Nitish Kumar to take oath as Bihar CM with BJP support, Amit Shah to contest RS poll from Gujarat: Top stories to bring you up to date
Nitish Kumar to take oath as Bihar CM with BJP support, BJP chief Amit Shah to contest Rajya Sabha poll, 33 killed in Gujarat floods, small traders reluctant to accept Rs 2,000 notes: Here is a list of top stories to bring you up to dateindia Updated: Jul 27, 2017 07:43 IST
Nitish Kumar resigns in blow to Mahagathbandhan, will return as Bihar CM with BJP support
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar resigned on Wednesday, torpedoing his so-called grand alliance with troubled allies Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress, and setting the stage for a new ruling partnership with the Bharatiya Janata Party. On a day of high political drama, Kumar’s surprise decision came hours after RJD chief Lalu Prasad ruled out the resignation of his son and deputy chief minister Tejashwi, who is facing an investigation over an alleged land-for-hotels scandal. “They would have grown in stature had they explained, resigned… I heard the voice of my conscience and decided to pull myself out of this coalition,” Kumar said, referring to Lalu and his son’s alleged involvement in corruption. Read the story here.
As Nitish, Sushil meet governor, Lalu says RJD too will stake claim to form Bihar govt
The RJD will stake claim to form the government in Bihar, the party’s chief Lalu Prasad said late on Wednesday, hours after Nitish Kumar resigned as the chief minister. Kumar is expected to stake claim to form the new government on Thursday. Sushil Kumar Modi is likely to return as the deputy chief minister. “Nitish Kumar has underlined that he is an opportunist. Having done what he has, he cannot stake claim without a challenge. The Congress, CPI-ML and independents will back our claims to form the next government,” Prasad told reporters late on Thursday while travelling to Ranchi to appear at a fodder scam court hearing. Read the story here.
Nitish’s resignation as Bihar CM hits idea of Grand Alliance at national level
Nitish Kumar’s decision to resign as chief minister on Wednesday dealt a blow to the Congress and the opposition parties that have been trying to cobble up a “Bihar-type” mahagathbandhan, or Grand Alliance, ahead of the 2019 general elections. Kumar’s exit from a coalition with RJD’s Lalu Prasad and the Congress underscores the challenges of such pacts, where once rival regional parties attempt joining hands, often as secular coalitions, to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party. “A premise has come to exist that the BJP will win the 2019 elections as well. This is attracting fence sitters and leaders of smaller regional parties. The grand alliance idea at the national level is in complete disarray,” said political scientist CP Bhambri. Read the story here.
BJP chief Amit Shah, Smriti Irani to contest Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday fielded its president Amit Shah for the August 8 Rajya Sabha election in Gujarat. Shah is currently a member of the Gujarat legislative assembly and this is for the first time that he will become a member of Parliament. Union minister Smriti Irani, too, has got a BJP ticket to contest the poll for membership of the upper house. Three Rajya Sabha members from the western state – Irani, Dilipbhai Pandya and Congress’ Ahmed Patel – are retiring next month. Patel filed his nomination papers on Wednesday. Read the story here.
Privacy a fundamental right, but it is conditional: Centre to Supreme Court
Privacy is a fundamental right but it is conditional, the central government said in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, retreating from its previous position that the privilege isn’t guaranteed by the Constitution. Attorney general KK Venugopal stated the government’s revised stand before a nine-judge bench led by Chief justice JS Khehar that will decide if the Constitution guarantees privacy to citizens. “It is conditional right and should be determined on a case-to-case basis,” Venugopal said. He argued that India’s “constitution-makers deliberately omitted privacy as a fundamental right”, but it is similar to the right to liberty that Article 21 of the statute guarantees. Therefore, every aspect of it cannot be elevated as a fundamental right. Read the story here.
33 die, including 17 of family, in the past 48 hrs as floods lash Gujarat
At least 33 people, including 17 members of a family, have died in the past 48 hours in Banaskantha district of north Gujarat, officials said on Wednesday, where tens of thousands of people have been affected by one of the worst floods in the recent times. Almost the entire Thakor family at Khariya village drowned in floods caused by incessant rains that have lashed the district in the past three days. The dead include six brothers and their families. Dasaji Thakor was the only survivor from the ill-fated family. Read the story here.
Subtle fear pervades politics: Gopalkrishna Gandhi
Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the opposition’s vice-presidential candidate, has expressed concern over the prevailing political atmosphere in the country, saying a “subtle fear pervades our politics today” that converts a “majority from an honest weightage of democratic opinion into majoritarianism”. “Two ways of life are now before us. One, that which wants Indians to have freedom of conscience, thought and speech so that the best ideas and energies can be devoted to raising the poor, the marginalised and the discriminated, making India a Republic for all its citizens,” he wrote in a letter to Members of Parliament (MPs). “Second, that which wants India to be dominated by one political ideology, one religious order, one majoritarian grip on all, making India a nation of stark, severe and strict uniformity”, he said. Read the story here.
PM Modi flew non-official trips to rallies in IAF planes at rates fixed in 1999
The Prime Minister’s Office has paid around Rs 89 lakh to the Indian Air Force for flying Narendra Modi on 128 “non-official” domestic trips since he took office, an expense that was lower than what it would have been had the PM used through commercial providers. The trips were largely for electioneering, and India’s election code makes it must for ministers — including the PM — to reimburse the government if its machinery is used in such cases. The flights provided by IAF were mostly when the Prime Minister had to fly out to remote locations in helicopters or small planes. The rates for these flights were last revised by the defence ministry in 1999. Read the story here.
‘Venkaiah Naidu’s response to corruption charges raises more questions’
The Congress on Wednesday kept up its attack on NDA vice-presidential candidate M Venkaiah Naidu over the allegation of corruption against him and his family members, and questioned the silence of PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah on the issue of probity and transparency in public life. The party claimed that Naidu’s response to its allegations against him on the issue of probity had “raised more questions”. “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion. People of India demand answers. It is time PM, BJP chief and Naidu break silence and answer questions instead of hiding behind platitudes,” said Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala. Read the story here.
Small traders reluctant to accept Rs 2,000 notes
Small traders and business people are reluctant to accept the new Rs2,000 currency notes fearing the government might withdraw them and because of high possibility of they being fake, HT has found. “Where will the traders go if the government withdraws Rs2,000 note?” asked Sandeep Bansal, president of Uttar Pradesh Udyog Vyapar Mandal. Rishi Pal, a trader in Haryana’s Hisar, recalled the problems business community faced after Rs1,000 and Rs500 notes were culled on November 2016 and said they didn’t want to undergo a similar pain again. Read the story here.
Donald Trump bans transgender people from US military
US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that transgender people will not be allowed to serve in the US military “in any capacity” any longer, reversing a 2016 order by the Barack Obama administration. Trump made this announcement in a string of tweets, taking even the Pentagon by surprise. There are an estimated 6,630 transgender individuals in active military service out of 1.3 million personnel. Read the story here.