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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››
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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Modi Rule: an Opportunity for Muslims - Tufail Ahmad, Open
The month of September saw three developments that in some way stirred debate on the situation of Indian Muslims and their future under Indian democracy. First, Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri released a video on 3 September announcing the establishment of “Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent” (AQIS), a terror outfit that has been succeeding in recruiting Muslim youths from India over the past few years. Media reports indicate that the number of Indian Muslims who responded to the jihadist...
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The coal scam you haven’t heard of - Pratim Ranjan Bose, Business Line
“The ministers did not show any interest on these issues. Their interest was primarily in faster allocation of coal blocks…. and grant of coal linkage although no coal was available for new linkage” writes former coal secretary PC Parakh in his memoir, Crusader or Conspirator? The ministers he refers to are Shibu Soren and Dasari Narayana Rao, who were part of former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s team. What happened in coal block distribution is now partially in the open.
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Modi's doctrine of graduated escalation - Brahma Chellaney, Hindu
Narendra Modi’s cautious, measured start has masked his discreet gradualism. Border and other provocations are moulding his policy approach, founded on the premise that preventing hostile actions hinges on India’s capacity and political will to impose deterrent costs as a response. The India-Pakistan “peace process” has produced a lot of process over the decades but no peace. While India is a vibrant, buoyant nation, Pakistan remains a notion in search of a national identity.
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Sunshine over Madhya Pradesh - Vinayak Chatterjee, Business Standard
India is fast becoming a global hotspot for solar energy development. Even more heartening for the sector is the fact that the new government is enthusiastically pushing UPA’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM). This encompasses: the largest-ever tender for solar power — 3,000 megawatt or Mw (in packets of 1,000 Mw); moves towards bundling solar power with thermal power for “pooled pricing viability”; attempts to achieve grid parity by 2017; a second batch of bidding under JNNSM to achieve 10,000 Mw of grid-connected...
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