THURSDAY V-P ELECTION ON AUGUST 6 30 The Election Commission on Wednesday finalised the schedule for JUNE, 2022 16th Vice-Presidential Election epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard The voting and counting of votes, if needed, will be held on the same day WHEAT EXPORT INDIA SENDS 1.8 MN TONNE Amid protracted Ukraine conflict, India extends helping hand to countries PAGE 7 Electoral College comprises 233 elected members of the Rajya Sabha, 12 nominated members of the Rajya Sabha, and 543 elected members of the Lok Sabha, making it a total of 788 members AUG 10 WHEN THE TERM OF VICE PRESIDENT VENKAIAH NAIDU ENDS According to sources, the BJP-led NDA is likely to field a Muslim face for V-P, with Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan being the frontrunner. Former Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s name is also doing the rounds A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 Unlike the presidential poll where voting takes place at multiple locations as elected MLAs also form part of the electoral college, in the vicepresidential election, voting takes place in Parliament House. P7 PAGES 12 Uddhav resigns after SC okays floor test Decision after Supreme Court rejects plea to stay floor test; BJP expected to stake its claim to run the state JUBILATION IN BJP AS FADNAVIS EYES RETURN AS CM EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Mumbai/ New Delhi MAHARASHTRA Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray threw in the towel on Wednesday night as he stepped down from office shortly after the Supreme Court refused to stay a floor test called by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Thursday to prove his strength in the wake of a Shiv Sena rebellion, capping days of intense drama. The BJP now has a clear advantage, with former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis expected to meet the Governor soon to stake his claim to form the new government, citing support from the Sena’s splinter group. Announcing his resignation in a Facebook live address, Uddhav said, “We respect the Supreme Court judgment. Democracy must be followed.” He then went to Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation both as CM and member of the Legislative Council, which was promptly accepted by Koshyari. “My own people do not want me continue as CM. Sena and Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray made these people big. They were commoners; Sena gave them honour and positions, but they left me and pulled down my government,” a hurt Uddhav rued. The day began with the Governor directing the government to take a confidence vote in the Assembly at 11 am. Sena’s chief whip Sunil Prabhu challenged it in the SC, since it had stayed They may have the numbers. I am not a person who believes in head count... I am not interested in a number game. Therefore, I have decided to resign as both chief minister and MLC E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Mumbai AS the Maha Vikas Aghadi government finally fell, celebrations erupted in the BJP camp. Several party leaders, including MLAs, gathered at the residence of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai and congratulated each other. Many of them expressed confidence that Fadnavis will return at the helm soon. “Fadnavis always used to say that he will return to the House. Now, it’s time. He will come back as the chief minister of Maharashtra,” BJP MLA Nitesh Rane said. The party’s state unit chief Chandrakant Patil fed sweets to the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly . The BJP has asked all its MLAs to gather in Mumbai. Patil said Fadnavis and rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde will now decide the next court of action. Fadnavis, on his part, said he would talk about the party’s next move “tomorrow for sure”. The rebel MLAs, who reached a Goa resort around 10 pm on Thursday were also expected , to hold a meeting there to discuss their next step in the wake of the resignation of Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray One . of the dissident Sena MLAs said not everyone in the rebel camp was very happy with the decision of Thackeray to step down. Earlier, Thackeray submitted his resignation letter to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan, who accepted it and asked him to officiate as Chief Minister until alternate arrangement is made. The BJP’s central leaders invoked ‘karma’ and the legacy of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray as they took a swipe at Uddhav. “Karma does not spare anyone,” said BJP general secretary C T Ravi, who is in charge of the party’s affairs in the state. “Balasaheb was a man who could control governments, despite not being in power. On the other hand, his son couldn’t