QBullet: Panneerselvam Breaks Silence; ATMs Running Dry Again

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QBullet: Panneerselvam Breaks Silence; ATMs Running Dry Again

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1. Humiliated, forced to resign as CM: Panneerselvam

In what was seen as an act of rebellion, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Tuesday said he was repeatedly “humiliated by own party men and was forced to resign as Chief Minister”.

What does this mean? What does the immediate future hold for politics in Tamil Nadu?

Any Chief Minister requires 117 MLAs to command a majority (the present House has 233 members after Jayalalithaa's death)

The Governor has the discretion to appoint as Chief Minister anyone who, in his opinion, is in a position to command a majority in the legislature. However, in the light of the conflicting claims, he may wait and watch the developments.

(Source: The Hindu)


2. BJP Waits and Watches as Panneerselvam Said to Have PM Modi, Amit Shah Support

(Photo: IANS)

Tamil Nadu’s caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who raised the banner of revolt in the AIADMK in Chennai on Tuesday night, was given enough indications by leaders of the BJP to stand up and be counted after the death of J Jayalalithaa, top sources in the national party have told The Indian Express.

After Jayalalithaa’s death on 5 December, sources said, her former aide VK Sasikala’s hurry to push for transfer of power provoked Panneerselvam to take this step.

OPS, as he is known in Chennai, “took his own time to assert himself,” aware of the “goodwill” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party leaders have for him, party sources said.

(Source: The Indian Express)


3. Demonetisation Pain Returns: One-Fourth ATMs Across India Running Dry Again

An estimated one-fourth of the ATMs across the country are running dry again, with people withdrawing large amounts for sundry payments and purchases at the start of the month, bank officials said on Tuesday.

Lakhs of workers in unorganised sectors are still paid in cash, usually within the first week of the month. Tuesday’s payday for an estimated 560 million factory workers could have also contributed to the cash shortage, the officials added.

The fresh cash shortage could fuel the debate over the efficacy of the move to withdraw high-value banknotes and leave the government open to a renewed attack by the opposition, which has been very critical of the demonetisation exercise.

(Source: Hindustan Times)


4. Note Ban Timing Perfect as Economy Was Doing Well: PM

PM Narendra Modi defended demonetisation on Tuesday and took a sharp dig at Rahul Gandhi, saying the political earthquake the Congress vice-president had promised finally arrived when tremors shook north India on Monday night.

Responding to the debate on the President's address in the Lok Sabha, Modi reminded Congress of Rahul's claim last November that he would make sensational revelations on demonetisation that would cause an earthquake.

Modi countered criticism that demonetisation had slowed a growing economy , saying only a strong economy could have taken the shock of the policy designed to weed out black money .

(Source: Times of India)


5. Once Again, China Blocks Move to Blacklist Masood Azhar

JeM chief Masood Azhar. (Photo: Reuters)

At the behest of Pakistan, China has, once again, put a “technical hold” on a proposal at the United Nations to designate Masood Azhar, the chief of the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group, as a global terrorist.

The proposal was moved by three permanent members of the UN Security Council, US, UK and France, on 19 January, the last day of the Barack Obama administration.

Unlike last year, what is different this time is that, while India was one of the co-sponsors of the resolution last time, this year, US, UK and France took the lead.

(Source: The Indian Express)


6. Deep Space Operation from Bangalore Saves Mars Mission Spacecraft from Imminent Death

A 431-second deep space operation, remotely executed by engineers, has helped save India’s Mars Orbiter Mission spacecraft from imminent death and has added three years to its life.

The engineers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) in Bangalore activated onboard thruster rockets to tweak the spacecraft's orbit and avoid what would have been an upcoming eclipse. The eight hour-plus long eclipse would have drained the spacecraft's battery that supports virtually all its operations and shut the orbiter down.

“Without this manoeuvre, the spacecraft would have died, we would have lost the spacecraft,” said an Isro engineer.

(Source: The Telegraph)


7. In a First, SC Slaps Contempt Charge on Sitting HC judge

CJI JS Khehar initiated contempt of court proceedings against sitting Calcutta high court judge CS Karnan. (Photo: Reuters)

In an unprecedented step, Chief Justice of India JS Khehar decided on Tuesday to initiate contempt of court proceedings against sitting Calcutta high court judge CS Karnan for continuously levelling allegations against the Madras HC chief justice and other judges.

The SC has listed the contempt proceedings for Wednesday and the case will be heard by a bench headed by the CJI and comprising six other senior judges – Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur, PC Ghose and Kurian Joseph.

This is the first time that a Constitution bench has initiated contempt of court proceedings against a judge of the SC or HC. There have been times when the CJI, after receiving inquiry reports against a sitting judge, has recommended to Parliament to ini tiate proceedings for the removal of the erring judge.

(Source: Times of India)


8. Nobel Replica Burgled from Satyarthi's Home

File photo of Kailash Satyarthi. (Photo: Facebook/Kailash Satyarthi )

Burglars broke into the house of Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi's house at Aravali Apartments in south Delhi's Kalkaji locality on Tuesday morning, and fled with the gold-plated replica of his Nobel Prize and other valuables.

Satyarthi, 63, is away in America, attending the world summit of Nobel peace laureates.

The replica of the prize is awarded along with the actual medal, which Satyarthi had given to the President. The thieves prised open a locker in which the replica was kept.They also broke into an almirah and took away other medals and honours given by heads of state, including a set of expensive shawls that Satyarthi had received as gifts.

(Source: Times of India)


9. Trump Tremors Tell on Academia

Donald Trump. (Photo: AP)

More than 50 Indian scholars have joined a global petition signed by over 6,000 academicians seeking a boycott of academic conferences in the US in solidarity with peers facing uncertainty over Donald Trump's order targeting seven Muslim-majority nations.

The petition – signed by scholars from over 100 countries – has triggered a debate within the international academic community on the gains from a boycott at a time American academia is already under pressure from President Trump for criticism of his policies and statements.

Some academicians have suggested that a boycott would weaken American universities as hubs of intellectual debate at a time when they need support. But the signatories of the petition have questioned the intellectual legitimacy of conferences that their colleagues from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan may not be able to attend in the coming weeks and months.

(Source: The Telegraph)

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