20/06/2016 10:00 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST

The Morning Wrap: Karnataka CM Fires 14 Non-Performing Ministers; RSS Schools See More Muslim Students

RAVEENDRAN via Getty Images
Chief Minister of the southern Indian state of Karnataka Siddaramaiah arrives to attend a Congress party leaders meeting in New Delhi on December 27, 2013. In the first major poll exercise after the party's drubbing in recent Assembly elections, Congress Party vice-president Rahul Gandhi held a strategy session with top leaders and Chief Ministers of 12 Congress-ruled states to make the party fighting fit for the up coming Parliament election. AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN (Photo credit should read RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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When Raghuram Rajan took over as RBI governor amidst a gloomy economy in 2013, hopes were instantly pinned on him. His relationship with the Narendra Modi government has always been under the scanner. Differences over rate cuts and Rajan's frequent comments and sagely advice on various issues embarrassed the Modi government.

After the incident of public lynching of a Muslim man for allegedly consuming beef took place in September 2015, the communal harmony has drastically changed in the village. From trying to put the incident behind them to resentment and finally pointing fingers, the Hindu and Muslims in the village have come a full circle. Now, the Hindus of the village, organised by the families of the accused and political outfits, are demanding that Mohammad Akhlaq's (the victim) family members be arrested before 26 June. If the Samajwadi Party-led state government fails to do that, they say, they will do 'whatever is needed' to secure 'justice'. As the day draws closer, Muslim families are living in fear and uncertainty. And under layers of politicised claims, hardly anyone seems to remember anymore that a man was lynched.

Mahesh Savani, a 47-year-old businessman from Surat, does not look like a father of 472 daughters, but he has been lauded for arranging mass weddings and acting as a father figure, even performing the kanyadaan of several underprivileged girls in Gujarat. On father's day, Savani is showered with cards, gifts and messages of love from his 'daughters'.

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Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday effected a major cabinet rejig in what is seen as an attempt to makeover the image of the government. He dropped 14 non-performing ministers and inducted 13 in the shuffle — his biggest one in three years. According to reports, Congress decided to reshuffle the ministers in Karnataka — the only politically important state left with them — to gear up the party to keep the reins for a second term. But the drastic measure has left many leaders unhappy, with several parts of the state planning or observing a bandh to protest the axing of their leaders from the cabinet.

The 39 Indians, kidnapped by Islamic State in Iraq in June 2014, are still alive, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, dismissing reports about their killing and insisting that efforts to trace them were still goin on. Swaraj added that the government was also trying to ensure safe release of Judith D'Souza, an aid worker and resident of Kolkata, who was abducted by suspected militants in Kabul on 9 June.

Speculation mounted on Sunday about the next RBI Governor amid political parties attacking the government and alleging RSS-BJP conspiracy for Raghuram Rajan's 'no' to a second term, which the economists and former policymakers termed as a 'bad omen' for the Indian economy. There are reportedly seven top candidates on the list to replace RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. The candidates include Vijay Kelkar, Rakesh Mohan, Ashok Lahiri, Urjit Patel, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Subir Gokarn and Ashok Chawla among others.

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Over 30,000 participants from Chandigarh, Panchkula, and Mohali rehearsed at Capitol Complex in Chandigarh on Sunday, ahead of the second International Day of Yoga held on 21 June. The main event will witness nearly 35,000 participants at the Capitol Complex and over 10,000 persons at 100 other locations across Chandigarh.

Motorola has confirmed that the Moto G4 will be launched in India on 22 June but has not confirmed its pricing in India. The smartphone will exclusively be available on Amazon in India

Recently, Uttar Pradesh has seen a sharp rise in the number of Muslim students in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-run schools. According to a conservative estimate, the rise in the number is about 30% in the past two years after Modi government came to power at the Centre.


The lure of the political centre is strongest when violence is let loose and thrust in people’s faces, whether from the left or the right, writes Leonid Bershidsky in Mint. "The murder of British MP Jo Cox and the Orlando shootings were both hate crimes that defy political labels... But it’s impossible to deny that these killings have the power to affect both the vote on Britain’s proposed exit from the European Union and the US presidential election. Violence is not just morally repugnant, it is uncomfortable. In most societies, people default to safety and order," he writes.

In the newly proposed draft notification seeking to amend the Environment Impact Assessment, the Central government offers a way out to those who have violated environmental norms, write Manju Menon and Kanchi Kohli in The Hindu. "The Ministry states that this notification has its basis in two judgments, one by the NGT and the other by the Jharkhand High Court. It leads one to believe that this draft notification is not a product of government conviction but legal diktat. The more than 200-page long judgments show that the Ministry has either been deliberately misled or is being dangerously disingenuous," they write.

NDA’s existing agricultural policies are ill-equipped to achieve the stated goal of doubling them in five years, write Ashok Gulati and Shweta Saini in The Indian Express. "What lessons can the Modi government learn from this decadal change for his vision of doubling farmers’ incomes? The biggest learning is clear: Within a horizon of five years, the government can possibly aim to double only nominal incomes and not real ones, unless there is something dramatic in the package of reforms... Further, with two-thirds of the country’s landholdings being marginal, the relevance of farming animals, rural non-farm activities, and wages and salary employment cannot be overstated. This means the future strategy for doubling incomes has to be bolder towards the livestock sector and towards RNF employment. Skilling farmers and agri-labour on a large scale will support this," they say.

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