Afternoon brief: SP leader labels Rahul Gandhi 'crazy dimwit' – Hindustan Times

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The political tension within the INDIA bloc, particularly between the Samajwadi Party and Congress in Uttar Pradesh, escalated as a Samajwadi Party leader launched a personal attack on former Congress president Rahul Gandhi. This bitter exchange of words centers around seat-sharing issues for the upcoming Madhya Pradesh assembly elections. Samajwadi Party leader I P Singh referred to Rahul Gandhi as a “crazy dimwit” and mocked him for his failed “Chowkidar Chor Hai” campaign against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2019 general elections. Singh emphasized that the Grand Alliance initiative was initially led by Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, accusing the Congress of divisive tactics.
Amid the seat-sharing dispute, Akhilesh Yadav, the SP chief, issued a warning to the Congress regarding their traditional constituencies, Amethi and Rae Bareli, suggesting that comments made by Congress leaders could invite reciprocation. The escalating conflict within the INDIA bloc has prompted some to question its cohesion and viability, with BJP’s Amit Malviya suggesting that Akhilesh Yadav’s separation from the alliance has become a matter of pride. Dig deeper
Indra Mani Pandey, an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, is set to become the first Indian to hold the prestigious position of Secretary General for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). Currently serving as India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, Pandey’s appointment marks a significant milestone. BIMSTEC, a regional organization formed in 1997, focuses on deepening cooperation within the Bay of Bengal region across a wide spectrum of sectors, encompassing trade, technology, energy, transport, tourism, fisheries, and more. In 2008, the organization expanded to include areas such as agriculture, public health, poverty alleviation, counter-terrorism, environment, culture, people-to-people contacts, and climate change. With member states including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, Pandey’s extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy is expected to bolster India’s commitment to strengthening BIMSTEC and fostering regional cooperation. Dig deeper
Akhilesh Yadav criticises Congress over alliance denial in Madhya Pradesh, mocks caste-based census support as ‘miracle’ Dig deeper
CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury mocks H D Deve Gowda’s assertion of Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan backing JD(S)-BJP alliance in Karnataka Dig deeper
ISRO launches Gaganyaan’s first test flight from Sriharikota to test crew escape capabilities Dig deeper
Delhi Police discovers body of Swiss national from Zurich near Tilak Nagar school wall, apprehends suspect using hi-tech methods Dig deeper
Officials from the Indian Embassy in Israel have met with community representatives and offered assistance during the ongoing conflict with Hamas. India is closely monitoring the situation and conducting ‘Operation Ajay’ to evacuate Indian nationals from Israel. So far, around 1200 Indian nationals, including 18 Nepali nationals, have been brought back to India under this operation. The Ministry of External Affairs is assessing the situation, and there have been no reports of Indian casualties in Gaza. The Indian embassy issued advisories to Indian citizens in Israel, and a 24-hour control room has been set up to monitor the situation and provide assistance. Dig deeper
Hunter S. Thompson isn’t the sole traveler to encounter a less-than-ideal journey. Each of us has experienced a hiccup in the travel continuum—wardrobe malfunctions, culinary misadventures, document misplacements, the anguish of lost checked baggage, train delays, and less-than-pleasant hotel accommodations. A group of well-traveled individuals, with over 50 countries under their belts, has compiled a tried-and-true set of travel do’s and don’ts. By heeding their wisdom, you can sidestep future travel mishaps and enjoy a more fulfilling journey. Dig deeper
Hardik Pandya’s injury has left a significant void in the Indian cricket team, and finding a like-for-like replacement is proving to be an impossible task. The scarcity of quality seam-bowling all-rounders in India’s cricket landscape has been a long-standing issue. As Hardik sits out the upcoming match against New Zealand in Dharamsala due to an ankle injury, the team’s management hopes for his return before the England match on the 29th. For the New Zealand match, former cricketer Harbhajan Singh suggests two changes: replacing off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin with seamer Mohammed Shami to adapt to Dharamsala’s swing-friendly conditions and considering Ishan Kishan or Suryakumar Yadav at No. 6. India faces a challenging test in their World Cup journey, and adapting their lineup without Hardik Pandya poses a formidable challenge. Dig deeper
That’s all we have at this hour in our Afternoon briefing. Catch you in the evening.


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