BJP MLA Says Those Who Vote Against Yogi to Be Expelled from UP; Lynching Not Defined as Crime, Says Modi Govt
MGNREGA employment to fall, Gujarat Covid toll 10 times official figure, how democracy is dying in India, Maaza outstrips Coke, medium wave radio still buzzing in Kerala, MRI scan for Doval intruder
A newsletter from The Wire & Galileo Ideas | Contributors: MK Venu, Seema Chishti, Siddharth Varadarajan, Sidharth Bhatia, Sushant Singh and Tanweer Alam | Editor: Pratik Kanjilal
Snapshot of the day
February 16, 2022
T. Raja Singh, BJP MLA from Telangana, has put out a video urging “Hindu brothers and sisters” in Uttar Pradesh to come out and vote in large numbers for Yogi Adityanath and threatening those who vote against the chief minister with expulsion from the state.
“Thousands of bulldozers and JCBs have been bought by UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and they are on their way,” he said. “After the elections, those who voted against Yogiji – their areas will be identified. and I am sure you know what JCBs and bulldozers are used for. I want to inform those traitors of UP who don’t want Yogi Adityanath to be elected as CM again that if you want to stay in UP, you will have to chant Yogi-Yogi. If not, you will have to run away from the state."
The Karnataka BJP tweeted a broadside at the Congress and the six student petitioners in the hijab case became collateral damage ― an image attached to the tweet revealed the personal details of the minors. This is prohibited under Section 74(1) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015, and the Shiv Sena seeks action by the police and child rights authorities. A legal journalist offers some gems from the hijab hearing in the Karnataka High Court home. And the country’s top legal scholar exposes pettifoggery in the courtroom.
The apex child rights body, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), has been assisting the BJP’s cause admirably. Its chairperson Priyank Kanungo has said that the Darul Uloom Deoband is forcing young Muslim women to wear the hijab.
The Ministry of External Affairs is now a fire-fighting department. After the US Ambassador at large appointed by President Biden, the Organisation of Islamic Countries has raised concerns about the hijab restrictions, and India had to defend itself. The ministry termed it a “motivated and misleading statement from the General Secretariat of OIC… Issues in India are considered and resolved in accordance with our constitutional framework and mechanisms, as well as democratic ethos and polity.” Calling OIC’s mindset “communal” is a big shift from 2019, when former foreign minister Sushma Swaraj was a guest of honour at OIC, and her presence at the ‘communal’ body was touted as a “major diplomatic success” for India.
Russia has said that it will not take part in the Indian Navy’s ongoing procurement plan for six new diesel submarines with air-independent propulsion under Project 75I. The Germans will not participate in the tender due to technical reasons, including liability clauses and inadequate budgetary allocation. South Korea is also believed to have concerns about technology transfer, leaving India with virtually no option for a much-delayed project conceived more than two decades ago.
The Hindu reports that Bills passed against lynching in the past four years by at least three states ruled by BJP rivals – Jharkhand, Rajasthan and west bengal – and one by the party itself (Manipur) have not been implemented. The Union government has taken the view that lynching is not defined as a crime under the Indian Penal Code.
The outlay of Rs 73,000 crore for MGNREGA in this budget will generate only 2.21 billion person-days of employment, assuming 71.5% goes towards wages (average for the last three years) at a wage rate of Rs 236.5 (average of the notified wage rate across states). That’s about 29% less than the 3.1 billion person-days provided in 2021-22, which still has about 50 days to run. That’s also 17% less than the 2019-20 (pre-pandemic) figure. It could translate into fewer persons being employed, or fewer days of employment, or both, reports Mint.
“The last time crude crossed $100 to a barrel, that is what killed the then government. This is an essential item which cannot be reduced drastically. Transportation costs will go up, but you cannot scale back usage by too much. There are no good choices. Luck may be running out [for Modi],” said former finance secretary SC Garg, as crude remains in the nervous nineties.
SEBI has made it voluntary for India Inc to have separate chairpersons and MDs or CEOs, ahead of the April 1 deadline by which the top 500 listed companies were to install distinct persons as chairman and MD/CEO. The reprieve will benefit more than 150 companies who have only one person at the helm, according to Primeinfobase. Top beneficiaries are Reliance Industries (where Mukesh Ambani holds both posts), Hindustan Unilever (Sanjiv Mehta), Bajaj Finserv (Sanjiv Bajaj) and Adani Ports (Gautam Adani). The bifurcation rule was proposed five years ago and approved by Sebi four years ago. The corporate sector was reluctant to comply.
Poll results in Punjab will depend on how many individual Congress and SAD candidates can hold their own ― or will AAP sweep Malwa? The fortunes of each seat may be different, reports The Quint. The advantage of strong local candidates and strength among cadres, sarpanches and municipal councillors makes itself felt in the last few days of campaigning and on voting day itself.
Nagaland is set for Assembly elections in early 2023, but Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio yesterday said, “I am not looking forward to an election, I am looking forward to a solution to the protracted Naga political problem, because unless there is a settlement, (unless) there is solution, there is no perfect peace in our land and artificial peace is there and there is no peace of mind.” The Nagaland Assembly has no Opposition member. Everyone is with Rio.
No booster vaccine dose for Modi. A senior official told The Print on the condition of anonymity that “the PM is yet to take his precaution dose… He says he is healthy and does not need to take it. I cannot talk about others.”
Without proof of having lost their husbands to Covid, numerous ‘Covid widows’ are struggling to secure assistance from the UP government, finds a Newsclick report.
Legendary singer Sandhya Mukherjee, who recently rejected the Padma Shri, passed away in Kolkata after
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