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QBullet: Sadhvi Pragya is BJP’s Bhopal Candidate; Storms Kill 59

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India
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QBullet: Sadhvi Pragya is BJP’s Bhopal Candidate; Storms Kill 59
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1. Accused in Malegaon Terror Blast Case, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur is BJP’s Candidate from Bhopal

Placing Hindutva on the front burner for the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP on Wednesday, 17 April, announced the candidature of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a key accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, from Bhopal against Congress veteran Digvijaya Singh.

Facing trial for her alleged role in the blast that left six dead and 101 injured, Thakur is currently out on bail. She has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for conspiring and abetting a terror act, and also faces charges ranging from murder to criminal conspiracy.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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2. 59 Killed as Thunderstorms Unleash Fury in Rajasthan, MP, Gujarat

Dust and thunderstorms swept through west, central and north India as a major weather disturbance pummelled the region over the past 48 hours, claiming the lives of at least 59 people, a majority of them in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

A woman tries to prevent rain-water from entering her house during heavy rains at Nagercoil in Kanyakumari district on Wednesday, 17 April. Image used for representational purposes only.
(Photo: PTI)

Most of the deaths were due to lightning strikes, electrocution and tree falls, reports said. Rajasthan reported 25 deaths, Madhya Pradesh 21 and Gujarat 10, while three people died in Maharashtra since Monday, 15 April. There were also reports of damage to crops due to strong winds, rain and hailstorms in Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and elsewhere.

(Source: The Times of India)

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3. Jet Airways Grounded as Lenders Refuse Bailout, 16,500 Jobs up in the Air

Jet Airways, once India’s largest private airline, on Wednesday, 17 April, decided to temporarily suspend operations as a consortium of lenders refused to consider extending emergency funding of Rs 983 crore to keep the airline flying.

Employees of Jet Airways gather to demand clarification on unpaid salaries at Jet Airways headquarters in Mumbai.
(Photo: AP)

The airline, which started operations nearly 25 years ago, said it would hence not be able to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going. “Consequently, with immediate effect, Jet Airways is compelled to cancel all its international and domestic flights. The last flight will operate today (Wednesday),” it said in a stock exchange filing Wednesday.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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4. Exit Ayodhya Architects, Enter New-Age Hindutva

The exit of BJP’s original Hindutva championing leaders L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Vinay Katiyar from the electoral politics in 2019 Lok Sabha elections now coincides with the entry of the new-age Hindutva warriors like Sadhvi Pragya Thakur.

The BJP on Wednesday, 17 April, sprung a surprise by inducting Thakur, who is facing trial under UAPA charges in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, into the party and also announcing her as its candidate against former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijaya Singh in Bhopal.

The choice is a carefully calibrated signal that goes far beyond the immediate electoral geography of this Lok Sabha constituency.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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5. ‘Masood Azhar Case Moving Towards Settlement’: China

China on Wednesday, 17 April, said the issue of designating Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN was moving towards a “settlement”, and asked the US not to push through a resolution to list him at the UN Security Council.

The foreign ministry also rejected reports that the US, the UK and France had asked China to lift its “technical hold” on the listing of Azhar as a terrorist at the UN’s Islamic State and al-Qaeda Sanction Committee by 23 April, failing which the three nations will formally move the resolution for discussion, voting and passage at the UNSC.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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6. Rahul, Modi Accuse Each Other of Divisive Politics

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, 17 April, said the only “vision” of the Congress was to create divisions in communities, while Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused him of dividing the nation, sending the political mercury soaring a day before the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi (L) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R). 
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

In Maharashtra, the Prime Minister alleged that Gandhi described the people from backward classes as “thieves”, in an apparent reference to the Congress chief’s remarks that linked Modi’s surname with wrongdoers.

In Kerala’s Wayanad, the second seat Gandhi is contesting alongside the traditional Congress stronghold of Amethi, the opposition leader said all that the PM did was “tell lies and steal from the poor people”.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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7. Delhi’s 1st Metro Line All Set for a Makeover

When it opened in 2002, Delhi’s first Metro line from Shahdara to Tis Hazari was nothing short of a modern marvel for the city, with gleaming new trains, squeaky clean stations, escalators and automatic fare collection gates. However, visible signs of aging in the pioneering Red line have now prompted the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to commission a massive overhaul of the entire corridor to restore its past glory.

DMRC will renovate all 21 stations on the line between Rithala and Dilshad Garden, leaving out only the recently opened section between Dilshad Garden and Shaheed Sthal, officials said.

(Source: The Times of India)

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8. Congress Spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi on Her Own Party: Goons Are Back

Lashing out at her own party, Congress national spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi on Wednesday, 17 April, said that the Uttar Pradesh party unit had reinstated eight party workers who were suspended last year for allegedly misbehaving with her at a meeting in Mathura.

Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi.
(Photo: Facebook/PriyankaChaturvediCongress)

The UP Congress said the eight, including a state general secretary and a former Assembly candidate, were reinstated “on the recommendation of Congress general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia” after they expressed regret and promised not to repeat the act in the future.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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9. Govt Reviewing its J&K Highway Ban

Restrictions on the movement of civilian traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, imposed ahead of elections in light of the Pulwama terror attack that claimed the lives of at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers, are being reconsidered, senior officials in the security establishment said on condition of anonymity.

The restrictions had come into effect on 7 April and were to be in place until 31 May.

A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a bus carrying CRPF troopers from Jammu to Srinagar on 14 February in the single deadliest terrorist attack in three decades of insurgency in Kashmir. On 30 March, another explosives-laden vehicle exploded close to another convoy, but did not cause casualties or damage.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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