QBullet: 14 K’taka MLAs Disqualified, Unnao Rape Survivor Critical
Catch the biggest stories of the day here.
1. Karnataka Speaker Disqualifies 14 Cong, JD(S) Rebels, Trust Vote Today
Karnataka speaker KR Ramesh Kumar on Sunday, 28 July, disqualified 14 rebel lawmakers whose decision to skip a trust vote last week toppled the state government – a ruling that came a day ahead of a floor test where the BJP is widely seen to have the edge.
Kumar said the 14 legislators – 11 from the Congress and three from its ally, the Janata Dal (Secular) – stood disqualified until the term of the current Assembly, due to end in 2023, and could not even contest bypolls. The decision also forecloses the possibility of any of the rebel legislators being named as ministers in the new government. He, however, said that they would be free to contest if fresh Assembly elections were called.
2. Unnao Rape Survivor Critical, Two Dead as Truck Hits Their Car
The Unnao rape survivor and her lawyer, Mahendra Singh, were critically injured when a truck crashed into their car on NH-31 on Sunday, 28 July. Her aunt and another woman relative, who were in the car, were killed in the accident. They were returning from Rae Bareli prison after meeting the rape survivor's uncle, who was jailed in a forgery case.
The lawyer is battling for life with head injuries and multiple fractures in KGMU Trauma Centre, Lucknow. No guard accompanied them to Rae Bareli even though the court had ordered security cover to the rape survivor’s family last year.
Talking to TOI, inspector general of police, Lucknow range, SK Bhagat, said, "A woman died on the spot, while the rape survivor's aunt was declared brought dead at KGMU, Lucknow." The truck owner, Devendra Singh, and the driver, Ashish Pal, have been arrested.
3. Jammu and Kashmir ‘Build-Up’ to Foil ‘ISI Terror Plots for Independence Day’
Dispelling rumours of the paramilitary build-up in J&K being linked to a plan to abrogate Articles 35A and 370, a top intelligence official on Sunday, 28 July, said the exercise was in response to Pakistan’s ISI planning terror strikes in the run-up to Independence Day to shore up the sagging morale of separatist forces.
News of additional 100 companies of paramilitary forces being sent to the Valley had triggered rumours about an “impending” abrogation of Articles 35A and 370, both of which give the state special status.
According to the official, the security establishment was merely trying to prevent any misadventure by the ISI before or after 15 August.
4. India Issues Note Verbale to Pakistan over Diplomats’ Harassment
India issued yet another note verbale to Pakistan earlier this month protesting five cases of harassment of Indian diplomats in Islamabad, the Times of India has learnt.
While these were mostly cases of tailing, the government thought it proper to register a protest because of the frequency of such incidents.
Significantly, as official sources confirmed, India this month also approved the appointment of Pakistan’s new high commissioner Moin-ul-Haque. Pakistani media had earlier reported that India had reservations about Islamabad’s choice of Haque as the new high commissioner.
Haque, who is expected to arrive in Delhi in the third week of August, was Pakistan’s ambassador to France when Islamabad decided in May to send him to India.
(Source: The Times of India)
5. Ex-Aide Under Probe for Routing Funds via Overseas Firm to Vijay Mallya
Following a whistleblower’s complaint, a Bengaluru-based company incorporated in March 2018 and run by Vijay Mallya’s former executive assistant has come under the scanner of investigative agencies for its alleged association with the fugitive businessman.
The whistleblower, in the complaint to United Breweries Ltd, has alleged that the liquor firm’s export agent — Ultimate Branding Worldwide, run by V Shashikant, Mallya’s former executive assistant — is exporting Kingfisher Beer at a discounted price to a “front” company overseas, that, in turn, sells it at a premium to buyers in UAE, Malaysia and Singapore.
The profit generated through this, according to the complaint, is allegedly being “repatriated” to Mallya through “overlapping transactions” to fund his “daily maintenance and legal expense”.
6. Chandrayaan 2 Launch Example of Fearlessness, Faith, Says PM Modi
Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Sunday, 28 July, hailed the launch of India’s lunar mission Chandrayaan-2, which was delayed due to a technical glitch, and described the successful lift-off as an example of “faith and fearlessness”.
“We should feel proud of the fact that despite hindrances, there is no change in the arrival time [of the spacecraft on the Moon]. We should trust our talents and capacities, we should have faith in them,” Modi said in his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat, referring to the altered path of the spacecraft that would ensure Chandrayaan 2 lands on the Moon on its original intended date – 7 September.
(Source: Hindustan Times)
7. Convicted In Graft Case, Sikkim CM Seeks Disqualification Waiver
Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang’s fate now rests with the Election Commission (EC) as he is learnt to have recently requested a waiver of the remaining period of his disqualification to retain the post.
Tamang, who was appointed on 27 May, needs to be elected to the Assembly within six months of his appointment. However, he is barred from contesting polls as he has been convicted in a corruption case.
Tamang served a year in prison, between 2017 and 2018, after he was found guilty of misappropriating government funds in a cow distribution scheme while he was the minister of animal husbandry in the 1990s. He was released on 10 August 2018.
(Source: The Indian Express)
8. Former Union Minister Jaipal Reddy Dies At 77
Senior Congress leader and former Union minister S Jaipal Reddy died in Hyderabad on Sunday, 28 July, after a brief illness. He was 77.
Reddy, who was diagnosed with pneumonia recently, was admitted to the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology at Gachibowli in Hyderabad. His condition turned critical and he breathed his last at 1:29 am, hospital officials said.
Reddy was a four-term MLA, a member of Lok Sabha for five terms and Rajya Sabha for two terms.
He served as the information and broadcasting minister in the IK Gujral government and held several portfolios — petroleum and natural gas, urban development, and science and technology and earth sciences — in the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA-I and UPA-II).
9. BJP Calls J&K Core Group to Delhi for ‘Urgent Meeting’
Amidst uncertainty and speculation over the deployment of additional forces in the Valley, the Central leadership of the BJP has summoned members of the party’s core group in Jammu and Kashmir for an “urgent meeting” in Delhi on Tuesday, 30 July.
The meeting is likely to be chaired by BJP working president JP Nadda and will also be attended by general secretary (organisation) BL Santhosh. The possibility of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah meeting the party’s J&K unit leaders has not been ruled out.
While confirming the meeting, sources in the state unit said no agenda has been conveyed to them.
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