Daily Bulletin: BJP calls Rahul's income guarantee a 'bluff'; Nirmohi Akhara seeks expansion of mediation panel; day's top stories
Today's top stories: BJP leader Arun Jaitley has called Rahul Gandhi's minimum income guarantee scheme promise a bluff; the EC has released a report which records the seizure of Rs 540 crore since the election dates were announced; the Nirmohi Akhara has asked for two SC judges to be included in the Ayodhya mediation; and more.
A litigant in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case, the Nirmohi Akhara has moved Supreme Court expressing unhappiness over the mediation process
An Election Commission report has revealed that cash, drugs and liquor worth Rs 540 crores have been seized in raids over the last two weeks
Former Union minister P Chidambaram on Monday accused the CBI before a Delhi court of harassing him by repeatedly seeking dates to advance arguments
Rahul promises minimum income guarantee, political slugfest begins
BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Monday described Congress president Rahul Gandhi's promise of giving Rs 72,000 per year to the most deprived families as a "bluff announcement", and asserted the Modi government was already giving one-and-a-half times more money to them.
The finance minister told reporters that the Congress has a history of cheating the poor and misleading the country in the name of removing poverty as it only gave them slogans but not the tools and resources.
Former finance minister P Chidambaram tweeted a rebuttal by asking Jaitley if he "supported" or "opposed" the move of providing "justice to five crore" of the poorest Indian families.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi had, on Monday, announced a Universal Basic Income scheme called Nyay to impoverished Indian families earning less than Rs 12,000 per month.
Poll watch: EC report reveals Rs 540 crores of cash, drugs, liquor were seized
An Election Commission report has revealed that cash, drugs and liquor worth Rs 540 crores have been seized in raids over the last two weeks since the Lok Sabha polls dates were announced. The BJP has complained to the EC, alleging large scale distribution of money by Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh.
The EC has also sought a report on the alleged fracas at Kolkata airport involving Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew, Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee's wife. Customs officials were allegedly stopped from frisking her baggage.
Opposition leaders like Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal, TMC's Mamata Banerjee, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Rashtriya Janata Dal's Tejaswi Yadav, Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Dewe Gowda, and former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie are all expected to visit Andhra Pradesh for campaigns.
The BJP's Vikas Sankalp Yatra will be held on Tuesday across the country, with many senior leaders addressing rallies from various venues. Party president Amit Shah will address the rally from Moradabad.
Rahul Gandhi, meanwhile, will be on a daylong visit to Rajasthan. He will address rallies at Suratgarh, Bundi and Jaipur.
Nirmohi Akhara 'unhappy' over Ayodhya mediation process
A litigant in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case, the Nirmohi Akhara has moved Supreme Court expressing unhappiness over the mediation process. It has asked for two retired Supreme Court judges to be included on the mediation panel besides the three nominated members. It has also requested the Supreme Court to move the mediation process out of Faizabad.
The Supreme Court-appointed mediation committee for resolution of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute held its first sitting on Wednesday and heard all parties who attended the proceedings, of which the Nirmohi Akhara was one.
The panel, headed by former apex court judge FM Ibrahim Kalifulla, had directed that there should not be any reporting of the mediation proceedings in the print or other media, pointing out the views expressed by the top court. On 8 March, the Supreme Court had referred the land dispute case for court-appointed and monitored mediation.
Chidambaram accuses CBI of harassment
Former Union minister P Chidambaram on Monday accused the CBI before a Delhi court of harassing him by repeatedly seeking dates to advance arguments on his anticipatory bail plea in the Aircel-Maxis case.
Special Judge OP Saini extended till 26 April the interim protection from arrest granted to the senior Congress leader and his son Karti after their counsel told the court that the CBI be given whatever time it wanted but arguments should start on the next date of hearing.
Senior advocate for the father-son duo Kapil Sibal claimed that CBI has failed to disclose any information to prove the allegations against the Chidambarams in the case, filed by the CBI and the ED.
Nirav Modi's art collection to be put up for auction today
Tax authorities are hoping for a windfall with the auction on Tuesday of rare oil paintings that were once part of fugitive billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi’s collection and have been seized by the government.
Auctioneers say the sale is the first of its kind in a country where tax authorities have usually auctioned property, gold and luxury items, but not art.
After a court order allowing the auction to take place, tax authorities, who are pursuing Modi over the country’s largest bank fraud, appointed professional auction house Saffronart.
The sale in Mumbai of some 68 works is expected to fetch anywhere between Rs 30 crore to Rs 50 crore ($4.4 million-$7.3 million).
Larry Cohen, director of cult horror-movies, passes away
Horror maestro Larry Cohen, known as a B-movie auteur of horror and science-fiction films, has passed away at the age of 77. The news of his demise was announced on his official Facebook page.
"The entire #KingCohen team mourns the loss of its star, hero and King, #LarryCohen. His unparalleled talents were surpassed only by his giant heart. The impact he made on television and cinema will be felt forever, and our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and fans", the Facebook post read.
Cohen, who started his career in the entertainment industry in the 1950s, is the creator behind TV shows The Invaders and Branded. He has also written episodes for The Defenders and The Fugitive. His horror-film, It's Alive, earned over $7 million upon re-release and also spawned two sequels.
Apple News+ and Apple Arcade announced
Apple has announced its new Apple News+ service which consolidates popular newspaper and magazine subscriptions and could appeal more to casual readers suffering from subscription fatigue than long-time fans of specific publications.
It is yet unclear as to whether Apple News Plus will include the entire content of all the participating magazines and newspapers. Apple has also announced its very own games subscription service called Apple Arcade. The service allows Apple users access to more than 100 new and exclusive games to play across multiple devices. These include games from developers such as Disney, Konami, Lego, Annapurna Interactive and SEGA to name a few.
Huawei P30 Pro and P30 to be unveiled later today
Huawei is set to announce the P30 and P30 Pro on Tuesday at an event in Paris, France. The Pro variant is likely to sport a 40 MP main shooter, a 20 MP wide-angle camera, a 8 MP 10x hybrid zoom snapper, and a ToF sensor on the side. The phone will be powered by the company's Kirin 980 SoC and have a price tag of around EUR 1,000.
Kotla gears up for first game as Delhi Capitals host Chennai Super Kings
Delhi Capitals lock horns with Chennai Super Kings in the fifth match of the ongoing Indian Premier League at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Both sides got off to winning starts in their campaign — Chennai defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore by seven wickets, with Delhi Capitals winning their clash against Mumbai Indians by 37 runs at the Wankhede Stadium.
Holding the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) accountable for the delay in election results, several political parties, including the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) expressed concerns over alleged mismanagement in the counting process
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of opposition supporters rallied in Bangladesh’s capital last month to demand the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina resign
In the annual Budget, Rs 1,891.78 crore has been allocated for purchase of EVMs by the poll panel. Ahead of several assembly polls this year and Lok Sabha elections in 2024, the Union Cabinet had last month approved a proposal for funds to procure additional electronic voting machines for the EC