Modi attacks Congress in Gujarat, Talwars walk free after 4 years in jail, humour and sarcasm in Rahul’s campaign: Top stories | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Modi attacks Congress in Gujarat, Talwars walk free after 4 years in jail, humour and sarcasm in Rahul’s campaign: Top stories

Rahul Gandhi forecasts ‘jumlon ki baarish’ ahead of Gujarat polls, BJP distances itself from MLA Sangeet Som’s remark that Taj Mahal was built by “traitors” who targeted Hindus: Here is a list of top stories to bring you up to date

india Updated: Oct 17, 2017 07:16 IST
HT Correspondent
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is garlanded by supporters during a public rally at Bhaat village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on October 16, 2017.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is garlanded by supporters during a public rally at Bhaat village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on October 16, 2017.(REUTERS)

1- Gujarat election will be battle between development and dynasty politics: Modi attacks Cong on home turf

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday termed the Gujarat assembly elections as a battle between “vikasvaad” (development) and “vanshvaad” (dynasty), targeting the Congress on a range of issues, including GST, corruption and the party’s “anti-Gujarat stand”. Modi was addressing lakhs of BJP ‘page presidents’ (in-charges of electoral roll pages) on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in what could be his last big rally before elections are announced.

With Congress targeting the Modi government with a ‘Vikas Gandho thayo che’ (development has gone crazy) campaign on social media, the PM dared it to contest the polls on the development plank. “Communalism, casteism, dynastic rule, misleading the people — these are the instruments which Congress uses to win elections. They don’t have it in them to win on the issue of development,” the prime minister said.

Read the story here.

2- Rahul issues ‘weather report’ for Gujarat, forecasts ‘jumlon ki baarish’ ahead of election

Rhetoric will rain down on Gujarat, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said in a “weather report” ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to his home state on Monday. Gandhi’s dig comes in the wake of speculation that the prime minister may announce a host of sops for poll-bound Gujarat. “Weather report: Ahead of elections, Gujarat will today have rain of rhetoric,” he said on Twitter, using the phrase “jumlon ki baarish” in his Hindi tweet. The Congress vice president also tagged a Hindustan Times report headlined “As Gujarat waits for poll date, state gets projects worth nearly Rs 12,500 crore” with his tweet.

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3- Humour and sarcasm give new edge to Rahul Gandhi’s social media campaign

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is mixing humour and sarcasm more often to pack a new punch in his social media campaigns ahead of elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Political rivals have often criticised and ridiculed the Gandhi scion for what they say is his failure to communicate well with the electorate, calling him a confused leader. However, after his recent visit to the US, experts said Gandhi looked more confident and spoke impressively. The renewed vigour in the Congress vice president’s Twitter strategy is evident in his posts. On Monday, Gandhi turned a weatherman, declaring on Twitter that a spell of rhetoric would rain down on Gujarat ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the election-bound state.

Read the story here.

4- BJP India’s richest party with Rs 869 cr, Cong second with Rs 759 cr: Watchdog report

The ruling BJP is the richest among India’s seven national parties, having declared assets worth nearly Rs 894 crore in 2015-16, said a report released by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) on Monday. The document collated by the advocacy group went on to term the Congress, which declared assets to the tune of Rs 759 crore in the same period, as a close second on the list. While the BJP was found to have declared liabilities of around Rs 25 crore during that time, the figure for the Congress stood at Rs 329 crore. The report was based on the declaration of assets and liabilities by national parties from 2004-05 to 2015-16.

Read the story here.

5- Day not far when BJP will try to change country’s name: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday lashed out against BJP leader Sangeet Som’s comments on the Taj Mahal, saying it was “a manifestation of the BJP’s political agenda” and said the day was not far when the party will try to change the country’s name as well. Som had said

that the Taj Mahal - one of India’s top tourist destinations and a world heritage site -- was built by “invaders” and was a “blot” on Indian culture and history. Banerjee alleged that the BJP was coming up with such statements to “divide the people”. The Trinamool Congress chief said: “The less we talk about the BJP leaders the better. I feel ashamed to speak on comments made by them. They are not doing any development work, but only making divisive statements with a political agenda. We don’t believe in dividing people like this.”

