Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Fierce Nehru Critic, Gave Best Speech After His Death: Ex-Aide HK Dua

Vajpayee believed that if Kashmir was sorted out then he could deal with Pakistan, says HK Dua

New Delhi: 

(Journalist HK Dua was the media advisor of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. News agency ANI has released this article written by him)

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was an outstanding Prime Minister, a leader who liked to take others along. This is the reason why Vajpayee could lead a coalition of 24 parties, a coalition that remained happy with his leadership because he was very democratic in his approach.

Vajpayee genuinely wanted to have a dialogue with the people of Kashmir. He believed a solution was possible. He used to speak from the heart when it came to the Kashmiris. He used say Kashmiris are “our own people” so “insaaniyat ki daayre mein (within the boundaries of humanity)” talks would take place.

Despite the Pahalgam killings, he went there for a press conference. A question was asked on it and Vajpayee’s response came straight from his heart. I remember it clearly since I was there anchoring the airport press conference next to the helicopter hangar. He is still loved in Kashmir for that statement.

He believed that if Kashmir was sorted out then he could deal with Pakistan.

Despite the bitter experience of Kargil conflict, Vajpayee wanted to improve relations with Pakistan. He held talks with Pakistan’s then President Pervez Musharraf to find a solution. Talks failed at Agra in 2001, but even then he continued his efforts. He wanted to improve relations with China, and he wanted peace at home. All minorities had faith in his leadership.

He wanted general peace in the country, so that India could focus more on economic development. He also wanted India to be powerful, and that is why he went for nuclear tests in 1998. That was a major step. He took economic growth seriously, and the economic growth was about 8-9 per cent at that time.

As a Prime Minister, Vajpayee never imposed any restrictions on the press. As a media advisor, I can vouch for that. He never complained about the press and I was never asked to talk to anyone for any interference. After all, I too was a journalist when he invited me to become his media advisor.

Vajpayee was very responsive to criticism. “What is behind criticism? What are the points they have made?” he would always ask and counter those points with facts but not curb the dissenting voice.

He was a thorough democrat and a humanist. That is why when PV Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister, he asked Vajpayee to go to the International Human Rights Commission, when India was being criticised everyday over human rights issues in Kashmir. He (Rao) asked Vajpayee, who was the Opposition leader, to lead the delegation instead of asking Congress leader Salman Khurshid.

Vajpayee had a great sense of humour and was very witty. Combined with wit and arguments, his Parliament speeches were the best. He used to be a fierce critic of Jawaharlal Nehru’s China policy. But when Nehru died, the best speech on the leader was made by none other than Vajpayee.

Incidentally, in one of his earlier speeches, Nehru told Vajpayee that one day “you could be the Prime Minister”. Though bitter in criticism, Vajpayee never hit his opponents below the belt.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Imran Khan Elected New Pakistan PM, Defeats Rival Shahbaz Sharif

Imran Khan was picked by Pakistan lawmakers in the National Assembly.


Cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan today defeated Shahbaz Sharif in a one-sided contest to become Pakistan’s next prime minister after the grand opposition alliance fell apart over the PML-N chief’s nomination for the top post.

The election in the 15th National Assembly became just a formality after the Pakistan Peoples Party led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with 54 seats abstained from voting.

Mr Khan, 65, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), secured 176 votes while his only rival and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz chief Sharif got 96 votes.

Mr Khan will take the oath tomorrow.

A total of 172 votes in the 342-member lower house of Parliament are needed to form a government.

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Ben Stokes Returns As England Look To Seal Series Against India At Trent Bridge

England have named their team for the third Test of the five-match series against India starting at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Saturday. Captain Joe Root has confirmed that Ben Stokes, four days after being found not guilty of affray, will return and will replace Sam Curran in the side that won the second Test at Lord’s. The 27-year-old missed England’s innings and 159-run win in the second Test last week because of a clash of dates with his trial after playing in the series opener. “He is desperate to get out there and wants to put in performances,” Joe Root said. “I have known Ben from being really quite young and I feel very confident he will be able to go out and put in a performance.”

Stokes starred in England’s 31-run win at Edgbaston, including taking the wicket of India captain Virat Kohli, who was the anchor of the tourists’ run-chase.

