28 January 2014


  • Rahul Gandhi says, Congress tried to contain 1984 anti-Sikh violence; Blames Narendra Modi government for abetting 2002 Gujarat clashes.
  • Supreme Court to take up today petitions filed by Centre and rights activists seeking review of its judgement on homosexuality.
  • Apex court stays Centre's notification granting two years as deemed extension to mining companies after the  expiry of lease period.
  • Filing of nominations ends today for 55 Rajya Sabha seats spread over 16 states.
  • India get off to a slow start in the fourth cricket one dayer against New Zealand at Hamilton; Lose early wickets.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has accused the Narendra Modi government of abetting the 2002 clashes in Gujarat. Drawing a distinction between the 2002 Gujarat clashes and 1984 anti-sikh clashes, Gandhi alleged that while the violence in Gujarat was aided and abetted by the State Government, the Congress government tried to stop the 1984 violence. In an interview to 'Times Now', Gandhi denied that he feared losing to Modi in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. He expressed confidence of winning the election, but said, if the party failed he would accept the responsibility as Vice President. He said, he did not want to be named as the Prime Ministerial candidate because of his respect for the constitution. 
Gandhi indicated his role in the party decision to support the Aam Admi party in forming the government in Delhi. He, however, denied that the Congress was using the AAP to check the BJP. He appreciated AAP's ability to connect to the people. On corruption, Gandhi said, no one will be protected but the law should take its course.

Rashtriya Janta Dal, RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav met Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi yesterday. This was the second meeting this month, which took place amid indications that the Congress and RJD are working to form an alliance in Bihar in the next general elections. The meeting took place a day after Congress leader Digvijay Singh discussed the issue of a possible alliance with the Lok Janshakti Party, LJP Chief Ram Vilas Paswan.
Both the LJP and RJD have been praising the Congress and made it clear that they want the ruling party to be part of the secular alliance in Bihar which has 40 Lok Sabha seats.

Today is the last day for filing of nominations for 55 Rajya Sabha seats spread over 16 states. The elections are scheduled to be held on the 7th of next month. Scrutiny will be held tomorrow, while the last date for withdrawal of candidature is the 31st of this month.
The Congress yesterday nominated senior party leader Digvijay Singh for a Rajya Sabha seat from Madhya Pradesh and Madhusudan Mistry from Gujarat. The party had, earlier, announced seven candidates, including Motilal Vora, Murli Deora and Ranjib Biswal, from other states. 
The BJP has decided to give its Rajya Sabha seat from Maharashtra to RPI leader Ramdas Athawale. It has also nominated Shambhuprasad Tundiya, Lalsinh Vadodiya and Chunibahi Gohail from Gujarat and Ranvijay Singh Judev from Chattisgarh.

In the assembly yesterday, state Ministers from Telangana opposed the Chief Minister’s proposal for a resolution seeking to return the bill.
Union Human Resource Development Minister Pallam Raju has supported Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy’s move to give a notice to the Assembly Speaker seeking rejection of the State re-organisation Bill. Speaking to a news agency, the Minister said that the Chief Minister has done no wrong.The Chief Minister had written a letter to the speaker requesting him to send back the bill as there were some deficiencies in the bill.

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, MNS activists vandalized about 20 toll booths across Maharashtra yesterday. The activists started vandalizing the toll booths following MNS Chief Raj Thackeray’s speech in which he asked workers and citizens not to pay a single penny as toll tariff. He also asked them to resort to violence in order to prevent paying toll tax. More from our correspondent:


 "Party workers of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena targeted toll booths at Aurangabad, Beed, Pune, Nashik, Thane, Airoli, Dahisar, Kalyan and Nagpur. State police arrested MLA Pravin Darekar, MLA Prakash Bhoir and more than 40 other workers from Mumbai and other parts of the state  registered more than ten cases against them. FIRs have been registered under charges of arson, rioting and damage to public property. Additional forces have been deployed to prevent any further untoward incident. Maharashtra’s home ministry has asked the law department to examine Thackeray’s speech and reply if action can be initiated against him for inciting violence. Sudha Ramasubramanian, AIR News, Mumbai."

The Supreme Court will today take up petitions filed by the Centre and rights activists seeking review of its earlier verdict declaring gay sex an offence. A bench of justices HL Dattu and S J Mukhopadhaya will decide whether the verdict needs a re-look. Gay rights activists had submitted that there were a number of grave errors and the wrong application of law in the judgement  needs to be corrected. The Centre had also filed a petition seeking a review of the judgement.

