Your Daily Wrap: IMF cuts India’s growth forecast to 6.8%; Mulayam Singh cremated in Saifai; and more

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) today cut India’s growth forecast for FY23 to 6.8 per cent. The IMF had in July projected a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 7.4 per cent for India in the fiscal year that started in April 2022. It also  downgraded its outlook for the world economy for 2023, citing a long list of threats that include Russia’s war against Ukraine, chronic inflation pressures, punishing interest rates and the lingering consequences of the global pandemic.

Two women in Kerala were allegedly abducted, beheaded and buried as part of a suspected ‘witchcraft ritual’ to gain financial prosperity at Elanthoor village in Pathanamthitta district, the police said, adding that one person has been arrested in the case while two others are in custody. While the police took Bhagaval Singh, a traditional healer who used to attend to patients at his home, and his wife Laila, into custody, a person named Shafi alias Rasheed was arrested. The police said “the couple had been facing a financial crisis and they decided to sacrifice the women to appease God and come out of the crisis.”

Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav was cremated with full state honours in his native village Saifai in Uttar Pradesh today. A large number of people gathered to pay their last respects to the veteran socialist who died at a private hospital in Haryana’s Gurugram on Monday.

The Election Commission today allotted the “two swords and shield” symbol to the Shiv Sena faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. The Shinde faction, now named as ‘Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena’, will be able to use the symbol for the Andheri East assembly bypoll scheduled for November 3, should it decide to contest. On Monday, the EC allotted the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena faction the poll symbol of “flaming torch” (mashaal).

Political Pulse

From the Urdu Press: The high political drama playing out in Maharashtra has gripped the Urdu Press, with the battle of attrition between the Shiv Sena factions led by Uddhav Thackeray and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde continuing to rage — from streets to courts, to the Election Commission. The Urdu dailies spotlighted a tale of three Dussehra rallies — the shows of strength held by the Uddhav and Shinde Senas in Mumbai, and the RSS’ annual Nagpur rally addressed by its Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat. They also highlighted the RSS’ bid to flag issues of poverty, unemployment and rising inequality in the country, calling it a “reality check” for the Narendra Modi government.

Express Explained

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the first phase of the ‘Shri Mahakal Lok’ corridor in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain. After Vishwanath temple in Varanasi and the Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand, Mahakal temple is the third ‘jyotirlinga’ site to see a major upliftment exercise. The Rs 800-crore Mahakal corridor is four times the size of the Kashi Vishwanath corridor, which the PM had inaugurated late last year. Why does the Mahakal temple in Ujjain hold a high significance in Hinduism? We explain.

The announcement by Tamil film director Vignesh and his wife, actor Nayanthara, that they had become parents to twin boys is building up into a controversy, with speculations that the couple opted for surrogacy. During a press conference Monday, Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian said an inquiry will be conducted into the case. Though the couple has not commented on these reports, the suggestion of an inquiry has led to questions about what the surrogacy laws in India state. What are the conditions for allowing surrogacy, as per the law? How does opting for surrogacy work? Read here.

In Express Opinion today

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