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India in the age of bread and circus - Siddharth Singh, Mint
It is the age of powerlessness at the Centre. For all practical purposes, a lame duck Manmohan Singh is presiding over a system where chief ministers call the shots. Nearly a dozen chief ministers, led by Mamata Banerjee, may have just ensured the freezing of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). And if any proof of the Union government’s weakness was required, the Prime Minister provided it himself. Read Full Article››
The second referendum on Modi propels reforms - PR Ramesh & Ullekh NP, Open
The state elections of Maharashtra and Haryana, which together account for 378 assembly seats, were touted as an acid test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vote- catching ability and his enduring appeal as a leader who breaks caste barriers and takes apart the stomping grounds of political dynasties. Pundits were in a hurry to give a verdict whether the Modi magic, on full display during the General Election of April-May, had waned since then. They were curious to see whether he could still generate a cascade...
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Modi’s critics must find a new stick to beat him with - Swapan Dasgupta, Telegraph India
In many ways the aftermath of the elections in Maharashtra and Haryana was a case of the dog that didn’t bark. Imagine, for the sake of argument, that the assembly elections in the two states had been held at the beginning of the year, before the general elections. The favourable outcome for the Bharatiya Janata Party would have witnessed a frenetic round of breast-beating. Concerned notables would have been eloquent in expressing their dismay at the communalization of Indian politics and the consequent marginalization of the so-called secular parties.
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The new Modi-Doval doctrine on Pakistan is more robust than Manmohan's - R Jagannathan, FirstPost
Over the last few weeks, both Narendra Modi and his NSA have been asking our jawans on the international border and the line of control in J&K to give it back in spades if the Pakistanis try disturbing the peace by unprovoked firing. The Pakistanis are said to have been surprised by the ferocity of the BSF response to their provocations. This time a signal combined with action.
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The Mobile first economy - Shelley Singh, Economic Times
Just two seconds can make a difference of hundreds of crores of rupees in some businesses. That's the premise on which HDFC Securities is re-inventing its stock trading app for mobile phones. The new app will feed real time stock quotes to users' phones, shaving the 1.5 to 2 second lag that exists in the current app. This, among other things, HDFC Securities believes, will help increase brokerage earned from transactions done on mobiles from 2.5% of total revenues to 50% in two years.
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Modi wave washes away Congress again - Times of India
BJP wrested control of Haryana and was set to do so in Maharashtra on Sunday in an outcome that entrenches its status as the dominant political force and Narendra Modi as currently the country's most popular politician. The ouster of the ruling party from these two states, Congress, also underscored its continuing political marginalization. Devendra Fadnavis, the 44-year-old MLA from Nagpur South-West, is likely to be the next chief minister of Maharashtra after BJP ended the 15-year reign of Congress and NCP in the state.
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PM Narendra Modi routs Congress in 2 states - Sanjay Basak, Asian Age
On Saffron Sunday, the Narendra Modi-led BJP wiped out the Congress from two of its traditional bastions — Maharashtra and Haryana and was set to form a government for the first time in the northern state. The Congress, that has ruled Haryana for the past 10 years, and ran a government in Maharashtra in alliance with the NCP for 15 years, slipped to a pathetic third slot in both states. The BJP, that barely existed in the Haryana Assembly, won 47 seats, a clear majority in a House of 90, and is set to form a government on its own.
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A pump war? - Thomas L Friedman, NYT
Is it just my imagination or is there a global oil war underway pitting the United States and Saudi Arabia on one side against Russia and Iran on the other? One can’t say for sure whether the American-Saudi oil alliance is deliberate or a coincidence of interests, but, if it is explicit, then clearly we’re trying to do to President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, exactly what the Americans and Saudis did to the last leaders of the Soviet Union: pump them to death — bankrupt them by bringing down the price of oil to levels below what both Moscow and Tehran need to finance their budgets.
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Modi Era Takes Shape - Arvind Panagariya, Times of India
With nearly 150 days having passed since Prime Minister Narendra Modi entered office, we can see silhouettes of the new regime emerge. Although the economy had been at the centre of Modi’s election speeches, social goals and foreign relations have come to occupy an equally important place in his early action agenda – if not even more. At least three initiatives of his government can be potentially transformational. First and foremost, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is easily the most ambitious step towards improved health...
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The Prime Minister has mandate to pursue reforms - Rajiv Kumar, Mail Today
It could not be a clearer verdict in favour of development and growth. Likely results from the two state elections of Haryana and Maharashtra indicate an unprecedented victory for the BJP. And let us make no mistake that this is a result of the electorate strongly signaling its unambiguous support for growth and employment generating policies. It has bought Modi’s dream of Shreshta Bharat. Indians have mandated Prime Minister Modi for pushing ahead with policies to take the country higher in global economic rankings.
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A real threat, a phobic fantasy - Madhu Purnima Kishwar, Indian Express
We need to rise above the left-right divide to investigate the menace of ‘love jihad’ with thorough precision, writes Madhu Purnima Kishwar. One of the most unfortunate tendencies in India’s political discourse is to reduce every issue into a “for” versus “against” proposition. This propensity for polarising all issues into two extreme positions is an important reason why almost every issue leads to a permanent stalemate and we rarely move towards solutions. “Love jihad” has come to be one of the latest additions to a meaninglessly polarised debate...
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