WHY RR NAGAR AND SIRA ARE MORE THAN JUST BYPOLLS IN KARNATAKA - The Daily Guardian
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WHY RR NAGAR AND SIRA ARE MORE THAN JUST BYPOLLS IN KARNATAKA

For the BJP, it’s not just about winning the two seats in the Karnataka by-elections. Winning or losing them makes little difference to the party’s overall numbers in the Assembly. Then why has the saffron party put everything into the two seats?

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At the height of the campaign for the Sira bypoll that was held on 3 November—whose results will be announced on 10 November—all roads led to a tiny farmhouse in the remote Bellavi village in the largely arid Tumakuru district of southern Karnataka.

A few miles from the little-known Sira, this is where Vijayendra, the 44-year-old son of Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa and the party’s state unit vice president, had set up his election war room for the 3 November bypoll that incidentally saw a record 84.5% turnout.

Vijayendra isn’t the candidate, but he could well be. In fact, the surprise entry of BSY’s son to manage the BJP’s prospects turned a straight fight between the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) into a triangular contest overnight. It saw Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda and his son, JD(S) president H.D. Kumaraswamy, hotfooting to Sira in a bid to retain control of the poll, with victory predicated on support from the Kunchatiga Vokkaliga sub-sect.

In fact, the Congress big guns, newly inducted Congress state chief D.K. Shivakumar and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, arrived there as well, and so did the respected Kunchatiga seer, who, in an unusual break with practice, visited the home of the JD(S) leaders, only reinforcing the buzz that the seer was trying to stop a backroom deal between Kumaraswamy and Vijayendra that would see the Vokkaliga votes go en masse to the BJP.

The JD(S), with its shrinking footprint in the state, draws its support from the Mandya-Mysuru belt and faced embarrassment when the Vokkaligas snubbed JD(S) patriarch Deve Gowda. Fighting a joint Congress-JD(S) candidate, in a parliamentary poll, he paid the price then for not diverting the waters of the Hemavathi to this area and choosing to route it to his own backyard.

All eyes right now are on not just the United States, where a woman—and a woman of colour, part Indian at that—was finally elected to the second highest office in the land, but on Karnataka and Bihar too, where results will be out on 10 November. And in Bihar, it could spell the end of the Nitish Kumar-led coalition government, as people across the world are voting out incumbents who no longer seem to address their aspiration—be it in Washington, Patna or Sira.

This is a vote for change. And journalists who have rarely interacted with the son of the Karnataka CM at such close quarters sense that the manner in which Vijayendra is seeking to widen his party’s imprint, beyond the Lingayat-dominated swathe of the centre and the north, was a force for change. They are impressed with Vijayendra’s number crunching, his outreach to every community, be it the SC (left)-ST or the Other Backward Castes, which have traditionally stayed with the Congress, and his discussions on how to boost farming incomes, jobs and education in his conversation with community leaders in this largely agrarian economy.

Given that the Lingayat community, traditionally backers of the BJP, numbers a minuscule 5,000 in this constituency and have little or no impact in the southern part of the state, Vijayendra needs the requisite numbers on board to win it for the BJP’s young candidate, ex-Congressman Dr Rajesh Gowda. He is up against Congress veteran T.B. Jayachandra who, in the last poll, lost to the JD(S)’s B. Satyanarayana. It is the latter’s death that has necessitated the bypoll. Satnarayana’s widow, the reluctant and ailing Ammajamma, who wanted her son fielded, is the JD(S) candidate in this Kunchajiga Vokkaliga-dominated seat.

The answer to why Vijayendra is taking on the impossible is manifold. Red-faced last year when a BJP cabal blocked him from standing from Varuna in his bid to checkmate Congress leader Siddaramaiah’s son, Yatindra, in the 2018 Assembly polls, as the RSS pracharaks screamed dynastic politics and money power, only months later in December 2019, Vijayendra delivered the K.R. Pete seat in the heart of Vokkaliga country. It was a bypoll that no one in the BJP wanted to oversee, until a young Ashwath Narayan, the state’s deputy chief minister, who is a Vokkaliga, and Vijayendra, the Lingayat outsider in the south, took it on – and won.

This time too, the parallels are striking. No one in the BJP wanted to touch Sira. Barring that is Vijayendra, who, as the party’s newly appointed vice president, was determined to prove that his father’s writ isn’t restricted to his Lingayat base, however strong and impactful on election results that vote is for the BJP.

