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With the death of J Jayalalithaa, the transition of O Panneerselvam to the chief ministerial office may have been seamless, but the role of the leader of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the party that Jayalalithaa had ruled for over three decades, is proving to be a tougher challenge. While the new chief minister and a section of the cadre, including the Propaganda Secretary see Sasikala Natarajan, Jayalalithaa's companion for many decades, as the uncontested leader of the party, members of the late leader's family beg to differ. Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa Jayakumar has emerged as a strong contender for the mantle of the leader of AIADMK and has challenged Sasikala's supremacy openly.
After a rough patch, Virat Kohli seems to have suddenly found his feet back on the ground -- and, in fact, much more. Playing against England at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai yesterday, Kohli scored his third double century in international Test cricket, a feat no Indian captain has achieved so far. With this feat, he crossed several historical and personal milestones, having already joined the league of superstar skippers like Mansur Ali Pataudi, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni, who all have double centuries each as captains of the national team.
One person was killed and three critically injured when a helicopter crashed in Aarey Colony near Goregaon in Mumbai on Sunday. The chopper carrying four passengers met with the accident while flying over the Filter Pada area, killing the pilot Praful Kumar, while the others are battling for their lives in hospital.
Demonetisation has left the poor and the middle class high and dry, making futile trips to ATMs in search of cash, while the rich continue to stash away unaccounted wealth. With a series of raids by the Income Tax (IT) department exposing black money lying in the possession of traders and entrepreneurs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi renewed his pledge to destroy hoarders of such ill-gotten wealth. "I will not allow those who have exploited the poor to remain rich," he told a gathering of 50,000-odd in Bahraich, about 105 km from Lucknow by air. He addressed the rally over a mobile phone after poor visibility prevented his helicopter from landing at the venue.
The corporate battle at Bombay House between Tata Sons and Cyrus Mistry got uglier with the two accusing each other of misrepresentation, breach of corporate norms, and now, alleged involvement in the ₹3,600 crore AgustaWestland chopper scam. Mistry, the former group chairman, has alleged that Vijay Singh, Tata Trusts nominee on Tata Sons, was a key government official when the chopper contract was awarded to the Italian company. The Tatas, on the other hand, charged Mistry with breaching governance norms and misleading them when a panel empowered to select the group chairman approached him in 2011.
The government is likely to miss the deadline for tabling supporting legislation for the goods and services (GST) tax in the ongoing winter session of Parliament after the GST council on Sunday failed to finalise the draft laws. As a result, the government's 1 April deadline of rolling out GST also seems unsure now. The government wanted to table three draft laws — the central GST bill (CGST), the integrated GST bill (IGST) and the bill for compensating states for revenue losses following the implementation of GST (SGST) — in the winter session ending on 16 December. But these bills are now likely to be tabled only in the budget session, beginning in January, as the GST council failed to reach a consensus on any of the bills.
Off The Front Page
To secure the smooth release of his film Raees next year, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has reportedly promised Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray that he won't work with any Pakistani actors in the future. Khan made this promise during an-hour long meeting at Thackeray's residence in Mumbai on Sunday evening.
A cyclonic storm called Vardah is likely to make landfall by Monday afternoon along north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coast, close to Chennai, according to the India Meteorological Department. This will be accompanied by strong winds at the speed of 80 to 90 kmph and heavy to very heavy rainfall, an IMD release said. The Tamil Nadu government has urged employers to give the day off to their staff and schools have been asked to remain shut for the day.
The Naveen Patnaik government in Odisha has decided to include the life story of former chief minister Biju Patnaik in the school curriculum from the next academic year. It will be in the syllabus for students from Class VI onwards. The chapter will cover Patnaik's early life, school days, his journey by a bicycle to Peshawar, his career as a pilot, his role in the Quit India Movement, in rescuing the former Prime Minister of Indonesia and his contribution in the making of modern Odisha.
Do Indian companies such as Flipkart and Ola need protection? R Sukumar grapples with this question in the Hindustan Times, pointing out the holes in the argument of those who answer in the affirmative. He goes on to explain, "Several Indian start-ups display the worst characteristics of companies from an earlier era (nepotism, misgovernance, a tendency to leverage regulatory arbitrage and traverse the interstices)." The more fundamental question, he says, is how Indian is a company like Flipkart?
In a critique of the government's move to demonetise high value currency in Mint, Praveen Chakravarty writes, irrespective of the government's announcements of incentives to encourage the use of cards and "technology entrepreneurs gloating over triple-digit growth in electronic transactions, the truth is that the manner in which this has been accomplished is abominable."
In The Indian Express, Upendra Baxi takes on Pratap Bhanu Mehta's condemnation of the Supreme Court judgement on the national anthem case to argue that an institution should not be roundly criticised on the basis on only one such verdict. "Judicial despotism (deciding merely per individual judicial will) certainly endangers democracy. But so do all political despotisms," he writes. "Do the apex justices collectively threaten the democratic rights and powers of the people? Or, do the political mangers and masters who (to adapt a phrase of Jacques Derrida) 'sleepwalk into the vicinity' of absolute power?"
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