even control his party, despite being in power. What a fall from grace,” BJP’s IT department in-charge Amit Malviya. Uddhav Thackeray CABINET CLEARS RENAMING AURANGABAD In perhaps his last decision as chief minister, the state cabinet led by Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday approved proposals to rename two districts. Aurangabad will be renamed Sambhaji Nagar while Osamanabad will be called Dharashiv. It was his attempt to retake the Hindutva plank that got diluted within the Aghadi the operation of disqualification notices to 16 rebels issued by the deputy speaker till July 12. The SC began hybrid hearing of the petition at 5 pm and pronounced its interim order at 9 pm. It said the result of the vote on Thursday will be subject to its verdict on July 11, when it will decide whether a section of MLAs from the Sena should be disqualified. During oral hearing, a Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala said, “We don’t think the matter will become infructuous. Suppose if we find later that the floor test was conducted without authority, we can annul it. It is not an irreversi- ble situation.” The court also allowed jailed NCP MLAs Nawab Malik and Anil Deshmukh to participate in the floor test. Shinde’s side argued that the Uddhav faction is in a hopeless minority within the party and a floor test would be the best way to stop horse-trading. Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Prabhu, said people who have changed sides do not reflect the will of people and heavens won’t fall if the floor test is not held on Thursday . In the evening, the Shinde camp came closer home as they parked themselves in Goa, another BJP-ruled state, after flyP7 ing from Guwahati. BUSES 1,950 NEW BUSES TO PLY ON DELHI ROADS The Delhi Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to induct new buses, which will take the city’s bus fleet to over 9,000 | P3 RJD weans away four AIMIM MLAs in Bihar R A M A S H A N K A R @ Patna THE Rashtriya Janata Dal, the main opposition party in Bihar, got a shot in the arm on Wednesday when four of the five MLAs of Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM joined the party . With the entry of Shahnawaz Alam from Jokihat, Izhar Asfi from Kochadhaman, Anzar Nayeemi from Bahadurganj, and Syed Ruknuddin Ahmed from Baiasi, RJD’s strength has gone up to 80, making it the single largest party in the Assembly The BJP (77) is next, while . the JD-U, with 45 MLAs, is at a distant third position. All the four MLAs were elected from the Muslim-dominated Seemanchal region, leaving the RJD stunned. The election of five AIMIM MLAs had also come as a surprise for many political observers. Now, Owaisi’s party is left with only one MLA — Akhtarul Imam — who is also the state party president. RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav drove the legislators to the Assembly and met Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha to complete the formalities. Tejashwi told mediapersons that now the RJD had regained a strong presence in the region. Imam said the four MLAs who quit AIMIM not only cheated the party but also the people of Seemanchal. Equating them with Mir Jafar, he said, “RJD will have to pay a heavy price for weaning AIMIM MLAs as people of Seemanchal are deeply hurt by such an act.” On the other hand, the MLAs defended their decision saying, “Since RJD is the largest secular party in Bihar, we want to strengthen it and work for the betterment of Seemanchal.” After re-emerging as the single largest party RJD will have , a psychological edge over the NDA at a time when BJP and JD-U are engaged in a war of supremacy . Tejashwi Yadav with AIMIM MLAs after they joined RJD in Patna on Wednesday | PTI Deserted streets amid a curfew in Udaipur on Tuesday | PTI Pakistan angle emerges in Udaipur horror Karachi in 2014 and stayed there for 45 days. The mobile AN inter national angle numbers of several people in emerged in the barbaric kill- Pakistan and some Arab couning of Udaipur tailor Kanhai- tries were found in his phone ya Lal by two Islamists on and he was in constant touch Tuesday Initial probe by the with 10 persons in Pakistan. . National Investigation Agen- “The Udaipur crime was carcy and Rajasthan Police re- ried out to spread instability vealed one of the killers has and create an atmosphere of links with an extremist Sunni fear and riots in Rajasthan,” group in Pakistan the minister added. and had undergone The Union Home training there a few Ministry has directyears ago. ed the NIA to take “Ghouse Mohamover the investigaThe Rajasthan CM mad has links with calls this incident a tion. The agency, Karachi-based Dawhich registered a murder. When wat-e-Islami,” said case under UAPA, someone makes a Rajasthan DGP M L said the accused video of a murder Lather. The