Nitish faces trust vote today, severe weather warning for states: Top stories to bring you up to date
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar faces trust vote today, Lalu vows to take fight to Supreme Court, Met warns of severe weather in states, Centre says 600 dead in floods, NSA Doval discusses ‘major problems’ with Chinese diplomat. Here is a list of top stories to bring you up to date.india Updated: Jul 28, 2017 07:36 IST
Nitish Kumar is CM again as political balance shifts in Bihar, to face trust vote today
Within 18 hours of resigning as Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar took oath on Thursday as the head of the government for the sixth time with the BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi as his deputy. He will seek a trust vote on Friday after re-forging a partnership with the BJP, four years after he walked out of the NDA. His surprise resignation sank the three-party “grand alliance” of his Janata Dal (United), Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress that defeated the BJP in the 2015 state elections. Kumar’s switch upset several leaders of the JD(U) as well. Sharad Yadav, who led the party before Kumar, is also said to be displeased with the chief minister’s “unilateral decisions”. Read the story here.
Lalu Prasad to take fight for Bihar to Supreme Court
The battle for Bihar is expected to reach the Supreme Court but legal experts see little hope for Lalu Prasad, who has said that he will approach the top court against the governor’s decision to not call his Rashtriya Janata Dal for government formation. Legal experts say there is nothing illegal about the governor’s action and that he had the prerogative to invite whoever he thought had a better shot at forming government. “The idea of a single-largest party comes after election; after a crisis comes the concept of who has the larger and a stable combination – So the governor has the discretion to call on a combination or a party that will enjoy majority on the floor of the house,” said senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan. Read the story here.
Rumblings in JD(U) over Nitish’s ‘unilateral’ decisions
A day after Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar aligned forces with the BJP again, rumblings broke out in the Janata Dal (United), with leaders gathering at senior party leader Sharad Yadav’s residence to discuss possibilities of an alternative course of action. JD(U) leaders tried to persuade Yadav to take the lead to oppose the “several unilateral decisions” Kumar had taken without taking the party into confidence, sources said. “Sections of party leaders are unhappy with Kumar’s decision. My individual view is that a decision to align with the BJP violates the mandate of the 2015 assembly elections to keep the BJP out of power in the state,” party MP Ali Anwar Ansari told HT. Read the story here.
Met warning for severe weather: Heavy rain, strong winds to hit many states
The India Meteorological Department on Thursday issued warning for severe weather – heavy or extremely heavy rainfall and strong winds – in several parts of the country for five days. The warning is for isolated incidents of severe weather between July 27 and 31. Heavy rain is likely in East Rajasthan, West MP, Gujarat, HP, West Rajasthan, East MP, Saurashtra and Kutch, Madhya Maharashtra, Konkan and Goa. These regions, along with the six northeastern states may experience heavy rainfall on July 30, according to the predictions of IMD. Read the story here.
Flood fury: Centre says 600 dead, denies bias in giving aid, claims states sitting on relief funds
Approximately 600 people have died in floods and landslides across the country this year, and several state governments are yet to fully utilise funds meant for relief and rehabilitation, the Union government said on Thursday, denying charges of bias in how it was offering financial assistance. The government’s claim, made by junior home minister Kiren Rijiju in Rajya Sabha, comes after rival parties criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to give Rs 500 crore for Gujarat, where heavy rain and rising waters left nearly 100 people dead. In addition to Gujarat, Rajasthan, Assam and Odisha are among states badly hit by floods. Read the story here.
No immediate arrests in dowry harassment cases: SC rules to curb misuse of law
A Family Welfare Committee (FWC) in every district will scrutinise dowry harassment cases before local police can arrest the accused, the Supreme Court said on Thursday, laying down a set of guidelines to curb misuse of the law. Indian Penal Code’s Section 498A has been criticised for giving “disgruntled women” a legal option to harass their husbands, and Thursday’s orders take forward measures announced by the top court in 2014 when it prohibited automatic arrests. Read the story here.
NSA Doval discusses ‘major problems’ with top Chinese diplomat meet in Beijing
India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi discussed “major problems” in bilateral relations during a meeting in Beijing on Thursday, the first substantial contact since the two sides became engaged in a military standoff in Doklam (Donglang) area near the Sikkim border in mid-June. Details of their discussions were not immediately available but a brief readout from the Chinese side said Yang brought up “bilateral issues” and “major problems” during the meeting. Doval is in Beijing to attend a two-day BRICS security summit. Read the story here.
3 Gujarat MLAs who quit Congress join BJP in Amit Shah’s presence
Three Gujarat Congress legislators tendered their resignation on Thursday and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of Amit Shah in Ahmedabad on Thursday evening. MLAs Balwantsinh Rajput, Tejshree Patel and Prahlad Patel quit the Congress earlier in the evening, threatening Ahmed Patel’s chances in the Rajya Sabha elections from the western state. Rajput, Congress’ chief whip in the assembly and a close aide and brother-in-law of former chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela, is also likely to be fielded by the Bharatiya Janata Party as the third RS candidate. The BJP has already announced the candidature of party chief Shah and Union textile minister Smriti Irani from Gujarat for the August 8 elections. Read the story here.
Militant leader Zakir Musa named al-Qaeda commander in Kashmir
Zakir Musa, one of the most prominent faces of the Kashmir militancy, has been named by the al-Qaeda as the head of its first branch in the Valley, according to The Guardian. The announcement, made by an al-Qaeda-affiliated propaganda channel, represents the first time a major international militant group has declared its presence in Kashmir, which saw one of its worst periods of violence since the last year. According to the Guardian, the Global Islamic Media Front said the cell will be called Ansar Ghazwat-Ul-Hind and it was set up as a step “taken after Burhan Wani’s death’’. Read the story here.
After Trump tweets, top US general says no changes to transgender policy yet
General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a written message on Thursday to military leaders that there has been no change yet to the military’s policy on transgender personnel, despite plans for a ban announced by President Donald Trump. “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance,” Dunford said in the written message to service chiefs, commanders and senior enlisted leaders. Read the story here.