Daily Briefing: Voting begins in Himachal; BCCI in process of determining future of Team India

1) Himachal Pradesh votes today to elect its next government. While a confident BJP hit a speed-breaker with multiple rebellions, the Congress faces the problem of multiple CM faces and their respective lobby of supporters. 

🔴 Himachal Pradesh, over the last few weeks, saw a high-intensity campaign by both the ruling BJP and the Congress. As the state votes today, all eyes will be on the voting percentage, which, in the 2019 General Elections, stood at 72.42 per cent. With the maximum Assembly seats at 15, Kangra district is crucial in deciding the direction of the elections.  

 🔴 For the BJP, the momentum in Himachal Pradesh was set by Prime Minister Modi’s multiple visits over a one-week period last month. While the BJP used the strength of several senior national leaders to push the party’s agenda, the Congress banked mostly on state-level leaders as both Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi couldn’t make it to the state. The ruling party campaigned on national security, UCC and Ram Temple whereas the Congress focused on anger over the pension scheme.

2) Despite a growing clamour to reboot the T20 side, the BCCI has decided that it will hold a meeting with coach Rahul Dravid, captain Rohit Sharma and ex-skipper Virat Kohli before deciding the future course of action. This comes following the 10-wicket defeat to England in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup on Thursday. 

3) This week, President Droupadi Murmu returned to her alma mater, the Government Capital Girls’ High School in Bhubaneswar, and the tribal hostel where she stayed during the four years that she spent in the school. She met 12 of her friends from the Batch of 1974. “She received me warmly and asked in Odia, ‘Chuni kain (Where is Chuni)?’. Chuni is my twin sister. I told her Chuni could not come as she is not in the city,” 64-year-old Tanmayee Bisoi said. 

4) In our opinion section today, Uday Bhaskar writes on what India needs to do to plug its defence gap: “The push to achieve self-reliance in defence is commendable. India must step up R&D to achieve competence in design, manufacture of combat weapons/platforms.”

What to watch this weekend 

5) This week, Shubhra Gupta reviews the latest Rajkummar Rao and Huma Qureshi-starrer ‘Monica O My Darling’: “Every time things slowed down, I would stifle impatience, but then they would leap up again, and it would be fine. On the whole, and despite those slow spots, and a few twists which we figure long before the characters do, with a cracker of a beginning and an end which slithers in most unexpectedly, ‘Monica’ ends up being a fun watch.”

The Express Saturday Quiz

Until tomorrow, 

Rounak Bagchi and Rahel Philipose


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