possibil- and makes it viral, it persons circulated a is not an ordinary ity of the second video of the grisly killer, Riyaz Jabbar, incident. This is not act on social media a murder, this is a too having terror in order to “trigger terrorist attack links can’t be ruled panic and strike terout, he added. Both Rajyavardhan Rathore, r o r a m o n g t h e the culprits were arBJP leader masses”. rested from Bhim Chief Minister area of Rajsamand Ashok Gehlot has district, 170 km from Udaipur, announced gallantry awards on Tuesday and booked under to the five police personnel the Unlawful Activities (Pre- who caught them. Police have vention) Act. Three others also detained three others alhave also been detained for le g edly involved in the their alleged involvement in attack. the heinous crime. The curfew in Udaipur conConfirming the interna- tinues but the tailor’s funeral tional terror link, Rajasthan procession was allowed. The home minister Rajendra Ya- autopsy report showed 26 inP8 dav said Mohammad went to jury marks on his body . R A J E S H A S N A N I @ Jaipur EXPRESS READ Venugopal stays as AG for 3 months New Delhi: K K Venugopal, 91, was on Wednesday re-appointed the Attorney General for India for three months, the Law Ministry said. He was not willing to continue in the position due to “personal reasons” but acceded to a request by the government, officials said. His present one-year term ends on June 30. The oldest person to occupy the post, Venugopal succeeded Mukul Rohatgi as AG in 2017. VIGILANT EYES Army personnel keep vigil as a convoy of the first batch of Amarnath pilgrims leaves for Kashmir | PTI | P8 JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT June 28 11,79,301 doses June 29 12,49,839 doses TOTAL DOSES: 1,97,60,22,570 NATIONWIDE JUNE 28 JUNE 29 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 11,793 14,506 9,486 11,574 27 30 DELHI Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 5% GST on atta, paneer and curd JUNE 28 JUNE 29 874 1,201 04 1,109 1,265 01 Chandigarh: Pre-packed and labelled wheat flour, papad, paneer, curd and buttermilk will be taxed at 5 per cent after the GST Council decided to stop allowing exemptions on such items while raising rates on a host of others. The Council accepted recommendations for rate rationalisation, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. The tax rate changes will come into effect from July 18. P10 ‘ M O D E L’ BAT T L E Gujarat BJP team’s no-show as AAP leaders keep waiting Z A I D N AY E E M I @ New Delhi IN the end, the Gujarati snacks went cold, untouched. Aam Aadmi Party’s hospitality remained untested. And the match was postponed. The Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya in Delhi was where AAP wanted to fight the first battle for distant Gujarat. But the BJP thought otherwise. And there lies a political tale. A competition of sorts, to decide which was better among the Delhi and Gujarat models of education, was in the offing for some weeks. AAP said government schools in Delhi were now a role model for the entire country Not quite so, the BJP . countered. So, AAP came up with an idea. You come and check our schools, it told the Gujarat unit of BJP, and we will visit your schools over there. That was AAP preparing the , ground for entering the electoral fray when assembly polls are held in Gujarat later this year. A BJP delegation did land in Delhi on Tuesday But they did . not want to visit a school AAP selected because they wanted to avoid a conducted tour in a sanitised environment. Visit any school, AAP told the delegation, and went on to make arrangements to welcome the members at Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya that is just a stone’s throw from the BJP AAP team led by Atishi waiting for the Gujarat BJP leaders | PARVEEN NEGI headquarters. Buntings and banners and flowers and garlands made it a colourful affair. The Gujarati snacks, AAP thought, was a nice touch. Four AAP MLAs — Atishi, Kuldeep Kumar, Gulab Singh and Rituraj Jha — were part of the welcoming committee. The delegation did not arrive at the given time. The wait extended to an hour. Finally, they realised the BJP delegation had said pass. There was no sign of them. Gulab Singh was exasperated. The legislator is also the incharge of AAP’s Gujarat unit. “We are waiting for the delegation and if they want, we will show them any school and mohalla clinic even in rural areas.” The BJP delegation just wanted to “politicise” AAP’s work and they had no intention of studying the Delhi development model, he intoned. The AAP MLA claimed the BJP had closed down more than 6,000 schools in Gujarat. The delegation should have seen how Kejriwal’s model of development worked, he said. Next round in Gujarat?
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