Indian Politics Round-up: July 2019

Mufti faces Twitterati’s wrath for blurring the lines between politics and sports

Former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti received heavy criticism for a tweet that purportedly sought to combine politics with sports. After India’s loss to England in the Cricket World Cup 2019 essentially ended their winning streak, Mufti had tweeted that she believed it was the change of jersey—India opted to wear a prominently orange outfit instead of the usual blue—that cost the two-time World Cup winners their winning streak. Following this, hordes of people on social media blamed her for trying to bring politics into sports. In her retort, the former CM questioned whether her “innocuous tweet” on BJP was being targeted purposefully to divert attention from more grave accusations against politicians of the country’s ruling party.

 

Rahul Gandhi relinquishes Congress Presidency, takes responsibility for humiliating election defeat

After weeks of uncertainty, Rahul Gandhi formally resigned as Congress President on July 3. The resignation came in the wake of Congress’s second consecutive election loss against its eternal rival BJP. The Wayanad MP has taken full responsibility for the recent defeat and stated that the disappointing result motivated him to quit his role.

 

Finance Minister Sitharaman announces budget plans for 2019-20

On July 5, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman revealed the budget devised by the BJP government for the year 2019-20. In her speech, Sitharaman expressed the government’s plans to reduce corporate tax, ease FDI rules in sectors like aviation, insurance, media, etc., and levy increased rates on precious metals like gold, among other objectives. Moreover, she also emphasised on the importance of investing in aviation and space research for the country in today’s time.

The former Defence Minister announced that the country’s economy was predicted to be worth three trillion by the end of the fiscal year, and pointed to the Indian economy’s progress from being the eleventh largest economy five years back to being the sixth largest economy in the world today.

 

Lok Sabha passes NIA Bill to aid counter-terrorism

The lower house of the Government of India passed a bill to amend the NIA Act on July 15. The amendment was passed with strong support of 278 MPs, whereas 6 MPs voted against it. The latest amendment grants more power to the National Investigation Agency—an organisation established to fight terrorism against India—by expanding its zone of operation to overseas territories, allotting special courts for it, and enabling it to handle cases of cyber-terrorism, human trafficking, counterfeit currency, and illegal arms business which could all be connected to terrorist organisations.

 

Opposition accuses BJP of protecting Unnao Rape suspect and UP legislator Kuldeep Sengar

After the Unnao Rape victim was heavily injured in a road accident, protests flared up throughout Uttar Pradesh for BJP to sack its legislator and the main suspect in this case from 2017, Kuldeep Sengar. The opposition politicians have since gone on to question BJP’s placid response towards the case and have accused the ruling party of protecting the suspect. While a Saffron Party politician argued that the case against his compatriot had not been proven to invoke any disciplinary action, politicians like Mayawati and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have come out guns-blazing and censured BJP for intentionally shielding Sengar.

 

 

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