◾ We track the big story of the day, from Maharashtra, where the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has been plunged into turmoil with around 30 MLAs, led by Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde moving to Gujarat. While Shinde has always sworn allegiance to the Sena and Thackerays, there have been murmurs in recent months that he was “unhappy” over the way the party was being run and the treatment being meted out to old Sainiks like him. But will his move lead to the fall of the MVA government in the state? Here’s a look at the numbers as we bring to you live coverage from the two states.
◾ The Opposition has reached a consensus over its consensus candidate for the Presidential election next month. Former Union minister and Trinamool Congress leader Yashwant Sinha has been named as the common candidate of the Opposition, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said during a meeting of opposition parties. Nurtured by Advani, picked to head the prestigious Finance and External Affairs Ministries in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government of 1999 to 2004, Sinha has reshaped his political profile since leaving the BJP under Narendra Modi.
◾ There will be no roll back of the Agnipath scheme as it is for the good of the armed forces and even the youth who get trained through it, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said. He also said there would be ample employment opportunities for Agniveers as by the time they retire from the forces, India will have a $5 trillion economy and industries will be vying to employ disciplined, trainable youth. In an interview to ANI, Doval also spoke about the controversy over remarks against Prophet Mohammad, saying it has damaged India’s reputation internationally as they have projected the country in a manner that is far from the truth.
◾ On International Yoga Day today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said yoga has become a global festival as there is widespread acceptance of the ancient Indian practice. “The acceptance of that amrit spirit of India which gave energy to India’s freedom struggle. That is why mass yoga demonstrations are being organised at 75 iconic locations across the country,” PM Modi said in Mysuru. While the Modi government has been consistently pushing for the day on a global scale since first coming to power in 2014, this year marks a new kind of reach, with the Ministry of External Affairs’s ‘Guardian Ring for Yoga’. As per this, yoga is to be performed across the globe at sunrise in their respective countries — from 3 am IST in Japan to 10 pm in America and Canada.
◾ Meanwhile, as people participated in yoga events across the globe, a crowd stormed a stadium in Maldives’s Male, where more than 150 people, including diplomats and government officers, were taking part in an event organised by the Indian Embassy. Police used tear gas and pepper spray as the crowd attacked participants and vandalised property.
◾ AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam (OPS) appears to be on the losing wicket ahead of a crucial meeting of the party where joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) is likely to press for a single leadership system. Senior AIADMK leaders who support EPS have questioned OPS and rejected his proposal for postponement of the June 23 party general counsel meeting. Senior AIADMK leaders told The Indian Express that EPS is likely to pass the resolution for single leadership at the party meeting. Arun Janardhan reports.
◾ As the violent protests over the Agnipath scheme subside, allies JD(U) and BJP are circling around each other as they weigh the way forward. While the protests and open attacks have further strained ties between the two, neither looks ready to snap the same just yet. In fact, a message has gone out from the BJP high command to state unit leaders to hold their peace even under provocation from the other side. Liz Mathew and Santosh Singh report.
◾ From the Urdu Press, this week: As protests against the Centre’s Agnipath scheme swept through the country, resulting in violence and mayhem in some states prompting several Opposition parties to seek its rollback, a demand rejected by the ruling BJP, the reporting and analysis of this entire story dominated the news and opinion pages of the country’s leading Urdu newspapers. A look at them.
◾ The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a notification disallowing non-bank prepaid wallets and prepaid cards from loading credit lines — preset borrowing limits — into these platforms. This comes in the backdrop of a boom in credit instruments such as fintech-driven credit cards and buy-now-pay-later wallets. What does the notification say and what does it mean for fintech firms? Read here.
◾ Gujarat has inaugurated the state’s first multi-level railway-over-bridge and flyover built at the cost of Rs 133.50 crore. A look at the three-level bridge, its features and how it will change life for commuters in Surat.
◾ Preparing for Civil Services and other competitive examinations. Read The Indian Express’ UPSC Key and UPSC Essentials to stay informed.