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The Lok Sabha finally passed the Goods and Services Tax Bill on Wednesday that seeks to transform India into a common market, bringing multiple state and central levies into a single national goods and services tax. While it continues to be wedged by internal dissent, The Aam Aadmi Party has announced a new organisational team buttressed with loyalists such as Ashutosh, to expand the party’s reach outside of Delhi. Urvashi Prasad pricks the bubble of silence around male rape in India. The Sensex registered its biggest annual loss this year, but it was a storm in a teacup compared to Salman Khan’s guilty verdict.
Main NewsAmerican ambassador Richard Verma today said he was concerned about the Narendra Modi government's crackdown on non-profit groups, such as Greenpeace, and warned that this could lead to a “chill” between the countries. A special court took cognizance Wednesday of a CBI chargesheet which claimed that steel tycoon Naveen Jindal promised former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda of Congress support for his unstable government in exchange for a coal block. BJP Member of Parliament from Ballia, Bharat Singh, on Wednesday criticized his party men in the presence of PM Modi, by saying that close to the end of NDA’s one year in power, progress wasn’t very visible on the ground. For the first time in over a century, Darul Uloom Deoband – an influential seat of Sunni Islam in Uttar Pradesh – will ponder over passing a fatwa, or a religious ruling, on how to defend Islam in the face of campaigns from right-wing Hindu groups. The Sensex that soared to an all-time high of over 30,000 points over nine months, slumped 2.6 per cent on Wednesday to wipe out their entire gains for the year. This was part of a global sell-off across debt markets as well as concerns over India’s economic indicators.
Off The Front Page
A 55-year-old woman was shot dead by villagers, who mistook her to be a wild boar that they were chasing from a nearby farm at Thirukovilur in Tamil Nadu. A Hindustan Times investigation finds that as a consequence of work-related migration, several villages in Uttarakhand are ‘ghost’ villages that don’t have a single person living in them. Relatives of victims of the 2002 hit-and-run accident say they no longer care much about whether Bollywood actor Salman Khan is punished or not, and are more concerned about compensation. This is how the Salman Khan case played out over 13 years and his future isn’t bright either with outstanding cases still pending and the future of his brand associations also significantly clouded.
Basharat Peer, in The Hindu, says that the media coverage of relief efforts in Nepal had the marked subtext of India-China competition for influence over the country. Bharati Pradhan, in The Telegraph, notes that everything wrong in Salman Khan’s life has been under the influence of alcohol. But this alibi, Shovon Chowdhury suggests in The Economic Times, cannot be used to absolve the media of its blame. Alistair McMillan, in The Indian Express, says that the potential hung verdict in the UK elections resonates very well in the Indian context, in that the electoral system doesn’t seem to represent the diversity of the electorate.