Ahead of Assembly polls, Modi govt blinks for 2nd time as it scraps contentious farm laws

News Network
November 19, 2021

New Delhi, Nov 19: After withdrawing the contentious land ordinances in 2015, this is the second time that the Prime Minister Narendra Mod led union government has had to blink on the farmers' issue ahead of the state polls. In 2015, it was months before the Bihar polls and this time, it was just a few months before polls in half a dozen states.

The move comes just a couple of months before the elections in states including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, which were the epicentres of farmers' agitation. The BJP has been getting feedback from the ground that the ongoing farmers agitation could harm BJP's election prospects, particularly in Western Uttar Pradesh where the agitation had united the jats against the government and in Punjab where BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal broke its ties with the saffron party in protest against the farm laws.

What remains to be seen is whether the BJP tries to get its oldest ally back to the NDA fold besides forging a closer tie with Captain Amarinder Singh's new party.

In UP, the Samajwadi Party, the BJP's main rival, had allied with Jayant Chautala-led Rashtriya Lok Dal in Western UP, which appeared to pose a big challenge to the BJP after the farmers agitation. In his speech before announcing the decision to withdraw the farm billls, PM Modi reached out to the marginal farmers, who he said account for 80 per cent of the community. 

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News Network
November 23,2021

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Kuwait City, Nov 23: Kuwait's Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid has been reappointed prime minister, state media said on Tuesday, and tasked with forming a cabinet that would be the Gulf OPEC oil producer's third this year in a domestic political standoff.

State news agency KUNA said Sheikh Sabah, prime minister since late 2019, was reappointed by an emiri order issued by Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah. The government had resigned on Nov. 8 in the standoff with the elected parliament.

Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmed al-Sabah last week temporarily handed over some of his main constitutional duties to the crown prince, his designated successor, including naming the prime minister and swearing in the cabinet.  

Before doing so, the emir had accepted the government's resignation as part of measures to end a months-long deadlock between the government and opposition lawmakers. He also issued an amnesty pardoning political dissidents to defuse the row.

Several opposition MPs had wanted to question Sheikh Sabah on various issues, including the handling of the coronavirus pandemic and corruption, despite a motion in March that had granted him temporary immunity.

The row had paralysed legislative work, hindering fiscal reform efforts, including a debt law that would allow Kuwait to tap international markets.

State finances are set to improve this year thanks to higher oil prices, after the coronavirus downturn led to a budget deficit of 15.4% of GDP in the 2020/21 fiscal year.

Kuwait has given its legislature more influence than similar bodies in other Gulf monarchies, including the power to pass and block laws, question ministers and submit no-confidence votes against senior government officials.

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November 27,2021

Bengaluru, Nov 27: Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah on Saturday said Congress will face the MLC elections solo and will not ally with any political party.

Speaking to reporters, Siddaramaiah alleged an alliance between JD(S) and BJP not only in MLC elections but in the recently concluded bypolls, too. BJP has fielded Lakan Jarkiholi from Belagavi.

Congress workers work for Congress but there is confusion among BJP members, he commented.

For a query about Kodagu polls, he said, BJP and Congress will face each other. It is noteworthy that BJP leader A Manju's son Mantargowda is the Congress candidate in Kodagu. Siddaramaiah also denied Manju joining Congress. "We will not take him into the party."

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November 24,2021

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New Delhi, Nov 24: Chairman of Adani Group, Gautam Adani, has replaced Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani to become the richest man in India and Asia for the first time ever. 

Currently, Adani Group operates a slew of companies including Adani Enterprises, Adani Green Energy, Adani Ports & SEZ, Adani Transmission, Adani Total Gas, and Adani Power, among others.

Adani’s wealth has swelled up recently, especially after the onset of the pandemic. For instance, his total wealth stood at around $4.91 billion on March 18, 2020. As of now, his net wealth has touched nearly $90 billion - a rise of more than 1800%. 

On the other hand, Ambani’s net wealth has taken a slight hit after Reliance Industries scrapped the deal with Aramco, a Saudi Arabian public petroleum and natural gas company based in Dhahran. 

However, the change of fortune was expected to happen anytime soon. According to Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Adani’s wealth had stood at $88.8 billion on Tuesday (November 23). On the other hand, Ambani’s net wealth stood at $91 billion.  

But on Wednesday (November 24), shares of Reliance Industries Limited dropped by 1.77% while the shares jumped 2.34%, closing in on the difference between the net wealth of Adani and Ambani. 

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