Firstpost Editor's Picks: Ram Vilas Paswan's U-turn, Rahul Gandhi as PM, Naseeruddin Shah's arrogance; today's must-read articles
A quick rundown of the five best articles published by Firstpost today.
Paswan made a huge U-turn (having claimed earlier that he would prefer to drink poison than join hands with the BJP) and joined Modi's bandwagon ahead of the 2014 election. The rest is history. After speaking to NDA leaders, particularly from Bihar and after assessing statements made by Chirag (where he said seat-sharing was not an issue), Firstpost gathered that it was not that the senior Paswan was convinced that the Modi government was on its way out, but there was something else that was bothering him
The proposed coming together of all the Opposition parties before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections to counter the BJP has already run into trouble over their inconsistent remarks on the probable prime ministerial candidate. While DMK leader MK Stalin proposed the name of Congress president Rahul Gandhi to lead the proverbial mahagathbandhan, other Opposition leaders made their displeasure known.
The thing with great actors is that they tend to become the characters they play and, at times, the great ones find it difficult to differentiate between reality and the act. Shah’s ‘Kohli episode’ could well be a result of him slipping into one of his most famous characters, Albert Pinto, from the seminal Saeed Mirza film, Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyoon Aata Hai (1980).
The move clearly smacked of panic. After the newly-inducted Congress dispensations in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh announced farm loan waivers, the BJP government did not want its voters in Gujarat to feel that they were being discriminated against. As one of the characters in a play written by TS Eliott put it, "In a world of fugitives, the one taking the opposite direction will appear to run away."
The move hit the informal economy particularly hard since cash played a dominant role in making the daily transactions seamless. Supply chains were broken and small shops were shut. The impact on unemployment and rural economy became more visible in the period that followed. The speculated gains of the note ban — widening taxpayer base and push for digitalisation — are much less than the pain the exercise inflicted on the economy.
Mann Ki Baat started on AIR from October 2014 and is broadcast in 21 regional languages, 31 local dialects and 16 foreign languages and is the most popular radio programme in India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mukti Yodhas to attend 1971 war victory celebrations at India Gate from 14-16 December
The war had ended on 16 December after Pakistani troops surrendered to Indian troops. By taking 93,000 Pakistani prisoners of war, the Indian Army created a record of sorts as this was the biggest ever military defeat in recent history
SKM pens open letter to PM Modi over MSP, Lakhimpur Kheri; to hold mahapanchayat in Lucknow tomorrow
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha will be holding a mahapanchayat in Lucknow on Monday in a show of strength days after the prime minister's announcement of repealing the three farm laws