QBullet: Paris Shootings, Modi’s Wembley Speech and More

Here’s a compilation of the best stories of the day on #QBullet 

Updated
India
6 min read
People rest on a bench after being evacuated from the Bataclan theatre in Paris following a shooting. (Photo: AP)

1. Paris Shooting: At least 40 Killed, Hollande Declares Emergency

A set of shootings and explosions took over Paris late Friday night. At least 40 people have been killed in a shootout outside a restaurant in Paris. About 60 people are believed to have been taken hostage in a theatre nearby. There are also reports of explosions in the city.

French President Fracois Hollande has declared a state of emegency and ordered for the borders to be closed. US President Barrack Obama offered any help that the French might require in fighting terror.

Read the full report on The Quint here.

2. Modi’s Day 2 in UK: Lunch With the Queen, Wembley Speech

On the second day of his UK trip, Prime Minister Modi impressed Indians in the UK with a charismatic speech. “We have shown the people of the world that a country with so much diversity, over 100 languages and different religions can live together in harmony,” Modi said addressing the Indians gathered at the Wembley stadium.

Amid much cheer and chants of Modi’s name, the prime minister announced direct flights between Ahmedabad and London. He also spoke of online portals to help Indians in UK solve their visa issues. Earlier in the day, he met with the Queen for lunch at the Buckingham Palace.

3. A Probe Scuttled: ‘10 Times Mani’, Congress Minister Gets Clean Chit

In part four of its investigative series The Indian Express reports that another Congress minister who faced allegations of corruption, much higher than that of KM Mani’s, was given a clean chit by the state Vigilance bureau. The report claims there were allegations that state Excise Minister K Babu had taken a bribe of Rs 10 crore to renew bar licenses. The report says,

While Mani quit on Tuesday following adverse court remarks, Babu, who directly oversees the state’s liquor industry, was given a clean chit by the Vigilance bureau. The Vigilance report that cleared Babu showed no records of vehicle-entry registers, call-record analysis, CCTV footage, and details of bank accounts and other financial transactions as in the Mani probe.

Read the full story here.

4. Delhi Church Attacks: Reaction was Motivated, says RSS Forum

A protester attends a rally by hundreds of Christians against recent attacks on churches nationwide, in Mumbai February 9, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
A protester attends a rally by hundreds of Christians against recent attacks on churches nationwide, in Mumbai February 9, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

A report by the RSS-related think tank India Policy Foundation says that the agitations in Delhi were a “pre meditated reaction” to Church attacks in the city, according to The Hindu. The report, which is yet to be released, was reportedly discussed at the RSS conclave in Ranchi.

“The premeditated reaction of the Church authorities on the alleged church attacks in Delhi and the low profile maintained by them after the investigations are published, questions the ethics and integrity of the Catholic Church in targeting Hindu organisations,” the report, of which The Hindu has a copy, says. “Further significant is the occurrence of these incidents as a chain of events close to Delhi Assembly polls.”

Read the full report here.

5. No Word on Bihar Deputy CM yet, RJD’s Siddiqui Likely Front-Runner

RJD Chief Lalu Yadav with his sons at a rally. (Photo: PTI)
RJD Chief Lalu Yadav with his sons at a rally. (Photo: PTI)

The election is won, victory statements have been made, the swearing-in ceremony is scheduled. But it’s time for Nitish Kumar to take a call on his deputy Chief Minister.

Hindustan Times reports that RJD’s muslim face, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, is the frontrunner for the post.

Read the full report here.

Also read The Quint’s Four Reasons Lalu Should Not Promote His Son(s)

6. Poll Outcomes Will Not Hit Reforms: Nirmala Sitharaman

Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the India Africa Forum Summit. (Photo: PTI)
Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the India Africa Forum Summit. (Photo: PTI)

Speaking with The Hindu, the commerce and industry minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, says that economic reforms announced recently have no connection to the Bihar poll defeat the BJP received. She also said that FDI reforms were neither a PR exercise nor are they attempts to help PM Modi assure investors in the West.

The fact remains that not one or two elections, virtually nothing in the last one year has stopped us from doing what we had committed ourselves to. This government is committed to bringing in reforms and we are therefore going on with it.
Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Industry Minister

Read the full interview here.

7. As They Write Nehru Out

Congress leader Sachin Pilot. (Photo: PTI)
Congress leader Sachin Pilot. (Photo: PTI)

In an opinion piece in The Indian Express, Congress leader Sachin Pilot writes about the significance of remembering Jawaharlal Nehru’s legacy. On Nehru’s 125 birth anniversary, Pilot says that it is important to remember the small gestures that made Nehru the leader that he was. Throughout the piece, he lists Nehru’s achievements as a leader, Congressman and independent India’s first prime minister.

And towards the end he arrives at the anticipated jibe at the ruling BJP and makes a veiled accusation that their leadership is trying to undermine Nehru’s legacy.

Read the full piece here.

8. Battling for Credibility

PM Narendra Modi with his British counterpart David Cameron. (Photo: Reuters)
PM Narendra Modi with his British counterpart David Cameron. (Photo: Reuters)

In an opinion piece for the Times of India, Dileep Padgaonkar says that while the prime minister’s speeches about a confident and resurgent India work very well on foreign soil, they are disappointing for the domestic crowd.

He says it’s time Narendra Modi tackled issues both on the economic and idealistic front with strategy so that the BJP doesn’t have to see a repeat of the Bihar poll defeat in the next Lok Sabha elections.

The response of the ruling dispensation in Delhi to this situation is true to form. It seeks refuge in denial. The situation is not grim at all, it contends, and then proceeds to say that those raising their voice against the rising tide of intolerance are a small bunch of people. Their credentials and motives are suspect. The media too are chastised for magnifying both the extent and intensity of the protests.

Read the full piece here.

9. How to Deal With Foreign Policy Headaches From Pakistan, Maldives, Nepal

Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) leader KP Oli (Centre) signs the constitution document. (Photo: AP)
Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) leader KP Oli (Centre) signs the constitution document. (Photo: AP)

Ashok Mallik writes about the tricky situation that India has to deal with when it comes to its neighbours. Be it talks with Pakistan, the Madhesi conflict in Nepal or the Chinese influence in Maldives, India now needs to find individual solutions to these issues

The most worrying case is that of Nepal. India and Nepal have an ancient relationship that has a variety of elements: government-to-government, people-to-people, business-to-business, cultural and social. Key politicians and influencers have connections on both sides of the largely open border. In good times, all this can be a force multiplier for formal diplomacy. In the past few months, it has unfortunately ended up sending mixed messages and resulted in a mutual misreading.

Read the full piece here.

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