Today's Big Stories
BS Yeddyurappa waits for go-ahead from BJP’s top leadership to stake claim to form govt in Karnataka
A day after the exit of the HD Kumaraswamy government, the BJP is showing no hurry to form the next government. Karnataka BJP President Yeddyurappa, the front runner for the chief ministerial post, said he was awaiting instructions from his party's central leadership on staking a claim to form an alternative government. The party leadership is waiting for the Speaker's decision on the resignations and disqualification petitions against rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs before staking a claim to form an alternative government. Earlier, the 14-month-old Congress-JD(S) government had collapsed after losing the vote of confidence in the assembly. In the trial of strength, the coalition could only garner 99 votes against the 105 by the BJP.
As BJP tries a repeat of Karnataka in Madhya Pradesh, two of its MLAs vote for Congress on amendment
The Budget session of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly concluded on a disappointing note for the BJP after the Kamal Nath-led Congress government not only won a division of votes but also managed the support of two MLAs of the saffron party. BJP’s Beohari and Maihar MLAs Sharad Kol and Narayan Tripathi were the two MPs, who voted for the Congress. Tripathi, formerly in the Congress, said the BJP does not give due respect to anyone coming in from other parties. He also criticised former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan for making various promises to Maihar but failing to fulfil them.
In Other News
Triple Talaq bill today: The controversial Triple Talaq bill, which aims to criminalise instant talaq, will be tabled in the Lok Sabha today. In the previous Lok Sabha, the bill was passed after hours of discussion. Meanwhile, the BJP has also issued a whip to its MPs, asking them to ensure their presence in the Parliament.
Surprising link: The forensic auditors revealed to the Supreme Court that the Amrapali group had entered into agreements with Rhiti Sports management Private limited in which Sakshi, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s wife, is a director. Rhiti is said to have received a total of Rs 42.22 crores from Amrapali group between 2009 and 2013.
Amendment passed: Hitting out at the Congress for opposing the Unlawful Activities Prevention (Amendment) Act, which was passed in the Lok Sabha, Home Minister Amit Shah said if the UAPA was correct in amending anti-terror laws in its tenure, then so is the NDA. He also came down heavily on “urban Naxalism” and said the government will not be sensitive towards it.
Coming clean: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said while on his visit to the US that there were 40 different militant groups operating in his country. Khan quipped that the country was fighting the US war on terror despite it having little to do with 9/11. Pakistan’s opposition leaders hit out at Khan calling him a compulsive liar.
New Home Secretary: With Kashmir and NRC as key points of focus, the Centre has appointed 1984-batch IAS officer Ajay Kumar Bhalla as the next Union Home Secretary. Bhalla, currently the Union Power Secretary, will replace Rajiv Gauba as the Union Home Secretary after his tenure ends on August 31.
Unlikely comeback: Britain's new Prime Minister Boris Johnson named Sajid Javid as his finance minister on Wednesday, in a promotion for the former interior minister. Johnson also revealed the name of Indian-origin Priti Patel to take up the interior ministers' position, marking a political comeback for the former international development minister who was sacked during the Theresa May government.
On Our Specials
Forever graceful: The passing away of Sheila Dikshit, the longest-serving chief minister of Delhi, has led to a flood of nostalgia that is unusual to India, where politicians are usually portrayed in negative terms, particularly by the metropolitan elite. Shakti Sinha writes how Sheila Dikshit was different from other politicians in many ways. For starters, there were no hard eggs lurking beneath the surface that would suddenly emerge to trip you.
Deficiencies in anti-defection: Recently, 10 of 15 Congress MLAs in Goa shifted loyalty to the BJP. Before that, 12 of 18 Congress MLAs in Telangana had gone to the ruling TRS. Kalyani Shankar writes how the anti-defection law has gone through many changes over the years but still has various loopholes. For instance, it brazen horse-trading of MLAs continue as lawmakers try to take advantage of these defects.
Four days and several twists later, HD Kumaraswamy stepped down as Chief Minister. But the bigger question is what happens next in Karnataka? Will the JDS-Congress alliance remain? Will BJP manage to make a strong government in the state?