Firstpost Editor's Picks: BJP vs TMC in West Bengal, India-US trade ties, Copa America 2019; today's must-read stories

BJP would do well not to underestimate Mamata Banerjee’s strengths while chalking up Bengal blueprint

It is not surprising that the BJP is apparently in the process of preparing a blueprint for the state Assembly polls.  Shah’s stamp is evident in the way BJP has established a seamless, two-way communicative mechanism between the party and the voter, never being satisfied by victories and taking campaigning to the next level. Shah, however, will need to do more than triggering an exodus of TMC leaders to fortify BJP and gain over 250 seats. The real work will lie in strengthening the ramshackle grassroot structure and find a local leader with mass appeal.

India's foreign policy for next 5 years: New Delhi should convey to US in no uncertain terms how importance of better ties hinges on favourable trade policies

There has been a growing realisation in Washington's policy circles that closer ties with India can make the US stronger once again in Asia where China has begun to flex its military muscles. The Trump administration has made India eligible for defense-related technologies under a "strategic trade authorisation," going a step further than the Obama administration which had designated India as a "major defence partner". The India-US ties have gathered momentum fuelled by strategic realities and political convergence. Leaders on both sides need to chart out a vision of what is achievable over the next half decade, with concrete steps along the way.

Retail inflation spikes to 7-month high of 3.05% in May on costlier food articles; factory output grows 3.4% in April

Retail inflation spiked to a seven-month high of 3.05 percent in May, though remaining within RBI's comfort level, as kitchen items like vegetables, meat and fish turned dearer, government data showed on Wednesday. Vegetable prices witnessed a sharp rise during May this year at 5.46 percent as against 2.87 percent in April 2019. Prices of meat and fish went up by 8.12 percent (from 7.55 percent). Meanwhile, India's industrial output grew to a six-month high of 3.4 percent in April mainly on account of improvement in mining and power generation

Copa America 2019: 'Messiah' Lionel Messi, Argentina and quest for acceptance at yet another major tournament

There is a weird dichotomy about this relationship between Messi and the Argentine public. They beg for Messi to replicate his Barcelona performances in national colors. If he can lead Barcelona to so many trophies, why can’t he win one for Argentina? Yet, even in the face of staggering records, there still exists a popular opinion in Argentina that Messi isn’t one of their own. That he has spent his entire professional footballing career in the opulence of Barcelona evokes dissonance from a community which hasn’t quite known prosperity. A Copa America probably won’t change it but it will go a long way as Messi’s one tangible gift to his nation.

Leila: How Netflix's upcoming dystopian drama series was conceptualised and executed

Leila, will be based on novelist Prayaag Akbar’s debut novel of the same name. In the book, a mother goes searching for her missing daughter in a landscape besieged by sectarianism and totalitarian rule, set somewhere in the future. The series has largely been shot in Delhi-NCR. In terms of location it seems to have hit jackpot as on both sides of the Noida expressway, there are colossal buildings that otherwise pose as sites for education and training. Though web-series in India, like Netflix’s Sacred Games, have already been helmed by more than one director, Leila is possibly the first to have three.

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Updated Date: Jun 12, 2019 20:00:42 IST