- Delhi BJP rules out forming a new government following resignation of Arvind Kejriwal on Jan Lokpal issue; favours fresh assembly elections.
- BJP and Congress block introduction of Jan Lokpal Bill in the assembly.
- Kejriwal blames BJP and Congress of colluding with Mukesh Ambani to bring down his government.
- World Book Fair begins today in New Delhi.
- Shikhar Dhawan misses a century by two runs in the second test against New Zealand at Wellington.
The Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly and BJP leader Harsh Vardhan has said the BJP would seek fresh elections following the resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as Chief Minister. He said, the BJP will not form a new government as the party does not have the required numbers in the state assembly.
We have made it clear in the Assembly that we will not tolerate any insult to the constitution at any cost. Lt. Governor has also sent a clear message to the Assembly that if the Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi is to be brought, it should fulfill all legal provisions.
The Party’s state unit chief Vijay Goel termed the resignation as a political drama orchestrated by the AAP to prepare for the Lok Sabha polls. Congress Spokesman Ajay Maken said, Arvind Kejriwal was never serious about running the government.
The way, Kejriwal and his party have taken a stand on different issues, it never showed that they were serious or worried to fulfill their promises made to the public. It also did not appear that they really wanted to make Delhi corruption free.
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief Arvinder Singh Lovely said Kejriwal's resignation was totally ed and a pre-planned drama. He said, his party was in favour of the Jan Lokpal Bill, but the way it was being tabled was totally unconstitutional. Arvind Kejriwal resigned as Delhi Chief Minister last night after suffering a defeat in the assembly on the Jan Lokpal Bill. The Government’s resolution seeking leave of the House for introduction of the Bill was defeated with 42 members voting against it and 27 in favour. A Cabinet meeting convened soon after the assembly was adjourned sine die recommended dissolution of the assembly and holding of fresh polls.
Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung is likely to give his report to the Centre today on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's resignation. Sources said he would give his report on the situation to the President through the Union Home Ministry for final decision on whether to bring Delhi under central rule or dissolve the Assembly for holding fresh elections as recommended by the outgoing cabinet.
The Union Home Ministry is expected to forward the resignation letter of the Chief Minister for acceptance to the President after receiving it from the Lieutenant Governor.
As Delhi enjoys a special status, it is the President who finally accepts the resignation of the Chief Minister.
Later, addressing party workers at the Aam Aadmi Party Office, Mr Kejriwal blamed the BJP and the Congress of blocking the introduction of the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Assembly.
Both BJP and Congress have not let the Jan Lokpal Bill to be passed in the Assembly. They feel that Kejriwal is already making their life miserable with a small anti-corruption branch. If Jan Lokpal bill comes, more than half of them will go to jail.
Mr. Kejriwal said that during their 49 days in office, the AAP government fulfilled some of the major promises made in its election manifesto. He alleged that the Lt. Governor was acting like a viceroy of the central government. He also accused the Congress and the BJP of colluding with industrialist Mukesh Ambani to bring down his government two days after he filed an FIR on the gas pricing issue. Mr. Kejriwal also alleged that Ambani, who has been supporting the UPA government for the last ten years has been backing BJP leader Narendra Modi for the last one year.
The Lieutenant Governor has asked Mr. Kejriwal to continue till his resignation is accepted.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that economic growth will cross 5 per cent in the current financial year and accelerate further in the coming years. Addressing the Governors' Conference in New Delhi yesterday, Dr. Singh said the country's economy, after many years of rapid growth, has slowed down in the past two years. He said, inflation, weakening of the rupee and other domestic and external factors contributed to this state of affairs. The Prime Minister said deprivation and poverty are significant contributing factors to rising discontent in the backward and poor districts, many of which lie in scheduled areas. He said, the widening economic, income and developmental disparities between citizens living in such areas need to be addressed urgently.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has supported the long-pending demand of One-Rank, One-Pension for ex-servicemen. In a meeting with ex- servicemen in New Delhi, he assured them that he will make all efforts to meet their demand at the earliest. One Rank, One Pension' seeks to ensure that a uniform pension is paid to the defence personnel retiring at the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.
The Bombay High Court has asked the Centre, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation and the National Highway Authority of India to file their replies by March 17 on two PILs on toll levies, particularly on the busy Mumbai-Pune route. The division bench headed by Justice SJ Vajifdar also asked the respondents to specify their stand on the manual of specifications and standards for the four-laning of National Highways, introduced in 2008. The manual prescribes facilities that a toll plaza must have, including the truck-bay, bus-bay, toilets, rest area and automatic recording of vehicular movement. The court was hearing the PILs filed by MNS MLA Nitin Sardesai and RTI activist Sanjay Shirodkar.
