Political tension within the INDIA bloc, particularly between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, rose when a Samajwadi Party leader launched a personal attack on former Congress president Rahul Gandhi. This bitter exchange of words centers on seat sharing issues for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly elections. Samajwadi Party leader IP Singh referred to Rahul Gandhi as a “mad fool” and mocked him for his failed “Chowkidar Chor Hai” campaign against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2019 general elections. Singh emphasized that The Grand Alliance initiative was initially led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, accusing the Congress of divisive tactics.
Amid the seat-sharing tussle, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav issued a warning to the Congress regarding its traditional constituencies, Amethi and Rae Bareli, suggesting that comments made by Congress leaders could invite reciprocity. . The escalating conflict within the INDIA bloc has led some to question its cohesion and viability, with the BJP’s Amit Malviya suggesting that Akhilesh Yadav’s split from the alliance has become a matter of pride. Dig deeper
Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer Indra Mani Pandey will become the first Indian to hold the prestigious post of Secretary General of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). The appointment of Pandey, who is currently serving as India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, marks an important milestone. BIMSTEC, a regional organization formed in 1997, focuses on deepening cooperation within the Bay of Bengal region across a wide spectrum of sectors, spanning trade, technology, energy, transportation, tourism, fisheries and more. In 2008, the organization expanded to include areas such as agriculture, public health, poverty alleviation, counterterrorism, environment, culture, people-to-people contacts, and climate change. With member states including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, Pandey’s extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy is expected to strengthen India’s commitment to strengthening BIMSTEC and fostering regional cooperation. Dig deeper
Akhilesh Yadav slams Congress for denying alliance in Madhya Pradesh, mocks support for caste-based census as ‘miracle’ Dig deeper
CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury mocks HD Deve Gowda’s claim that Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan backs JD(S)-BJP alliance in Karnataka Dig deeper
ISRO launches first Gaganyaan test flight from Sriharikota to test crew escape capabilities Dig deeper
Delhi Police discover body of Swiss national from Zurich near Tilak Nagar school wall, arrest suspect using hi-tech methods Dig deeper
Officials from the Indian Embassy in Israel met community representatives and offered assistance during the ongoing conflict with Hamas. India is closely monitoring the situation and carrying out ‘Operation Ajay’ to evacuate Indian citizens from Israel. So far, around 1,200 Indian citizens, including 18 Nepalese nationals, have been returned to India under this operation. The Ministry of External Affairs is assessing the situation and there have been no reports of Indian casualties in Gaza. The Indian embassy issued advisories to Indian citizens in Israel and a 24-hour control room was set up to monitor the situation and provide assistance. Dig deeper
Lifestyle and health
Hunter S. Thompson isn’t the only traveler encountering a less than ideal trip. Each of us has experienced a setback on the travel continuum: wardrobe malfunctions, culinary misadventures, lost documents, the anguish of lost checked luggage, train delays and unpleasant hotel accommodations. A group of well-traveled people, with more than 50 countries under their belt, have compiled a proven set of travel do’s and don’ts. By heeding his wisdom, you can avoid future travel mishaps and enjoy a more satisfying trip. Dig deeper
Hardik Pandya’s injury has left a major void in the Indian cricket team and finding a comparable replacement is proving an impossible task. The dearth of quality all-round bowlers in the Indian cricket landscape has been a long-standing problem. While Hardik misses the upcoming match against New Zealand in Dharamsala due to an ankle injury, the team management is hoping for his return ahead of the match against England on the 29th. For the New Zealand match, former cricketer Harbhajan Singh suggests two changes: replace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin with seamer Mohammed Shami to adapt to Dharamshala’s swing-friendly conditions and consider Ishan Kishan or Suryakumar Yadav at No. 6. India faces a challenging test in its Cup journey of the World, and adapting their lineup without Hardik Pandya poses a formidable challenge. Dig deeper
That’s all we have at this time in our afternoon briefing. See you tonight.