Your Daily Wrap: Maharashtra Guv’s Mumbai remarks spark row, Weightlifter Sanket Sargar opens India’s CWG medal tally; and more

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s remarks on Mumbai have triggered a political storm. Addressing a gathering in Mumbai’s Andheri yesterday, Koshyari said, “… if Gujarati and Rajasthani people are removed from Maharashtra, especially Mumbai and Thane, there would be no money left here. You call Mumbai the financial capital, but if these (Gujarati and Rajasthani) people are not here, then it won’t be called financial capital.” After the backlash, the Governor said his remarks had been “misconstrued” and asked political parties “not to create controversy”. Former chief minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, however, demanded an apology from the Governor, alleging that he was working to divide communities. Hours later, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde distanced himself from the row, saying he does not agree with Koshyari’s remarks.

The Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab is scrambling to quell the controversy involving state Health Minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra and Dr. Raj Bahadur, the vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, who has since resigned, hoping to placate the reputed orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Bahadur quit hours after Jouramajra asked him to lie down on a grimy mattress in front of staff and patients during an inspection at a hospital in Faridkot. Dr. Bahadur said he was “humiliated” by the way he was treated by the state health minister. The 71-year-old doctor, though no stranger to controversies, has an illustrious career. Read Raakhi Jagga’s report.

An Ahmedabad sessions court today rejected the bail applications of Mumbai-based activist Teesta Setalvad and retired Gujarat DGP R B Sreekumar. Setalvad and Sreekumar were arrested on June 25, a day after the Supreme Court in its verdict upheld the clean chit by the Special Investigation Team to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots. The verdict comes after four deferments owing to various circumstances and on the day of the retirement of the presiding Additional Sessions Judge D D Thakkar, just a couple of hours short of his farewell ceremony.

Day 2 of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham has brought good news for India. Twenty-one-year-old Sanket Mahadev Sargar opened the country’s medal tally by winning a silver in the men’s 55 kg weightlifting category. For the first time in a long time, Sanket’s father Mahadev wasn’t selling tea. Instead, he took half a day off to celebrate. “I can afford to take a one-hour break from work,” Mahadev said. Last month, Sanket’s younger sister Kajol Sargar became the first gold medallist of the 4th Khelo India Youth Games. Read the inspiring story of Sanket here.

Meanwhile, Gururaja Poojary won bronze in the men’s 61 kg weightlifting category. This is the story of Poojary who overcame personal struggles to win the medal.

Political Pulse

As the BJP leadership affected a change in the Uttarakhand party unit by appointing Mahendra Bhatt as its new president, the world doing the rounds in the ongoing training camp of neighbouring Uttar Pradesh’s party unit in Chitrakoot was that it was also going to get a new full-time chief very soon. The incumbent UP BJP president, Swatantra Dev Singh, already completed his three-year tenure a couple of weeks ago, following which there has been a buzz that he has quit his post. UP BJP insiders are claiming that a party leader belonging to an upper caste may be named as the new state president in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. However, given the saffron party’s continued focus on backwards and Dalits, the names of leaders from these sections are also doing the rounds as probable for the state party chief’s post. Lalani Verma reports.

Gearing up for the Rajasthan Assembly elections slated for December 2023, the BJP has started focusing on the state’s eastern region where the party has suffered several setbacks in recent years. The recent immolation of a Bharatpur seer Vijay Das seems to have given the BJP a major issue for its renewed attempts to foray into eastern Rajasthan. However, in a bid to retain Congress’s hold on the region, the Ashok Gehlot government has kept pushing for the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) since it came to power. The Gehlot dispensation has maintained that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given assurance that the Centre would have a “positive” approach towards the ERCP demand. The BJP has, however, disputed such claims. With the BJP already accusing the Congress of playing “appeasement politics”, the self-immolation of an anti-mining seer protester would give it potent ammunition against the Gehlot government in the coming days. Read Hamza Khan’s report.

Deccanera Explained

Monkeypox, coronavirus, zika, and ebola are names that have become all too familiar over the last few years. Many of these diseases were first reported in either Asia or Africa. How are viruses detected, and is any particular region more prone to new viral outbreaks? We explain.

The US House of Representatives passed the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Bill on July 28 to provide assistance and subsidies worth $280 billion, particularly focused on its semiconductor industry, which is facing competition from China. The bill would provide “$52 billion in subsidies and additional tax credits” to companies that manufacture chips in the US, reported The New York Times. Why has this bill been passed now? Why are semiconductors or chips so important? What has China’s response been? We answer these questions in this Explained piece.

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