Top HT Stories: SC overturns mandate theft in Chandigarh and more… | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Top HT Stories: SC overturns mandate theft in Chandigarh, Maratha Quota Bill, Wayanad's Man Vs Wild episode and more…

Feb 21, 2024 07:45 AM IST

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**EDS: FILE PHOTO** Chandigarh: In this Jan. 30, 2024 file photo, AAP mayor candidate Kuldeep Kumar breaks down after his defeat in the Chandigarh mayoral polls, in Chandigarh. The Supreme Court declares AAP councillor Kuldeep Kumar as winner and Mayor of union territory of Chandigarh. (PTI)
**EDS: FILE PHOTO** Chandigarh: In this Jan. 30, 2024 file photo, AAP mayor candidate Kuldeep Kumar breaks down after his defeat in the Chandigarh mayoral polls, in Chandigarh. The Supreme Court declares AAP councillor Kuldeep Kumar as winner and Mayor of union territory of Chandigarh. (PTI)

1) SC overturns mandate theft in Chandigarh mayor poll

The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned the results of Chandigarh mayoral polls and declared the Aam Aadmi Party candidate (AAP) the winner, in a landmark decision that doused an unprecedented controversy that erupted last month after the returning officer was caught on camera brazenly defacing ballots. “We order and direct that the election result, as declared by the presiding officer Anil Masih, will stand set aside and the petitioner (Kuldeep Kumar) will be declared elected as the mayor of the Chandigarh municipal corporation,” said the bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud. Read more.

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2) What does the Maratha quota bill, cleared by the Maharashtra assembly, entail?

The Maharashtra Legislature unanimously passed a bill reserving 10% of the seats in educational institutions and the same proportion of government jobs for people from the Maratha community in the third such attempt by the state government to carve out a quota for the once-dominant agrarian community, after similar laws enacted in 2014 and 2019 were struck down by the courts. In the bill, the government cited the findings of a report submitted by the Maharashtra State Commission for Backward Classes as the basis for the reservation. The report stated that the Marathas account for 28% of Maharashtra’s population, and are in an “exceptional circumstances and extraordinary condition” of backwardness, making it a fit case for reservation over the 50% ceiling mandated by the Supreme Court. The 10% quota is over and above the existing 62% reservation in the state, which includes 10% for those belonging to economically weaker sections (EWS) and the remaining 52% caste-based quota. Read more.

3) Wayanad requires long-term restoration, not trigger happy responses to human-animal conflict

When Congress president Rahul Gandhi abruptly halted his Bharat Jodo Yatra in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and headed for Wayanad, his Lok Sabha constituency, on February 17, a local story of animal-human conflict unfolding in the district nestled in the high ranges of the Western Ghats in north Kerala, suddenly caught the nation’s attention. To be sure, Wayanad is not the only place in the country where reports of skirmishes — and in some tragic instances, deaths — between humans and animals are reported. Chandrapur, in Maharashtra, is a conflict zone between humans and tigers; in the Indo-Gangetic plains, farmers complain the most about nilgai; in urban and semi-urban parts of the National Capital Region and Haryana, such as Gurugram, leopards have terrified residents. Read more.

4) Not MY, we are BAAP: Tejashwi Yadav

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday gave a new, inclusive slogan for his party as he embarked on his 10-day Jan Vishwas Yatra during which he would travel across 38 districts of Bihar.

“Some people say RJD is MY party. RJD is not MY (Muslim-Yadav) party alone. Its base is much bigger and it belongs to people from A to Z. We have to tell them that our party RJD is not only (MY) party but also BAAP party,” he said at his first meeting in Muzaffarpur, explaining that the B stands for Bahujan in the acronym, A for agada (forward), A for aadhi abaadi (women) and P for the poor. Read more.

5) Ties with Europe, US, seen ups and downs, but Russia never hurt us: Jaishankar

India is open to mediating between Russia and Ukraine if it is approached to do so but does not believe that it should initiate any efforts to end the conflict between the two countries on its own, external affairs minister S Jaishankar has said. The Indian side had no option but to procure Russian crude when New Delhi’s energy suppliers in West Asia gave priority to providing petroleum to Europe, which paid higher prices, following the Ukraine conflict, Jaishankar said in an interview with the German economic daily Handelsblatt. Read more.

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