Ten days after Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde led a revolt against party chief Uddhav Thackeray, the rebel leader was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra today. Devendra Fadnavis took oath as his deputy. Fadnavis and Shinde earlier met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhawan where they staked claim for government formation. Earlier in the day, Fadnavis, in a press conference, announced that Shinde will be the next chief minister while he would not be a part of the government. However, hours later, BJP president JP Nadda said the party’s central leadership has decided that Fadnavis will have to be a part of the new government.

Meanwhile, Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray, in an interview to a TV channel, expressed grief over being betrayed by their own. “The Congress, NCP stood with us in these tough times. We had the Congress leaders calling on us and committing fully that in these tough times when we have been betrayed by our own, they will stand with us,” he said. Even Shiv Sena MP conveyed a similar message through an illustration. Raut shared a sketch on Twitter showing Uddhav Thackeray with stab wounds on his back, and wrote: “This is exactly what happened.”

On the political developments in Maharashtra, Suhas Palshikar writes: “The fall of the MVA government has broader implications beyond Maharashtra. It has discredited efforts of Opposition unity, underscored the crisis of the state parties and, above all, signalled the expansion of the BJP’s ideological claims.” Read full text here.

From Maharashtra to Manipur, where at least eight people were killed and over 50 are missing after a massive landslide hit the 107 Territorial Army (TA) camp in Noney district today morning. Seven of those dead were TA jawans and one was a Railways worker engaged in the construction of the Imphal-Jiribam railway project, said sources. The TA was deployed near Tupul Railway Station in Noney district for the protection of the under-construction railway line. A statement by the Defence Public Relations Office in Imphal said columns of the Indian Army and the Assam Rifles are engaged in the rescue operations.

The Election Commission has begun the process of electoral rolls revision in Jammu and Kashmir after a gap of three years, in an indication that polls could be held in the Valley post its delimitation exercise. The EC order comes days after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that Assembly elections in the Union Territory may be held by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, China has voiced its opposition to India’s reported plans to hold the next year’s meeting of G-20 leaders in J&K, echoing close ally Pakistan’s objection, and underlined that relevant sides should avoid “politicising” the issue. “We have noted relevant information,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian. “China’s position on Kashmir is consistent and clear cut. It is a legacy issue between India and Pakistan. It should be properly resolved in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and bilateral agreements,” Zhao said.

Political Pulse

With the Assembly election in Karnataka less than a year away, the Congress is slowly getting battle-ready and its senior leadership seems to have decided to focus on the invocation of Kannada pride as a political antidote to the BJP’s Hindutva push. Former chief minister Siddaramaiah is clear that the party should not dabble in soft Hindutva and should take strong positions against attempts to attack the Constitutional rights of minorities. He is learnt to have told the leadership that the party should have taken strong positions on the hijab row. Manoj CG reports.

Naveen Patnaik posted a message on social media earlier this week along with a video of him strolling in the Sheikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi, relaxed, smiling, and in a light blue kurta – a rarity for a political leader who over the years has stuck to all-white in public appearance. On June 22, the chief minister posted photographs of him meeting the Pope in Vatican City. The two visits – to the Pope and the mosque – send out different, unaligned signals, depending on which side one is on.

Express Explained

Looking for ways to tide over its current economic crisis, Pakistan may consider giving minority shares in its public-owned companies to the United Arab Emirates at a negotiated price, according to Pakistani newspaper The Express Tribune. China, another Pakistan ally, has also stepped in to help the country with a $2.3 billion loan. As Pakistan’s economic condition has worsened over the last few years with foreign exchange reserves dipping, it has turned to various kinds of loan deals. What is wrong with Pakistan’s economy, and who all have been helping Pakistan deal with the crisis? Read here.

The CBI last week nabbed the Joint Drug Controller with the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (COSCO), S Eswara Reddy, while accepting a bribe of Rs 4 lakh from a representative of a Delhi-based firm. The probe agency has alleged that the representative was paying the bribe to get some files related to Bengaluru-based Biocon Biologics Ltd cleared by the central regulatory body. It has even arrested the Associate Vice President of the company, L Praveen Kumar. What is the caes? How is Biocon’s Praveen Kumar connected? We explain.

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