QBullet: Kanhaiya Kumar in JNU, Modi Vs Rahul Gandhi and More
1. Kanhaiya Kumar Returns to JNU, Creates Ripples
Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union President Kanhaiya Kumar returned on campus after spending 14 days at the Tihar central jail on Thursday, 3 March.
Back in JNU campus, Kumar delivered a 50-minute speech and attacked the Narendra Modi government in every sentence possible.
Also read: Kanhaiya Kumar and His Hero’s Return to JNU
First on his list was the only virtual response by the Prime Minister to the ongoing events, in the form of a tweet, that read “Satyamev Jayate” and attached to it was a YouTube link to the speech made by Smriti Irani on 24 February in the Rajya Sabha.
Kumar went on to share the details of his time in Tihar jail where he was kept under judicial custody for 14 days.
JNU will take the fight that started with Hyderabad University scholar Rohith Vemula’s death, he said.
2. Modi Attacks Congress Party in Parliament
A day after Congress party vice-president Rahul Gandhi tore into the Modi-led government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit back at the Congress party during the Parliament session.
Commenting on the Opposition’s continuous attempts to disrupt the Parliament, Modi invoked senior Congressmen Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi.
House is a place where debates are to take place, but if boundaries are maintained during a debate then it is fruitful. When Parliament sessions are not functional, the nation suffers and more than that the MPs suffer because they can’t discuss issues. The Opposition has a inferiority complex and therefore, keep disprupting the parliament. They do not let the government speak because they are afraid.Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Also read: Modi Quotes Nehru, Rajiv to Attack Congress
In his witty speech, however, he failed to address the issues which have gained national attention in recent times – the JNU sedition row and Hyderabad University scholar Rohith Vemula’s death.
He responded to Rahul Gandhi’s claims of Modi going back on his opinion about MNREGA. The scheme, said Modi, is required to pull out the deep-rooted poverty maintained by the previous government for 10 years.
3. Pressure Mounts on Vijay Mallya as Delhi HC Refuses to Hear Plea Against SBI
The Delhi High Court refused to hear a plea by beer baron Vijay Mallya against being named as a “willful defaulter” by the State Bank of India (SBI), reports Livemint.
Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw asked Mallya and his company, United Breweries Holdings Ltd (UBHL) to approach an appropriate forum.
SBI has also moved a petition seeking Mallya’s arrest and seizure of this passport.His arrest would lead to the derailment of his sweetheart deal with Diageo Plc.
SBI had named Mallya a willful defaulter in November 2015. According to the Livemint report, the term is used for someone who has no intention of returning a loan taken by him, or has used the loan for any other purpose besides the one mentioned to the bank.
The bank had waited for three years for him to return the money. Mallya stepped down as the Chairman of United Spirits in return for $75 million over five years by the Diageo Plc on 25 February.
4. Class 10 Topper Among Three Militants Killed in Kashmir Encounter
In an encounter in the Tral region of Jammu and Kashmir on early Thursday morning, security forces killed three militants including a Class 10 topper Mohammad Ishaq Parray, reports The Hindustan Times.
The three killed militants were identified as:
- Ashiq Hussain Bhat
- Mohammad Isaq Parray
- Asif Ahmed Mir
20-year-old Parray had scored 98.4 percent in his 10th class board exam in the year 2011. In March 2015, he joined the banned organization Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.
According to an Indian Army official, Bhat was involved in providing shelter to militants involved in Udhampur attack on a BSF convoy last year.
Three AK rifles have been recovered from the scene of the gun battle that ensued after the forces received information about their presence in Dadsara village of Tral.
Read the report of the encounter on The Quint.
5. BJP, AGP Join Hands in Assam; ‘Rainbow Coalition’ Aims to Defeat Ruling Cong in Battle of Ballots
The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) of Assam formed an alliance, on Wednesday, to fight the upcoming Assembly elections.
AGP President Atul Bora said that the alliance was necessary to prevent a split in non-Congress votes, reports The Telegraph.
