The BJP today reconstituted its Parliamentary Board, the party’s apex decision-making body, and the Central Election Committee (CEC) after eight years, dropping veterans such as Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and springing a surprise by including faces such as former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and former IPS officer Iqbal Singh Lalpura. BJP sources say the new members of the Parliamentary Board and the CEC illustrate the leadership’s keenness to pick leaders from the ground level. From the board that Amit Shah constituted on August 26, 2014 — at the time, he was the party president — the only members in the revamped body are Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and party national president J P Nadda.
Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri today said the Centre had decided to shift the Rohingya refugees to EWS flats in west Delhi’s Bakkarwala. “India has always welcomed those who have sought refuge in the country. In a landmark decision all Rohingya refugees will be shifted to EWS flats in Bakkarwala area of Delhi. They will be provided basic amenities, UNHCR IDs and round-the-clock Delhi Police protection,” he tweeted. Reacting to Puri’s tweet, the Aam Aadmi Party accused the Centre of conspiring to settle illegal immigrants in the city for the BJP’s benefit.
Hours after Puri’s tweet, however, Home Minister Amit Shah’s office denied any such move by the Centre. “With respect to news reports in certain sections of media regarding Rohingya illegal foreigners, it is clarified that Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has not given any directions to provide EWS flats to Rohingya illegal migrants at Bakkarwala in New Delhi,” Shah’s office said.
Granting anticipatory bail to writer and social activist Civic Chandran in a sexual harassment case, the Kozhikode district sessions court in Kerala has observed that the offence under Section 354 (A) (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code would prima facie not be attracted when the woman was wearing ‘sexually provocative dresses’. The court said, “In order to attract Section 354 A (sexual harassment), there must be physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures. There must be a demand or request for sexual favours. There must be a sexually coloured remark. The photographs produced along with the anticipatory bail application by the accused would reveal that the complainant herself is exposing to dresses which are having some sexual provocative one. Section 354 A will not prima facie stand against the accused.”
The Supreme Court was informed that the Government held a meeting with FIFA officials over holding the U-17 Women’s World Cup and lifting suspension on the country’s top administrative organisation, the All India Football Federation (AIFF). Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the apex court that the Government will request FIFA/AFC to allow Gokulam Kerala to participate in the AFC Women’s Championship and ATK Mohun Bagan in AFC Cup. But what events led to the ban and what’s the way forward? Shashank Nair explains.
In Express Opinion today:
Zakia Soman writes: Justice died a thousand deaths when rapists and murderers in the Bilkis Bano case were set free
Killing of a Kashmiri Pandit: Normal life remains a distant dream for Pandits in the Valley
Amid controversy over remarks by a BJP minister over the Karnataka government’s functioning, the Basavaraj Bommai-led government is drawing up fresh plans to celebrate the third anniversary of being in power in the state and the first anniversary of Bommai’s tenure, on August 28. The Bommai government had earlier scheduled a grand event on July 28 to celebrate both anniversaries but was forced to cancel the event following the July 26 murder of BJP youth leader in the Dakshina Kannada region of the state.
With four senior leaders quitting the party’s newly formed committees within hours of being named to the same, the Jammu and Kashmir Congress’s revamp may have ended up damaging it even more. While one of its senior-most leaders, Ghulam Nabi Azad, was the first to resign from the two panels to which he was named (the Campaign Committee and Political Affairs Committee), the other three who have quit in protest are all from Kashmir. One clear message from the revamp was the preference for Jammu leaders. Some welcomed this, pointing out that the party needed to refocus on the Hindu-dominated regions of the erstwhile state where it once held sway. However, the move will hardly go down well with the Kashmir wing of the party.
TikTok might be the world’s most popular short-video platform, but it continues to face scrutiny from regulators across the world over its ties with the Chinese government. According to a report by US publication Axios, Oracle will begin auditing TikTok’s algorithms and content moderation models. TikTok confirmed this in a statement to Axios. What is this audit, and why is TikTok facing this scrutiny? Read here.
The United Kingdom became the first country to approve a booster vaccine aimed at the Omicron variant of Covid-19 on August 15, following trials involving adult subjects. On the same day, Adar Poonawalla, the CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII) which manufactures the Covishield vaccine, said he expected an Omicron-specific vaccine in India in the next six months. How has Omicron responded to existing vaccines? How will the new vaccine work? We explain.