Indian Express Morning Briefing
04 MAY 2021 View in browser

Good morning!

The Second Wave

Samples of the double-mutant Indian variant of the coronavirus are being sent to the United Kingdom to enable wider studies on the effectiveness of the existing vaccines against it. Meanwhile, almost all the key states with high caseloads have reported fewer cases on Sunday, ensuring the biggest single-day drop in daily count of infections in the second wave.

In Karnataka, twenty-three Covid patients died after a government facility in Chamarajanagar district ran out of medical oxygen. The state government, however, said that only three deaths were caused by oxygen shortage.

And Monday night’s IPL game in Ahmedabad was postponed after two Kolkata Knight Riders’ players tested positive for Covid. With two non-playing members of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) contingent also testing positive, there is a cloud of uncertainty over the remaining fixtures.

Only in the Express

In an interview to The Indian Express, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who led the Congress’s campaign in West Bengal, admits the need for a change in the party functioning.

Those 18 and above stand in queue for Covid vaccination. (📸 by Amit Mehra)

Decision 2021

Meanwhile, the controversy over the Nandigram result continues to rage as TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, who lost the seat to her protege turned rival Suvendu Adhikari, showed reporters a message that was purportedly written by the Returning Officer (RO) where he said his life was under threat. The Election Commission said that the RO was indeed under pressure — but it came from the TMC to agree to a recount of all EVM votes.

“Covid played a villain role.” That was BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya’s assessment of why the party fell far short of its poll mission of wresting West Bengal from the TMC. But sources in the party also admitted that the barbs and the mocking by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against Mamata Banerjee did not resonate with the fence-sitters, especially women.

In the Kerala polls, there was a clear shift of two minority communities, Muslims and Christians, who used to be traditionally the backbone of Congress-led UDF.

And in the Uttar Pradesh Panchayat polls, a man accused of orchestrating a riot over alleged cow slaughter in Bulandshahr in 2018, in which a police inspector was killed, is among the winners.

And Finally…

He put the small industrial Rajasthan town of Kota at the heart of the country’s education map, and the centre of a Rs 3,000 crore coaching industry. Vinod Kumar Bansal, who will be remembered as the “Bhishma Pitamah” of India’s coaching industry, passed away after a long battle with muscular dystrophy.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad G

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