Here is today’s OpIndia Evening Dispatch to help you catch up with the events of the day.
1. Business Standard withdraws Fake News but Congress sympathizers use it to prop up Rahul Gandhi
After OpIndia’s Fact-Check, Business Standard withdrew its article where it claimed that Google Trends showed Congress President Rahul Gandhi was more popular than Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They even sent an email to OpIndia thanking for pointing out the error in their report. However, abusive troll and propagandist Swati Chaturvedi used the dubious claims made in the report to build the narrative that Rahul Gandhi has shed his ‘Pappu image’.
2. Sharad Pawar makes a U-Turn!
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar is a confused man. Last year in July, he was of the opinion that the Constitution should be amended to clear the Maratha reservation. He has even expressed willingness to talk to the Opposition. Pawar yesterday said that amending the constitution for quota (10% for the economically backward section of the society) is ‘harmful’.
3. Gujarat becomes the first state to implement 10% reservation for the economically backward
Gujarat is set to become the first Indian state to implement the new 10% reservation for the Economically Weaker Sections of the general category in all educational institutions and government jobs. Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani had announced it yesterday.
CM Rupani has stated that Gujarat will implement the 10% reservation for EWS from 14th January onwards. It is to be implemented in all the ongoing recruitment processes where advertisements have been published but the first stage of examinations are yet to be held.
4. AK Antony says ‘Congress not strong enough to challenge BJP alone’, adds ‘Modi fears Rahul’
Acknowledging the inability of Congress party to be a challenger to the Narendra Modi led BJP, senior Congress leader AK Antony has urged his party to join hands with other opposition parties to defeat the BJP as he believes Congress party alone cannot stop the Modi juggernaut.
Speaking at the general body meeting of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) on Friday, the former Defence Minister said that Congress party has realised that it is not strong enough to take on the BJP alone and emphasised on the need of an alliance to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
5. Controversial ‘poet’ who wrote the ‘condom on Trishul’ poem, faces massive protests at Silchar, Assam
On Saturday, controversial poet Srijato Bandyopadhyay faced massive protests in Silchar, Assam, after several people opposed his participation in an event as a mark of protest against one of his poems ‘Condom on Trishul’, which had hurt Hindu religious sentiments.
Srijato Bandyopadhyay, who was present at Silchar in Barak Valley, to attend a literary discussion “Eso Boli” (Come, let’s speak up) on Saturday evening, faced protests from several people against his 2017 poem titled ‘Abhishaap’ (Curse), where had used terms like “Condoms on Trishul”. The last line of his poem, the 42-year-old poet had written, “As long as women are raped by digging up their graves, condoms should be worn on Trishul”.
6. Troubles within Mahagathbandhan
Karnataka Water Resources minister DK Shivakumar on Sunday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party was indulging in horse-trading and were luring three of its MLAs to camp at a Mumbai hotel in the “company of some BJP leaders”, PTI reported. Shivakumar said the development was part of BJP’s “Operation Lotus” which is aimed at ousting the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress government in the state.
Kumaraswamy also launched an attack on ally partner Congress over seat-sharing arrangement for the Lok Sabha elections. He said that ‘Congress should not treat JD(S) like third-grade citizens’. The Congress-JD(S) alliance in Karnataka has not been a smooth one ever since the two have stitched up this awkward coalition with the sole purpose to keep BJP out of power in Karnataka.
Meanwhile in Uttar Pradesh, days after Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samajwadi Party’s Mayawati announced their alliance in the state, SP MLAs are coming forward to raise their apprehensions on the proposed alliance. Today, SP MLA from Sirsaganj of Firozabad, Hari Om Yadav claimed that the alliance would not yield the envisaged benefits. He also foreboded that the alliance wouldn’t last long. Hari Om also claimed that the alliance would only continue so long as Akhilesh Yadav continues to acquiesce to Mayawati’s whims and fancies.
7. Trouble for ‘Tukde Tukde’ Brigade
Delhi Police Special Cell has filed its chargesheet at the Patiala House Court after investigating into February 2016 JNU event commemorating terrorist Afzal Guru. Police have asserted that charge sheet is backed by concrete evidence collected during the investigation. They also said that evidence is also backed by data collected from accused’s Facebook profiles.