Stokes joined an elite list of English cricketers as he took the wicket of Dinesh Karthik on the second day of Edgbaston Test to become only the fifth English player to score over 2500 runs and take 100 wickets in the longest format of cricket.

Interestingly, 20-year-old Curran, who took five wickets and scored 87 runs, was England’s man-of-the-match in their 31-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston.

Root said the decision to drop the Surrey all-rounder for Stokes was one of the “most difficult” he has made as captain.

“What Sam has done so far has been nothing short of high class,” Root said.

England lead the five-match series 2-0 and victory in the third Test will see them retain the Pataudi Trophy.

England team for the third Test against India: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (capt), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

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It Seems You Can No Longer Sign Up for Netflix via Its iOS App

Netflix is not letting people sign up for its service via its app for iPhone and iPad. The Netflix iOS app also isn’t allowing people to log in with accounts where the subscription has lapsed and no credit or debit cards are linked to the Netflix account, Gadgets 360 has discovered. This means there is currently no way for users of iOS devices to pay for Netflix via the payment method saved on their Apple ID, unless they signed up to do so in the past.

We tried to sign up for a new Netflix account on five different iPhone and iPad units but were faced with a login screen, with the sign-up option absent. As you can see below, the only other available choices are a forgot password option and the help section, which contains links to some frequently asked questions and the option to reach out to Netflix customer service.

netflix iphone app vs website sign up gadgets 360 Netflix iPhone app website

(left) Netflix app on iPhone, (right) Netflix website in Safari

We also tried to log in with an existing Netflix account that doesn’t have an ongoing subscription and payment info stored, and were asked to complete sign-up outside the iOS app. Netflix asks for a credit or debit card when you sign up on the website, which would then exclude you from getting onto iTunes billing. That was confirmed by logging into an existing Netflix account with an ongoing subscription and trying to change our payment details, with the iOS app throwing us off to the website in Safari.

We reached out to a Netflix customer support representative who assured us that iTunes billing is available in India but was unable to figure out why the sign-up option was unavailable and why the app wouldn’t let us log in with an existing Netflix account that doesn’t have an ongoing subscription and payment details stored.

Gadgets 360 has reached out to Netflix for comment on why the sign-up option isn’t available in the Netflix iOS app, why existing Netflix users who don’t have an active subscription and payment info can’t log in through the iOS app, and whether iTunes billing is on its way out. We will update this story once we hear back.

Back in May, Netflix removed Google Play billing support for new and returning customers, with only those who were already on it able to continue using it. It’s possible that Netflix is taking a similar step with iOS as well, given both Apple and Google charge developers 30 percent for the first year of a subscription, and 15 percent after that.

Netflix was choosing to absorb that revenue hit, but it’s possible it has now changed its mind, just as Spotify did. Of course, developers can choose to offset the subscription cost to customers: Spotify used to do so before it stopped iTunes billing, and Saavn still charges a premium to those signing up via its iOS app. The 30 percent cut is also why Amazon-owned Comixology doesn’t allow you to buy comics or its unlimited subscription from within the app.

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Imran Khan has been elected Prime Minister of Pakistan after a vote in the National Assembly

इस्लामाबाद: पाकिस्तान की नेशनल असेंबली ने इमरान खान (Imran Khan) को देश का अगला प्रधानमंत्री चुन लिया है. पीटीआई (PTI) प्रमुख इमरान खान 18 अगस्त (शनिवार) को पाकिस्तान के प्रधानमंत्री पद की शपथ लेंगे. पाकिस्तान की नेशनल असेंबली में इमरान खान को 176 मत मिले, वहीं पाकिस्तान मुस्लिम लीग-नवाज प्रमुख शाहबाज शरीफ को केवल 96 मत मिले. इससे पहले पाकिस्तान तहरीक-ए-इंसाफ (पीटीआई) अध्यक्ष इमरान खान (65) और पाकिस्तान मुस्लिम लीग नवाज (पीएमएल-एन) के प्रमुख शाहबाज शरीफ ने सदन के शीर्ष पद के लिए नामांकन दाखिल किया था. नेशनल असेंबली के अध्यक्ष के दफ्तर ने दस्तावेजों की जांच की थी. दोनों नेताओं के दस्तावेजों को स्वीकार कर लिया गया था. नव निर्वाचित प्रधानमंत्री 18 अगस्त को शपथ लेंगे. 

