OpIndia Evening Dispatch: Friday, 1st February 2019

A quick round up of things that made it to news today

In the hustle and bustle of the day, it is only natural to miss some of the biggest developments that impact the nation. The OpIndia Evening Dispatch will catch you up on the day’s event even if you have been busy thus far.

Here is what made it to news today:

1. Rahul Gandhi eats dosa in a five star hotel, friendly media spins it as a humble move

On Friday, both NDTV and India Today ended up being a laughing stock after social media users found that they had published a bizarre report glorifying Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s stopover at a restaurant to have South Indian delicacy dosa and filter coffee.

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India Today even went on to mention how Rahul Gandhi is ‘often known’ to visit restaurants in ‘mostly middle class and upmarket areas’ in Delhi. Not sure whether India Today meant the Sagar Ratna Rahul Gandhi visited was middle class or upmarket since the outlet he visited is situated inside Hotel Ashok, a five-star hotel.

2. Manish Tewari makes an outlandish charge, alleges ‘parts of the budget has been leaked’

Today, when the Country was moments away from the Budget 2019 being presented, Congress leader Manish Tewari had floated a charge, that the budget has been leaked in parts to the media and others.

Manish Tewari had taken to Twitter to attach photographs and alleged that parts of the budget has been leaked to the media.

3. As extraditions continue, Vijay Mallya claims DRT has attached more than he owed, alleges harassments by banks’ UK lawyers

Fugitive tycoon Vijay Mallya has stated recently in a series of tweets that the consortium of Indian banks has already attached much more than the amount he owed them. He also stated that the banks are now trying to prevent him from paying his tax dues in the UK.

Mallya alleged that every morning, he wakes up to the news of another attachment by the Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) of his properties in India. He added that the total value of the properties attached so far has crossed Rs 13,000 crores already. Mallya alleged that as the banks have claimed that the total debts he owes to them stand at Rs 9000 crores including all dues and taxes, the value of attachments is now the more than the due amount.

4. Rajasthan: Gehlot government blames BJP for not being able to implement loan waiver that Congress promised

The Congress in Rajasthan has come up with a way to blame the previous BJP regime for leaving the state in massive debt, and are citing this as the reason behind them being unsuccessful to keep up their promise of pre-poll promise of farm loan waiver.

CM Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said that the farm loan waiver involving cooperative banks would amount to Rs 18,000 crore at a time when the state was caught in debt of Rs 3 lakh crore left by the former BJP government.

5. West Bengal: CBI summons Derek O’Brien, grills Mamata Banerjee’s close aide over sale of her paintings to chit fund companies

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday, have questioned Manik Majumdar, a close aide of the West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, about the sale proceeds of the paintings and even sent a notice to her party’s MP Derek O’Brien.

The CBI has reportedly questioned Majumdar over how the proceeds of the CM’s paintings were utilised. CBI officials have stated that they are “Investigating the route of chit fund money in various directions so as to the find out the larger conspiracy angle as has been directed by the Supreme Court of India.”

6. Fact-check: Congress lies profusely in an attempt to ‘fact-check’ Piyush Goyal’s Budget 2019 speech

Acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal presented a significant Interim Budget 2019 today where he announced numerous benefits to farmers, the middle class and MSMEs. With the various announcements that were made, it was natural for the Congress party to feel jittery about its electoral prospects ahead of General Elections later this year.

In a thread, it has made some quite a few misleading arguments to downplay the significance of Piyush Goyal’s speech.

7. Indiaspend’s faulty ‘FactChecker’ spreads fake news about Budget 2019 while ‘fact-checking’ Piyush Goyal’s speech

Today, after Piyush Goyal’s Budget 2019 speech, factchecker.in decided to ‘fact-check’ the speech, and in the process, ended up spreading fake news themselves.

In one of their tweets, they claimed that acting Finance Minister lied when he said ‘under Make in India, mobile and parts manufacturing have increased from 2 to more than 268 providing huge job opportunities’. However, FactChecker.in conveniently uses data from August 2018 to brand Piyush Goyal’s assertions as a lie. If one digs a little further, one realises that according to November 2018 data, Piyush Goyal’s assertions are right on the mark.

8. Serial petitioner advocate M L Sharma moves Supreme Court against interim budget, challenges validity

Serial petitioner advocate M L Sharma, who is known for his petitions rejected by courts, has yet another filed a PIL, and this time his target is the interim budget presented by finance minister Piyush Goyal today.

Challenging the validity of the interim budget in his petition, advocate ML Sharma had filed a petition against it at the Supreme Court saying that there is no provision for an interim budget in the constitution. He says that the budget is a fraud on the constitution.

9. Freshly upgraded by HAL, IAF Mirage 2000 aircraft crashes leaving both pilots dead

In an extremely tragic incidence, the Indian Air Force has confirmed that two senior pilots were killed after the Mirage 2000, which was on an acceptance trial after an upgrade by the HAL, crashed at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) airport at Bengaluru this morning.

One of the pilots landed back on the wreckage after ejecting, while the second pilot died in an operation theatre. The deceased pilots have been identified as Squadron leader Sameer Abrol and Squadron leader Siddarth Negi.

10. Rahul Gandhi finally comments on Budget 2019, but not without lying and obfuscating

Congress President Rahul Gandhi lies. And he has no qualms about it. After the presentation of the interim budget earlier today, Congress President took to Twitter in an attempt to mock assured income support promised to the farmers.

11. Budget 2019: The economics governing the Interim Budget 2019

The interim budget for the year 2019 presented by the acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal included a range of comprehensive measures encompassing all sections of the society with the aim to set the country on a robust growth trajectory. The salient features of the interim budget 2019 reinforce the government’s firm commitment to provide enhanced investment in Social, Education, Health, Defence and Agriculture sectors.

12. Budget 2019: Piyush Goyal, PM Modi hail the contributions of the middle class in country’s economy, bring tax relief

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal before announcing the sops for the middle class while presenting the interim budget for next financial year, thanked 3 crore middle-class taxpayers for their immense contribution to the nation building. He said that because of the middle class, the individual belonging to the poor and marginalised section, has access to a better way of life.

After the budget speech by Piyush Goyal, PM Modi also praised the contributions of the middle class.

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