dominant section led by state party president K Surendran.

With over 50 per cent of the current class 12 batch failing last year’s Class 11 exams, the Telangana Higher Education Department is now reviewing the effectiveness of its online classes. While the students were promoted en masse in April as the final exam could not be held due to Covid, the examination results, declared on Thursday, show that only 49% passed. Students from private institutes with better access to the Internet and digital devices fared better compared to those in government ones.

Ever since the 330-metre Kashi Vishwanath corridor was inaugurated by PM Modi, who called it “the bridge between the past and future”, the city of Varanasi hasn’t had a breather. With the upcoming polls in sight, ministers of the Adityanath Cabinet have started visiting, and more recently, an entourage of 100 mayors reached the city for a conference. We pay a visit to Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world, where the corridor has shaped new links, though a few others have snapped. 

And Finally 

It doesn’t matter where you happen to be. The aroma of their Christmas cake full of cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg, wafting in the air, will drag you to the Landour Bakehouse that visitors refer to as the Bakery, the Bacon House or even the Bread House. Author Ganesh Saili talks about its prolific recipes that went into cookbooks, and in doing so also gives us tips on baking and brown sugar

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

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