A snapshot of BJP Presidential candidate and other matters

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Pratik Kanjilal

Pratik Kanjilal

New Delhi, June 27, 2022

                            Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and others as BJP-NDA Alliance Presidential Candidate Draupadi Murmu files her nomination as the  Presidential candidate in Delhi  (Photo by Pallav Paliwal)

India’s Presidential election is about three weeks away.

 

The Electoral College will vote on July 18, 2022, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi appears to have scored big with his nomination of Draupadi Murmu as the BJP-NDA candidate. She will take on Yashwant Sinha of the combined opposition.

Ms Murmu is a Santhali politician from Odisha, a former BJP MLA in the state and currently Governor of Jharkhand. She will be the first Adivasi President of India and only the second woman to hold the post. Her nomination is expected to cement the BJP’s hold on the Adivasi vote, which is especially significant in Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra – all states ruled by opposition parties.

The Biju Janata Dal has already declared its backing for Ms Murmu and all non-BJP MLAs and MPs will find it difficult not to support her.

Political uncertainty continues to prevail in Maharashtra.

Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde now claims the support of 40 MLAs, many of whom the BJP has helped whisk away to distant Assam. One option the MVA coalition government of the Sena, Congress and NCP face is to dissolve the Assembly and go in for fresh elections.

But the Governor has to agree to play ball.

The dilemma of Their Justices

Addressing the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce on ‘Arbitration in a Globalised World – The Indian Experience’ in Dortmund, Germany, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said that the Indian judiciary is recognised for valuing the rule of law and can be trusted “for its absolute independence and its inherent constitutional strength to treat all parties equally and equitably.”

His colleague, Justice DY Chandrachud is touring the UK and faced uncomfortable questions at a seminar on ‘Protecting human rights and preserving civil liberties: The role of courts in a democracy,’’ held at King’s College in London.

He was asked about the ‘justice’ that the apex court has given Muslim minorities, the arbitrary demolition of homes and businesses, the fake hijab controversy, the Babri Masjid decision, and even the revocation of Article 370, which stripped Jammu and Kashmir K of its special status.

Justice Chandrachud said that he could not comment on cases which were mostly in court, and his status as a Judge also imposed some restrictions.

The judge spoke about the court’s ruling on permanent commissions for women officers in the military – he was part of that bench – but ducked a question on the Babri ruling, saying that he would be unable to comment as he was part of the bench.

In an open letter, the Constitutional Conduct Group of former civil servants has requested the Chief Justice of India to take urgent cognisance of gross violations of the rule of law in UP and other parts of the country, where arbitrary executive action is being taken against protesters legitimately criticising the government.

About The Kashmir Files

Isaac Chotiner has interviewed controversial filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri in the New Yorker. The introduction notes: “The Kashmir Files is not subtle. Numerous scenes show angry and bloodthirsty Muslims leering at Hindu women, and inflicting torture and humiliations upon Hindu families. Though Hindus make up four-fifths of India’s population, the film presents Kashmir as a cautionary tale, that a large group of Muslims could at any moment turn against Hindus. To see it as anything other than a glorified exercise in stigmatisation and fear-mongering would be a mistake. And it was released in India at an especially perilous time. Communal violence directed at India’s Muslim minority has risen steeply in recent years.”

The rupee again breached the 78 mark against the dollar recently, driven down by inflationary concerns, to hit a fresh low of 78.0825. The previous record low (closing) was 78.0700 on June 17.

Rupee breaches the Dollar

Despite US pressure and tightening European sanctions, India is buying cheap Russian crude oil, joining rival China and frustrating Western pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Initially wary, private refiners Reliance Industries and Russian Rosneft-controlled Nayara Energy have developed an appetite for discounted Urals, making Russia India’s second biggest oil supplier last month, overtaking Saudi Arabia.

On the back of rising crude oil purchases, India’s imports from sanctions-hit Russia jumped 3.5 times within a year in April to US$ 2.3 billion, according to Commerce Ministry data.

In April, crude imports from Russia were at US$ 1.3  billion, 57% of total imports from the country, which included coal, soybean and sunflower oil, fertilisers, and non-industrial diamonds. That month, Russia was also the fourth-largest crude supplier to India, after Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the (UAE). Overall, Russia was the sixth largest exporter to India.

In April 2021, Russia was the seventh biggest source of crude oil for India and overall, it ranked 21st among India’s import partners.

Vice reports on the UPSC exams, from “inside the cutthroat culture of one of the world’s toughest exams” where it finds “an endless cycle of debt and systemic biases discriminating against minorities.”

Pratik Kanjilal is Associate Editor of Indian Express, New Delhi and a writer at The India Cable. The above stories appeared in The India Cable, a reader-supported publication.

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