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6- ‘Members can hold any view’: BJP distances itself from Som’s Taj Mahal remarks

The BJP-led Uttar Pradesh government distanced itself on Monday from controversial comments by firebrand MLA Sangeet Som, who questioned the Taj Mahal’s place in history and said the iconic monument was built by “traitors” who targeted Hindus. “The chief minister has made it clear that the Taj is part of our heritage. My government has already sanctioned Rs 155 crore for the development of parks and various facilities in and around Taj,” said state tourism minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi. When asked what she made of the BJP lawmaker’s claims, she said, “Well, every individual is free to make an opinion but as far as the government is concerned Taj is very much on our priority list.”

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7- Aarushi-Hemraj murder case: Rajesh, Nupur Talwar walk free after 4 years in jail

Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were released from a jail on Monday, four days after being acquitted by Allahabad high court in the murder of their teenage daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj in their apartment in Noida in 2008. The two, carrying three bags, were escorted by a posse of policemen as they emerged out of Ghaziabad’s Dasna jail, and stood for a while as the photographers clicked them. Rajesh Talwar’s brother Dinesh and their lawyers Manoj Sisodia and Tanveer Ahmed Mir went to the Dasna Jail to receive them. “The Allahabad high court’s decision is a stamp on the innocence of Rajesh and Nupur Talwar. This is what they deserved,” said Mir. “It is my humble request to everybody in the media that what was snatched from my clients, please restore that dignity to them. Please let them live in peace.”

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8- Over 4/5th of Indians trust govt, majority support military rule: Pew study

More than four-fifths of Indian citizens trust their government, but interestingly, a majority of Indians also support military rule and autocracy, a latest Pew survey said on Monday. “In India, where the economy has grown on average by 6.9 per cent since 2012, 85 per cent (of people) trust their national government,” Pew Research said in a report based on its survey on governance and trust among key countries across the world. Notably, in India, which has strong democratic credentials since the last seven decades, according to Pew, a majority (55 per cent) of its people support autocracy in one way or the other. In fact, more than one-fourth (27 per cent) of them want a strong leader.

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9- Govt issues advisory to maintain secrecy after Modi’s itinerary is leaked

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed state governments to adhere to the Officials Secrets Act (OSA) to maintain secrecy of classified documents and VVIP programmes after minute-to-minute details of a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi were found circulating on social media. Advisories in this regard have been issued to all states twice this year, the latest being last month. Sources in MHA maintain that all precautions are being taken to avoid security breaches. The trigger for these advisories was related to a visit made by PM Modi Madhya Pradesh’s Alirajpur district in August last year. Entire details of the PM’s visit issued by Special Protection Group (SPG) were found to be circulating on Whatsapp mobile application before the date of the visit.

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10- Spain gives Catalans three days to drop independence bid

Madrid on Monday warned Catalonia’s separatist leader that he has only three days left to “return to legality” after he refused to say whether he would follow through on a threat to declare independence from Spain. Responding to an initial deadline set by the central government, Carles Puigdemont called for talks with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy “as soon as possible” as Spain struggles with its worst political crisis in decades. But Puidgemont stopped short of giving a definitive “yes or no” as demanded by Madrid, and Spain gave him until Thursday morning to clarify. Anything less than a full climb-down by Thursday’s 0800 GMT deadline is likely to prompt moves by Madrid to impose direct control over the semi-autonomous region -- the so-called “nuclear option.”

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11- Ranji Trophy: Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round show guides Saurashtra to big win

Ravindra Jadeja bagged nine wickets after scoring a double hundred to guide Saurashtra to an innings and 212 run victory over Jammu and Kashmir on day three of the Group B Ranji Trophy match. As many as 16 wickets fell on day three after Jammu and Kashmir started the day at 103 for four. Jadeja, after completing a double hundred on day two, took four wickets in the first innings while the remaining were picked up by another left-arm spinner, Dharmendersinh Jadeja.

Read the story here.