Internet Service Providers have told the Supreme Court that it is practically and technically impossible for them to block pornographic sites without orders from court and government. The service providers informed the court that they cannot be made liable for the objectionable contents of the sites. The Service provider's association submitted its reply saying that there is a need to define the term pornography as its boundaries are amorphous.

Meanwhile, a bench headed by Justice BS Chauhan has granted three more weeks to the Department of Telecom to file a response as to how to block websites with pornographic content in the country, particularly those featuring child pornography. 

The Supreme Court has stayed the Centre's notification which granted two years as deemed extension to mining companies for carrying out their activities after the expiry of the lease period. The notification enabled these companies to get the forest clearance under the Forest Act in non-forest areas also. A bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik stayed the notification after senior advocate Harish Salve, who is assisting the court as amicus curae, submitted that there was rampant violation of law by mining companies. He said that a two-year concession was too long a period for mining companies for carrying on with their activities.

The notification was issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests last February. It was alleged that there are 590 licences operating in the forest area but the permission for 350 has already expired.
In Andaman and Nicobar islands, the police have arrested three persons in connection with the boat tragedy in which 21 persons were killed on Sunday. The Boat Master and two crew members of the tourist boat MV Aquamarine were arrested last night. They will be produced before the Judicial Magistrate today.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has announced an ex-gratia of 2 lakh rupees each of the families of the deceased.

A devastating fire broke out in the historical Accountant General AG building in Shimla in the wee hours today. The fire tenders are still trying to control the fire. And further details are awaited.

The Civil Aviation Ministry has approved the operations of Airbus A-380 in the country. The decision to remove the restrictions on the operations of the airbus was taken by the Ministry after consultations with the DGCA, Air India and the Airports Authority. Presently, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore airports have the required infrastructure for its operations.

Our correspondent reports that the operation of the A380s will provide comfortable and luxurious travel to the passengers, and help airports to generate more revenue.

As per available information, Singapore Airline, Emirates and Lufthansa are interested in operating this aircraft in India on various international routes. 
In Egypt, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, SCAF has authorized the Army Chief and Defence Minister, General Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi, to run for the Presidential elections. General Sissi is expected to soon announce his decision on whether to run for Presidency as a civilian candidate. More from our West Asia correspondent:


"The apex military body in Egypt, SCAF met in Cairo and said the army chief's run for the presidency was a mandate and an obligation. It said that it was up to General Sissi to decide  whether or not to run for president in accordance with his sense of patriotism and the popular demands of the Egyptian people. Earlier this month El-Sisi had stated that he would only run for president upon an army mandate and a request from the Egyptian people. General Sissi‘s popularity soared after he ousted the Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July last year amid popular public protests. Atul Tiwary, AIR News."

India were 113 for 3 in 28.4 overs against New Zealand in the fourth cricket one dayer at Hamilton, when reports last came in. Earlier, after opting to bat first, Team India got off a shaky start, as it lost in-form Virat Kohli and Ajinkhya Rahane, with just 22 on the board.

India has made two changes for today's match. Shikhar Dhawan has been replaced by Amabati Rayadu, while Stuart Binny is making a debut. He is replacing Suresh Raina.

 New Zealand is leading the 5-match series, 2-0. They had won the first two ODIs, while the third one dayer ended in a tie on Saturday.


  • Most newspapers this morning report the completion of one month in office for the Aam Aadmi Party. "Some bouquets, brickbats on 30 days of the AAP Govt" writes the Hindu.
  • The other major headline is the interview of the year, a full length television appearance of congress leader Rahul Gandhi for the first time. 
  • The Delhi Zoo's recent triumph over the birth of six white tiger cubs turned to tragedy, as five of the cubs died within a week of their birth, and the 6th is battling for life. Kalpana, the six year old white tigress who gave birth to the cubs for the first time is unable to look after the litter and did not feed her cubs. The Indian Express, The Pioneer and other papers have reported this story.
  • Tumor removed from the brain of the worlds tallest woman at the All India Institute of Medical sciences writes the Pioneer. According to the paper the 26 year old patient from West Bengal who is 7 feet 8 inches tall, has had the tumor for 10 year and this had led to the uncontrolled growth in height. Mail Today, Hindustan Times have reported this story. 
  • And finally, Power to Aam Aadmi 24x7, without AAP writes the Economic Times in a front page story. According to the paper, IIT Madras will begin a project in a few hundred houses in the southern states, aimed at ending load shedding for ever. IIT-Madras has developed a method that will let electricity boards supply a small amount of low power DC to every house, enough to run 3 lights, two fans and a mobile  chargers. This will be fed on a separate meter. The rest of the house will run on regular AC power.


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