Your Daily Wrap: Nitish takes oath as Bihar CM for eighth time, SC transfers all FIRs against Nupur to Delhi; and more

In the top story of the day, JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar took oath as Bihar Chief Minister for the eighth time in a ceremony held at Raj Bhavan in Patna. Speaking to the media, he took a veiled attack at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and stated the BJP-led NDA regime at the Centre needs to “worry” about its prospects in the 2024 general elections. “Those who came to power in 2014, will they be victorious in 2024? I would like all (opposition) to be united for 2024,” said Nitish, who snapped ties with the BJP before joining forces with Mahagathbandan (Grand Alliance).

While refraining from commenting on his national plan and his Prime Ministerial ambition for the 2024 general elections at this stage, Nitish, who is considered to be among the country’s most astute and seasoned politicians, pointed to a Bihar template of Opposition unity comprising the Congress, Socialist and Left parties with a common goal of taking on the BJP.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday transferred to Delhi all the FIRs registered against former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma over her remarks on Prophet Muhammed and clubbed them with the one registered in the national capital. They will now be investigated by Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit, which is investigating the Delhi case. The court also gave Sharma protection from arrest till the investigation is completed in the matter.

Justice Uday Umesh Lalit was on Wednesday appointed as the 49th Chief Justice of India after President Droupadi Murmu signed his warrant of appointment. He will assume charge on August 27 after incumbent N V Ramana demits office the day before. “In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, judge of the Supreme Court, to be the Chief Justice of India with effect from 27 August, 2022,” a law ministry notification said.

The Supreme Court Wednesday granted bail to activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, on medical grounds, news agency PTI reported. While granting bail, a bench headed by Justice U U Lalit said he shall not misuse the liberty in any manner.

Investigations into the communal murders in the coastal Karnataka region of Dakshina Kannada and Mangaluru between July 20 and July 28 indicate a pattern similar to that seen in 20 murders in Karnataka over the last decade. As many as nine murders, including the recent three, were tit-for-tat killings, while all involve local gangsters with affiliations to either right-wing Hindutva fringe groups, or the radical Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI).

Limits imposed on domestic airfares will be removed from August 31, after a span of approximately 27 months, the Union Aviation Ministry said on Wednesday. “The decision to remove air fare caps has been taken after careful analysis of daily demand and prices of air turbine fuel (ATF). Stabilisation has set in and we are certain that the sector is poised for growth in domestic traffic in the near future,” Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Twitter.

Political Pulse

In the campaign for the Gujarat Assembly elections, the Aam Aadmi Party seems to be making a concerted push to woo traders and small businessmen and industrialists. On Wednesday, AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal addressed his third town hall in 10 days with them, this time in Ahmedabad. Kejriwal had earlier held similar town halls in Rajkot and Jamnagar districts of Saurashtra, which are considered the state’s MSME hubs.

The Congress’s “Azadi ki Gaurav Yatra” in Uttar Pradesh started off on a dull note on Tuesday, illustrating the problems that the party — debilitated after a series of electoral reverses — faces in the state. The yatra is being organised to mark the week leading up to Independence Day but has received a tepid response so far. But what concerns state Congress leaders and workers the most is the absence of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday. Read Maulshree Seth’s report to know how Congress activists are reacting.

Express Explained

Almost three years after the novel coronavirus was detected in China, a new zoonotic virus has been discovered in the country’s two eastern provinces with 35 infections identified so far. This new type of Henipavirus is also being called Langya Henipavirus or the LayV. What is Langya Henipavirus? We explain

The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs has written to industry and other concerned stakeholders, inviting them to brainstorm a plan for having one cable for charging all your devices. The ministry’s move comes in the backdrop of the concept of LiFE — Lifestyle for the Environment — announced by the Prime Minister at the UN Climate Change Conference (CoP 26) held in Glasgow in November last year. So, how is the government planning to go ahead with it and what does it mean for the industry? We explain

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