QBullet: PM Modi Tears Into Dynasty Politics; Talwars Walk Free
Read The Quint’s compilation of top stories in national dailies across the country.
1. Gujarat Polls Will Be Battle Between Development and Dynasty Politics: PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday termed the Gujarat assembly elections as a battle between “vikasvaad” (development) and “vanshvaad” (dynasty), targeting the Congress on a range of issues, including GST, corruption and the party’s “anti-Gujarat stand”.
Modi was addressing lakhs of BJP ‘page presidents’ (in-charges of electoral roll pages) on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in what could be his last big rally before elections are announced and the model code of conduct comes into force.
Speaking from a giant stage, with a banner highlighting the Sardar Sarovar Dam, Modi touched upon issues raised by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi during the two legs of his Navsarjan Yatra in September and last week.
Modi hailed his close aide and BJP president Amit Shah, calling him “man of the match” of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, six days after Gandhi had targeted Shah over a controversy surrounding his son’s company.
2. Aarushi-Hemraj Murder Case: Rajesh, Nupur Talwar Walk out of Dasna Jail After Four Years
After spending fours year in jail, Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar walked out of Dasna jail on Monday. The dentist couple were last week acquitted by the Allahabad High Court in the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case. They had been lodged in Ghaziabad’s Dasna Jail since 2013, after the CBI court sentenced them to life imprisonment for the murder of their daughter, Aarushi, and domestic help Hemraj.
Rajesh Talwar’s brother Dinesh Talwar and their lawyers Manoj Sisodia and Tanveer Ahmed Mir went to the Dasna Jail to receive them. Police escorted the couple to Nupur’s parents’ house in Noida’s Jalvayu Vihar, the same locality where they stayed when their daughter and their domestic help were murdered in 2008.
The couple had challenged the CBI court’s order in the Allahabad High Court. The high court had last week set aside the CBI court judgment, allowing the parents of Aarushi to walk free.
3. BJP India’s Richest Party With Rs 869 Cr, Congress Second: Watchdog Report
The ruling BJP is the richest among India’s seven national parties, having declared assets worth nearly Rs 894 crore in 2015-16, said a report released by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) on Monday.
The document collated by the advocacy group went on to term the Congress, which declared assets to the tune of Rs 759 crore in the same period, as a close second on the list. While the BJP was found to have declared liabilities of around Rs 25 crore during that time, the figure for the Congress stood at Rs 329 crore.
The report was based on the declaration of assets and liabilities by national parties from 2004-05 to 2015-16. While assets include moveable and immovable properties, cash, vehicles, investments, deposits, loans and advances, liabilities comprise factors like borrowings from banks, unsecured loans and access to overdraft facilities.
4. Taj Mahal Part of Which History? Will Erase Blot, Says BJP MLA Sangeet Som
Days after the Uttar Pradesh government omitted Taj Mahal from a tourism department booklet, BJP MLA Sangeet Singh Som on Sunday, 15 October questioned the monument’s place in history, distorting historical facts to say that it was built by an emperor who imprisoned his father and targeted Hindus. Som also said that his party’s government at the Centre and state were working to erase the “blot” (kalank katha) of Akbar, Aurangzeb and Babur from history books.
Speaking at an event in Sisauli area of Meerut, Som said: Many people were pained to see that the Taj Mahal had been removed from the list of historical places… what history… which history… the person who made Taj Mahal imprisoned his father… he targeted the Hindus of Uttar Pradesh and India… if these people still find place in history, then it is very unfortunate… and I guarantee that history will be changed.
5. Complete Lack of Interest by CBI in Finding JNU Student Najeeb Ahmad: HC
The Delhi high court on Monday, 16 October, pulled up the CBI over the manner of its probe into the disappearance of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) student Najeeb Ahmad, who went missing in October last year, saying “there was complete lack of interest” on part of the agency in pursuing the case.
A bench of justice GS Sistani and justice Chander Shekhar observed that there was “no result either way. No result even on paper”.
The strong remarks came as the bench found contradictions in the CBI’s submission in the court and its status report on the issue of analysis of the calls and messages of the suspected students in the case.
The agency’s counsel said the call details records (CDR) of the accused in the case was analysed but the court noted that “it is not mentioned in the status report”.
6. Fugitive Arms Dealer Bought Vadra’s Air Tickets?
Links between Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra and arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari have been spoken about since it came out that Vadra's London flat at 12, Ellerton House, Bryanton Square, was refurbished by Bhandari in 2016.
But Vadra denied any financial links with the arms dealer, who was under investigation, and there was nothing which could nail Vadra's link with Bhandari, who fled to the UK. But Times Now has accessed documents that establish what appears to be a direct link between the two.
Emails accessed by the channel show that the agent bought Vadra's air tickets.
7. Ex-CEC Frowns on EC’s Delay in Gujarat Polls Dates
The Election Commission’s decision not to announce simultaneous assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh was an “avoidable controversy”, former Chief Election Commissioner TS Krishnamurthy told The Indian Express on Monday, 16 October.
Krishnamurthy, who headed the poll panel from 8 February 2004 to 15 May 2005, is the second former CEC, after SY Quraishi, to question the delay in announcing the Gujarat poll dates. Qureshi had said that the move to break from the EC’s convention of announcing elections together in states where incumbent governments are completing their terms within six months had raised “serious questions”.
While the Gujarat assembly’s term ends on 22 January 2018, it is 7 January in the case of Himachal Pradesh. Last week, Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti announced the election date only for Himachal Pradesh.
8. Filling Vacant Medical Seats: 2-Judge SC Bench Does What 3-Judge Bench Refused
Eyebrows are being raised about a possible breach in judicial discipline after a two-judge Supreme Court bench ordered filling up of 553 vacant seats in super-specialty courses in medical colleges just two days after a three-judge bench rejected such a plea.
On an application filed by Kerala Christian Professional College Management Federation in the pending petition of Dr Himank Goyal, a bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and UU Lalit on 11 October directed, “For the remaining 553 unfilled super-specialty seats lying vacant, the DGHS may hold a mop-up counselling in an endeavour to fill up such seats within a period of 10 days.” Those offered seats through this mop-up counselling were asked by the bench to join within four days.
On 9 October, a PIL by 'Education Promotion Society of India' had sought permission from a bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud to fill up vacant super-speciality course seats. The bench dismissed the petition.
9. For 2019 General Polls, Should CPM Reach out to Congress? Party Brass Split 32-31
At the end of three days of discussion, the CPI(M) Central Committee stood vertically split on the question of the party’s approach towards the Congress in the 2019 general elections. Sources said of the 63 members who spoke, 32 favoured the line put forward by Prakash Karat, while 31 backed general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s view. There was no voting though.
Both Karat and Yechury agree that the primary objective is to oust the Narendra Modi government from power. Both also believe there cannot be any electoral understanding with the Congress. But Yechury believes that the party should seek the “cooperation” of all non-Left secular parties (including the Congress). This, in effect, will keep a window open as far as the party’s approach towards the Congress is concerned. Karat, on the other hand, believes the party should cooperate with all “non-Congress” secular parties.
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