Daily Briefing: Anil Deshmukh resigns, office opens for Dilip Walse Patil

The latest on Anil Deshmukh's resignation, an Express exclusive investigation on the way UP government has used the National Security Act and more. Look at the top news of the day.

The Big Story

Perhaps the Bombay High Court ordering CBI to carry out a “preliminary enquiry” on the corruption allegations against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh couldn’t have come at a better time for the MVA government. It gave him a smooth exit, at least according to one Shiv Sena leader, without the Opposition getting credit for his resignation.  

# You can read about his short but eventful tenure here. 

# And we also profiled the new state Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil, who was once NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s personal secretary.

# Finally, the petitions that led to Deshmukh’s ouster. 

Only in the Express

An investigation by The Indian Express of police and court records reveals a telling pattern of the way the Uttar Pradesh government has used the draconian National Security Act (NSA). Cow slaughter, records show, is Category Number One when it comes to invoking NSA. In 30 of 41 cases the Allahabad High Court quashed the NSA order and called for the release of the petitioner.

From the Front Page 

A middleman currently out on bail in the AgustaWestland case has been named by a French online investigative journal of receiving at least Euros 508,925 from Dassault Aviation, the manufacturer of French combat jet Rafale. An Indian firm controlled by him had raised an invoice for Euro 1 million for manufacturing 50 large replica models of Rafale jets. However, an audit by French anti-corruption agency AFA did not find any proof that these models were indeed made.

The CRPF jawan who is missing after the ambush on the Sukma-Bijapur border on Saturday is allegedly being held captive by the Maoists. On Monday morning, the Maoists made calls to two local journalists informing them that he is safe and healthy. 

Two weeks before Maharashtra imposed full lockdown on weekends and fresh restrictions to last through April, the Centre had made it clear to Maharashtra that weekend lockdowns have limited impact on containing and suppressing the chain of transmission, according to senior government officials. 

Decision 2021

With the fate of three states and one Union Territory to be sealed today, the election results on May 2 will prove decisive in determining the future dynamics in the Congress. First up after the poll results will be the selection of a full-time president for the party, put off successive times and now scheduled for June. A setback, especially in Kerala, could deepen the turmoil in the party and provoke fresh questions regarding Rahul Gandhi’s leadership.

Once considered close to former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, Senthil Balaji was ousted from the AIADMK for supporting the Sasikala-TTV Dhinakaran camp. In 2018, he switched to the DMK — considered a big catch for party chief M K Stalin. This election, Balaji is contesting against state minister and sitting MLA M R Vijayabhaskar.

Though the NDA seems to have an edge in Puducherry Assembly elections,  the biggest challenge for the All India NR Congress-BJP alliance has been to reach an understanding on the CM candidate, with both the parties so far digging in their heels. 

Must Read

A 17-KM stretch along the coast in Odisha’s Kendrapara district, which was once home for nearly 700 families, now stands in solitude. Close to the shore, there are some remnants of the past: a hand pump half-buried in the sand, cattle left unattended and an old temple without a deity. This, in short, is the story of Satabhaya, a cluster of seven villages, which has almost disappeared from the map due to coastal erosion, taking with it a way of life and livelihood.

And Finally 

With the Indian Premier League returning to Indian soil, Kanwal Netar Satyal, a consultant at the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), has his task cut out.  He is in charge of everything power-related at the Wankhede Stadium, but his biggest task is ensuring the floodlights are in working condition and are free of eagle nests.

Delhi confidential: It is rare for Ghulam Nabi Azad not to campaign in elections. The Congress veteran was not in action in Bihar last year because he had tested positive for Covid-19. Azad, the tallest leader among signatories to the letter 23 party leaders had written to Sonia Gandhi, however, was absent in campaigning in states going to the polls now.

In this episode of the Three Things, we discuss how the lockdown will help the Covid-19 surge in Maharashtra, the recent decisions by the Election Commission that have raised questions about independence, and why the Sensex crashed on Monday morning.


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