TOWARDS THE END of November 2019, as he was finalising the names for his cabinet, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray received a letter from senior Shiv Sena leaders from Vidarbha. They urged him not to pick Sanjay Rathod, a leader from the region’s Banjara community. Rathod had been minister of state in the Devendra Fadnavis government, and his performance was nothing to boast about, they wrote. Had Thackeray honoured the letter, signed by two MPs and three legislators, he would not have had to force Sanjay Rathod to resign as forest minister. Rathod, whose name has been linked to the death of 22-year-old Pooja Chavan, resigned on February 28, a day before the state legislature’s budget session began. The opposition, led by the BJP, had threatened to disrupt the session if Rathod did not resign.
Chavan is also from the Banjara community and hails from Parli Vaijnath in Beed district; she died after she reportedly fell from the balcony of her Pune apartment at around midnight on February 7. She had shifted to Pune to learn “English speaking”, and was active on social media. The police have registered an accidental death report. Initially, it was suggested that she had died by suicide as she was suffering from psoriasis. Later though, nearly a dozen audio clips of telephone conversations between a person named Arun and an unidentified man surfaced. The unidentified man’s voice is allegedly similar to that of Rathod.
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SAFFRON ON RED
Can left veteran Ashok Bhattacharya overcome the BJP’s surge in Siliguri?
There is a pattern to the attack on Central forces in Bengal
Sunil Arora, who demitted office on April 12, chose THE WEEK for his last interview as chief election commissioner. He said he was anguished over the constant attacks the commission faced, especially from the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal. He also said that the attacks on Central forces in West Bengal was worrying and had a pattern.
INDIA ON GUARD
THE SECOND WAVE OF COVID-19 CAUGHT US LACKING AND SLACKING. REINING IN A RESURGENT VIRUS WOULD NEED BETTER ADHERENCE TO SAFETY PROTOCOLS AND A MORE NUANCED APPROACH TO VACCINATION
No value in vaccinating everyone at this stage
The second wave hit India despite the vaccine rollout. And, vaccinated people are now getting infected. The vaccine was never expected to stop any wave, second or otherwise. All the Covid-19 vaccines available in the world right now have this handicap, that they cannot stop transmission of the virus. This is unlike the vaccines for polio or smallpox, which can interrupt transmission and thereby eradicate the disease eventually.
Fit for the future
DRDO labs are being closed or merged to prevent duplication and to focus on futuristic technologies
BRINGING MANHAS HOME
THE WEEK brings you the inside story of how a nonagenarian social worker, a tribal leader and a group of local journalists secured the safe release of Rakeshwar Singh Manhas, a CoBRA commando captured by the Maoists of Bastar
Fighting our people
CoBRA is burdened by law, which demands that it upholds the Constitutional and human rights of civilians. Naxals have no such burden
With K.T. Jaleel forced to step down as minister, the Pinarayi Vijayan government suffers a big blow at the fag end of its term
Due procedure followed in case against activists
THE 2020 DELHI riots, which claimed 53 lives, the farmers’ protest at the Red Fort and the arrest of activist Disha Ravi on sedition charges have all taken place during S.N. Shrivastava’s tenure as commissioner of Delhi Police. He spoke to THE WEEK about the status of investigations in these cases, monitoring social media and terror threats to the capital. Excerpts:
Picking up the pace of vaccinations is not only a health and welfare concern, but also key for India’s economic prospects
India Election Body Struggles With Scale Of Fake Information
When India’s Election Commission announced last month that its code of conduct would have to be followed by social media companies as well as political parties, some analysts scoffed, saying it lacked the capacity and speed required to check the spread of fake news ahead of a multi-phase general election that begins April 11.
India At A Crossroads
India is known as the land of contradictions, and recent events do little to undermine that reputation.
किस पथ वामपंथ
ममता की तृणमूल और भाजपा के बीच सीधा मुकाबला होने के बावजूद वामपंथी दलों और कांग्रेस के तीसरे मोर्चे को सत्ता हासिल करने के खेल में निर्णायक माना जा रहा
मुलायम परिवार में गहरी होती दरार
प्रदेश के सबसे बड़े सियासी कुनबे में आपसी कलह गहराती जा रही.भाजपा ने इसका फायदा उठाते हुए उसके प्रभाव वाले इलाकों में अपनी मोर्चेबंदी तेज की
महाराष्ट्र कांग्रेस और आम आदमी पार्टी ने भाजपा पर साधा निशाना
महाराष्ट्र कांग्रेस और आम आदमी पार्टी ने रविवार को भाजपा पर आरोप लगाया कि उसने रेमडेसिविर इंजेक्शन की आपूर्ति करने वाली दमन की एक दवा कंपनी के निदेशक से पूछताछ के लिए मुंबई पुलिस पर दबाव डाला।
मुंबई: रेमडेसिविर पर गरमाई राजनीति
मुंबई पुलिस ने रेमडेसिविर के भंडारण पर फार्मा कंपनी के निदेशक से पूछताछ की, भाजपा ने जताई नाराजगी
Patients Gasp For Breath, Netas Hold Up O2 Tanker For Photo Op
MP BJP Leaders Perform Puja, Delay Supply
TMC Takes Up Vax Politics, Intervention Of PM Sought To Control Surge In Cases
In an apparent attempt to sharpen attack on the BJP-led Centre in the wake of the rising Covid-19 cases in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to intervene immediately on three issues — Supplying vaccines to 2.7 crore people residing in densely populated state capital Kolkata, providing essential medicines to treat Covid-19 patients and steady supply of oxygen.
Still on a Tightrope
For Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, the three bypolls on April 17—in Rajsamand, Sahara and Sujangarh—may be a challenge comparable in scale and complexity to the BJP-backed rebellion in July 2020 by party counterweight Sachin Pilot.
THE RIFT RUNS DEEP IN YADAV CITADEL
Akhilesh and shivpal were there in saifai, but for the first time, the yadav first family played holi separately.