यह भी पढ़ें : भारत और पाकिस्तान के बीच रिश्ते बेहतर करने के लिए पीएम मोदी ने इमरान खान को दिया यह सुझाव, कहा…


नवजोत सिंह सिद्धू पहुंचे पाकिस्तान

क्रिकेट से राजनीति में आए नवजोत सिंह सिद्धू अपने दोस्त और पाकिस्तान के प्रधानमंत्री बनने जा रहे इमरान खान के शपथ ग्रहण समारोह में शामिल होने के लिए पाकिस्तान पहुंच गए. नीला सूट और गुलाबी पगड़ी पहने सिद्धू वाघा सीमा के जरिये लाहौर पहुंचे जहां से वह इस्लामाबाद जाएंगे. शपथ ग्रहण समारोह इस्लामाबाद में होना है. सिद्धू ने पाकिस्तान के लोकतंत्र में चुनाव के बाद आए बदलाव का स्वागत करते हुए कहा कि इमरान को दोनों देशों के बीच अमन की बहाली की पहल करनी चाहिए. उन्होंने कहा कि वह भारत के सद्भावना दूत के रूप में मोहब्बत का पैगाम लेकर पाकिस्तान आए हैं. उन्होंने कहा, ‘मैं यहां राजनेता के रूप में नहीं बल्कि दोस्त के रूप में आया हूं.

यह भी पढ़ें : पाकिस्तान : इमरान खान को मिली नेशनल असेंबली सदस्य की शपथ लेने की सशर्त अनुमति

बता दें कि पाकिस्तान में 25 जुलाई को हुए आम चुनाव में पीटीआई सबसे बड़े दल के तौर पर सामने आई थी. पार्टी को 116 सीटें मिली थीं. नौ निर्दलीय सदस्यों के पीटीआई में शामिल होने के बाद इसकी संख्या 125 हो गई थी. इसके बाद महिलाओं के लिए आरक्षित 60 में से 28 सीटें पार्टी को आवंटित की गई और अल्पसंख्यकों के लिए आरक्षित 10 में से पांच सीटें पार्टी को आवंटित की गईं. इसके बाद पीटीआई के सदस्यों की संख्या 158 हो गई.


VIDEO : क्या पाकिस्तान में बदलाव ला पाएंगे इमरान खान?

पीटीआई को मुत्ताहिदा कौमी मूवमेंट (सात सीटें) बलूचिस्तान आवामी पार्टी (पांच), बलूचिस्तान नेशनल पार्टी (चार) पाकिस्तान मुस्लिम लीग (तीन) ग्रांड डेमोक्रेटिक अलायंस (तीन), आवामी लीग (एक) और जमोरी वतन पार्टी (एक) समेत कई छोटी पार्टियों का भी समर्थन हासिल है.

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6 Benefits Of Fresh Orange Juice, From Weight Loss To Healthy Skin


  • A glass of fresh orange juice is an instant mood and energy booster
  • It’s favourite among the health and fitness enthusiasts
  • You must know all these amazing benefits it entails

It is tarty, it is delicious and ever-so delightful, a glass of fresh orange juice is an instant mood and energy booster. You can pair it with your breakfast or have it after a gruelling gym session. Many of us also like to store some in a tumbler and keep sipping into it through the day. In addition to being a refreshing drink, orange juice is a bundle of vitamins, nutrients and essential minerals. No wonder, it is such a favourite among the health and fitness enthusiasts. Since it is not bitter or too sweet, a glass of fresh orange juice is more likely to find more takers than perhaps a bitter gourd or amla juice. If you are an orange juice fan too, you must know all these amazing benefits it entails. And, if you are not, these pointers will surely compel you to add a glass to your daily diet.

Here Are Some Incredible Benefits Of Fresh Orange Juice You May Not Have Known:

1. Boosts Immunity: Orange juice is packed with vitamin C, which helps boost your immunity and keep you protected from cold, flu and other inflammatory diseases. 

(Also Read: 4 Magical Foods That Could Help Boost Your Immunity)

orange juice

Orange juice is packed with vitamin C​

2. Skin Health: Drinking orange juice daily could do wonders for your skin. Orange juice is oozing with antioxidants, most significantly vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in fighting free radical activity. Free radical activity could make your skin dull and also promote wrinkles and ageing. The abundant quantum of vitamin C present in orange juice could help give you a youthful and radiant skin. 