The negotiations for the alliance have been on for two months. BJP’s general secretary Ram Madhav is spearheading election campaigns in the state.
On Thursday, the two parties sorted out their differences to form what The Telegraph calls the ‘rainbow coalition’, at party president Amit Shah’s residence in New Delhi.
Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and West Bengal will go to polls in April and May.
The Congress has been in power in Assam for a long time. This time however, BJP has formed alliance with four local parties.
6. Congress Comes Down Hard on GK Pillai, RVS Mani in Ishrat Jahan Case
The Congress party claimed that the Ishrat Jahan file was moved through former Home secretary GK Pillai’s hand thrice and at no juncture had he made any changes, reports The Economic Times.
Former finance minister P Chidambaram has come under scrutiny after reports that he was the sole person responsible for the changes made in the second affidavit filed in the encounter of 19-year-old Ishrat Jahan in June 2004.
In another report by The Indian Express, Satish Verma, the IPS officer who assisted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the case, has reportedly called it a “premeditated murder”.
He has said that the time Jahan spent away from home is not enough to train a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative.
Our investigation has found that Ishrat along with three others had been picked by IB (Intelligence Bureau) days before the encounter. In fact, there was no intelligence input with the IB that a woman would be accompanying the alleged terrorists. There was no input on Ishrat. These people were kept in illegal custody and then shot dead.Satish Verma, IPS Officer to The Indian Express
7. Low-Wage Earners Face EPF Tax Blow
The tax on Employee Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawal will affect the low-income citizens the most, for reasons beyond the obvious one.
According to a report in The Hindu, people without a PAN card will attract highest tax rates.
If anyone earning less than Rs 5,000 per month withdraws more than Rs 50,000 from their EPF savings before completing 5 years of continuous service, they will be taxed at the rate of 34.6 percent, the report says.
If a firm has more than 20 workers who earn upto Rs 15,000 per month, an EPF account is mandatory for its employees.
24 percent of an employee’s salary is deducted as a part of the provident fund. 8.33 percent out of that is diverted towards a pension scheme.
This is a very regressive move and would not only lead to taxing those who are not part of the tax net or pushing them to get a PAN card though their income is well below the taxable limit, but also create a huge compliance and paperwork headache for employers as well as the EPFO, who would have to issue tax deduction certificates.Amit Gopal, Senior Vice President, India Life Capital
8. Judge Memo to Dalit for Not Washing Wife’s Clothes
A judge of a local court in Erode region of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, sent a memo to his maid as she refused to wash a few clothes, reports The Indian Express.
47-year-old Vasanthy belongs to the Dalit community and is his office assistant, thus, a government employee.
The Judicial Employees’ Association of Tamil Nadu is planning to approach the Madras High Court against Judge D Selvam of the Sathyamangalam court.
Please explain within 7 days why disciplinary action should not be initiated against you for your failure to wash the inner wear which were put for washing in the Sub-Judge’s house, and for throwing them away disgustingly, and when your attitude was questioned by the officer and his wife, for retorting in an arrogant tone.Judge’s Memo to his maid according to The Indian Express
Vasanthy had responded to the memo by saying that she will “avoid such lapses in future”.
There have been repeated incidents of office staff being asked to do menial jobs at the personal residence of government employees, the report says, citing similar incidents.
9. Katheria Did Not Say Anything Objectionable: Rajnath
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday denied that his ministerial colleague, Ram Shankar Katheria, made an inflammatory speech in Agra in Uttar Pradesh, and stressed that India is the most secular country in the world.
I heard Katheria’s speech and I made others hear it. We all agreed there is nothing inflammatory in the speech. If there is any secular country in the world, it is India. India is the only country in the world where people of all faiths live. Not only this, all major sects of all religions, including Islam and Christianity, are found here, which is not the case with any other country.Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister
Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria had allegedly incited violence against Muslims, at a condolence meeting for Dalit Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Arun Kumar Mahaur.
Mohaur was shot dead by five men in Agra on last Thursday, 25 February. VHP members allege that he was murdered by Muslim men.