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2. In Cong shakeup, a boost for Team Rahul

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2. In Cong shakeup, a boost for Team Rahul The Congress on Friday effected a major organisational reshuffle, while laying down a clear roadmap for an AICC session to elect the new party president with the naming of an election authority. And while the dissident letter headlined by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad that sought an organisational overhaul appears to have borne fruit on the face of it, the real effect appeared questionable.

Gainers: The shakeup has raised prospects that Rahul Gandhi may shed his reluctance and take back the reins of the party. Little wonder then, there’s been a legup for his confidants like Randeep Singh Surjewala, KC Venugopal, Shaktisinh Gohil, Jitendra Singh, Ajay Maken, Rajeev Satav, Manickam Tagore and RPN Singh — who have either secured key assignments as general secretaries or in-charges of states or membership of the Congress Working Committee (the party’s top decision-making panel) or promotion within the CWC.

The shakeup has raised prospects that Rahul Gandhi may shed his reluctance and take back the reins of the party. Little wonder then, there’s been a legup for his confidants like Randeep Singh Surjewala, KC Venugopal, Shaktisinh Gohil, Jitendra Singh, Ajay Maken, Rajeev Satav, Manickam Tagore and RPN Singh — who have either secured key assignments as general secretaries or in-charges of states or membership of the Congress Working Committee (the party’s top decision-making panel) or promotion within the CWC. Losers: Azad has been dropped as a general secretary though he remains a part of the CWC. Ambika Soni, Mallikarjun Kharge and Luizinho Faleiro were also dropped as general secretaries. Party leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was pushed down from the main CWC body to a ‘permanent invitee’ as well.

Azad has been dropped as a general secretary though he remains a part of the CWC. Ambika Soni, Mallikarjun Kharge and Luizinho Faleiro were also dropped as general secretaries. Party leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was pushed down from the main CWC body to a ‘permanent invitee’ as well. For now: Sonia Gandhi will remain interim chief and a six-member special committee will assist her as was demanded by the dissidents. But it is nothing more than a logistical arrangement designed to steer the organisation towards the AICC session which may be held around January — none that will ensure “collective decision-making” as was stressed on in the dissident letter.

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5 THINGS FIRST Today: PM Modi to launch houses for poor in MP; Peace talks between Taliban and Afghan govt begin in Qatar, Premier League kicks off; Tomorrow: NEET 2020; US Open final

3. Maharashtra’s million mark Maharashtra crossed a grim mark of over 1 million Covid-19 case count after nearly 25,000 new infections (24,886) were confirmed on Friday. The state accounts for nearly 22% of India’s total cases. If it were a country, Maharashtra would be the fifth worst-hit globally, with 10,15,681 cases, and may soon cross Russia’s count of 1.05 million cases.

The national outlook:

Friday: 97,937 new cases (a record) and 1,249 fatalities

Total: 4,653,193 cases and 77,384 fatalities

Six other states — Uttar Pradesh (7,103 new cases), Odisha (3,996), Punjab (2,526), Madhya Pradesh (2,240), Rajasthan (1,660) and Gujarat (1,344) — also reported their highest daily count yet.

Yet, even this high official number of confirmed cases could be an underestimation — and by a distance. By early May alone, India may have had 6,468,388 adult Covid-19 infections, the results of a serological survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research said.

crossed a grim mark of over 1 million Covid-19 case count after nearly 25,000 new infections (24,886) were confirmed on Friday. The state accounts for nearly 22% of India’s total cases. If it were a country, Maharashtra would be the fifth worst-hit globally, with 10,15,681 cases, and may soon cross Russia’s count of 1.05 million cases., even this high official number of confirmed cases could be an underestimation — and by a distance. By early May alone, India may have had 6,468,388 adult Covid-19 infections, the results of a serological survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research said.

4. Is suicide a crime or mental health issue? Should the survivor of an attempted suicide be punished as per Indian Penal Code or be rehabilitated under Mental Healthcare Act? The Supreme Court on Friday sought to know from the Centre.

What they say: “Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year” — Section 309 of IPC

“Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year” — Section 309 of IPC “Notwithstanding anything contained in section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code.” — Section 115 of MH Act.

The debate on ethicality and legality of punishing the survivors of suicide bid has led to several jurisdictions globally decriminalising the offence, which continues to attract punishment in India. However, in 2018, the SC in a landmark judgment had said SC’s 1996 judgment in Gian Kaur…

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