Drinking orange juice daily could do wonders for your skin

3. Weight Loss: Orange juice is incredibly low in calories and has zero fat, which makes it an excellent option if you are looking towards shedding that extra kilo or two. However, nutritionists often advise eating a whole orange over juicing one. Juicing an orange may cost a good amount of weight loss friendly fibres. Consuming a whole orange would help retain fibres, which help make you feel full for loner time. When you feel full you would naturally binge less.

(Also Read: Keto Cycling: This Latest Weight Loss Diet Lets You Eat Carbs On Ketogenic Diet!

weight loss

Orange juice is incredibly low in calories and has zero fat, which makes it an excellent option if you are looking towards shedding that extra kilo or two

4. Strong Bones: It is a known fact that the calcium content in orange is legendary, which is incredible for your bone health. But, did you also know that orange is also profuse with flavonoids like naringenin and hesperidin, which are anti-inflammatory in nature and can help relieve arthritis pain. 


Orange is also profuse with flavonoids like naringenin and hesperidin

5. Kidney Stones: According to the book ‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing, oranges have high concentration of citrate, meaning drinking orange juice can help breakdown calcium oxalate stone formation and induce relief from the pain occurring due to kidney stones

(Also Read: How Many Calories Are There In An Orange? Use These Tarty Fruits In Healthy Recipes)

orange juice

Orange juice can help breakdown calcium oxalate stone formation

6. Heart Health: Orange contains hesperidin; as per the book ‘Healing Foods’, hesperidin can reduce symptoms of hypertension. Pectin (fibre) and liminoid compounds found in oranges can slow down hardening of arteries and can also reduce the bad cholesterol levels in the blood. 


Pectin (fibre) and liminoid compounds found in oranges

Nutritionists and health experts recommend to make a glass of orange juice at home. This way, you are able to ensure that it is fresh and made with the best quality oranges. Packaged juices that you find in markets are often injected with lots of sugar, which is not good for your blood sugar levels. If you are a diabetic, it is always advised to consult an expert to check how many glasses of orange juice you can have in a day.


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Mahindra Marazzo MPV Launch Date Announced

The Mahindra Marazzo will be launched in India on September 3. The MPV will come in both 7- and 8-seater layout, and with an all-new 1.5-litre diesel engine as well.

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Mahindra Marazzo will come in both 7-seater and 8-seater cabin layout option

The all-new Mahindra Marazzo MPV is finally set to be launched in India on September 3, 2018. Slated to become the company’s flagship offering in the country, the new Mahindra Marazzo will take on the likes of the Toyota Innova Crysta and the Tata Hexa in India. Mahindra will offer the MPV in both 7- and 8-seater formats, and the carmaker will also be introducing an all-new 1.5-litre diesel engine for the Marazzo. The company has also said that the Marazzo will have the largest footprint of any Mahindra passenger vehicle yet.

Also Read: Mahindra Marazzo: Things We Know So Far


Mahindra Marazzo get Shark inspired exterior features

Similar to the Mahindra XUV500 which is based on the Cheetah, the design of the Mahindra Marazzo is based on the Shark. In fact, the carmaker says that right from the exterior features to the some of its cabin features, several of the Mahindra Marazzo design elements are inspired by the unique characteristics of this apex predator of the sea. While the MPV is yet to be fully unveiled, the teaser images reveal that the Marazzo will come with chrome-toothed grille, a shark-fin antenna, and large LED taillamps that resemble a shark’s tail. The carmaker did give us a sneak peek of the Mahindra Marazzo in bits and pieces ever since the name of the MPV was announced.


2018 Mahindra Marazzo dashboard looks premium and well-equipped

The cabin, on the other hand, has been fully revealed and it will come with light beige interior dual tone black and grey dashboard panels. While the 7-seater model get captain seat in the middle row, the 8-seater model comes with a foldable bench seat with a 40:20:40 split feature. Other features include a touchscreen infotainment system, dual-pod instrument console with a large MID unit, and a roof-mounted air-con system, which comes with what Mahindra claims to be an industry-first surround cool technology.