Will he win it for the party? And if he does, will he finally silence the triumvirate of state party chiefs and BSY critics, Nalin Kumar Kateel, B.L. Santhosh and Pralhad Joshi, who want to push virtually the only BJP leader who wins polls for the party today out to pasture. Or is this a sop—being given the post of state vice president, at the first step, to assuage BSY’s hurt and sense of being wronged if he is forced into stepping down as chief minister this coming December? Now, Vijayendra is also being offered the chance to contest the Basavakalyan seat that his advisers would like him to take on, as it is a Lingayat-dominated seat. If he wins, it would give the young leader much needed experience as a legislator in the assembly. Except, once again, after Sira, will it be a quid pro quo for a BSY exit? And is this what BSY wants: A sunset deal in return for a safe haven for his son, who can then be groomed to fill his shoes as the next Lingayat face of the BJP? Will the anti-BSY group greenlight it? The BJP knows the consequences they could face if BSY chooses to leave in a huff as he did when he launched the Karnataka Janata Party and the rump BJP won 40 odd seats instead of its mark of 130.

The bypolls will simultaneously be a test for Congress’ Pradesh Congress chief D.K. Shivakumar, who aspires to be the face of the Vokkaliga community in the state. Faced with his first set of bypolls after he took over the helm from former Congress chief minister Siddarmaiah’s protégé, Dinesh Gundurao, in a constituency controlled by the JD(S), he also has the bypoll for the R.R. Nagar seat in the state capital Bengaluru to win. He has put his brother D.K. Suresh in charge and fielded H. Kusuma, the young Vokkaliga widow of former IAS officer D.K. Ravi, who took his own life, as the candidate.

The BJP, in turn, has fielded Congress turncoat T. Munirathna as its candidate here. Munirathna, alongside 17 other Congress legislators switched to the BJP, brought down the JD(S)-led Congress government, and opened the doors for a quietly triumphant BSY to form a BJP government again in the state last year.

Congress insiders openly admit that R. R. Nagar, which Munirathna has won consecutive terms, could be virtually unwinnable as many Congress workers have stayed loyal to the former Congressman, rather than the party. A master at marshalling votes, with slum clusters in this largely wealthy neighbourhood, said to be completely under his control, he is up against D.K. Shivakumar’s proclivity to turn adversity to his advantage. The buzz is that, despite the low voter turnout of 45.2%, D.K. Shivakumar may have co-opted much of that street power for the Congress.

And this may be spinning from the conspiracy theory doing the rounds that the chief minister, despite his promise of a cabinet berth to Muniratna, doesn’t want him to win. And even if he does win, doesn’t really want him in his cabinet either, handling the lucrative Power portfolio. He may have signalled as much to his party workers, say Congress insiders, even as the BJP laughs off the charge, insisting they will win both seats. Meanwhile, the Congress is making the same claim.

In Sira though, DK is up against the JD(S), a long term foe, invested in ensuring that he does not emerge as the Vokkaliga leader who eclipses the father-son duo and their legacy. D.K. Shivakumar’s other ‘frenemy’ could be the Congress’ strongman and Kuruba leader, Siddaramaiah. Congress insiders say that in Sira, the Kuruba vote could be diverted to the BJP, if only to ensure that Shivakumar is cut to size.

As for the BSY-Vijayendra duo, a victory for the BJP is said to have everything to do with pushing the chief minister to hang up his shoes. That his meetings in Delhi with Prime Minister Narendra Modi are not marked by the bonhomie they shared when they were both chief ministers of their respective states is no secret. Equations changed with the demise of Arun Jaitley, the man who saw early on the potential in Modi as well as Yediyurappa. In BSY’s case, he picked the latter over Lal Krishna Advani’s then favourite Ananth Kumar as the face of the party in the state. Pralhad Joshi, who has the ear of the powerful electoral tactician, and Home Minister Amit Shah, is said to be the prime mover behind the push for a younger BJP leader. Thus far, none of BSY’s contemporaries, neither Jagadish Shettar or Sadananda Gowda, has proved equal to the task. Pralhad Joshi’s ambitions to step into BSY shoes may be scuppered because he is a Brahmin. Basvanagouda Patil Yatnal’s vitriol against BSY has largely nixed his chances.

For the BJP, then, it’s not just about winning the two seats in the Karnataka bypolls. Winning or losing them makes little difference to their numbers in the house. This is about ensuring that Vijayendra comes out smelling like roses and that his father, the BJP leader credited with giving them their first presence in the south, is given an honourable exit.

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SPORTS AL DENTE TO DISTRIBUTE FREE JERSEYS

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Sports Al Dente is a rapidly growing sports news and updates website that attracts over a million site visits each month. The website’s impressive numbers are in large part due to the credibility it champions in its coverage. Sports Al Dente boasts about its exclusive content curated by dedicated sports enthusiasts and analysts.

