The controversy surrounding the Agnipath scheme for short-term induction of soldiers intensified on Wednesday when Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi released a video purportedly of an Agniveer’s father saying that the family had not received any compensation or assistance from the Centre after his son was killed in a landmine explosion in Jammu & Kashmir’s Naushera in January. The Army, however, clarified that this was not the case and that the compensation portion was paid to Agniveer’s next of kin Ajay Kumar and the rest would be disbursed soon. Sharing the clip on X, Gandhi said, “Defence Minister Rajnath Singh lied in Parliament about the assistance provided to the family of martyred Agniveer. The father of martyr Agniveer Ajay himself has come forward to tell the truth and expose their lies. The Defence Minister should apologise to Parliament, the country, the Army and the martyr’s family.” Dig deeper

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi (PTI)

A woman employee of the West Bengal Raj Bhawan has filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the immunity granted to the Governor under Article 361 of the Constitution, citing her allegations of sexual harassment against Governor CV Ananda Bose. The petitioner has requested the court to clarify whether sexual harassment and assault can be considered part of the Governor’s official duties, thereby entitling him to immunity under Article 361. It sought to highlight the potential injustice faced by victims, and questioned whether they should wait for the Governor to demit office before seeking justice. Dig deeper

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Radhika Merchant’s looks from her pre-wedding festivities have given her some major fashion goals, and her attire at the recently concluded mameru ceremony is no different. Kicking off her wedding ceremony at Antilia, the rite saw her wearing a custom-made Manish Malhotra with ‘Durga-shloka’ embroidered on the borders. Not only that, she paired her stunning outfit with her mother Shaila Merchant’s jewellery – not just any jewellery, but the same one she reportedly wore at her own mameru. Manish Malhotra took to X to share a series of pictures showing Radhika in her stunning outfit. Dig deeper

Business News

The Indian stock market could rise as much as 20% this year on the back of government spending and continued momentum in corporate earnings, market watchers said. A Bloomberg survey revealed that the upcoming budget is likely to boost consumer spending and infrastructure building, as more than half of the 24 respondents estimated that the NSE Nifty 50 Index could rise to 26,000 points by the end of 2024. One predicted that the index could rise even further. The benchmark index has risen 12% so far this year to a record high. Dig deeper

Global Affairs

The campaign for the UK general election ended just hours before the nationwide vote was due to take place on 4 July. The election is likely to end the current Conservative Party rule. While British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is looking forward to a new term, the opposition Labour Party is expecting a landslide victory. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak claimed that the Conservative Party is still “fighting hard”, while one of his closest allies conceded defeat by saying that the Tories are heading for a “victory” in the election. Dig deeper

Focus on entertainment

Junaid Khan, who has been receiving praise for his performance in his recently released debut film Maharaj, has spoken about his “biggest critic at home”. In an interview with India Today, Junaid said that his father Aamir Khan, mother Reena Dutta and sister Ira Khan are “very supportive and very encouraging, even in their criticism”. He said, “We don’t really talk much about films. But I know Ira (my sister) supports me unconditionally. I am blessed because I come from a very supportive family. Also, they don’t shy away from saying it like it is. Even Papa (Aamir) will say, ‘Look, I feel this, but you have to do what you want.’ Same goes for Mama. So yes, I think everyone is very supportive and very encouraging, even in their criticism.” Dig deeper

Lifestyle and health

Karan Johar’s latest film, ‘Kill’ starring Lakshya Lalwani is all set to release on July 5. Ahead of the much-awaited premiere, the makers hosted a star-studded screening in the city on Wednesday. The event was nothing short of a glamorous affair with A-listers like Varun Dhawan, Vicky Kaushal, Janhvi Kapoor, Khushi Kapoor, Ananya Pandey, Shanaya Kapoor, Rakul Preet Singh, Jackky Bhagnani, Ibrahim Ali Khan, Sanya Malhotra, Ayan Mukerji, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Vedang Raina and many more gracing the occasion. With a host of Bollywood celebrities in attendance, the evening turned into a treasure trove of fashion inspiration. Dig deeper

Sports activities

It’s been almost five days since that fateful day at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, when the Rohit Sharma-led Indian cricket team ended a 13-year wait for a World Cup trophy by beating South Africa in the final to win the 2024 T20 World Cup. But the excitement surrounding Indian cricketers continues to linger. And understandably so. It was after 11 years that India finally got their hands on an ICC trophy. And that after so many heartbreaking moments. Dig deeper

That’s all we have at this hour in our morning briefing. See you in the afternoon

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