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QBullet: Race to Form Maha Govt Nears End; Nithyananda Flees India

Catch all the top headlines of the day here.

Published
India
6 min read
The race to form the government in Maharashtra is nearing its end with Congress-NCP-Shiv Sena expected to stake claim on Friday.
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1. Shiv Sena, NCP, Congress to Stake Claim by Weekend

Catch all the updates as parties try to form the government in Maharashtra in the wake of the Assembly elections.
Catch all the updates as parties try to form the government in Maharashtra in the wake of the Assembly elections.
(Photo: Eshwar Gole/The Quint)

The Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress have finalised a draft common minimum programme (CMP) focusing on farmers, unemployment, education and health care, HT has learnt, overcoming a key hurdle in the formation of an unlikely alliance and inching closer to staking claim to power in Maharashtra.

The three-page draft CMP, which HT has accessed, is likely to act as the backbone of negotiations between the three parties at a key meeting in Mumbai on Friday, senior leaders from all three parties indicated. The document is likely to be discussed at the meet, which is also expected to take up possible distribution of ministerial portfolios and the chief minister’s position, the leaders added.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

2. Self-Styled Godman Nithyananda Has Fled the Country, Confirms Gujarat Police

File photo of Nithyananda.
File photo of Nithyananda.
(Photo Courtesy: The News Minute)

Self-styled godman Swami Nithyananda, booked in a criminal case related to his ashram here, has fled the country, with the Gujarat police working to gather concrete evidence against him after taking two of his disciples in remand, officials said on Thursday.

An FIR was registered on Wednesday against the controversial guru on the charges of kidnapping and wrongful confinement of children to make them collect donations from followers to run his ashram here, Yogini Sarvagyapeetham.

Ahmedabad (Rural) Superintendent of Police R V Asari said Nithyananda has fled abroad, and if required, the Gujarat police will seek his custody through proper channel.

(Source: PTI)

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3. Priyanka Gandhi’s One-Line Answer to Withdrawal of Gandhis’ SPG Cover

Priyanka Gandhi. 
Priyanka Gandhi. 
(File Photo: IANS)

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Thursday weighed in the back-and-forth between the Congress and the BJP over the government’s decision to remove SPG protection for the three leaders from the Gandhi family. She told reporters that it was “part of politics” and something that “keeps happening”, according to news agency ANI.

This is the first time that a Gandhi has spoken on the rearrangement of their security template.

The government had earlier this month replaced SPG security cover given to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra with Z-plus security cover of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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4. Ayodhya Ruling Darkest Spot in History but Won’t Go for Review: Jamiat

Maulana Mahmood A Madani. 
Maulana Mahmood A Madani. 
(Photo: ANI)

The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind (JUH) faction led by Maulana Mahmood Madani has decided not to file a review petition on the verdict of the Supreme Court in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case. The JUH working committee that met on Thursday adopted a resolution describing the judgment as “the darkest spot in the history of free India” but said it wouldn’t file a review petition as there was “possibility of further damage”.

Earlier this week, the Jamiat faction led by senior Deoband teacher Maulana Arshad Madani and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) had said they were in favour of filing a review petition within the 30-day period.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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5. Two Lynched in West Bengal on Suspicion of Cow Theft

Mob lynching.
Mob lynching.
(Photo: IANS Infographics)

Two men were lynched in West Bengal’s Coochbehar district Thursday for allegedly ferrying two stolen cows in a vehicle with no number plate, police said, adding that 13 people have been arrested so far. According to an officer probing the case, rumours of cows being stolen had been rife in the area of late.

According to police, Mathabhanga residents Prakash Das (32) and Babul Mitra (37) were stopped by around 20 locals at 5.30 am after they noticed the animals in their pick-up van. “They pulled them out and beat them with sticks and stones before torching the vehicle. The mob dispersed when police reached the spot,” said an officer from Kotwali police station. The men were rushed to Coochbehar Government Medical College and Hospital, where they succumbed to injuries. Police said they are yet to ascertain whether the cows were actually stolen.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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6. ‘Defeated, Dejected, Corrupt’: BJP Slams Congress For Criticising Electoral Bonds

Piyush Goyal. 
Piyush Goyal. 
(File Photo: IANS)

The ruling BJP today dismissed the Opposition's criticism of the electoral bonds scheme, terming it as an outburst of certain "defeated, dejected and corrupt" politicians who are running out of ways to generate money through illegal means.

"People who are revolting against electoral bonds have grown used to black money and believe in its usage during elections. This is an alliance of defeated and dejected corrupt politicians who do not want clean, tax-paid transparent money to fund elections," Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said at a press conference.

The Congress had earlier today walked out of both houses of Parliament to protest against the twin issues of privatisation and electoral bonds, terming them as "big scams aimed at making corruption official". The ensuing chaos resulted in the adjournment of the Rajya Sabha.

(Source: NDTV)

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7. ‘Promising Life Cut Short’: Rahul Gandhi On Kerala School Snakebite Death

Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi.
(Photo: IANS)

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has urged the Kerala government to pay compensation to the family of a 10-year-old girl who reportedly died of snakebite in her classroom at a school in Wayanad, his parliamentary constituency. In a letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Gandhi condoled the student's death and said "a promising life was tragically cut short at a place of learning".

"I would like to draw your attention to the untimely demise of Shehla Sherin, a Class 5 student of Sarvajana Higher Secondary School in Sulthan Bathery due to snakebite. The incident occurred when a snake hidden in the burrow of her classroom wall bit her. A promising life was tragically cut short at a place of learning.

"The absence of a conducive learning environment demoralises students and parents alike. Given that the State of Kerala has been a pioneer in establishing quality public schools, I request the state government and the general education department to conduct an infrastructure audit of public schools in Wayanad parliamentary constituency," he said.

(Source: NDTV)

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8. How CJI Bobde Handled Top Law Officer’s Query on Judges’ Retirement Age

Chief Justice SA Bobde
Chief Justice SA Bobde
(Photo: The Quint)

Amid debate on increasing the retirement age of judges of higher judiciary, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde said Thursday that they are “willing to work” longer if the superannuation age is raised.

Justice Bobde, who was sworn-in as the 47th CJI on 18 November, was responding to the suggestion of Attorney General K K Venugopal on the issue in his capacity as a member of the bar, not as the country’s top law officer.

(Source: PTI)

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9. IVRI Confirms Bird Deaths at Rajasthan Lake Due to Botulism

There were birds which were alive but were unable to walk.
There were birds which were alive but were unable to walk.
(Photo Courtesy: Samyak Soni)

The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly, on Thursday confirmed that the thousands of birds which were found dead at Rajasthan’s Sambhar Lake died of avian botulism — a paralytic, frequently fatal disease caused by the ingestion of toxins which are produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum.

The investigation was undertaken at IVRI’s Centre for Animal Disease Research and Diagnosis (CADRAD). Rajasthan Animal Husbandry Minister Lalchand Katariya has confirmed IVRI’s results.

“We carried out laboratory tests on samples, as per internationally prescribed methods, to conclude that it is botulism,” IVRI director Dr Raj Kumar Singh said.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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