Home / Politics / News /  Week ahead: New CJI, Bihar floor test, Asia Cup

Every Monday, Mint’s Plain Facts section features data related to key events that will make the news in the coming week. It is floor test time for Nitish Kumar, who recently took oath as Bihar chief minister yet again after reviving an old alliance. Justice Uday Umesh Lalit will assume charge as the 49th Chief Justice of India on Saturday. The Asia Cup will begin on the same day.

1)Bihar floor test

Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar will take the floor test in the Bihar Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, two weeks after taking oath as the chief minister for the eighth time. The floor test is essentially a formality as the newly-formed Mahagathbandhan, or the Grand Alliance, led by the JD(U) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), appears secure with the support of 164 MLAs (including outside support from Left parties among others), well above the required majority mark of 122. With the son of friend-turned-foe-turned-friend Lalu Yadav by his side, the bonhomie between Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav, now his deputy, will be interesting to see in the Assembly.

The alliance has provided a booster shot to the faltering Opposition parties that were desperately looking to challenge the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which recently regained power in Maharashtra. The BJP, meanwhile, will prepare for its new role as an Opposition party in Bihar, with an eye on the 2024 general elections.

Bihar floor test
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Bihar floor test

2)New CJI

Justice U.U. LALIT will assume charge as the 49th Chief Justice of India on Saturday, a day after incumbent N.V. Ramana demits office.

Lalit was appointed a judge in the Supreme Court directly from the Bar in 2014 and will now be only the second chief justice with such a record.

However, his tenure at the helm will be brief as he is set to retire on 8 November after just 74 days. In the run-up to his elevation, Lalit has given media interviews on his plans for his short tenure.

He told NDTV that he will focus on the administrative side and wants to get “maximum output through limited resources".

Lalit has been part of several historic verdicts and, in the coming few months, he will be hearing crucial matters such as the challenges to the 2016 demonetization, the law on electoral bonds, and the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.

3) Covid surge

A fresh covid-19 surge has created fear over the past few weeks, particularly in pockets such as the national capital Delhi. India reported 11,539 new infections and 34 deaths on Saturday, with Delhi reporting 1,109 of them. While the city is no longer reporting the 2,000-plus daily cases as it was in the first two weeks of August, its test positivity rate remains above 10%. The weekly test positivity rate had peaked at 15.3% on 12 August. Manish Sisodia, the deputy chief minister of Delhi, said last week that 90% of the covid patients who were hospitalized had not received the booster dose of the vaccine. Maharashtra and Karnataka also reported high infection counts, at 1,855 and 1,713 cases, respectively, on Saturday. Health experts suspect another variant of the virus behind the rise in covid cases. However, hospitalization numbers suggest most cases are mild.

4)Agnipath in Delhi HC

Delhi High Court is set to hear a bunch of petitions challenging the Centre’s revamped army recruitment scheme, Agnipath, on Thursday.

The scheme, announced by the Centre in June, plans to recruit soldiers for a four-year period as against the earlier norm of 17 years for the lowest ranks. It sparked major protests by army aspirants in several parts of the country, with some of the protests turning violent.

Several petitions were filed against the scheme in the high courts of Kerala, Patna, Punjab and Haryana and Uttarakhand, states that witnessed the greatest opposition to the scheme. The Supreme Court last month made the Delhi High Court the core forum to look into the legality of the scheme and gave other high courts the option to either move their cases to Delhi or keep their own hearings pending and allow petitioners to intervene in the Delhi High Court hearings.

5)Asia Cup

The 15th edition of the Asia Cup will start in the UAE on Saturday. The tournament will be played in the T20 format and the final match will be held on 11 September. The tournament, which was first played in 1983, will see six countries participating in the upcoming edition. These include five direct qualifiers: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Hong Kong, Kuwait, Singapore, and the UAE are battling against each other in the qualifiers and the winning team will earn the sixth spot in the main tournament.

Asia Cup
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Asia Cup

Social media is seeing much chatter around the tournament, but Indian cricket fans are most looking forward to the match between arch rivals India and Pakistan on Sunday. Indian skipper Rohit Sharma said that the Indian team is playing differently this time after last year’s defeat against Pakistan in Dubai.


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