Get Wired 8/6: Miffed Gogoi, Z-‘Seva’ for RSS Chief, Erdogan’s Exit and More

1. Modi speaks out against terrorism as Bangladesh visit ends

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a strong message against terrorism as he concluded his two-day visit to Bangladesh marked by the the signing of land boundary agreement which he likened to the ‘fall of the Berlin Wall’. “Promote tourism, not terrorism” he said, lambasting terrorism as an ‘enemy of humanity’ and pledging full support to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s battle against fundamentalism and extremism. He also reiterated his commitment to delivering on the Teesta water sharing agreement, calling it a ‘humanitarian’ concern. In a joint declaration released at the end of the visit titled “notun projonmo – nayi disha”, India has quietly buried the Tipaimukh hydropower project. From the joint statement and Modi’s speech, it was clear that the sub-regional group within Saarc would get top billing.

2. Assam CM miffed at not being invited on Bangladesh tour

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. Credit: PTI Photo

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. Credit: PTI Photo

Meanwhile, as West Bengal CM Mamata Bannerjee rode the newly inaugurated bus service between India and Bangladesh, her counterpart in Assam Tarun Gogoi was unhappy that he did not join Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s delegation to the country. An Assam government official release said that not inviting Gogoi was “contrary to the spirit of cooperative federalism.” The North East has had a troubled history with neighbouring Bangladesh owing to border disputes,undocumented l migration and an ethnic backlash from local tribes.

3. RSS chief now gets ‘seva’ from Z-plus security

The proposal for India’s highest category security  system for RSS chief Mohan Bagwat, rejected since 2013, has finally been  accepted  by the Home ministry. Based on a ‘threat analysis’, 60 commandos of CISF’s Special Security Group will now provide cover to him at the RSS headquarters at Nagpur and across the country when he travels. By convention, Z plus security services were meant for Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers, High Court and Supreme Court Judges, leading politicians, and senior bureaucrats with a critically high threat perception..

4. RJD and JD(U) to get married this State Assembly elections

The Janata Parivar’s attempts to forge an alliance in advance of the Bihar elections have been marked by ups and down. But it now appears that the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Janata Dal (U) have decided to come together in an anti-BJP merger for the upcoming elections scheduled at the end of this year. The Congress has played a role in this union, since its rising proximity with Nitish Kumar of the JD (U) compelled RJD leader Lalu Yadav to accept the inevitable and say yes to a merger. The party wise seat sharing of the alliance will be decided by a 6 member panel consisting of representatives from both sides.

5. Ram Mandir will be built, claims BJP MP

Barely a week after Vinay Katiyar’s controversial warning of  Ram Bhakts erupting as volcanoes’,  BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj has declared that the Ram temple will be built at the controversial Babri Masjid site during Narendra Modi’s rule. His statement seems a reiteration of Vishwa Hindu Parishad spokesman and national general secretary Surendra Jain’s claim that the BJP has come to power not only for ushering in development but also to deliver on the core saffron agenda, including building a grand Ram temple at Ayodhya. ‘Resolving’ the Ram Temple issue was a ‘core issue’ of BJP’s electoral manifesto.

6. Deutsche Bank co-CEOs to resign as crisis continues

Deutsche Bank announced that both its co-CEOs would resign, with one, Anshu Jain resigning at the end of June itself. Jain will be replaced by supervisory board member John Cryan, who will become sole CEO once Juergen Fitschen resigns too, in May next year. The resignations have come after a long period of controversies surrounding the bank, including a $2.5 billion fine for involvement in rate rigging and allegations of mis-selling of derivatives, tax evasion and money laundering. Jain, who rose as a star performer in the bank in the last 10 years, is said to have lost the trust of the shareholders following the many scandals the bank is said to have been involved in.

7. Turkish voters stymie Erdogan’s ambitions

Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Turkish voters delivered a blow to the ambitions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice Development Party (AKP), which was seeking a supermajority in a bid to push through constitutional changes. The AKP failed to gather even a simple majority in Parliament though it emerged as the single largest party. The next few days will see coalition negotiations between reluctant opposition parties, and fresh elections are a real possibility. This election has seen the historic and dramatic rise of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), which gathered 12 per cent of the votes, successfully entering the Turkish Parliament. The achievement is incredible considering that the party was formed less than three years ago, and has ties to the violent struggle for a separate Kurdistan in Turkey’s south-east. The party, and its charismatic leader Selahattin Demirtas, had rebranded themselves to occupy the liberal space in Turkish politics, framing themselves  as a leftist movement with a diverse slate of candidates.

8. British unions vote for strike against Tata steel plant

Rough weather. Credit: CSR

Rough weather. Credit: CSR

Britain’s largest labour union Unite has voted in favour of a strike should matters not be resolved with the Tata Steel Europe over the proposal by the management to scrap the British Steel Pension Scheme. The union is the fourth to have voted for a strike, after Community, UCATT and GMB all voted similarly. The dispute is over the planned end to the pension scheme at the company, as the company said the scheme had a shortfall of over 2 billion pounds. The workers however had previously accepted changes to the scheme and said that the closing was unacceptable to them, and that they were open to discussions with the management. If the unions decide to go ahead with the strike, it will be the biggest labour action the steel industry has seen in the UK in the last three decades.

9. Wawrinka kills Djoker hopes of a career Grand Slam

Stanislas Wawrinka. Credit: Tennis World

Stanislas Wawrinka. Credit: Tennis World

Stanislas Wawrinka become only the second Swiss to win the French Open when he beat Novak Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 to collect his second Grand Slam Trophy. Djokovic came into the match a heavy favorite, on the back of a 28-match winning streak and having already beaten Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray in the tournament. A win would have made him the 8th man in the Open era to win all four Grand Slam titles. The Swiss however had other ideas. He played a powerful game, with his highest first serve percentage for the tournament and twice as many winners as his opponent, to take the match in 4 sets.


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