Daily Briefing: Cabinet reshuffle this week, eye on coming polls, Covid control; Gupkar says let down by meeting with PM Modi

From a Cabinet reshuffle likely to be held later this week to the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration saying it is “disappointed” with the outcome of its meeting with PM Modi, here are the top news stories for today.

The Big Story

Father Stan Swamy, a 84-year-old Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist, died in a Mumbai hospital waiting for medical bail in the Elgaar Parishad case. Swamy’s lawyer told the Bombay High Court, which was hearing an urgent plea for bail, that he had no complaints against the court or the hospital, but could not say the same about the NIA and jail authorities. The NIA, which arrested Swamy in October last year, did not seek Swamy’s custody for interrogation even for a “single day”, he said.  

Only in the Express

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to revamp his Cabinet later this week, more than two years after he returned to a second term. Party sources said issues of governance during the pandemic will be as much a factor as the coming Assembly elections, especially in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh. 

Four years ago, the Bargari sacrilege case  paved the way for the return of Congress to power in Punjab. Now, it’s the biggest stumbling block on the party’s road to the next election less than a year ahead.

From the Front Page

The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration said it was disappointed with the outcome of last month’s all-party meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It also said assembly elections should be held only after restoration of full statehood for J&K.

Class 10 and 12 students will be appearing for not one but two board exams during the academic year 2021-2022. However, the syllabus will be reduced and split in half across the two terms. 

The Supreme Court sought the Centre’s response on the continued use of Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, by law enforcement agencies of various states, despite the provision being struck down by the court in 2015. 

Must read

Five years after their daughters left India to join the Islamic State (IS), and eventually got jailed in Afghanistan, two mothers in Kerala have chosen two separate paths for their return home. 

Neither might figure in the scoresheets, or the assist charts, yet for both Italy and Spain, the keys to winning Tuesday’s Euro 2020 semifinal are saddled with their holding midfielders, Jorginho and Sergio Busquets.

And finally…

Delhi confidential: As a mark of friendship and goodwill, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sent 2,000 kg of Bangladesh-origin seasonal mangoes (Haribhanga) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ramnath Kovind — 1,000 kg each.

In today’s podcast episode, we discuss Pak’s accusations of “India-sponsored terrorism.” We also talk about Punjab’s power crisis and the death of activist Father Stan Swamy.

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