From post-game discussions to analysis and exhaustive match reports, the website has witnessed significant growth in terms of the type of content it publishes each day. Along with providing sports fans all around the world with reliable and unbiased news, the website has now decided to venture out of cyberspace and cater to the underprivileged and masses deprived of proper sports and games facilities. In a partnership with its sister company OtakuRage, Sports Al Dente is now seeking to distribute free jerseys to the underprivileged of society. The initiative by Al Dente comes after the company decided to expand its reach to other parts of India and beyond. Based in Surat, the website has been catering to masses all over the world. The overarching mission of Al Dente has been to popularise sports and games in general. While the Indian sports scene does have a large number of athletes and enthusiasts with a keen interest in various sports, the fledgling facilities and general lack of awareness have been a massive roadblock. Sports Al Dente’s latest partnership with OtakuRage is the company’s efforts at combating the prevailing issues with the Indian sports scene.

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CANHEAL TO OFFER A WIDE RANGE OF TEAS FOR CANCER FIGHTERS

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CanHeal, a one-of-its-kind platform and e-commerce portal for all the life needs of cancer fighters and winners, on wednesday added a wide range of Darjeeling, Green and Herbal teas having health benefits for cancer fighters.

CanHeal has tied up with Darjeeling Sips to offer a large variety of tea sourced directly from tea estates in Darjeeling and the surrounding areas. CanHeal has also added to its portfolio of accessories a range of Chemo Pillows and custom-designed Chemo Bag. Explaining the additions to a wide range of products already available on the CanHeal portal, Anchal Sharma, Founder of CanHeal said, “CanHeal launched its e-commerce and community portal couple of months ago intending with an objective to offer all those products that cancer fighters and winners require to live their life with verve. During my fight against cancer, I came to know of the health benefits of tea in addition to its taste as I was always a fan of Darjeeling Sips sourced directly from tea estates that grow and brew a variety of tea in a socially responsible and planet-friendly way, hence the best fit for cancer fighters.”

“We have also added some smart products to our range of accessories – chemo bag that has been custom designed to hold all that is required during the day-long chemo sessions and pillows that include seat belt pillows, port pillow, armpit pillow and all-in-one comfort pillow to meet the cushioning needs arising due to cancer of different parts of the body. CanHeal is committed to continue adding new products to meet all the needs of cancer fighters at one source.”

CanHeal is in discussion with multiple brands to further expand the range of specially curated products for cancer fighters and winners.CanHeal is a one-of-its-kind Indian e-platform exclusively designed to serve the life needs of Cancer fighters and winners. CanHeal offers a range of Skincare, Body care & Haircare products, Apparel, Food & Nutrition Supplements to enhance immunity and regain strength and Accessories designed specifically for the comfort of patients undergoing treatment and cancer winners having special needs. This product range has been curated by Anchal Sharma.

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Top five upcoming developers changing the skyline of Delhi NCR

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MRG World (Gurugram), Whiteland Corporation (Gurugram), Maasters Infra (Noida), SKA Group (Noida), and Axon Developers emerged as the ‘Top Five Emerging Developers of NCR’ in the list announced by a Delhi-based research firm.

The survey was conducted by International Brand & Research Forum (IBRF) across the region with a special focus on projects launched, projects delivered, and progress of the projects as per RERA; IBRF researched the quality and feedback index on various parameters to come up with the result. The prime focus was on the developers operating in Noida and Gurugram market. Maasters Infra Group, instituted by seasoned professionals and under the patronage of five-decade-old infra company K. R. A. Engineers & Contractors, announced their first commercial project Maasters Capitol Avenue spread over 5 acres in Sector 63, Noida. The project will have office space and retail; the project’s total area would be 10,00,000 sq. ft. to be completed in 42 to 45 months. The company says that the total sales realisation from the project is between Rs. 800 crore to Rs. 1,000 crore. The Group is also coming up with a residential project and one IT project.

Whiteland Corporation, a real estate development company founded by industry stalwart, Mr. Navdeep JP Sardana unveiled the first look of their maiden commercial project Urban Cubes 71 recently in Gurugram. Some of the brands signed, include Striker, Beer Cafe, Nostalgia, Houz Cafe & Bar. The project on Golf Course Road extension, Sector 71, Gurugram, is on a land parcel of about 3 acres acquired from DLF. Urban Cubes 71 is an approved SCO (Shop-cum-Office) development with a total of 34 state-of-art buildings with maximum development facing the main road making it highly attractive. The project is slated to be delivered by October 2022 with a total salable area of 4.5 lac sq. ft. and a projected sales value of Rs. 500 crore.

