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Saturday briefing: Latest on Gujarat polls; at World Cup, hosts first to leave party

Get your weekend started with the top 5 stories from today’s edition: Latest on Gujarat Assembly polls, how Rahul was able to rise above Pappu image; what to watch this weekend; and more. 

Top news on November 26, 2022

It’s Saturday!

Get your weekend started with the top 5 stories from today’s edition: Latest on Gujarat Assembly polls, how Rahul was able to rise above Pappu image; what to watch this weekend; and more. 

1) Tensions are running high in Gujarat, where the high-stakes Assembly Election is just a few days away. Here are some of our top stories from the poll-bound state: 

🔴 The election is set to see many key contests, but the one for minority votes is rather tepid, with major political parties circumspect about fielding Muslim candidates, as always. The Muslim community, which forms approximately nine per cent of the total population of Gujarat, says in one voice that it is “unexcited” about the polls, as “none of the parties” has ever lived up to their pre-poll promises or reached out to the community.

🔴 Meanwhile, Isudan Gadhvi, Aam Aadmi Party’s chief ministerial face in Gujarat, speaks to The Indian Express about why his party won’t take its foot off the pedal. 

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🔴 We join 63-year-old Amit Popatlal Shah, the former mayor of Ahmedabad, as he hits the campaign trail across the Ellisbridge Assembly constituency. Shah is adamant the AAP won’t make a dent at any of Ahmedabad city’s 16 Assembly seats. He is also confident of personally winning by over 80,000 votes. Once elected, he has vowed to resolve all disputes related to the Disturbed Areas Act in the Paldi area of his constituency.

2) In her weekly column, Neerja Chowdhury writes on how Rahul Gandhi was able to rise above the ‘Pappu’ image and strike a chord with his Bharat Jodo Yatra: “It goes without saying that the acid test of Rahul’s yatra will lie in winning elections. But, curiously, he has tried to delink the yatra from electoral gains, not to appear power hungry —but this makes little sense. A political party is nothing if it cannot win elections and deliver on its promises.”

3) Days after the Jama Masjid authorities announced and then quickly revoked a ban on ‘unaccompanied women’ visiting the mosque, Yashee writes: “When I heard women would no longer be allowed to enter the mosque alone, I felt a personal loss. The questionable logic of the now-rescinded order aside — it wanted to stop girls who “give time to men, do wrong things”; why not ban the men “taking” time from women? — I was also aghast at how little the order seemed to understand Jama Masjid.”

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4) Express at FIFA World Cup 2022: Two teams locked against each other with a five-man backline is bound to produce a turgid affair, even if both have adequate attacking prowess. So it was only fathomable that the Netherlands and Ecuador produced a colourless, stifled game, in utter contrast to the vibrant colour around the stadium. Several Dutch fans had arrived in their sparkling orange thobes and keffiyeh, Ecuadorians in their flashy yellow t-shirts. Both eked out a point that saw them level with three points, but the result ended all hopes of hosts Qatar progressing to the last 16, after their defeats to Ecuador and Senegal.

🍿 What to watch this weekend 

5) This week, Shubhra Gupta reviews the latest Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon-starrer ‘Bhediya’: “Varun Dhawan does a good job of aligning with the tone of the film– the horror is pretty much ‘naam-ke-vaaste’, comedy is what it is interested in and does it well.” (3 ⭐)

Express Quiz 

Until tomorrow, 

Rahel Philipose

First published on: 26-11-2022 at 07:39 IST
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