QBullet: BJP Picks Venkaiah for VP; Kejriwal Plans Reshuffle

Here’s a look at what’s making headlines.

6 min read
Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu is greeted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he was announced as the BJP’s Vice-Presidential candidate in New Delhi on Monday. 

1. Keeping Rajya Sabha and South in Mind, NDA Names Venkaiah for Vice-President

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu will be the vice-presidential candidate of the ruling NDA, BJP president Amit Shah announced on Monday.

Sources close to Naidu, whose career started with student politics in 1971, said he “was not very excited” and would have preferred to remain in active politics.

Naidu told one of his close friends that he wanted to be an “active politician” till his end, sources said. “He felt that becoming vice-president would be the end of his political career. He wanted to remain the voice of Prime Minister Modi and play a key role in making his ‘dream India’ a reality. He has conveyed it to the Prime Minister also,” said sources.

However, sources said, Shah told Naidu that the prime minister would talk to him on the issue and that he should not refuse the offer. Members from both Houses form the electoral college for the vice presidential election.

Source: The Indian Express

2. Kovind Brings JDU Close to BJP Again

The JDU on Monday looked more like the ally of the BJP it once was, coordinating with the party on the presidential polls and barely making eye-contact with the RJD which has dug in its heels on the clamour for the resignation of deputy chief minister Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.

The tension spilled to the legislature today where MLAs voted for the next President.

BJP and JDU legislators regularly trooped into each other's office to enquire about the progress of the poll, the bonhomie reminiscent of the heady days of the NDA regime. JDU and RJD MLAs, on the other hand, barely acknowledged each other and it was left to Congress's Choudhary to monitor the polling of RJD and Congress members.

Source: The Telegraph


3. China Holds Military Drill

Near Arunachal Border, ‘Enemy’ Aircraft the Target

Chinese media seems to be issuing a warning and stirring nationalist sentiments by republishing photographs from the 1962 Indo-China war. (Photo: Reuters)
Chinese media seems to be issuing a warning and stirring nationalist sentiments by republishing photographs from the 1962 Indo-China war. (Photo: Reuters)

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has held “live-fire drills” in Tibet, close to India’s border in Arunachal, to practice quick movement of troops and destroy enemy aircraft, the state media has said.

The reports didn’t say when and why the 11-hour military exercise was held, the latest in a series of the war games the Chinese have talked about following the month-old standoff between the two countries in Doklam region that borders India’s northeast frontier in Sikkim.

“The brigade that conducted the (latest) drills was from the PLA’s Tibet military command and is one of China’s two plateau mountain brigades,” China Central Television (CCTV), the national broadcaster, said.

Source: Hindutan Times


4. Didi Lobs Salvo on Diplomacy

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cast Bengal as a victim of the Centre's diplomatic failure, wading into a subject where the Narendra Modi government has been finding itself on a sticky wicket of late.

"Bengal is the worst sufferer because of this failure. It is sandwiched... the gateway to Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan. We want good relations with neighbours," Mamata said on the sidelines of the presidential election this afternoon.

“Nearly four hundred schools have mushroomed around the Pashupati Gate near Darjeeling where the Chinese language is taught. Who allowed that to happen?” she asked. Foreign policy is a central subject, and states usually steer clear of the topic. But Mamata said that Bengal, being a border state, is a stakeholder.

Her comments come at a time New Delhi is locked in a standoff with Beijing. The Bengal government has alleged cross-border meddling in the unrests both in Darjeeling and Basirhat.

Source: The Telegraph


5. Kejriwal Plans Reshuffle, Sisodia to Get Tourism But Lose 2 Key Depts

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will be reallocating work in his cabinet in order to focus on areas which the AAP government has marked out as its priorities.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia will get tourism from social welfare minister Rajendra Gautam. Sisodia is likely to be relieved of the charge of the critical revenue department and registrar of cooperative societies.

While revenue now is likely to be the responsibility of law and transport minister Kailash Gahlot, the responsibility of registrar of cooperatives societies will be handed over to Rajendra Gautam.

Source: Times of India


6. Back in Delhi, Tamil Nadu Farmers Find New Protest Partners

They face a severe drought in their home state Tamil Nadu, and with it, decimation of their livelihood, mounting debt and poverty. Only, that is not all — they also face the brunt of not being able to communicate their plight to those in positions of power. The solution, they hope, is to say it in a “language the Centre understands”: Hindi.

At least 100 Tamil farmers are back in the capital for a second protest stint. But this time, they are backed by the All India Kisan Sangarsh (AIKS) — the face of which is VM Singh, a Hindi-speaking farmer from Punjab. Since getting off a train at the New Delhi Railway Station, they have already had a dramatic 24 hours.

Source: The Indian Express


7. Kids Face Flood Woes in Assam

Nearly 500 children have taken refuge with their parents by the wayside. They are primarily residents of Kusiani, Bordia, Murkata Number 1 and Murkata Number 2 villages in Morigaon district, about 40km east of Guwahati.

The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), which issues a flood bulletin every evening, does not have any break-up of the children and women affected by flood, which, like every year, has wreaked havoc in the state.

"Of the 60 flood-related deaths in the state so far, 23 are below 14 years. We are collecting data on the affected children," the project officer of ASDMA in Guwahati, Rajib Prakash Baruah, said.

Save the Children, an international NGO working in Assam since 2002, said more than six lakh children have been affected in this year's floods.

During a natural disaster like flood, children are more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation as their parents remain busy either in managing a shelter or food. Many children drown in floodwaters. Nutritional needs of the newborn, lactating mothers and pregnant women are affected due to lack of proper supply of baby food in relief camps. Schools get damaged or eroded every year and sometimes remain shut for months, affecting children’s education in the long run.
Chitta Priyo Sadhu, General Manager of Save the Children to The Telegraph

8. Dubai-Based Woman Held in Agusta Case

The Enforcement Directorate has arrested Dubai resident Shivani Saxena in connection with the AgustaWestland helicopter scam, in what is being seen as a breakthrough in the efforts to identify the recipients of kickbacks. Shivani, wife of Rajeev Shamsher Bahadur Saxena and a resident of Palm Jumeira, Dubai, has been accused of laundering the proceeds of crime in connection with the bribes received in the VVIP helicopter deal. She had been called here for questioning.

Sources claimed Shivani and her husband used their companies to route the money which came as kickbacks from Augusta middlemen Carlo Gerosa and Guido Haschke, besides helping the suspects acquire properties and shares. “She can take us closer to the people who received money for facilitating the sale of AgustaWestland helicopters during the UPA regime,” said a senior ED source.

Shivani Saxena is a “director of UHY Saxena, Dubai and Matrix Holdings, through which proceeds of crime have been routed and further layered and integrated in buying the immovable properties and shares, etc,” a senior ED source said. The ED and the CBI are hopeful of mapping the money trail shortly.

Source: Times of India


9. Centre Seeks Debate in SC on J&K Special Status

The Centre on Monday asked the Supreme Court to debate on the special status granted to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, saying it was both a sensitive and constitutional matter.

“It is a very sensitive matter. It is a constitutional issue. A debate is required,” Attorney General KK Venugopal submitted before a Bench led by Chief Justice JS Khehar.

The top law officer was responding to a PIL plea filed by a Delhi-based NGO, We the Citizens, contending that the J&K government, given the state’s special autonomous status under Articles 35A and 370, was discriminatory against non-residents as far as government jobs and real estate purchases were concerned. The Bench agreed to schedule the case before a three-judge Bench after six weeks.

Source: The Hindu


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