Jaitley hits out at Yashwant Sinha, ISIS releases new message from Baghdadi, Ben Stokes suspended: Top stories
Here are top stories to bring you up to date today.india Updated: Sep 29, 2017 07:29 IST
Arun Jaitley hits out at Yashwant Sinha, calls him a job applicant at 80
Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday took a dig at predecessors Yashwant Sinha and P Chidambaram, who have been critical of his handling of the economy. In a speech at a book release function, Jaitley reminded Sinha, a colleague of his in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), that when he was finance minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1998-2002, non-performing assets (NPAs) of commercial banks stood at a “staggering” 15% of total advances. Jaitley said he does not have the luxury of being a former finance minister who has turned a columnist and cannot conveniently forget the past record. Read the story here.
Opinion: In spite of all the criticism, the BJP faces no great threat in Gujarat and Himachal
If the BJP still remains in pole position to sweep the final election battles of the year in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, it reflects the nature of the political contestation at the moment and the disjunction between economic realities and electoral fortunes. Firstly, Modi still is, by some distance, the most credible leader who can bank on personal goodwill generated by his image of a non-corrupt ‘karmayogi’ leader. Secondly, the RSS-BJP electoral machine is vastly superior to what the Congress, still struggling to recover from its 2014 drubbing, has to offer. Thirdly, while Rahul Gandhi might have discovered his voice on the west coast of America, western India and the Himalayan mountains pose an entirely different challenge. Read the column here.
Bimal Gurung seeks ‘safe passage’ for talks with Centre on Gorkhaland
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung wants a safe passage to attend a meeting with the Centre, likely to be held in mid-October, over the Darjeeling impasse. Gurung is on the run since last month after cases were lodged against him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and a lookout notice was issued. “We want the Centre to guarantee total security for top GJM leaders, including party president Bimal Gurung to attend the meeting to be held on October 16,” said wife Asha Gurung, who heads the women’s wing of the party, over the phone from an undisclosed location. Read the story here.
Wrote article disputing father on my own, says Jayant Sinha
Union minister Jayant Sinha on Thursday rejected suggestions that he wrote an article in an English daily disputing his father and former finance minister Yashwant Sinha’s contentions on the state of India’s economy at anybody’s bidding, insisting it was “absolutely out of his own conscience”. Sinha, minister of state for civil aviation, also said his difference of opinion with his father was “very serious discussion” and that it should not be seen “in a personal way”. “It was absolutely my own conscience... I reject any such charge that I was asked to write the article. I wanted to write the article,” he told a television channel. Read the story here.
BHU violence: CM Yogi Adityanath says CCTV clips show outsiders creating ruckus
Terming violence and lathi-charge on girls at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) a conspiracy against his government, chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday said that he had received intelligence input prior to the incident and had shared it with the varsity authorities who failed to show sensitivity in dealing with the crisis. “It is clear that the row escalated due to communication gap between students and university authorities, following which some outsiders got the opportunity to create
ruckus. All such outsiders have been identified through CCTV footages. They will be punished strictly,” said the CM, who is in Gorakhpur till Dussehra. Read the story here.
More than 500,000 Rohingya refugees have entered Bangladesh since August 25: UN
The number of Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh since August to escape violence in Myanmar has topped 500,000, the United Nations said Thursday. U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that, combined with refugees who fled previously, the total number of Rohingya in Bangladesh is believed to be “well over 700,000 people.” “It is the largest mass refugee movement in the region in decades,” Haq said. The announcement of the spiraling exodus came just ahead of the first open meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Myanmar in eight years. Read the story here.
Pakistan’s interior ministry opposes registration of Hafiz Saeed’s party
Pakistan’s interior ministry has asked the Election Commission not to register the new political party formed by Hafiz Saeed’s Jamaat-ud-Dawah as intelligence reports have suggested such a move would breed violence in politics, according to a Pakistani media report. After being approached by the Election Commission, the interior ministry took up the matter with security agencies. It cited a letter from the ministry which said one security agency believed the “indulgence of proscribed/under-observation organisations in the political process with an aim to win legitimacy is a serious issue, besides neutralising the gains of National Action Plan (NAP)”. Read the story here.
Islamic State releases new audio message from leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
The Islamic State released an audio recording of its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi on Thursday via the Al-Furqan organization that is linked to the jihadi group. The date on which the 46-minute recording was made was not immediately clear. Experts who track the Islamic State said the audio message, shared on the Islamic State’s channels on the Telegram encrypted messaging app, used terms to refer to him that suggested he is alive. The Islamic State had last released a speech by al-Baghdadi in November 2016. Read the story here.
Makhan Lal Fotedar passes away: A back room czar left with no room
In the Congress circles, Makhan Lal Fotedar owed his importance to two things: his crafty political sense and his unflinching loyalty and proximity to the Gandhi family. He receded into the background in the post Indira and Rajiv Gandhi era, falling essentially to internal power machinations and generational shift. Though sidelined and disenchanted in his twilight years, he never switched parties. He died a Congressman at his Gurugram home. The politically adroit Pandit from Kashmir was brought to politics by Jawaharlal Nehru in the early 1950s. But he acquired real clout as Indira Gandhi’s political aide. The power he then wielded was no less — and was a counterfoil in fact — to that of the then PM’s other confidant, R K Dhawan. Read the story here.
David Warner ton, Australia death bowling thwart India’s perfect 10 quest
David Warner’s brilliant 124 in his 100th ODI, combined with some brilliant death bowling from Australia where they gave away just 31 runs in the last five overs, helped Steve Smith’s team end their overseas ODI woes with a 21-run win over India at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Thursday. At 282/4 in the 45th over, with Kedar Jadhav having smashed a fifty and Manish Pandey batting aggressively, India seemed to be on course for a win. However, Kane Richardson got Jadhav for 67 with a leg-cutter and Australia got a foothold in the game. In the 46th over bowled by Pat Cummins, Manish Pandey inside-edged a slog on to his leg-stump to depart for a 25-ball 33. Read the story here.
Ben Stokes and Alex Hales suspended indefinitely by England
Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be considered for selection by England until the conclusion of an investigation into the incident that led to the former’s arrest this week, potentially threatening his involvement in the forthcoming Ashes series. Ben Stokes was taken in by police in Bristol on Monday and was detained overnight on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm, while Hales voluntarily returned to the city to assist with enquiries. He was released without charge as the authorities continue to investigate, but a video allegedly showing the altercation that led to Ben Stokes’ arrest emerged on Wednesday. And the ECB has now confirmed that - in the wake of that video’s release - Stokes and Hales will be stood down from international duty. Read the story here.