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The Morning Wrap: Mamata Banerjee And Rahul Gandhi Unite Against Demonetisation; Carrie Fisher Dies

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

28/12/2016 8:29 AM IST | Updated 28/12/2016 9:15 AM IST
Hindustan Times via Getty Images
PM Modi in Dehradun.

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

Staying firm about the wisdom of demonetising high-value currency notes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to weed out graft in a rally in Dehradun yesterday. Apart from curbing black money, the policy change has also helped tackle funding of terrorism and human trafficking, his government claimed. "I was not elected to cut ribbons and light inaugural lamp," the PM said, presumably setting himself apart from his predecessors.

While PM Modi is waging his big fight against corruption, Commonwealth Games scam accused Suresh Kalmadi was appointed life president of the Indian Olympic Association. As per sources, the decision to appoint Kalmadi, as well as National Lok Dal leader Abhay Chautala, as life presidents was unanimous. A resolution was moved by Joint Secretary Rakesh Gupta and a total of 150 people, who were a part of the meeting, agreed to it.

2016 will be remembered as the year that killed off some of the icons of the entertainment industry -- Prince, David Bowie, George Michael... and now Carrie Fisher of Star Wars fame. Hospitalised after a heart attack, the actress best known for playing Princess Leia passed away at the age of 60 yesterday.

Main News

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came together against PM Modi to call his move to demonetise high-value notes a "megascam". Accusing the latter of failing to bring in normalcy in 50 days, as he had promised, Banerjee compared him with the infamous on-screen villain, Gabbar Singh, and urged the rest of the parties in the Opposition to unite on the call to get Modi to resign.

Two separate incidents yesterday revealed serious concerns over air traffic control when a plane skidded off the runway in Goa carrying 154 passengers and another came close to a head-on collision barely 40m away on the runway in the Delhi airport. No serious casualties were reported, though some were injured.

Banks have asked the Union government to keep the curb on cash withdrawals until such a time when the cash-flow channels in the country are fully equipped to handle the prospect of a large number of people turning up for money. PM Modi had earlier said the ground situation would return to normalcy fully after 30 December.

Off The Front Page

In yet another horrific accident, the Sealdah-Ajmer Express derailed near Kanpur killed at least 2 people and injuring at least 28 others. The Howrah-Kanpur railway route has been closed due to the accident and rescue work is still going on at the site.

Suspected militants opened fired at a civilian and a police patrol in two separate incidents in the Kashmir valley last evening. Around 7.15 pm, militants disembarked from a car and fired at Bashir Ahmad Sheikh at Ashtengoo village of Bandipora, 40 km north of Srinagar. Later a police patrol in the volatile Pulwama district of south Kashmir was also attacked.

Two e-tailer giants, Amazon India and Flipkart, are revamping their fashion categories, launching private brands and hunting for exclusive partnerships to increase sales in a category that offers higher margins than smartphones and televisions.

Opinion

"Why's the Congress that could set up a government in 2004 with the Left's support, despite their historical rivalry in Kerala, not able to become the catalyst for a broader anti-BJP front?" asks an editorial in the Hindustan Times. The failure of the Grand Old Party cannot be attributed to political inexperience, given its decades-long track record, good or bad. But perhaps it is time to take serious measure of the mismanagement endemic in the party, the editorial goes on to say.

While one of the agendas of demonetisation was to push people towards a cashless economy, it would be "a mistake to assume that the current surge indicates a sustained and irreversible movement towards the embrace of a digital economy," writes Pradeep S Mehta in Mint. There is no guarantee that in spite of all the measures, people won't be tempted to withdraw sums of money across the counter and use them. A classic examples of such a case being Kenya, which, "despite being the epicentre of the digital payments revolution, is still struggling with high over-the-counter cash usage".

Chandan Mitra praises Prime Minister Narendra Modi in The Indian Express for rupturing the "lethargic legacy" of the last 60 years. Comparing Modi's achievements with the earlier dispensations', he goes on make his point even stronger, bolstering it with examples of his good governance.

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