Realty firm Axon Developers, which has been newly set up by promoters of brokerage firm 360 Realtors, has recently taken over two stressed real estate projects in Delhi-NCR and will invest over Rs. 300 crore to complete them. The company has entered into a development agreement to complete Keltech Kumar Imperial Green project, comprising 350 flats at Noida extension in Uttar Pradesh. It has fully acquired a retail project ‘Manish Gallexie 91’, having 3.5 lakh square feet saleable area, in Gurugram from Manish Buildwell. The company expects a sales realisation of around Rs. 650 crore from these two projects, of which Rs. 500 crores will come from retail projects. Axon Developers is looking at acquiring more projects in Delhi, Noida, Gurugram and Lucknow, both through greenfield and brownfield routes.

SKA GROUP was formed with a view to construct group housing society in Greater Noida-West. SKA Group was started in the year 2012. Recently, the Group announced its luxury residential project, SKA Orion in Sector-143, Noida. Spread over 3.5 acres, the cost of the project is Rs. 400 crore out of which Rs. 300 crore is the cost of construction and Rs. 100 crore is the land cost. The Group is looking at total sales realisation of approximately Rs. 450 crore. To be developed in single-phase, the project has 508 units of 3 BHK configuration; the company has launched 380 units of the total stock and will complete the project by 2026. All projects are completed before time. Presently, five projects are in progress and all projects are ahead of their schedule.

Catering to the affordable housing segment, MRG World has ensured that they live up to the expectations of the middle class to move into their abodes as soon as possible. The directors – Rajat Goel and Vikas Garg – set up the company with a motive to cater to the segment that has the maximum demand. MRG World ensured that they deliver projects before the promised deadline.

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Former Trump lawyer to auction NFT of memoirs written in prison

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Michael Cohen, former lawyer and “fixer” of erstwhile United States President Donald Trump will display and auction a non-fungible token of the first page of his memoirs written while serving his prison term, NFT platform and curated marketplace ArtGrails announced on Wednesday.

The ArtGrails NFT exhibition will run from December 1 through December 12.

The successful bidder will receive the original manuscript, which was handwritten by Cohen while serving the first days of his federal sentence in New York’s Otisville Prison, as well as an NFT-backed video of Cohen working on the memoir’s first pages from his holding cell. The video, recorded by an unnamed colleague, was filmed just before the former Trump attorney was sent back to his luxury Park Avenue apartment to serve the rest of his term.

Bidding will begin on December 1 at 5 PM Eastern Time and will go on till December 12, 5 PM Eastern Time. In addition to the manuscript, ArtGrails is releasing a set of fixed price Cohen’s prison badges in an NFT Edition release on December 12 at 4 PM Eastern Time, which will feature three different levels of rarity – Open, Gold and Grail.

ArtGrails is a curated NFT experience, and as such, we are working with some of the highest caliber creators and artists in the market today.” Says ArtGrails.com founder, Avery Andon. “When Michael [Cohen] came to me after deciding to release his manuscript and federal prison badge, I knew this had to be a project facilitated by our platform. Integrating an NFT into the release of this one-of-a-kind physical item, not only validates them using blockchain technology, but it also gave us the ability to incorporate some creativity into the release.”

In addition to the NFT-backed physical manuscript page, written on Cohen’s personal letterhead, and his actual Prison Badge from Otisville Federal Prison, the team at ArtGrails is making available limited release NFT versions of Cohen’s Otisville Federal Prison badge. These NFTs will be released in three different levels of rarity, “open”, “gold”, and “grail”.

ArtGrails will host a VIP party and Q&A media event in Miami’s design district on Friday, December 3, the event will feature a live video appearance by Michael Cohen who will read from his manuscript and also take limited questions from the event attendees and media.

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EVERY TIME YOU OPEN A CHILEAN PRODUCT YOU ARE ‘UNBOXING CHILE’

The main objective of Unboxing Chile is to offer India a box full of diverse experiences, opening which will trigger the senses of Indian consumers into experiencing the culture, scenic beauties, colours, and aromas.

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The India office of ProChile, the agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, which promotes the export of Chilean goods and services and whose role is to boost the commercial relationship between Chile and India hosted a one-of-a-kind event titled ‘Unboxing Chile’ on 26 November 2021.

