Onus on the CBI: on the case against P. Chidambaram

The arraignment of former Union Minister P. Chidambaram on corruption charges is a flashpoint in relations between the ruling BJP and the principal Opposition party, the Congress, in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha election. It also came on the eve of the debate in Parliament on a no-confidence motion against the four-year-old Narendra Modi government. The CBI has filed a charge sheet against Mr. Chidambaram, his son Karti Chidambaram and 16 others, on the ground that Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval was granted for investments made in Aircel by Global Communication Holdings Service, a Mauritius-based subsidiary of Maxis, a Malaysian conglomerate, in violation of norms. Mr. Chidambaram is accused of cheating and bribery, and having exceeded his authority by clearing investments amounting to ₹3,200 crore, whereas any investment above ₹600 crore needed the clearance of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs. For a case that essentially turns on documentary evidence, the

Ortega’s choice: on the political unrest in Nicaragua

The anniversary of the 1979 revolution to oust the dictator Anastasio Somoza evokes mixed memories in Nicaragua. The bitter political unrest in the country, now into its fourth month, shows no sign of abating, with President Daniel Ortega digging in his heels. The veteran Sandinista guerrilla leader’s refusal to heed pleas to call elections next year, two years ahead of schedule, threatens to prolong the bloody conflict, with the confrontation already claiming more than 260 lives. The trigger for the protests was the recent reform of the social security policy aimed at simultaneously raising individual contributions and reducing benefits. Whatever the economic rationale, the move was perceived by people as needless provocation and a double penalty. But by the time the regime saw wisdom and rescinded the measure, it was already too late. Anger over the social security reform morphed into broad-based opposition against the rule of Mr. Ortega, who has been in office for 11 years in his
Lead

The French connection on and off the pitch

Emile Chabal
Comment

Fault lines in a ‘landmark’ judgment

D. Shyam Babu
Lead

A vote of no confidence from the farmers

Yogendra Yadav Avik Saha

Freedom and fear on the streets

Tabish Khair

All this Hindu-Muslim stuff

G. Sampath

An evening in Pinjore Gardens

Rana Safvi
ILLUSTRATION: J.A. PREMKUMAR
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A whiny bunch

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The laundry is now done

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Doctor with stethoscope in hand on hospital background
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Lasting impressions

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