Over 200 years ago on May 17 Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the annexation of the Papal States to the French Empire. While annexations are (hopefully) passé now, electoral battles and fortunes are the talk of town. Here’s a roundup of everything you should look at, and out for:
- The exit polls for the five states – West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala, and Puducherry – have got everyone’s attention. This is of course despite the fact that such polls have been completely off the mark in recent times. In fact it is instructive to re-read this masterpiece by Mukul Kesavan on what really happened on November 8, 2015. The consensus among the pollsters seems to be that Mamata Banerjee and the TMC will keep its hold on Bengal while Tamil Nadu will go the way of the DMK. The Congress has more to worry about with a predicted Left uprising in coastal Kerala. The BJP on the other hand seem to have scalped Assam but if you believe front-page headlines, there is trouble brewing in Gujarat. A TOI report states that the Patidar agitation may just lead to a Patel swap for the CM spot with Nitinbhai replacing Anandiben.
- The overnight buzz has also been around the storm that Virat Kolhi and AB de Villiers cooked up yet again in the IPL last night. The Royal Challengers Bangalore scored 186/1 with eight balls to spare in reply to KKR’s 183/5.
- If Pathankot has been catching your eye on Twitter currently, it is because it has emerged that the UPA government had released JeM terrorist Shahid Latif as a “goodwill gesture” to Pakistan in 2010. Latif is said to be the chief handler of Fidayeen squad that carried out the attack on Pathankot airbase in January this year.
- Speaking of headlines from earlier this year, the girl from Handwara in Kashmir who had alleged molestation by an Army man in April this year has claimed that her initial claims were true. After the incident had sparked violence in Kashmir, the girl had backtracked and said that she was assaulted by local boys, a statement she now says was coerced out of her.
- A day later there have been three more infant-deaths in Ajmer’s Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital. Nine babies have succumbed to septicemia in the past 72 hours and the state government has sacked a doctor as parents cry negligence.
Also making tongues wag in something that cannot be called news is that the titular character in the popular daily soap ‘Sasural Simar Ka’ changed into a fly over the weekend. Then there is also the case of the US pushing the boundaries of innovation: a law firm in the country just hired a robot to do research and the country’s first successful penis transplant also went off well, reportedly.