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The Morning Wrap: Akhilesh Yadav's 2017 Formula; PM Modi's New Target After Black Money

Our selection of interesting news and opinion from the day's newspapers.

26/12/2016 10:01 AM IST | Updated 26/12/2016 11:05 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

The Morning Wrap is HuffPost India's selection of interesting news and opinion from the day's newspapers. Subscribe here to receive it in your inbox each weekday morning.

Essential HuffPost

With the assembly polls looming over Uttar Pradesh, how is Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav bracing himself for the challenge? Shivam Vij gives you the low down on the model that the young politician is following ahead of the elections as well as an overview of the work his government has done in the state over the last few years.

As gaffes go, this one is priceless. The mayor of Aligarh, Bharatiya Janata Party's Shakuntala Bharti, declared former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as "no longer among us", ahead of his birthday on Sunday. The former prime minister and veteran leader is 92 year old.

Beloved pop singer George Michael died suddenly on Christmas Day in his home in Oxfordshire at the age of 53. He shot to fame as part of the band WHAM!, especially with the Christmas single "Last Christmas", and later went on to have a hugely successful career as an international star.

Main News

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley clarified the government has no plans to impose any long-term capital gains tax on investments in stock markets, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicated higher tax contributions from the stock market. The latter had termed the tax collection from securities market participants "low" and attributed it to the structure of tax laws and to possible fraud.

Surat-based financier Kishore Bhajiawala, from whom the income tax department recovered ₹10.45 crore in unaccounted income, used proxy bank accounts to stash away black money. He also held property worth ₹400 crore and used around 700 persons for depositing and withdrawing money after demonetisation, CBI sources said.

In the ongoing war against corruption, the next step would be a crackdown on benami property, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on his latest Mann ki Baat broadcast, as he thanked people for enduring the "pain" caused by scrapping of high-value currency.

Off The Front Page

In an interview with Mint, development economist Esther Duflo takes a long view of demonetisation calling it "a very dramatic example of very little attention paid to implementation before it (demonetisation) was launched". The effect of demonetisation at the grassroots level might never be known, she adds, as "there is no effective mechanism to measure GDP creation in the informal economy".

As many as 31 persons were injured -- 12 seriously so -- in a stampede at Malikappuram at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala on the eve of the annual Mandalam festival on Sunday. The incident took place after the deeparadhana at the hill shrine around 6.40 p.m. when an iron railing collapsed under the impact of a crowd.

The DRDO is set to test launch the Agni V intercontinental ballistic missile today. Here's are all the facts you know about the deadly long-range weapon, which promises to give a massive boost to India's military might. The successful induction of Agni V will give India long-range strike capability.

Opinion

In the Hindustan Times, Samar Halarnkar reviews the note ban policy and its impact on the economy. While the ostensible reason behind it is to curb corruption, the goal is not easy to achieve. "Corruption in India is like water — it finds a way," he writes. Even more ironically, "it is marked by ingenuity, determination and perseverance, qualities that could transform India if deployed for honest means".

In The Hindu, Adnan Farooqui takes a critical look at the decline and fall of the Congress Party and the ways in which it can hope to revive itself. "The various outreach programmes undertaken by the party since 2014 have fallen short of creating an alternative narrative both at the national and State level," he writes. "This is primarily due to the top-down nature of the entire exercise." What the party needs instead is a revival from below as its way forward.

Turning every debate in the Parliament between the ruling government and the Opposition into an Indo-Pakistan issue is defeatist and weakens the power of the Centre, says an editorial in The Indian Express. The Centre's "nervous tic on Pakistan is also taking a systemic toll", which means "debates on crucial issues, such as demonetisation, are abbreviated, if not still-born".

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