Daily Briefing: Shiv Sena extends support to presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu; SIT to probe cases against Mohammad Zubair

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In a fresh setback for Yashwant Sinha’s already-faltering presidential bid, the Shiv Sena has extended its support to the NDA’s presidential candidate, Droupadi Murmu. Shiv Sena chief and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray made the announcement after a meeting with party MPs, where several leaders “requested” him to support Murmu and open the door to a possible reconciliation with the BJP and the breakaway Shinde faction.

Why this matters: The Opposition, including the Congress and NCP — the Sena’s MVA allies — has fielded Yashwant Sinha for the July 18 presidential polls. Uddhav’s decision comes just weeks after the MVA government led by him was pulled down by the BJP and Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde

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What went wrong: It was never meant to be an extremely tight race — the Opposition had, in fact, framed the contest as a fight between two ideologies — but the campaign has unravelled faster than expected. Further, Sinha’s candidature has split the Opposition. The BSP, JD(S) and Akali Dal announced support to Murmu; ties between allies Congress and the JMM in Jharkhand are strained as the latter, which heads the government, is set to be leaning towards backing the NDA nominee.

Only in the Express

In the latest instalment of the Indian Express’ Uber Files investigation, we take a look at how the ride-hailing app signed a spree of MoUs with the Centre and many state governments a year after the rape of a 25-year-old passenger by an Uber driver. But most of these proposals remain on paper. 

What we found: According to records, the company’s public policy head Jordan Condo wanted Uber to “establish public-private partnerships with the government and have influence within the government invested in the success of our business”. 

Apart from approaching the Ministries of Social Justice and Empowerment; Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; Electronics and Information Technology, and Labour and Employment, among others, in the Centre, it also knocked on government doors in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Haryana. But all these MoUs either failed to take off or stalled after launch.

From the Front Page 

India’s factory output, measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), came in at a 12-month high of 19.6 per cent in May, compared with a 6.7 per cent growth reported in April, partly on account of the base effect, data from the National Statistical Office showed. 

An Assistant Sub-Inspector was killed and two policemen injured as militants attacked a checkpoint at Lalbazar in Srinagar, amid multi-layered security cover put in place for the ongoing Amarnath Yatra

The Uttar Pradesh government formed a two-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe six cases lodged against Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair. Of the six cases, two cases are lodged in Hathras district while one case each is registered in Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Ghaziabad and Muzaffarnagar.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has removed some crucial data from its Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) website which include a list of NGOs whose licences have been cancelled, and the annual returns of NGOs. The MHA did not offer any official comment on this move, but officials said it was done because the data was considered “unnecessary” for public viewing.

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On July 5, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel launched Vande Gujarat Vikas Yatra, a two-week publicity blitzkrieg on two decades of the BJP government. Though the BJP first came to power in the state in 1995, with Keshubhai Patel as CM, the latest campaign is on the period between 2002 — when Narendra Modi took over as chief minister – and 2022. While the programme focuses squarely on the work done under the leadership of Narendra Modi as chief minister from 2001 to 2014, it makes no mention of Modi’s predecessor Keshubhai or the other two CMs of the party – Modi’s successor Anandiben Patel and Vijay Rupani.

In our opinion section today, Shreenath A Khimka writes on what the Thackeray-Shinde feud means for Maharashtra: “In this grand game of political chess, Thackeray’s stalemate is likely to persist. Shinde’s Sena may turn the tables by petitioning the new Speaker to disqualify the Thackeray group. However, the real battle for the Sena’s legacy will be fought before the Election Commission.”

India’s favourable demographic dividend is at an inflection point of sorts, with the population share of the youth starting to taper off even as the share of the elderly is expected to steadily surge during 2021-2036. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, which experienced a rise in proportion of youth population to total population till 2021, are expected to see a decline from hereon, according to the ‘Youth in India 2022’ report released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.

And Finally 

A former college champion in track and field, a winner at multiple national and Asian masters athletics championships, CPI (M) leader MJ Jacob bagged bronze in two hurdles — 200m and 80m — in World Masters Athletics Championship 2022 that ended in Tampere, Finland, on July 10. Jacob won medals in the 80-plus category.

🤫 Delhi Confidential: When Priyanka Gandhi landed in Mumbai airport amid the political crisis in Maharashtra, the party was quick to clarify that she was only transitioning through the city on her way to Maldives to be with her daughter, who is completing an instructor level diving course there. The party was, however, silent on Tuesday when it became known that Rahul Gandhi has left for abroad again on a brief personal visit.

🎧 In today’s episode of the ‘3 Things’ podcast, we look at the political crisis faced by Congress in Goa, UN population report, and RSS on Islamic radicalization.

Until next time,

Rahel Philipose and Srishti Kapoor

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Read the full article at: indianexpress.com

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