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I.N.D.I.A. Bypolls: Special Session and Sanatan row

Indian politics faces a crucial moment with by-polls in seven assembly seats across six states, a special parliamentary session, and ongoing debates on Sanatan Dharma-related remarks.

I.N.D.I.A. Alliance Bypolls and Political Challenges: Special Session, Sanatan Controversy, and High-Stakes Kerala Showdown

The upcoming Tuesday marks a significant moment in Indian politics as seven assembly seats in six states will witness crucial by-polls, testing the unity of the I.N.D.I.A. alliance. So far, the INDIA constituents have shown solidarity, supporting the dominant parties in their respective regions, such as the Samajwadi Party in Ghosi, Uttar Pradesh, JMM in Jharkhand’s Dumri, CPI(M) in Dhanpur and Boxanagar in Tripura, and the Congress in Uttarakhand’s Bageshwar. However, the real test lies in West Bengal and Kerala, where I.N.D.I.A. partners find themselves pitted against each other.

Puthuppally Showdown

One noteworthy battleground is the Puthuppally seat in Kerala, which had been held by Congress veteran Oommen Chandy for 53 years until his recent demise. The CPI(M) is aggressively contesting this seat, with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan leading the charge, prompting the Congress to deploy its top leaders as well.

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Legal Twist in NSS Case

Interestingly, on the eve of the by-poll, a Kerala government lawyer advised the police to halt further investigation into a case involving the influential Nair Service Society (NSS) members protesting against Speaker A N Shamseer’s alleged remarks about a Hindu deity. The lawyer argued that the very foundation of the case was doubtful. This case had been used by the Congress and BJP during their campaigns in Nair-dominated areas of Puthuppally.

Sanatan Dharma Debate

Moreover, political tensions related to remarks linked to Sanatan Dharma continue to escalate. The BJP’s persistent attacks on this issue have compelled I.N.D.I.A. parties to take a stance. In response to the growing controversy, a Swaminarayan sect in Gujarat announced the removal of controversial wall murals from a Lord Hanuman statue in Salangpur town. The sect representatives met with Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, and the murals were to be removed before sunrise the next day. Additionally, a meeting of Hindu seers and leaders from the Swaminarayan sects is planned in Limbdi town to discuss the road ahead.

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In the national political arena, the Congress has been caught off guard by the Centre’s call for a special session of Parliament. The Congress is gearing up for a robust response, with MPs from the INDIA bloc set to meet at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s residence in Delhi. The Congress parliamentary strategy group will also convene to discuss their strategy for the Parliament session, including the topic of “one nation-one election.”

Meanwhile, the BJP is continuing with its planned programs, with Amit Shah set to kick off the party’s Jan Ashirwad Yatras in Madhya Pradesh. These yatras are part of the BJP’s campaign strategy and will culminate on September 5, the birth anniversary of BJP stalwart Deen Dayal Upadhyay, with an address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Similar yatras are being organized in Rajasthan as well.

Article 370 Hearing

In the legal realm, the Supreme Court has set the last day for final submissions in the petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. The lead petitioner in the case, National Conference Leader Mohd Akbar Lone, is expected to file an affidavit swearing allegiance to the Constitution and accepting the country’s sovereignty unconditionally, following objections regarding his alleged ‘Pakistan zindabad’ slogan raised during a debate in the Jammu & Kashmir Assembly in 2018. A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, has been hearing these pleas for an extended period.

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