Your Daily Wrap: Modi meets Putin at SCO Summit; fresh ED raids in Delhi liquor policy case; and more

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday held talks on the sidelines of the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). It is the first meeting between the two leaders after the Ukraine conflict broke out in February this year. At the meeting, Modi told Putin that now is not a time for war, with food, fertiliser and fuel security among the major concerns of the world at present. Earlier in the day, PM Modi also met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Prime Minister Modi also said that the SCO member countries should grant rights to transit and improve connectivity. Modi’s reference was clearly to Pakistan, whose Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was present at the SCO leaders’ session. He also flagged the impact on global supply chains due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the energy and food security issues.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today launched search operations at 40 locations across the country in connection with its money laundering probe into the Delhi liquor policy case. Hours later, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Centre is using investigative agencies to threaten everyone in the country, adding that he doesn’t “understand what is the scam in the liquor policy.”

Meanwhile, hours after AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan joined an investigation in connection with his role as the Delhi Waqf Board Chairman, the Delhi anti-corruption branch conducted raids in multiple places related to him, and allegedly recovered an unlicensed pistol and Rs 12 lakh in cash.

Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh is all set to join the BJP next week in New Delhi. His party, Punjab Lok Congress, today announced its merger with the BJP. In an interview with The Indian Express the day before the merger was announced, Singh spoke on a range of issues, including the AAP government, the ruling party’s allegation that the BJP was trying to buy off its MLAs, Raghav Chadha’s role in the state, and his opposition to the Agnipath scheme. Edited excerpts here.

Political Pulse

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to inaugurate the intercontinental cheetah translocation project at the Kuno National Park in Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh tomorrow. With the release of eight cheetahs being brought from Namibia, the big cat species will be reintroduced in India after 70 years since being declared extinct in 1952. While it may be another ‘Modi hai to mumkin hai’ moment tomorrow, but Jawaharlal Nehru onwards, it’s not the first time leaders have displayed a keen ‘animal instinct’.

As Asaduddin Owaisi readies his party — the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) — for Rajasthan elections, he says the Congress “has become a circus” in the state, adding that the nine Muslim MLAs in the Assembly were “helpless and weak” and their voices were not heard by the government. Tearing into the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre over issues such as unemployment and violence perpetrated by cow vigilantes, Owaisi says the prime minister runs faster than a cheetah when asked about unemployment. Deep Mukherjee reports.

Express Explained

With the death of Queen Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom on September 8, King Charles III has been proclaimed the monarch. The formal coronation ceremony will see him wear the Imperial State Crown for the first time. While no date has been announced for it yet, what is known is that several of the other Crown Jewels will be a part of the ceremony, and the Kohinoor diamond will also be seen. So who does the Kohinoor go to? How did the Kohinoor diamond reach Britain’s royals? Read here.

Movie Reviews: This week we reviewed Diljit Dosanjh’s Jogi, Manish Mundra’s Siya, Prakash Jha starrer Matto Ki Saikil, and Ratnaa Sinha’s Middle Class Love. Watch it or skip it? Read our reviews to decide.

In Express Opinion today

PB Mehta writes: Madhava Rao, a statesman from a princely state whose administrative qualities PM Modi extolled

At Central Vista, a flawed decolonisation project by BJP-RSS

Why there is hope for the cheetah in India

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