QBullet: Cong’s Massive Lucknow Rally; Panel Summons Twitter CEO
1. At Priyanka Gandhi’s Mammoth Roadshow, Rahul Says Time to Win Uttar Pradesh Back
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday, 11 February, underlined his party’s ambitions in Uttar Pradesh, saying the party cannot afford to be weak in the state.
“Congress started in UP and it cannot stay weak here. Priyanka Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindia will make Congress strong in UP again,” Rahul said at headquarters in UP unit of the Congress in Lucknow at the end of a mammoth road show that his sister Priyanka launched in her first visit to the state since her appointment as general secretary in charge of eastern UP
While the roadshow marked Priyanka’s formal entry into active politics, Rahul set his sight beyond the upcoming general elections to regain power in UP.
2. ‘Chowkidar Chor Nahi, Pure Hai’: Rajnath Singh’s Comeback to Rahul Gandhi
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday, 11 February, praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “cure” for problems facing the country and asserted he will be voted back to power in the Lok Sabha election to be held by May.
Singh said the prime minister worked for the poor, farmers and weaker sections of society during the past four and a half years of his tenure.
“Chowkidar chor nahi, chowkidar pure hai. Next PM sure hai, problem ke liye cure hai,” Singh said, using the word Congress President Rahul Gandhi has used to attack Modi on the Rafale jet deal.
3. Parliamentary Panel Summons Twitter CEO, May Call Other Platforms Too
The Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology on Monday, 11 February, decided to summon Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and top company officials to appear before it on 25 February, it is learnt. The committee also resolved to summon officials from other social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and other tech platforms on the issue of “Safeguarding Citizens Rights on Social/Online News Media Platforms.”
The decision to summon top Twitter executives comes after the microblogging platform declined to send Dorsey or global executives to appear before the parliamentary committee Monday and sent, instead, officials from Twitter India.
4. Bhupen Hazarika’s Son Puts Govt on Notice on Bharat Ratna
Two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to Bhupen Hazarika and took a swipe at previous governments for delaying the Bharat Ratna conferred posthumously on the celebrated singer this Republic Day, Hazarika’s son Tej, protesting the “painfully unpopular” Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, put the government on notice on Monday, 11 February, saying the Bill was “actually undermining” his father’s “documented position” and “would in reality be in direct opposition to what Bhupenda believed in his heart of hearts.”
“Bharat Ratnas and longest bridges, while necessary, will not promote the peace and prosperity of the citizens of India. Only just popular laws and foresight on the part of leadership will. Numerous media journalists are now asking me whether or not I will accept the Bharat Ratna for my father,” Tej, who is based in the US said.
5. CAG Report on Rafale Deal to Be Tabled in Lok Sabha Today
Amid new revelations that anti-corruption clauses in the Rafale deal with France were waived by the government, official sources have said the audit report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) is likely to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, 12 February.
Tuesday will be the penultimate day of the current Budget session, which is the last before the Lok Sabha election due in April.
However, officials said the CAG which went into the €7.87-billion inter-governmental agreement (IGA) with France will not get into the pricing details, which have been withheld by the government citing an information security agreement between the two countries.
6. Sabarimala Temple to Open Today
The police have made elaborate security arrangements at Sabarimala and along the Elavumkal-Nilackal-Pampa route in view of the opening of the Ayyappa temple on Tuesday afternoon, 12 February, for the five-day monthly rituals in the Malayalam month of Kumbhom, which begins on Wednesday, 13 February.
District Police Chief T Narayanan said 700 civil police officers would be deployed at Sabarimala, Pampa, Nilackal, and Elavumkal from 12 to 17 February.
Three superintendents of police would be in charge of the police force to be deployed at Nilackal, Pampa, and Sabarimala from Tuesday.
7. Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu’s Fast Turns Into Show of Strength
All the major Opposition parties on Monday, 11 February, converged at Andhra Bhawan, where Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu along with all his legislators, MPs and ministers sat down on a 12-hour fast protesting against the Narendra Modi government’s failure to deliver the promised special status to the state. This was the second time the Opposition got together in a month.
The last such gathering was at a rally by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata protesting against the CBI’s alleged misconduct.
8. CBI Grills Kolkata Top Cop for Third Day in Saradha Chit Fund Scam
The CBI questioned Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar for the third consecutive day on Monday, 11 February, in the Saradha chit fund scam. Former Trinamool Congress MP, Kunal Ghosh was also quizzed before being allowed to return to Kolkata.
Kumar was questioned till 7pm and was asked to return to the CBI office on Tuesday morning, 12 February. Ghosh’s questioning continued for an hour beyond that of Kumar and after completion, he was allowed to return to Kolkata, an official of the agency said.
While Kumar joined the investigations on Saturday, 9 February, Ghosh’s questioning began on Sunday. CBI officials on Tuesday said that both Kumar and Ghosh were questioned together for a considerable period of time.
9. India vs Pakistan Davis Cup Tie to Be Played in Islamabad: Reports
The Pakistan Tennis Federation on Monday, 11 February, announced that it will host India in a Davis Cup Group 1 Tie in Islamabad. According to a report on the News International, PTF President Salim Saifullah Khan confirmed that they are ready to host the tie in the nation’s capital and that it will be played on a grass court.
“The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has acknowledged Pakistan’s surge to the top in Asia and thus has included the team amongst the best in the continent. The leading teams in Asia will have the opportunity to make it to the World Group,” he said.
“The choice of the court is with Pakistan and as such India would be coming to Pakistan for the very first time to figure in the tie. There is no denying the fact that tennis in India is far advance and their players are considered amongst the best around,” he said.