Congress crisis deepens, Pilot to skip another party meet; Party MLAs holed up in resort
The Rajasthan Congress Legislature Party will once again meet Tuesday, said party spokesperson Randeep Surejewala, urging Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot to come and discuss issues with “an open mind”. The meeting will be held at a hotel on the Delhi highway near Jaipur. However, sources close to Pilot said that he and his supporters are unlikely to attend the meeting.
Holed up: Congress MLAs Monday holed themselves up in a resort near Jaipur after a legislature party meeting, where they expressed support for Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. A resolution adopted at the Legislature Party meeting urged "strong disciplinary action" against any party office-bearer or CLP member who does anything to weaken the government or the party.
New party? Even as a senior Congress leader claimed that Sachin Pilot was "now in the Bharatiya Janata Party", sources close to the Rajasthan deputy CM have said that he will float a new party, and is likely to name it Pragatisheel Congress. Clarifying that Pilot won't join BJP, sources said that a formal announcement on party formation will be done after Monday's Congress Legislature Party.
In Other News
COVID tally: India saw yet another record single-day jump of 28,701 COVID-19 cases, pushing its tally to 8,78,254 Monday, while the death toll climbed to 23,174 with 500 people succumbing to the infection, according to the Union Health Ministry data. Meanwhile, Delhi recorded the lowest number of cases in 35 days.
Trump sued: Seventeen states and the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration Monday, seeking to block a new rule that would revoke the visas of foreign students who take classes entirely online in the fall. The rule, issued a week ago, would upend months of careful planning by colleges and universities, the lawsuit says, and could force many students to return to their home countries amid the pandemic.
Big investment: Google has announced a big investment in the Indian economy. At an event, Sundar Pichai announced the new $10 billion Google for India Digitization Fund. Through this, Google will invest approximately $10 billion in India over the next 5-7 years. It will be a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments.
MLA found hanging: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Debendra Nath Ray from Hemtabad was found hanging in front of a shop in Bengal’s North Dinajpur district on Monday morning. Demanding a high-level inquiry into the matter, West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar suspected that it was murder.
Drug is here? Coronavirus drug, Biocon's Itolizumab, has been approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). The medicine has been in the news for reducing the mortality rate in Cuba, which will cost Rs 35,000. It is a drug that is used in India for treating psoriasis and has been repurposed for Covid-19, executive chairperson of Biocon, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said.
On Our Specials
Flags of rebellion: Sachin Pilot has proved that he is a chip off the old block. Several years ago, his father Rajesh Pilot took on the Congress old guard and won. The wheel has come full circle, with his son and political heir raising the flag of rebellion. Rajesh Pilot challenged the Congress leadership in his 16th year in active politics, so it is with Sachin, who became an MP in 2004. Bhavdeep Kang writes how Pilot is raising flags of rebellion in Congress just like his father.
Court Wrap: In a major victory for the royal family of Travancore, the Supreme Court Monday affirmed their right as shebait of Shree Padmanabhaswamy temple. The Kerala High Court judgment, taking away all rights of the royal family from management and affairs of the temple, was set aside by a bench led by Justice Uday U Lalit, Utkarsh Anand writes.