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PM Modi criticises Congress on Kashmir, SC to take up key cases today: Top stories

A lowdown of the top headlines today.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2017 07:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
PM Modi,Congress,Kashmir
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi addresses attendees at a congregation at the Palace Grounds in Bengaluru on October 29. Modi has accused the Congress of shamelessly lending its voice for Kashmir’s azadi.(AFP)

From Aadhaar to Kerala ‘love jihad’ and Article 35A: Supreme Court to take up high-profile cases today

From Aadhaar to “love jihad” in Kerala, a string of high-profile cases riveting the nation are up for hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday, making it a day of significant judicial importance. A bench led by Justice AK Sikri will hear the West Bengal government’s petition against the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar, a 12-digit unique identification number for citizens, mandatory to get social welfare benefits. A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will take up petitions seeking repeal of Article 35(A), a law that guarantees special privileges to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra will hear a Muslim man’s request for overturning a Kerala high court order that cancelled his marriage with a Hindu girl after she converted to Islam. Misra questioned the order in the previous hearing. A special bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra will assemble to take up a case related to reforms in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

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PM Modi cites sacrifice of jawans to chide Congress, Chidambaram over Kashmir autonomy row

Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress on Sunday of “shamelessly lending its voice for Kashmir’s azadi”, saying it was an insult to the soldiers who died for the state. His remarks came in response to Congress leader and former Union home minister P Chidambaram’s comments in poll-bound Gujarat on Saturday that “greater autonomy” should be provided to Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre appointed former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma as its representative for dialogues with stakeholders in the state. “All of a sudden, those who were in power till yesterday have taken a U-turn. Shamelessly, they are lending their voice for Kashmir’s azadi... using language used by the separatists in Kashmir (and) spoken by Pakistan,” Modi told BJP workers in Bengaluru.

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Chidambaram’s comments betray how little understanding Congress has about Kashmir: Jaitley

Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday came down heavily on former home minister P Chidambaram claiming his comments on Kashmir had come at a very “inopportune” time when the government was dealing with terrorism with a heavy hand and terrorists were on the run. Chidambaram’s remarks that the state of Jammu and Kashmir should be given more rights, are inopportune and reflect the little understanding that Congress has about the Kashmir issue, Jaitley said. “Does he mean that inadequacy of rights is the cause of the Kashmir problem? And what more rights he wants when all the rights and powers except defence, external affairs, telecommunication and currency are with the state,” he said.

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Ministerial panel wants GST rate cuts for small businesses to reduce tax burden

A ministerial panel has recommended lowering the goods and services tax (GST) rates for small businesses and extending the benefit to more such units in an attempt to reduce their tax burden and improve compliance. If accepted by the GST Council at its November 9-10 meeting, the changes in the so-called composition scheme could benefit millions of small enterprises, eateries and traders. The changes could also reduce some of the angst over GST, the political ballast of which is being felt by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. The GST Council has been working on encouraging the informal segment of the economy, which is dependent on cash transactions, to come under the tax net without burdening them.

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Hawkers caught in the middle of political battle in Mumbai

The forcible eviction of hawkers near railway stations is snowballing into a major political controversy; it’s now being projected as a Marathi manoos versus North Indians tussle. While Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena continues attacking hawkers, the Congress has warned that it will stand by the hawkers, who will retaliate against the MNS. On Sunday morning, Raj Thackeray visited the hospital where MNS leader Sushant Malawade who was attacked with swords by the hawkers in Malad is currently admitted. By evening MNS workers attacked hawkers outside the Vashi station in Navi Mumbai. Though Thackeray did not speak to the media, MNS workers who had gathered in large numbers called it a signal to continue the attacks on hawkers.

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Railways to invest $150 billion, create 1 million jobs in 5 yrs: Piyush Goyal

The Railways is looking to invest over $150 billion over the next five years which would help create one million additional jobs, minister Piyush Goyal has said. Goyal, who took over as the rail minister after a Cabinet reshuffle in August, said he was trying to give the national transporter a “new direction”. “During the next five years, the Railways alone will be looking at an investment of upwards of $150 billion. And when I translate that into jobs, I see a million jobs being created only through investments in the railway sector,” he said. Goyal said his ministry was also compressing the time taken for complete electrification of rail lines to four years from the earlier plan of 10 years, which would help cut costs by around 30% for the loss-making Railways.

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Indian Army to launch fresh hunt for weapons worth Rs 45,000 crore

The army is set to launch a fresh hunt for assault rifles, light machine guns (LMGs) and carbines after a string of failed attempts to equip its soldiers with these basic weapons during the past decade, a senior officer said on Sunday. The officer said the force’s road map for infantry modernisation was taking shape with the government preparing to release a tender for 7.7 lakh assault rifles and redoubling its efforts to buy more than 54,000 LMGs and 44,618 carbines – weapons that are expected to cost upwards of Rs 45,000 crore. “Indian soldiers are the best in the world but the worst equipped,” said Lieutenant General Rajender Singh (retd), who was director general of infantry in 2007-08. It was during his tenure that the army moved files to buy these weapons.

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Catalonia referendum: Thousands march for unified Spain, poll shows depths of division

Hundreds of thousands of supporters of a unified Spain filled Barcelona’s streets on Sunday in one of the biggest shows of force yet by the so-called silent majority that has watched as regional political leaders push for Catalan independence. Political parties opposing a split by Catalonia from Spain had a small lead in an opinion poll published on Sunday, the first since Madrid called a regional election to try to resolve the country’s worst political crisis in four decades. Polls and recent elections have shown that about half the electorate in the wealthy northeastern region, which is already autonomous, oppose secession from Spain, but a vocal independence movement has brought the current crisis to a head. Waving thousands of Spanish flags and singing “Viva España”, protesters on Sunday turned out in the largest display of support for a united Spain since the beginning of the crisis -- underlining the depth of division in Catalonia itself.

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Cricket: New Zealand choke, India clinch Green Park thriller in style

Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma struck sparkling centuries as India notched up a thrilling six-run win against New Zealand to capture the three-match ODI series 2-1, at the Green Park on Sunday. After posting a challenging 337/6, India restricted the Black Caps to 331/7 in 50 overs, thus ensuring back-to-back series wins against the rivals on home soil and their seventh successive bilateral series victory. With New Zealand needing 15 runs off the last six deliveries, Jasprit Bumrah conceded eight and dismissed Mitchell Santner off the fourth delivery. Bumrah was also the brain behind Tom Latham’s crucial run out in the 48th over.

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Kidambi Srikanth to the ‘Four’: Indian wins French Open Superseries

For Kidambi Srikanth, 2017 is turning out to be a career-transforming year with the height of success increasing with every passing tournament. With a 34-minute facile win in the French Open final on Sunday, the Pullela Gopichand protégé has now gone on to win as many as four Superseries crowns till date this year --- a landmark no other Indian has achieved -- and sixth overall. Following his runners-up show at the Singapore Open in April, where he lost to friend and compatriot B Sai Praneeth, Srikanth has gone on to claim the men’s singles titles at Indonesia, Australia, Denmark and now France.

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First Published: Oct 30, 2017 07:48 IST