As per reports, the list of accused includes Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Umar Gul, Basharat Ali, Raes Rasool and Khalid Bhat along with Shehla Rashid and the CPI national secretary D Raja’s daughter Aparajita Raja for allegedly shouting anti-national slogans.
Kanhaiya Kumar has responded to the chargesheet filed against him with a bizarre tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has dubbed it a desperate move by the BJP to provide Modi with talking points ahead of the General Elections later this year.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Monday refused to quash Pune Police’s FIR against alleged Urban Naxal Anand Teltumbde for his alleged involvement in the Koregaon Bhima violence and also in connection with the plot to assassinate Prime Minister Modi.
According to the reports, a Bench comprising of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice S K Kaul refused to interfere with the ongoing investigation in the case and ordered Teltumbde to seek regular bail from the competent trial court. However, the apex court granted accused Urban Naxal Anand Teltumbde protection from arrest for four weeks.
8. Vadra aide Manoj Arora questioned by ED
Manoj Arora, the executive assistant and alleged close-aid of Robert Vadra, has appeared before the Enforcement Directorate, in relation to a money laundering case. As per reports, Arora is being grilled by the ED for his alleged involvement in Robert Vadra’s benami properties in the UK.
Agencies are also probing Vadra’s alleged involvement in various land deal scams. With questioning going on Majoj Arora, troubles for Gandhi family’s son-in-law doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon.
Meanwhile in Karnataka, an employee of the Backward Classes Welfare Minister C.Puttaranga Shetty’s office has been caught while transporting unaccounted cash worth ₹25.76 lakhs. According to the sources, the Minister is likely to be questioned by the Anti-Corruption Bureau in the case.
The Vidhana Soudha police on January 4 arrested one SJ Mohan Kumar who worked in Mr Shetty’s office. The case has been transferred to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for investigation. According to reports, Kumar has claimed that he had collected the money from representatives of multiple contractors and that it was meant for the Minister.
9. Massive Church Scam
A massive land scam allegedly committed by Church of South India Trust Association (CSIT) has been unearthed by the Andhra Pradesh CID and Serious Fraud Investigation Office’s Hyderabad unit. The investigation has revealed that the arrested accused, Archbishop Govada Dyvasirvadam and his associates have sold away land and swindled several crore rupees, reported Times of India.
According to reports, Bishop Govada Dyvasirvadam was arrested in December for misappropriating church funds to the tune of hundreds of crores. During the investigation, the AP CID officials had found that there were irregularities in selling away of the CSITA’s land, misuse of deposits and foreign funds.
10. Prime Minister Modi continues to earn accolades internationally
Also, the UPA government during its 10-year rule released Rs 17,989 crore for construction of houses, while the NDA government has released Rs 25,264 crore for construction of houses for urban poor marking a 240% rise in housing under Narendra Modi’s government.
In his latest article, Imam Tawhidi opines that “Pakistani government is more part of the problem than the solution”. He writes, “Pakistani authorities actually strive to silence critics of Islamic terrorism. They plant fear in the hearts of intellectuals by intimidation, arrests and public shaming. In 2018, Pakistani diplomats in Canada have openly threatened outspoken critics Tarek Fatah and Tahir Gora on Canadian soil, while Former Ambassador Husain Haqqani continues to receive threats on social media.”
12. No Kite Flying in religious places in Hyderabad!
In an order issued by the police of Hyderabad, kite-flying enthusiasts have been asked to refrain themselves from flying kites around the religious places and thoroughfares during Sankranti to avoid any accident or breach of peace. The restrictions will be in place on 14th and 15th January, when traditional kite flying is done on the occasion of Sankranti.
According to the police, no blanket ban has been issued but a preemptive advisory has been circulated to prevent occurrences of untoward incidents. Police have also taken stern steps against the illegal sale of Chinese substitutes of ‘manjha’ which has become a menace for unsuspecting bystanders and has caused grievous injuries to them. The police officials have also asked parents to advise their children not to fly kites from terraces which do not have parapet walls to avoid any unfortunate incident.
13. Karnataka: Congress minister’s aide caught with over 25 lakhs of unaccounted cash, ‘kickbacks’ alleged
An employee of the Backward Classes Welfare Minister C.Puttaranga Shetty’s office has been caught while transporting unaccounted cash worth ₹25.76 lakhs. According to the sources, the Minister is likely to be questioned by the Anti-Corruption Bureau in the case.