Mahindra Marazzo MPV comes with sleek interior and a roof-mounted Air-Con system


The technical details about the Mahindra Marazzo’s new 1.5-litre diesel engine are still unknown, however, gauging the large size of the MPV, it is likely to be quite powerful and torquey. The engine is expected to be paired with both manual and and optional automatic transmission, possibly borrowed from the XUV500. Mahindra is also working on the petrol derivative and it’s expected to be introduced later, based on the demand.

For the latest auto news and reviews, follow CarAndBike on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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CBI raid in 12 places in Bihar in Muzaffarpur rap case

पटनाः मुजफ्फरपुर बालिका आश्रय गृह में नाबालिग लड़कियों के साथ दुष्कर्म मामले में केंद्रीय जांच ब्यूरो (सीबीआई) ने शुक्रवार को पूर्व समाज कल्याण मंत्री मंजू वर्मा के आवास सहित बिहार में 12 जगहों पर छापा मारा. सीबीआई की टीम ने मंजू वर्मा के पटना और बेगूसराय स्थित आवासों की तलाशी ली.

टीम ने पूर्व समाज कल्याण मंत्री और उनके पति चंदेश्वर वर्मा से अलग-अलग पूछताछ की. एक पुलिस अधिकारी ने कहा, ‘सीबीआई शुक्रवार सुबह से वर्मा के आवास की तलाशी ले रही है. यह अभी भी चल रही है. सीबीआई ने वर्मा के निजी सहायकों में से एक से पूछताछ भी की है.’

दिल्ली में एक सीबीआई अधिकारी ने आईएएनएस को बताया कि इस मामले में मुख्य आरोपी ब्रजेश ठाकुर के दोस्तों के मुजफ्फरपुर, मोतीहारी और बेगूसराय स्थित परिसरों में भी तलाशी ली गई.

मंजू वर्मा ने इस बात का खुलासा होने के बाद आठ अगस्त को इस्तीफा दे दिया था कि बालिका गृह में 34 नाबालिग लड़कियों के साथ दुष्कर्म करने के मुख्य आरोपी ब्रजेश ठाकुर के उनके पति चंदेश्वर वर्मा के साथ घनिष्ठ संबंध हैं.

सीबीआई ने पटना में ठाकुर के हिंदी समाचार पत्र कार्यालय और समाज कल्याण विभाग के काउंसलर सुनील झा के परिसर पर भी छापा मारा. मुजफ्फरपुर में सीबीआई ने ठाकुर के होटल और उसके घर सहित उसके मूल गांव में सात ठिकानों पर छापा मारा. ठाकुर के करीबी सुमन साही और मधु के ठिकानों पर भी छापे मारे गए. 

आधिकारिक सूत्रों के मुताबिक, सीबीआई की टीमों ने इस मामले से जुड़े कई साक्ष्य जुटाए हैं. ठाकुर के एनजीओ द्वारा संचालित बालिका गृह में 34 नाबालिग लड़कियों के साथ दुष्कर्म किया गया था. बालिका गृह को सील कर दिया गया है. ठाकुर मुजफ्फरपुर जेल में है.

(इनपुट आईएएनएस से भी)

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Will Stop Operations If Dues Are Not Paid, Air India Pilots Threaten


A section of Air India pilots have threatened to stop operations if their flying allowance dues are not paid immediately.

Alleging that while the salaries and perks of other employees are paid in full albeit with a delay, the same for the pilots and cabin crew are “ignored”, despite the fact that flying allowances of these two licenced categories of employees form a major chunk of their salaries.

“We would like to inform you if the flying allowance is not paid immediately, we may not be available for flying duties,” the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) said in a communication to Air India’s director of finance today.

ICPA represent over 700 pilots of the airline’s Airbus 320 family fleet.

“Since the company has paid the salary, the pilots will report to the office for any office duty of their expertise other than flying duties,” it added.

According to a source, flying allowance are paid after two months.

“As a rule, flying allowances for the month of June should have been paid on August 1, but they remain unpaid even till today,” the source said.

ICPA warned the Air India management that it expects a positive confirmation on the matter, “failing which we will be forced to direct our members not to report for flying duties and only management should be held responsible in case of any disruption of flights”.

Significantly, the loss-making carrier has been facing cash paucity since the government stopped funding the airline following its decision to privatise it last year.

However, it failed to get a suitor by the required deadline, forcing it to put the privatisation plans on the backburner and reviving the capital infusion plan.

As part of this, Air India is set to get an additional funding of Rs 980 crore in FY19.

