Morning Digest | Lok Sabha clears Bill restoring States’ rights to specify OBC groups; Biden rules out changes in U.S. troop withdrawal plan from Afghan, and more

A select list of stories to read before you start your day.

Lok Sabha clears Bill restoring States’ rights to specify OBC groups

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Constitution 127th Amendment Bill, 2021 with unanimous support from the House and not a single vote against, with Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. Virendra Kumar stating that there was a need for a careful examination of the demand made by several Lok Sabha MPs to remove the 50% cap on reservations currently in place.

Biden rules out changes in troop withdrawal plan from Afghanistan

U.S. President Joe Biden Tuesday, August 10, ruled out any change in the withdrawal of his troops from Afghanistan despite the Taliban increasingly gaining control over large parts of the country.

Chaos in Rajya Sabha as Opposition members protest from table top

The Rajya Sabha witnessed extraordinary scenes on Tuesday, with Opposition members, majority of whom dressed in black or sporting black bands, clambered onto the table in front of the Chair, protesting against the government for trying to push through a diluted debate on the farmers’ issue instead of going for a repeal of the three controversial farm laws.

Parties get 48 hours to publish candidates’ criminal records

The Supreme Court on Tuesday warned Parliament that the nation is losing patience with the advent of criminals in politics even as it imposed fines on major political parties, including the BJP and Congress, for covering up from voters the criminal past of the candidates they had fielded in the Bihar Assembly polls last year.

Government stalling debate on Pegasus to push through bills: Mallikarjun Kharge

As the monsoon session of Parliament winds to a close with key bills passed in both Houses without any debate as the Opposition continued to protest and demand a discussion over allegations of snooping using the Pegasus spyware, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge accused the Narendra Modi government of ‘deliberately’ passing bills in the din.

India to temporarily relocate personnel from consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif

India will temporarily relocate India-based personnel from the consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan, an official said on Tuesday. The decision came on a day when the government gave an urgent call for evacuation of all Indian nationals from the Afghan city in a special flight that is expected to operate on late Tuesday.

Modi launches phase-II of Ujjwala gas connection scheme for the poor

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched the second phase of the Ujjwala gas connection scheme for the poor and said it would provide the biggest relief to lakhs of migrant worker families in the country. Under Ujjwala 2.0 (Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana), migrant workers would no longer have to struggle to get address proof documents to get the gas connections, Mr. Modi said.

YSRCP, BJD join demand for House panel scrutiny of insurance bill

In a change of stance, the YSRCP and the Biju Janata Dal, both of whom have maintained a distance from the Opposition, are now supporting the demand to send the controversial General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021 to a select committee.

Pegasus | Have faith in us, Supreme court tells petitioners

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Tuesday said petitioners in the Pegasus snooping case should place their faith in the Supreme Court and not engage in “parallel proceedings and debates” on social media platforms and other outlets while their case is sub judice.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigns over sex abuse charges

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned on Tuesday over a barrage of sexual harassment allegations in a fall from grace a year after he was widely hailed nationally for his detailed daily briefings and leadership during the darkest days of COVID-19.

Lionel Messi flies in to complete move to Paris Saint-Germain

Lionel Messi finalised an agreement on his Paris Saint-Germain contract and arrived in the French capital on Tuesday to complete the move that confirms the end of a career-long association with Barcelona.

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