Morning digest: Shutdown in Kashmir, campaigning without charismatic leader in TN, and more

A select list of stories to read before you start your day

Shutdown in Kashmir to protest custodial death

Kashmir Valley observed a shutdown on Wednesday to protest the death of a teacher apparently in police custody. The circumstances under which the 28-year-old man was rounded up and the cause of his death, however, remain undisclosed. The shutdown call issued by the separatist amalgam, Joint Resistance Leadership, comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, impacted daily life in the Valley.

Mayawati not to contest Lok Sabha elections

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said here on Wednesday that she would not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election as a “sacrifice” for the larger goal of uprooting the “arrogant, despotic, communal and casteist” BJP government.

Addressing a press conference, she said if she were in the fray the BSP workers would lose their focus.

Election is about whether Narendra Modi has delivered: Derek O’ Brien

Ahead of the general elections, in which the All India Trinamool Congress faces a challenge on its home turf from a strident Bharatiya Janata Party, the West Bengal-based party’s Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brien speaks about Opposition unity, impact of the Pulwama attack and the BJP’s aggressive campaign in the State.

Campaigning without a charismatic leader

In the absence of its iconic leader Jayalalithaa who, like her mentor and party founder M.G. Ramachandran, was an instant crowd-puller, the ruling AIADMK is preparing to launch its campaign for the Lok Sabha election on Friday.

For a party spearheaded by towering personalities since its inception in 1972, the upcoming election will test the evolving dual leadership of its coordinator O. Panneerselvam and co-coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

Manifestos: a gateway to power or mere poll ritual?

With election manifestos being launched by political parties one after the other, the limelight now turns to the salient features of such documents. At the same time, a question arises whether such manifestos make any meaningful difference in terms of strengthening the electoral process.

In Tamil Nadu, during the last 15 years at least, manifestos were not only the subject of intense discussion among political players but also of litigation.

I turn abuse into ornaments: Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday turned the opposition’s slogan “Chowkidar Hi Chor Hai” (the Guard is the thief) into a campaign opportunity by reaching out to almost 25 lakh security guards across the country via an audio bridge. Taking umbrage to what he termed as the opposition’s insult to all those who serve by protecting property or values in public life, Mr. Modi said every Indian should keep the spirit of a guard alive within him.

Angel tax: CBDT, DPIIT trade blame for delay in resolving issue

In an escalating back-and-forth between the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade over the infrastructural roadblocks to finding a solution to the angel tax issue, both bodies have passed the buck to the other in order to resolve the problem.

Last month, the DPIIT had issued a notification stating that registered start-ups would be exempt from the angel tax if they met certain conditions.

The Department was to send the names of such start-ups to the CBDT, which was to then incorporate them into its systems, so that such companies would be exempt from angel tax proceedings at the outset.

India has to play the World Cup very, very well: Rahul Dravid

Former India skipper Rahul Dravid felt that there was nothing to be alarmed about the outcome of the recent T20I and ODI series against Australia which the host lost 2-0 and 3-2 respectively.

During a panel discussion at ESPNCricinfo’s launch of Superstats, in partnership with IIT Madras, Dravid said: “In a way I think it’s (2-3 defeat to Australia) a good balancing factor. India has performed well in the last couple of years. There was a little bit of talk that we are almost going to walk in there and win the World Cup very easily because we are the No. 1 team and we have been dominating one-day cricket for two years.

Fresh season brings new colour and hope for the Rajasthan Royals

The men from the Pink City must be hoping to put behind them the blues of the past. After all, they will enter Jaipur’s Sawai Mansingh Stadium on the night of March 25 dressed in pink — instead of blue, their traditional colour.

After Shane Warne led them to a stunning triumph in the IPL’s inaugural edition in 2008, it hasn’t exactly been a joy ride for Rajasthan Royals.

It could not even ride for two seasons: they were grounded following the spot-fixing scandal.

Finland is the happiest nation, India slips 7 spots, ranks 140th

Indians are not as happy in 2019 as they were in 2018 and the country figures at 140th place, seven spots down from last year, on UN World Happiness Report- 2019, released on Wednesday. The list is topped by Finland for the second year in a row.

The report was released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations on March 20, which was designated as the World Happiness Day by the UN General Assembly in 2012.

The report ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 12:49:46 PM |

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