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Manmohan Singh says Pranab Mukherjee was more qualified to become PM, Rahul to lead Congress soon, Trump decertifies Iran nuclear deal: Top stories

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh said ex-president Pranab Mukherjee was more qualified to become PM, Rahul Gandhi to take over as Congress president soon, robbers loot passengers after spraying poisonous gas in Jhelum Express, India to change key army formations along China border, Trump decertifies ‘worst’ Iran Nuclear deal, calls for fixes of ‘serious flaws’: Here is a list of top stories to bring you up to date

india Updated: Oct 14, 2017 08:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Indian National Congress‬,‪Rahul Gandhi‬,Pranab Mukherjee
Former President Pranab Mukherjee with former prime minister Manmohan Singh at the release of his book “The Coalition Years” at a function in New Delhi on Friday. (Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

Pranab Mukherjee was more qualified to become PM, says Manmohan Singh

Former prime minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said ex-president Pranab Mukherjee had every reason for grievance at being ignored for prime ministership despite being more qualified but knew “I had no choice” in the matter, and that smoothened their relationship. Singh’s comments at the launch of Mukherjee’s book--’The coalition years--in the presence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi left the audience in splits. “In 2004 when Soniaji chose me to become the prime minister, Pranabji was one of the most distinguished colleagues that I had. “He had every reason to feel a grievance that he was better qualified than I was to become the prime minister, but he also knew that I have no choice in the matter,” the former prime minister said as the audience, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, burst into laughter. Read the story here.

Rahul will take over Congress reins soon, says party chief Sonia Gandhi

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Friday said Rahul Gandhi will soon take over the reins of the party. “You have been asking this for so many years and it’s now happening,” she told NDTV at a function to release former president Pranab Mukherjee’s autobiography, The Coalition Years 1996-2012. Congress sources said Rahul is set to take over as the party chief anytime after Diwali. Majority of the state Congress units barring poll-bound Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland have completed their organisational elections though without any contest. Almost all states have passed unanimous resolution, demanding the elevation of Rahul as the party chief. Read the story here.

Robbers loot passengers after spraying poisonous gas in Jhelum Express coaches

Robbers looted passengers of cash and belongings worth lakhs of rupees on Friday after spraying a poisonous gas in two coaches of Jhelum Express (11077) going from Pune to Jammu. The passengers shared horror tales of their journey at the Ludhiana railway station on Friday. Passengers alleged that the incident happened between 4am and 7am when someone sprayed a poisonous gas in the coach, following which they lost their consciousness. They found their luggage missing when they regained their senses. Read the story here.

Talwars stuck in jail as release papers delayed

The dentist couple, Nupur and Rajesh Talwar, will have to wait more to step out of Dasna jail as a certified copy of the Allahabad high court order acquitting them in the Aarushi-Hemraj double-murder case is yet to reach Ghaziabad for the processing of their release documents. Their lawyers in Allahabad said the Talwars’ case pursuers had received a certified copy from the high court which would likely reach Ghaziabad by Saturday morning. The release could then materialise within a day or two. As Sunday is a holiday, the Talwars might even have to wait until Monday. Read the story here.

India to change key army formations along China border, boost infrastructure after Doklam stand-off

Close on the heels of the Dokalam standoff, organisational changes are likely in some of the key Army formations besides steps to boost infrastructure along the nearly 4,000 km-long Sino-India border including around the areas of dispute. The decisions were taken at the Army’s commanders conference which extensively deliberated on the Dokalam face off with China besides analysing all possible security challenges on the northern border, official sources said. Director general staff duties Lt. Gen. Vijay Singh, briefing on the outcome of the conclave, said it was decided that there would be considerable “heft” towards road construction activities in the northern sector. Read the story here.

Kanpur police books 22 traders for posters comparing Modi to Kim Jong-un

The Kanpur police have registered a criminal case against 22 traders for putting up hoardings and posters comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to highlight the issue of a deluge of small coins affecting their businesses, an official said on Friday. They also arrested Praveen Kumar, a resident of Sharda Nagar, on Thursday for installing these hoardings. The hoardings have a photograph of Kim Jong-un on one side declaring he will rest only after he has destroyed the world and that of Modi on other the side saying, “I will bring an end to businesses”. The traders commissioned these posters after banks in the city refused to take deposits in coins, stating the lack of chests to keep them. Read the story here.

Diwali cracker ban: SC refuses to modify ruling, ‘anguished over communal angle’

The Supreme Court refused on Friday to modify its order banning firecracker sales in Delhi-NCR, saying it was anguished at people giving the ruling a communal angle. On Monday, the SC reinstated its ban on the sale of firecrackers in and around New Delhi ahead of Diwali, a preemptive step aimed at preventing a toxic haze from engulfing the region like last year. “We are pained to hear when people give a communal angle. Everybody knows I am a very spiritual person but this is something different,” said justice AK Sikri who heads the bench that issued the order. The other judge is Ashok Bhushan. Read the story here.

Supreme Court says human rights of Rohingya refugees cannot be ignored

The Supreme Court on Friday said that problem of Rohingya refugees is of a “great magnitude”. However, there is a need to strike a “right balance” to address concerns of national security that might arise due to their stay, it said. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was about to issue a directive to the Centre not to deport Rohingya refugees but was stopped by additional solicitor general, Tushar Mehta, who said an order of this kind would embarrass the government on international fora. The bench fixed November 21 to give a detailed and a holistic hearing on the petitions filed against the government’s decision to deport Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar. Read the story here.

Trump decertifies ‘worst’ Iran Nuclear deal, calls for fixes of ‘serious flaws’

US President Donald Trump on Friday announced he cannot certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 multilateral agreement but will stay with it for now and his administration will work with congress and allies to fix its many “serious flaws”, mostly unrelated to the country’s nuclear programme. The president also said he had instructed his administration to designate the “entire” Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), calling it “a corrupt personal terror force and militia” of the Iranian government, and slap sanctions against it officials, agents and affiliates. President Trump, who has been a long-time critic of the Iran deal — officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — said, “As I have said many times the Iran deal was one of the worst and one sided deals the United States has ever entered into.” Read the story here.

Iran warns US of chaos, if nuclear deal scrapped

Iran has warned that if Washington fails to comply with the nuclear deal arrangements, the agreement will collapse and Tehran may respond with reciprocal measures even if the US quits from the agreement. The speaker of Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani on Friday said that United States policies towards the 2015 nuclear deal and its sanctions against Moscow and Tehran will spread chaos in the international community. “It seems like the US have started some action which will eventually lead to disorder on [the] world arena,” Larijani said. Read the story here.

First Published: Oct 14, 2017 08:04 IST