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Modi scoffs at pundits, says chemistry has trumped math

Prime Minister visits Varanasi after his victory for the second time

A visit to temple: PM Modi and Amit Shah offer prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple on Monday. PTIPTI

Hitting out at political analysts after his party’s massive victory in the Lok Sabha election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday reminded them that “arithmetic had been trumped by chemistry this time.”

Debunking ‘poll pundits’, Mr. Modi said that if they don’t open their eyes and ears even after the three successful campaigns by the BJP in Uttar Pradesh — 2014, 2017 and 2019 — it means their ideas and logic have become obsolete, making them unfit for analysis in the 21st century.

On a thanksgiving visit to Varanasi after his victory for the second time, he said, “A poor man connected to the ground has a better understanding of things than those with 50-page profiles and degrees.” The election results might be about numbers, and in the 20th century even the scope of elections might have been around arithmetic, but after the BJP’s successive victories, political analysts “must accept that beyond arithmetic, there is also chemistry,” he said.

Mr. Modi said some people were playing the “same worn-out cassettes” and trying to build a “frightful” perception of his party, while deploying “lies” to ensure that a “correct perception” was not built.

Mr. Modi said more than 90% of the forces established in the country in the last 70 years were behind the negative campaign. But, he said, “transparency and hard work” allowed his party and him to move forward, despite efforts to damage their perception.

Mr. Modi also questioned the “Hindi heartland party” tag for the BJP, saying it was heading governments in every region of the country. He said such a perception was being created, though it was the biggest party in Karnataka, had ruled Goa for many years, had a representative in Ladakh and was running governments in the northeastern States and increasing its vote share in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir.

Cong. in disarray as Rahul insists on stepping down

Another CWC session likely; leaders dismiss speculation

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi paying homage to Jawaharlal Nehru on his death anniversary in New Delhi. Sandeep Saxena The Hindu

Forty eight hours after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) met and analysed the party’s débâcle in the Lok Sabha election, there was no clarity on whether Rahul Gandhi would continue as party president.

Sources told The Hindu that there could be another CWC meeting later this week if Mr. Gandhi insisted on stepping down.

Mr. Gandhi is learnt to have asked treasurer Ahmed Patel and general secretary K.C. Venugopal to look for his replacement when they met him on Monday.

‘Reports baseless’

Mr. Patel, however, denied these reports. “I had sought time before the CWC to meet the Congress president to discuss routine administrative work. The meeting today was in that context. All other speculation is incorrect and baseless,” he tweeted in response to reports that Mr. Gandhi was insisting on stepping down.

Sources, however, told The Hindu that Mr. Venugopal — the only other All India Congress Committee office-bearer who met Mr. Gandhi — was locked in back-to-back meetings with senior leaders, including Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, general secretaries and State in-charges, including Jyotiraditya Scindia and Rajeev Satav.

P.S. Golay becomes CM of Sikkim

Succeeds Pawan Chamling; 11 MLAs take oath as Ministers

P.S. Golay

Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) was on Monday sworn in as the Chief Minister of Sikkim. Mr. Golay’s party, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM), won 17 of the 32 Assembly seats in the April 11 election.

The Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), which ruled the State for 25 years, won 15 seats.

Longest-serving CM

He succeeds Pawan Chamling of the SDF, who has the record for being the longest serving Chief Minister of the country, having won five consecutive terms for a little over 24 years.

Governor Ganga Prasad administered the oath of office to Mr. Golay at a grand ceremony at Palzor Stadium in Gangtok.

Eleven other MLAs were sworn in as Ministers, including Kunga Nima Lepcha, the acting president of the SKM who won from two seats; Arun Uperti, the MLA from Airthang; and Sonam Lama, who won from Sangha, a seat reserved for monks.

Mr. Golay, 51, the sixth Chief Minister of the Himalayan State, started his career as a school teacher. He was elected to the Assembly in 1994 as an SDF candidate when he was just 26 and went on to serve as Minister holding several portfolios for three consecutive terms till 2009.

Young man shot at for his name in Begusarai

Mohammed Qasim’s attacker at large

A young man, Mohammed Qasim, was shot at in Begusarai district of Bihar on Sunday morning allegedly after the assailant asked him his name. An FIR was later lodged at the local police station but the accused, who was named, has not yet been arrested.

Mr. Qasim, 28, was shot at in Kumbhi village allegedly by a local criminal Rajiv Yadav. The victim, a detergent salesman, had gone to Kumbhi on his bike to collect money from customers.

A video of an injured Mr. Qasim speaking about the incident has gone viral on social media.

“I was stopped by Rajiv Yadav and he asked for my name… when I told him, he fired on me, saying “What are you doing here? You should go to Pakistan,” Mr. Qasim says in the video. “Rajiv Yadav was drunk and when he started loading another cartridge in his pistol, I pushed him and fled leaving my motorcycle.”

Shot in the back, Mr. Qasim said none of the bystanders came to his rescue at first. However, when Yadav left the spot after firing in the air, some villagers took him to the local police station and the police then admitted him to the local government hospital.

Mr. Qasim was later shifted to a private nursing home. “He is still critical. Doctors are scheduled to operate on him to remove the bullet,” Mohammed Javed, his brother, told The Hindu over the phone.

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