Daily briefing: Suspense in Cong over RJD’s plans for it grows; Cremation against our wishes, says Hathras victim’s family

From legacy issues ailing Bihar's economy to top Bollywood producers moving court against two TV channels, read the top stories from print edition here.

Good morning, 

We are covering the legacy issues ailing Bihar’s economy, top Bollywood producers moving court against two TV channels and the power outage that paralysed Mumbai.

Big Story

Like the relief package announced in May, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday announced a twin set of measures to boost consumption demand and capital expenditure, but would have minimal fiscal cost to the exchequer. Some economists argued that the amounts were too small to have any meaningful impact on economic growth.

From The Front Page

Appearing before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, which took suo motu cognizance of the Hathras case, the kin of the 19-year-old Dalit woman said the district administration carried out her cremation “against their wishes”. The Hathras District Magistrate said the decision to carry out the cremation was taken locally, without directions from Lucknow.

In July, the Centre warned State governments of child traffickers exploiting families facing financial distress due to the Pandemic and directed them to set up new Anti Human Trafficking Units and upgrade existing ones. However, eight states, including Covid hotspot Maharashtra and UP, and J&K are yet to put these units in place.

Top Bollywood producers, including production houses owned by actors Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir Khan, filed a civil suit against Republic TV and Times Now and their senior editors for making “irresponsible, derogatory and defamatory remarks” against the film industry.

Must Read

Retail inflation jumped to an eight-month high of 7.34 per cent in September, primarily driven by higher food inflation, which rose to double-digit levels, data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed. And factory output continued to decline for the sixth consecutive month in August, recording an 8 per cent contraction.

Power outages of the kind that paralysed Mumbai on Monday are rare. In addition to inconveniencing households and those trying to use public transport, vital hospital systems, students’ exams and court hearings were impacted in Mumbai following a failure of the power supply grid.

Actor-turned-politician Khushbu Sundar, who quit the Congress on Monday, saying some senior leaders were “dictating terms” and “people like me… are being pushed and suppressed”, joined the BJP within hours. Till just a week back, Khushbu, who was one of the Congress’s spirited voices on social media, was targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Decision 2020

Even as Bihar has improved in the last five years in terms of growth of the gross state domestic product (GSDP), agriculture, expenditure on health and education, as well as infrastructure, its legacy problems such as minimal industrialisation, clean water, sanitation, open defecation, rural housing, and microfinance for small and marginal farmers continue.

As only 21 of 70 seats have been decided so far as part of the seat-sharing pact between the RJD and the Congress, it is triggering confusion and growing resentment in the Congress ranks and prompting many to wonder at the reason for the unusual secrecy. Several middle-rung leaders claim that the RJD has succeeded in giving the Congress “difficult” seats.

ICYMI

  • Amid talks with the Chinese to resolve the military standoff in Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Monday that China and Pakistan have been creating border disputes “under a mission”.
  • Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa Monday effected a minor reshuffle in his cabinet by giving Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar the charge of the health portfolio too. Also, ST community leader B Sreeramulu was made in charge of the social welfare ministry.
  • An advocate has moved the Supreme Court seeking action against Andhra Pradesh CM Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy for making public his “unsubstantiated allegations” against a senior judge of the court.
  • The News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on news channel Aaj Tak for attributing “fake tweets” to actor Sushant Singh Rajput in a broadcast related to his death.
  • Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA) chairman Vallabhbhai Kathiria on Monday unveiled a “chip” made of cow dung and claimed that it reduces radiation from mobile handsets significantly.

And Finally…

For years, trees from the forest were cut to build the chariot that is traditionally used during the Dussehra festivities in Bastar. This year, however,  the gram sabha of Kakalgud resolved they would not give any more trees from the forest around their village.

In today’s episode of the Three Things podcast,  we’re talking about the controversial metro project in Aarey’s milk colony being moved, how the government plans to distribute vaccines for COVID-19 and a new measure to boost economic growth.

Until tomorrow

Leela Prasad G and Shreyasi Jha

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