Daily briefing: Rethink short lockdowns, PM tells states; Khurshid named for ‘provocative speeches’ during Delhi riots

From more details on the FinCEN files to Congress leader Salman Khurshid's alleged role in the Delhi riots, read the top stories from print edition today.

Good morning Readers,

We are covering the CAG’s latest report on Rafale jet manufacturer, the Prime Minister’s meeting with CMs of seven states and the Assam state board removing 2002 Gujarat riots from its Class 12 syllabus. 

The Big Story

Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Chief Ministers of seven states worst hit by the Covid-19 crisis to strengthen their tracing-tracking strategy. He also asked them to assess how effective are the lockdowns that are being imposed for 1-2 days. 

From The Front Page

At least 44 Indian banks, including State Bank of India, have been flagged in connection with transactions by Indian entities and individuals in a set of Suspicious Activity Reports filed by US banks with the watchdog agency, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Suggesting that the government will not concede to Opposition demands on MSP, Union Minister of Agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar  said that while the government was committed to MSP, it was “not a part of the law” earlier and “is not” today. 

Coming down heavily on the government’s offset policy for defence procurement, the national auditor cited the example of the 36 Rafale fighter jets bought from Dassault Aviation and said that the French manufacturer has not delivered on its promises regarding transfer of technology.

The Pandemic

“I may quit government service once the pandemic is over.” Doctors in Maharashtra are feeling the unequal load amid the Covid surge, particularly in its rural areas. While the state estimates it needs 19,752 doctors, nurses and paramedics to fight the virus, 12,574 of the posts remained vacant as of September 15.

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Chanabasappa Angadi became the first Union minister to succumb to the coronavirus on Wednesday. The 65-year-old passed away less than two weeks after he was admitted to AIIMS on September 11 with symptoms of Covid-19.

Beyond Covid-19

Congress leader Salman Khurshid was reportedly called to deliver “provocative speech” to “keep the protest going and sustaining it for long”, the disclosure statements of accused persons in a chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police read. 

Even though the Monsoon Session of Parliament witnessed a premature end on Wednesday, the battle between the government and the united Opposition over the two farm Bills is only expected to intensify, and move to the courts and the streets.

Lessons on Jawaharlal Nehru, the Mandal Commission report, the 2002 Gujarat riots and writings on caste and marginalisation have been dropped from the Class 12 state board syllabus in Assam as part of the 30% reduction in view of the pandemic.

ICYMI

  • The JD(U) on Wednesday said it supports the demand of various farmers’ organisations for a law that makes payment below the MSP a punishable offence.
  • The BJP’s West Bengal unit has asked the national leadership for six Union Ministers to launch its campaign in the state ahead of the Assembly polls due next year.
  • The Narcotics Control Bureau has so far not made a single arrest in the case in which actor Deepika Padukone has been summoned.
  • Incessant overnight rain for almost 12 hours, followed by intermittent showers during the day, threw Mumbai out of gear, with the city witnessing severe waterlogging on Wednesday.
  • Enola Holmes review: Rarely a film comes long which fills you with chuckling delight, makes you sort of tizzy with its balanced pace, makes a strong political point and yet fills you with hope. 

And finally

When 86-year-old Daphia Bai in Pakistan’s Punjab province finally saw her nephews and grandsons on a video call, she couldn’t stop kissing the screen or hold back her tears: it was the first time since Partition that she had laid eyes on a member of her long-lost family.

Delhi Confidential: The Congress-led Opposition held an impressive protest against the farm Bills, but it seems better coordination would have got more MPs to join them. 

🎧 In today’s episode of Three Things Podcast, we discuss the key takeaways of the sixth round of talks between Indian and Chinese military commanders.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad and Liu Chuen Chen

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