Amid the cash drought, the carrier has already delayed salaries of its employees six times in the last seven months.

It paid July salaries to employees on August 14.

“As you are already aware the salary of a pilot in Air India only constitutes to 30 per cent. Every month we are being ignored while the company pays the rest of  the employees in full and does not pay the flying allowance to pilots and cabin crew which forms the major part of our total earnings,” ICPA said.

It said that in its earlier communication to the airline management, it had requested to communicate the delay in payments, if any, and not to separate flying allowance from salary.

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Tough Challenges Await As India Eye Asiad Glory After Chaotic Build-Up

The build-up to the Asiad has been quite chaotic with complaints and even court cases about selection matters, usual controversies over the size of the contingent which came to 804 athletes and officials combined, and not to forget, the credentials of the travelling officials.

But as has been the case with Indian sports for the past several decades, the athletes would try to ensure that focus remains firmly on the results once the competition gets underway after the customary opening ceremony.

India had equalled their best performance in terms of medals won in the 2014 Asiad with a total of 57, including 11 gold, and the contingent of 572 athletes this time would definitely be hoping to better that.

The contenders range from a 16-year-old schoolgirl from Haryana in Manu Bhaker (shooting) to the proven-but-struggling Sushil Kumar (wrestling) to the in-form and consistently rising to new heights, Neeraj Chopra (javelin throw).

Then there are the likes of Hima Das, a sprint sensation, who has raised hopes by becoming the first Indian woman to claim a world championships gold, in the under-20 competition.

There is no denying the fact that she will among the favourites at the Games in Jakarta.

India’s track-and-field stars have historically done well at the Asiad, delivering 282 medals so far, 74 of them gold. And it is not expected to be any different this time.

On the badminton court, PV Sindhu would be hoping to break her final jinx. But once again a strong field will stand in the way given that shuttlers from traditional power-centres China, Thailand, and Japan will be in action.

Saina Nehwal’s grit and ability to bring her A-game to the table on the big stage can never be discounted but it remains to be seen how her body responds to what has been a gruelling season so far.

Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy are also among those expected to contribute to India’s medal tally.

India can also hope for a good show on the wrestling mat where the in-form duo of Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat are being seen as sure-shot medal hopes.

Punia not only won a gold at CWG but also emerged champion at Tbilisi Grand Prix and Yasar Dogu International in the run-up to the Jakarta Games.

However, it’s redemption time for a few struggling stars. Olympic medallists Sushil Kumar and Sakshi Malik are not in the best of form.

Sushil recently lost his first bout in four years at the Tbilisi GP in Georgia and Sakshi failed to reach the medal round at Yasar Dogu in Istanbul.

Their reputations are at stake and nothing less than gold will be able to redeem those.

The men’s hockey team will be aiming for a gold and a direct entry into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The team, which recently ended runners-up to Australia at the Champions Trophy, does not have many tough nuts to crack and it will only be a disaster if they return without gold.

The women’s hockey team missed out on a historic place in the World Cup semi-finals but the Rani Rampal-led side is expected to fare better and improve on its bronze-medal show in Incheon.

At the shooting ranges of Palembang, Manu will hold centre-stage and given her form, it would be a surprise if she lets the spotlight shift anywhere else.

The boxing arena will have some strong Indian presence too with the likes of Vikas Krishan, Shiva Thapa and the fast-rising Gaurav Solanki presenting India’s men’s challenge. Among the women, world silver-medallist Sarjubala Devi will be a medal hope.

The tennis contingent is already grappling with the kind of drama that has become its trademark at every major event.

The last-minute pull-out by Leander Paes for not getting a “specialist” men’s doubles partner means that coach-cum-captain Zeeshan Ali has to re-work combinations in men’s and mixed doubles.

In the absence of world champion Mirabai Chanu, India’s challenge has weakened in weightlifting.

In table tennis, Manika Batra would be aiming for an encore of her golden run at the CWG but it would be easier said than done, given the Chinese and Japanese presence in the draw. Among the men, veteran Achanta Sharath Kamal would be the one to watch out for.

Dipa Karmakar would be continuing her spirited return from injury in the gymnastics arena and it would be interesting what she attempts on the vault.

In all, close to 11,000 athletes from 45 countries will be in action at the Games, which will conclude on September 2.

(With PTI inputs)

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