QBullet: AAP Divided Over EVM Theory, NREGA Workers Get Re 1 Hike

The Quint brings you the stories making headlines in dailies across India. 

6 min read
(Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)

1. Another Stress Test for Kejriwal in May?

As he tries to come to terms with the devastating loss in Delhi's municipal polls, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal could be staring at another mini-election soon.

Election Commission sources said the poll body is likely to spell out its stand, by around 15 May, on the petition seeking disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs for having allegedly violated a law that prevents them from holding an "office of profit".

AAP will continue to have a majority should the EC recommend disqualification of the 21 lawmakers, who are sure to move court against a setback.

But the unseating of nearly one-third of his MLAs wouldn't be good news for Kejriwal at a time when his popularity has slid.

(Source: Times of India)


2. Ebar Bangla: Slum, Stats and A-Word

BJP President Amit Shah on Wednesday slummed it in Mamata Banerjee's backyard, reeled out statistics and road-tested the slogan "Ebar Bangla (This time, Bengal)".

Slum, statistics and slogan taken care of, Shah told a news conference in Kolkata:

Mamata Banerjee’s shameless policies of appeasement and discrimination have crossed all limits. Here too change will come... Trinamool cannot stop Modiji’s triumphant chariot.

The second most powerful politician in the country described Mamata's stand towards his party as "BJP phobia", but could not resist revisiting the appeasement theme.

(Source: The Telegraph)

3. Can't Just Blame EVMs, Time to Introspect: AAP Leaders Divided After Defeat in MCD Polls

Delhi Minister Kapil Mishra on Wednesday joined several AAP members in calling for introspection over the party's rout in the MCD polls, saying the loss cannot be blamed only on EVMs even as the party leadership alleged "rigging" of voting machines.

"This is the time to introspect why we had to see this day after two years. Whether it’s a Modi wave or not, it has become clear that people have not voted for us. Today's reality is we have got very few seats in comparison to the massive mandate we got in 2015. The results cannot be viewed only by blaming the EVMs," Mishra said.

He also admitted that looking at poll results, a "BJP wave" exists in Delhi.

Interestingly, senior AAP leader and Labour Minister Gopal Rai had said there is "no Modi wave", but an "EVM wave," alleging tampering of electronic voting machines.

(Source: Times of India)


4. Dhinakaran Sent to Five-Day Police Custody in Bribery Case

A Delhi court on Wednesday remanded AIADMK (Amma) Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran and his co-accused Mallikarjuna to five days’ police custody in the case of alleged attempt to bribe certain officials of the Election Commission for allotment of ‘two leaves’ symbol to the Amma faction.

The Delhi Police had arrested the two accused on Tuesday night.

The third accused, Sukesh Chandrashekhar, is already in police custody. Police alleged that Dhinakaran had made the attempt to bribe through middleman Chandrashekhar.

(Source: The Hindu)

5. A Mom’s Plea to Save her Son Reaches Pak Doorsteps

India on Wednesday handed over to Pakistan, a letter of appeal from the mother of former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a military court on espionage charges.

Apart from the letter, India’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale also conveyed to Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, the request for consular access for Jadhav, for the 16th time.

“Also handed over was the appeal by the mother to the Court of Appeal, on behalf of Shri. Jadhav, who continues to be in detention in Pakistan on concocted charges. The mother of Shri. Jadhav has requested the intervention of the Federal Government of Pakistan for his release and has expressed the desire to meet him,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.

(Source: The Hindu)


6. This 32-Yr-Old Maoist Could be Mastermind of Sukma Ambush that Killed 25 of CRPF

A 32-year-old battle-hardened Maoist commander has emerged as the likely mastermind behind the massacre of 25 CRPF troopers in Chhattishgarh, police said on Wednesday, as the focus shifted to repeated intelligence failures that have led to severe losses for security forces battling rebels in the hotbed of Left-wing insurgency.

Madvi Hidma, who heads the first military battalion of the CPI (Maoist), likely planned and executed the ambush on the group of CRPF personnel in south Sukma on Monday, police said. Six other jawans were also injured in the Maoist attack, the worst on security personnel since 2010, when 75 CRPF soldiers were killed in Dantewada.

Hidma, also known as Hidmalu and Santosh, is also believed to have been behind another deadly attack on 11 March that killed 12 security personnel.

(Source: Times of India)

7. NREGA Workers Get Lowest Wage Hike Ever, Re 1 in Some States

In the lowest wage hike under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme, the Centre has increased wages by an average of just 2.7 per cent this financial year.

In some states like Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the increase in daily wages under MGNREGA from 1 April is just Re 1. It is Rs 2 in drought-affected Tamil Nadu and Odisha, and Rs 3 in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

After the revision, the states with the lowest wages are Jharkhand and Bihar, where workers will now get Rs 168 (up from Rs 167) per day. Haryana has the highest wages, up from Rs 259 last year to Rs 277.

Last financial year, the overall wage increase was slightly higher at 5.7 per cent.

(Source: The Indian Express)


8. Social Media Sites Blocked in Valley for a Month, Public Order Cited

Moving to contain transmission of “objectionable contents to spread disaffection amongst the public at large” and “inciting them to commit various offences”, the J&K government decided Wednesday to block 22 social networking sites – including WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – across the Valley for “one month or till further orders, whichever is earlier… in the interest of maintenance of public order”.

The decision to block social networking sites was taken a day after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti chaired a meeting of the Unified Command Headquarters in Srinagar. Days earlier, the government had blocked 3G and 4G services on Internet mobile.

Sources said that at the UCH meeting Tuesday, several officials asked the government to block social networking sites, pointing out that these were being used to upload videos and photographs of the current unrest in the Valley.

(Source: The Indian Express)

9. Vaccination Workers Thrashed in Muslim Areas of Jharkhand’s Dhanbad, Bokaro

The ongoing immunisation drive against Japanese Encephalitis has stumbled upon a major roadblock in Muslim inhabited localities of Jharkhand’s coal belt Dhanbad and Bokaro districts.

Superstitious mobs have taken immunisation workers hostage and also thrashed them for “forcibly” administering medicines to children to suppress their fertility and check the Muslim population.

Justifying the manhandling incidents, a section of Muslim leaders in the two districts have gone on to allege that the health workers were executing a ploy by the BJP governments in the Centre as well as in the state to make Muslim children “impotent” and ”infertile”.

The attacks have left health workers, mostly auxiliary midwives (ANM) and sahiya (rural health workers) panicky as majority of them have decided not to visit Muslim localities until they are provided security.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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