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The Morning Wrap: PM Modi's Desperate Gujarat Strategy; GST Needs Rejig, Says India's Revenue Secretary

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

23/10/2017 10:23 AM IST | Updated 23/10/2017 10:23 AM IST
Amit Dave / Reuters
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is garlanded by supporters during a public rally at Bhaat village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Amit Dave

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

The firecracker ban imposed by the Supreme Court of India on Delhi-NCR ahead of Diwali this year may have temporarily reduced air pollution but it made one things clear--"no court order or state ban can hope to have any lasting impact on us," writes Somak Ghoshal.

The Bharatiya Janata Party's political strategy in Tamil Nadu suffered twin setbacks from an unexpected corner--Kollywood. HuffPost India's contributing editor TS Sudhir weighed in on the Mersal controversy, arguing that the BJP does not have a defence plan for the resistance the party faces from the film industry.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP are desperately trying to play the 'Hindu Hriday ka Samrat' (monarch of the Hindu heart) card for the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections, writes Radhika Ramaseshan. The saffron party needs to appease the Patels, the RSS, and the VHP, even as Gujarat is best with a plethora of woes.

Main News

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) needs to be adjusted to reduce the burden on small and medium enterprises, India's revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia said. He added that it would take a year to "stablise" the GST system.

The body of a three-year-old girl found in a tunnel in Texas could belong to an Indian girl who had gone missing more than two weeks ago, said local police. Her foster father had, according to reports, sent her outside their Dallas home late one night as punishment for not finishing her milk.

A senior Patidar leader from north Gujarat has alleged that he was offered ₹1 crore to join the BJP. The assembly election in Gujarat is expected to take place later this year.

Off The Front Page

Railway passengers who have unconfirmed AC-I or AC-II tickets of Rajdhani Express may soon be able to convert them to air tickets by paying the difference, said the railway board chairman.

Actor-director Farhan Akhtar has reacted angrily to BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao after the latter remarked that most Indian film stars have "very low IQ and very low general knowledge".

Tamil film Mersal's producers have agreed to make cuts after the BJP raised objections against the film's negative portrayal of the GST. The film had been already cleared by the Censor board and was released last week.

Opinion

The new attack on the Taj Mahal is ominous, writes Manini Chatterjee in The Telegraph. "The RSS and the Modi regime are clever enough to know that demolishing the Taj Mahal is not an option right now," she writes. "And so the effort now is to protect the edifice and rob it of its history."

MK Gandhi said that though the national flag was "a symbol of non-violence [it] must also mean humility", writes historian Ramachandra Guha in Hindustan Times. "Gandhi would have been horrified by how the self-styled nationalists of today use threats, coercion and even state power to force citizens to display and bow down before the national flag."

"Modi might still be very popular, but for him, ideology triumphs over governance, civil liberties are less important than political conformity, and enforcement of a Hindu majoritarian politics is more significant than India's economic ascendancy," writes Ashutosh Varshney in The Indian Express.

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