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QBullet: Rahul’s Minimum Income Promise; SBI Claims Aadhaar Misuse

Top headlines of the day.

Updated
India
7 min read
Rahul Gandhi in Chhattisgarh.
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1. Rahul Ups Populist Ante, Vows Minimum Income for the Poor

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday promised to implement nationwide minimum income for the poor if voted to power in May, in what was seen as the latest populist gambit to woo voters after the party swept to power in three states largely on the back of a promise for farm loan waiver.

“It’s going to be historic. Congress has decided to provide a guaranteed minimum income to the poor in all states. The poor will get a minimum income directly in their bank accounts. This scheme will be the first of its kind in the world as no other country has come up with such a decision so far,” he said at a farmers’ rally to mark the implementation of the loan waiver promise which helped Congress defeat BJP in Chhattisgarh.

“Nobody will remain hungry and nobody will remain poor as all poor people will be entitled to a guaranteed income. We will do this in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and all other states as well. All you have to do is to give us an opportunity,” Rahul said. The Congress chief, however, did not disclose details of the scheme.

(Source: The Times of India)

2. Polls Coming, Shiv Sena Signals it is Ready to Deal With BJP

After years of bitterness, starting with the last Assembly polls in Maharashtra that they fought separately in October 2014, the BJP and the Shiv Sena appear to be moving closer to each other with just a few months to go for the Lok Sabha elections.

In Delhi, sources said the BJP has offered the Sena half of the 48 Lok Sabha seats from Maharasthra — in 2014, the BJP had contested from 26 and the Sena 22. In Mumbai, Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray chaired a meeting of his party’s MPs where he is said to have expressed the wish that he wanted a “personal bond with Narendrabhai (Narendra Modi)”.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Sena leader Sanjay Raut said any deal had to be based on the principle that the BJP is the “big brother in Delhi (Lok Sabha) and the Sena is the big brother in Maharashtra”.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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3. Miffed Kumaraswamy Threatens to Quit, Congress Says ‘Full Faith’ in Him

Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy threatened to resign on Monday, after a Congress MLA — in the first direct attack by the coalition partner — criticised his governance. Seeking to control the damage, the Congress ordered its state unit to issue a showcause notice to the MLA. Congress general secretary K C Venugopal, who is in charge of party affairs in the state, said the party high command has “full faith” in Kumaraswamy and the state government.

On Sunday, Congress MLA ST Somashekhar, a loyalist of former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, said: “The coalition government has completed eight months but has not released funds for the development of Bangalore. As Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah’s contribution to Bangalore was huge’’. He said he wished Siddaramaiah was the Chief Minister again.

Somashekhar, who was recently appointed chairman of the Bangalore Development Authority, was speaking at an event organised by the Kuruba community.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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4. Govt Races Against Time to Push Triple Talaq, Citizenship

The Narendra Modi government’s last session of Parliament in the 16th Lok Sabha that begins on 31 January is likely to be a race against time to clear pending bills which will lapse if not passed in this session.

The session, from 31 January to 13 February, will have 10 working days with the first two dedicated to the President’s speech to the joint sitting of both Houses and the interim budget.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has a packed legislative agenda, comprising, in the main, the spillover from the two-month-long winter session. NDA functionaries indicated that the government’s top priority would be to clear the three ordinances — to penalise instant triple talaq, allow a panel to run the Medical Council of India, and approve an amendment to the Company Law.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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5. SBI Alleges Aadhaar Data Misuse, UIDAI Rubbishes Charge

The head office of State Bank of India (SBI) in New Delhi. 
The head office of State Bank of India (SBI) in New Delhi. 
(Photo: Reuters)

Officials of SBI have alleged that data of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has been misused. Logins and biometrics of their Aadhaar operators have been misused to generate unauthorised Aadhaar cards, SBI officials alleged. Countering the charge, UIDAI said, “Aadhaar database is fully secured and no security breach, biometric or otherwise, has taken place.”

SBI, like other banks, was given an Aadhaar enrolment target for which it selected vendors—FIA Technology Services Pvt Ltd and Sanjivini Consultants — in the Chandigarh region which covers Haryana, Punjab, Himachal, J&K and the UT of Chandigarh itself. However, of 250 operators employed with the agencies, nearly half were penalised in two months and were either deactivated or blacklisted. This brought SBI’s Aadhaar enrollments to a halt at many branches, and to SBI failing to meet targets and facing penalties.

(Source: The Times of India)

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6. Breach in Congress’ West Bengal Bastion, Malda MP Mausam Benazir Noor Joins TMC

Mausam Noor.
Mausam Noor.
(Photo courtesy: Facebook/Mausam Noor)

In what is being seen as a breach in the last remaining Congress bastion in West Bengal, Mausam Benazir Noor, niece of former Union minister, late ABA Gani Khan Chowdhury, and two-time MP from Malda Uttar Lok Sabha constituency, joined the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday.

Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee announced that Noor will be the TMC candidate from the same constituency in the upcoming General Election and campaign for the party in all districts of North Bengal.

Malda has sent a Congress member to Lok Sabha ever since Khan Chowdhury first got elected in 1980 – he continued until 2004, after which his brother Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury and niece Mausam Noor, became Congress MPs from the two seats in Malda.

(Source: The Indian Express)

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7. ‘She’s Like a Sister’: Siddaramaiah on Row Over Shouting at Woman

A few hours after a video of him shouting at a woman at a public meeting went viral on social media, former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday, 28 January, said the incident was an accident and has been misconstrued. He also added that the woman – Jamalar, a former Congress Taluk Panchayat officer – was like a sister to him.

In the video that was shot at a public meeting in Mysuru, Siddaramaiah and Jamalar can be seen getting into a war of words. Siddaramaiah can be seen snatching the microphone from the woman’s hands and telling her to stop talking.

The woman can be heard saying that this was the first time she had got the chance to meet the leader and that he had only come due to the upcoming elections. She can then be seen slamming the table in agitation, after which the Congress leader is seen losing his cool and asking her to sit down and keep quiet.

(Read the full story on The Quint)

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8. Amit Shah Fires OROP Salvo at Congress

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah on Monday took a swipe at the Congress, calling it “OROP meaning only Rahul, only Priyanka”.

BJP national president Amit Shah addressed a gathering of the n party workers in Himachal Pradesh’s Una on Monday.

“For over 70 years, no one cared about the soldiers. When the Narendra Modi government came to power, we introduced One Rank, One Pension [OROP]. However, the Congress also follows OROP, which is only Rahul only Priyanka,” he told a gathering of the BJP workers in Himachal Pradesh’s Una.

Shah’s comments came days after Congress president Rahul Gandhi named his sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, as the general secretary in-charge of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, which includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency of Varanasi.

Shah said the Congress did not do enough for the people when it was in power.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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9. Govt Shouldn’t Present Full Budget, Says Sinha

Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha
Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha
(Photo: Erum Gour/ The Quint)

Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha on Monday said any attempt by the Modi government to present a full Budget would be in “direct violation of the constitutional traditions of our country”.

Speaking at the Indian Women’s Press Corps, Sinha said the government did not have the right to announce any new services in the interim budget, to present an Economic Survey or to introduce a Finance Bill. He also said he “does not trust the figures given out by the government any more”.

Criticising Union minister Arun Jaitley for his blog warning CBI against “investigative adventurism”, Sinha said it was “entirely improper”. “If he had any issues with the CBI, he should have raised the issue in private or with the PM,” he added.

(Source: The Times of India)

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