Ambassador of Chile to India, H.E. Juan Angulo with Ms. Marcela Alejandra Zuñiga Alegria, Trade Commissioner of ProChile




The Chilean products showcased at the event were fresh produce like kiwi fruit, cherries, blueberries, and apples and dry fruit like walnuts.
The event that was hosted at Hotel Leela in Gurugram saw the participation of leading Indian food, travel, and lifestyle writers, influencers, and enthusiasts.
The main objective of Unboxing Chile is to offer India a box full of diverse experiences

The main objective of Unboxing Chile is to offer India a box full of diverse experiences, opening which, will trigger the senses of Indian consumers into experiencing the culture, scenic beauties, colors, and aromas. In turn, they get to feel the spirit of Chile, its warmth, all the beautiful places that Chile can show, and the identity of the Chilean people stamped in their products.

The event that was hosted at Hotel Leela in Gurugram saw the participation of leading Indian food, travel and lifestyle writers, influencers and enthusiasts.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador of Chile to India, H.E. Juan Angulo, remarked that “Chile and India share a tremendous relationship that is based on shared values. Economic partnership between the two countries continues to grow and food is a very important part of this. Indians are slowly getting a taste of Chilean foods and are beginning to appreciate the quality that Chilean produce brings. Chile is bestowed with a unique topography to make Chile a phytosanitary island. This is a primary reason for the high quality of produce that comes from there.”

Marcela Alejandra Zuñiga Alegria, Trade Commissioner of ProChile in India said that the goal of ProChile is to bring Chile closer to India and improve the visibility of Chile, as a country, supplier and partner. ProChile is a nonprofit entity, whose main objective is to improve bilateral trade between both countries. Unboxing Chile is an international campaign that comes alive tonight in India and provides an incredible opportunity to know and connect with Chile, its flavors and its people.

The Chilean products showcased at the event were fresh produce like kiwifruit, cherries, blueberries and apples and dry fruit like Walnuts. Chilean wines were also showcased. Unboxing Chile also exhibited tourism possibilities in Chile. The evening was thoroughly enjoyed by those present and the Chefs at Leela under the leadership of their Executive Chef Ashish Bhasin put out an extensive menu featuring Chilean fruits and dry fruits.

This truly was an opportunity to get to know Chile and its wonderful bounty. Unboxing Chile stimulates one’s senses and through this experience, created memories that will not let those who attended forget the magical goodness of Chile. This was Unboxing Chile. As it was said, “Every time you open a Chilean Product you are #Unboxing Chile.”

Chilean ambassador Juan Angulo said, “Economic partnership between the two countries continues to grow and food is a very important part of this.”

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You end up saying things in writers room that come out only during therapy: Garima Pura

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Garima Pura

Writer Garima Pura joined NewsX for a candid chat as part of NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive conversation, Garima, who is the co-writer of the Netflix show ‘Little things’ opened up about her journey of working as a screenwriter.

Garima started off by giving us insights about her fellow writers and sharing her experience of being the writer of a prominent show like ‘little things’ she said, “ The first and second season were written by Dhruv Sehgal, he is the original writer. When Netflix picked it up for the third season is when they asked for a diversity in the writers teams. Writers room experience per say was all heart. You end up saying things that come out only during therapy. Writing is a fairly personal experience. There is craft and technique but mostly there is experiences and emotions. So all the writers have to become friends and get to know each other well. You just put all those experiences in the mix on the table and then pick what is good for the show. She went to say that, ‘’This is not purely experience based, there’s fiction too

Talking more about her writers room experience and how she bagged the project, Garima shared, “Little things writers rooms was first few in the country. This concept is seen an advent with the advent of OTTs. At that time, I was already floating my work with the production houses to see if I get something or not. I was presenting and asking to be given an opportunity. That is when ‘Little things’ team went through my profile. We had to write sample scripts and a solid screening process post which we were picked. Then we found ourselves in a little writers room where we met day and day out.

Sharing about the overwhelming response from the audience on the third season of the show, Garima expressed, “There are so many talented people out there who deserve their writing to be showcased. Being in this position, I feel so honored and privileged that I got an opportunity so early in my carrier to contribute to an already solid show. I feel great and humble at the same time and it also inspires me to do better work and tell stories which are honest and people feel close to.”

When asked about her previous work experiences, the writer said, “ I have made documentaries in the past and I’ve been different types of writer at different stages. Till the time I was in studying in Chandigarh, filmmaking was no where in the horizon, I just wanted to be a writer. I had published poems and stories and enrolled in a media course to become a journalist. So there I felt like film making is a good vessel to share my experiences and be heard.”

For our final question, we asked Garima about her upcoming projects, to which she revealed, “ Right now I am doing dialogues for an 8 episode web show. I am extremely excited for this because it’s North Indian dialogues as I have a good command over this lingo. Next, I am working with Audible and a couple of short films here and there. I wrote a feature documentary “Sacred bond” which is about an orphan elephant who is being taken care of by human parents”.

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