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Journalism of Courage

Daily Briefing: EC’s freebies debate U-turn; split on method to name new Supreme Court judges; and more

In today’s edition: EC’s move on freebies debate; Amit Shah on reservation for Paharis in J&K; why Shivaji Park is important to Shiv Sena; latest on Congress chief polls; and more.

Top news on October 05, 2022.

Good morning,

The Big story

The Election Commission of India has written to all recognised national and state parties to spell out ways and means of raising resources to finance the freebies promises made during elections, and the impact they would have on the fiscal sustainability of the state or the Central government.

Floating a consultation paper, the EC has asked parties to furnish their views by October 19.

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The EC’s move marks a U-turn from its previous stance on the freebies debate. Just weeks ago, the poll panel told the Supreme Court that “freebies can have different impacts on society, economy, equity,” admitting that it would be an over-reach of its powers to regulate policy making on the subject. Here’s what the EC has said on the freebies debate so far.

Only in the Express

In our Opinion section today, Anastasia Piliavsky writes, “It is not in the interest of India’s citizens to condone Russia’s war. The outcome of this war will set indelible economic, geopolitical and moral precedents… Should Russia win this war, it is not only Taiwan, but also India that will be exposed to Chinese aggression.”

Chief Justice of India U U Lalit is learnt to have written to two of the five-member Supreme Court Collegium again, seeking reconsideration of their stand on a proposal to recommend four new judges to the top court through a written note instead of a formal meeting. The two judges, however, have refused to be “party to it”, The Indian Express has learnt.

From the Front Page

As the Russia-Ukraine war rages on, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and told him “there can be no military solution” to the conflict and India was ready to “contribute to any peace efforts”. Here’s what the PM said.


Video clips that purportedly show a man flogging those arrested for pelting stones at a garba event Monday night in Gujarat’s Kheda district have triggered outrage, with the Opposition identifying the person involved as a police officer and demanding that action be taken.

In a move to shore up support in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Tuesday said the Government will extend reservation benefits to the Pahari community, too, in the UT without impacting the quota being extended to Gujjars and Bakerwals. He cautioned people that some persons who do not want peace in Pir Panjal have started instigating the Gujjars and Bakerwals by spreading rumours that their share of the reservation will decrease.

Must Read 

Facing acute financial distress during the Covid lockdown, 23-year-old Ram Baboo from Bahuara village in UP had to dig up soil, as an MNREGA worker, to manage two meals. This week, he set a new record of 2:36.32s in the 35-km race walk at the National Games. Read about Baboo’s long walk to the national record here.


In a first for Shiv Sena, two Dussehra rallies will be held in Mumbai on October 5, as it prepares for a show of strength with its first such mass event since the vertical split in the party in June this year. The Dussehra rally has an almost sacrosanct place in the annual traditions of the party since it was founded in 1966. We explain why the rally at Shivaji Park is important for Shiv Sena.

Even as the race for the Congress chief post heats up, the Kerala state unit of the party is divided on Shashi Tharoor’s candidature. While the bigger camp of mainly senior party leaders has openly come out in support of Mallikarjun Kharge, only a section of youngsters is batting for the Thiruvananthapuram parliamentarian.

Maaz Hassan Farooq, one of the three men arrested by Telangana Police Sunday for allegedly plotting a terror attack during Dussehra celebrations, had twice earlier attempted to fly out of the country to join terror outfits and had undergone de-radicalisation sessions. Maaz has been in similar situations in the past, but this time, a police officer said, the charges against him are “far more serious”. 

And Finally…

In 2016, during the rallies in Brazil calling for the impeachment of then president Dilma Rousseff, a majority of the protesters wore the country’s yellow football jersey. Since far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro came to power in 2018, the Liberal Party has appropriated the jersey, so much so that wearing it in public is seen as support for Bolsonaro. We take a look at how the Canarinho jersey got politicised.

Delhi Confidential: The Congress has lost the chairmanship of two more Parliamentary Standing Committees. Incidentally, the parliamentary bulletin announcing the changes has no mention of the panel on Chemicals and Fertilizers. It was said that the government had offered the Congress the chairmanship of this panel. It is to be seen whether the party will accept this offer.


In today’s episode of the ‘3 Things’ podcast, we talk about the deplorable groundwater quality in areas near Delhi’s Bhalswa landfill, and the CBI raids across the country to combat cybercrime.

Until tomorrow,

Sonal Gupta and Anandu Suresh

First published on: 05-10-2022 at 08:21:36 am
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