The New Delhi World Book Fair begins today. President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the nine-day event. The theme for this year's fair is Kathasagara: Celebrating Children’s Literature. Author Ruskin Bond will be the guest of honour at the fair, which will see discussions, workshops and interactive session with authors and illustrators. Poland is the guest country.
About eleven hundred exhibitors from India and abroad will display books at around 1760 stalls and 210 stands. Eleven countries including France, Iran, Pakistan and Japan will be displaying books in the foreign pavilion. Tickets can also be purchased at select metro stations. The National Book Trust has added an exciting feature for children called Kids-Bubble this year. It would host magic shows, film screenings, special art and craft demonstrations for children. A special Authors Corner at the Book Fair is expected to see over 300 authors including few Bollywood personalities. With Sant Bahadur, Shiela, AIR News, Delhi.
Rain lashed most parts of Punjab and Haryana. The Downpour, which started on Thursday evening, continued during the day yesterday and last night. The Met department has predicted more rain today.
With this recent unexpected rain, whole area is in the grip of cold once again. Temperature has gone down upto three degrees below normal. Yesterday, rain and cold weather compelled people remain inside. According to the agriculture experts, this moderate rain is beneficial for standing Rabi crops particularly for wheat crop till now. As now cold weather will continue for few days more which is useful for the crops at this stage. If rain continues for a longer period, then it will harm the crops. Jaswinder Singh Randhawa, AIR News, Chandigarh.
Shikhar Dhawan missed a second consecutive hundred by two runs as India scored 301 for 6 at tea on day two of the second and final cricket Test against New Zealand at Wellington. Dhawan scored 98 runs off 127 balls at the Basin Reserve, following his hundred in the first Test in Auckland which India lost by 40 runs. India now has a 109 run lead over New Zealand in the first innings. Skipper M.S. Dhoni with 39 runs and Ajinkya Rahane at 64 were at the crease.
Earlier, India bundled out New Zealand for a paltry score of 192 on the opening day yesterday. Ishant Sharma's 6 wicket haul for 51 runs helped India take early control of the match.
Defending champions India take on arch rivals Pakistan in their opening match of the ICC Under 19 Cricket World cup Cup at the ICC Cricket Stadium in Dubai today. Team Coach Bharat Arun said, the players are geared up to take on the challenges as he hoped for a winning performance again. More from our West Asia Correspondent:
India Pakistan cricket match has always been an eagerly awaited and keen contest. Their opening match in Dubai is expected to have the same thrill and finish. Team India has a psychological advantage since they defeated Pakistan in the finals of Asia Cup recently and in the 2012 World cup. The team is packed with proven performers like Captain Vijay Zol, Akhil Herwadkar and Sanju Samson. On the other hand , Pakistan has a strong line-up and a better track record than India at Under 19 World Cup Cricket Championship so far. Atul Tiwary, AIR News, Dubai.
- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kerjriwal's resignation after his government failed to introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi Assembly dominates front page headlines. Saying that Mr Kejriwal has done this keeping an eye on the general elections, the Mail Today writes "Kejri dumps Lokpal for Lok Sabha". Commenting on what might happen next, the Asian Age reports "LG set to run Delhi now as President's Rule looms".
- The papers keenly track developments related to the Telangana issue. The Hindustan Times writes "Protests on, Seemandhra shuts down". The Pioneer reports the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley as saying "UPA still has time for consensus on Telangana".
- The Supeme Court's notice to the centre and the states on a PIL seeking framing of guidelines to tackle racial discrimination is widely reported. "SC notice to Centre, states on racism : Tells govts to ensure fundamental right to reside in any part of the country" reports the Times of India.
- The statement released by Penguin Books India in the face of widepsread criticism of its decision to withdraw Wendy Doniger's book "The Hindus: An alternate history" is highlighted in most papers. "Penguin speaks up, blames law" reports the Hindustan Times. The Times of India writes "Sec 295A curbs free speech, says Penguin".
- And finally, the Asian Age says that the world's most famous postage stamp, a one-cent magenta from British colonial Guyana, is to be auctioned in New York for 10 - 20 million dollars. Any takers?