Daily Bulletin: CBI likely to summon Akhilesh Yadav in sand mining case; violence continues over Sabarimala; day's top stories
Akhilesh Yadav and another senior Samajwadi Party leader are likely to be summoned by the CBI in an illegal sand mining case; violence continues in Kerala over Sabarimala; Narendra Modi attacks Congress in Odisha; and more.
Akhilesh Yadav under CBI scanner
Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and another senior Samajwadi Party (SP) leader are likely to be summoned by the CBI, which conducted searches on Saturday at 14 locations in connection with an illegal sand mining case. Akhilesh had also held the mining portfolio in 2012-13, which has brought his role under the scanner, according to the FIR.
It is alleged that public officials allowed illegal mining from 2012 to 2016 and unlawfully renewed licences despite a ban by the National Green Tribunal on mining. It is alleged that the officers allowed theft of minor minerals and would extort money from leaseholders and drivers.
The searches took place on a day the SP and the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) announced their intent to form an alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. News18 quoted SP spokesperson Abdul Hafiz Gandhi as saying, "The party welcomes the CBI action, but the timing does raise questions, especially since this is coming right after stories of an SP-BSP alliance in the media."
The report said, "The coming together of the two arch-rivals may spell trouble for the ruling BJP, which had a home run in 2014 elections when it won 71 out of the total 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state."
Violence continues over Sabarimala
The Centre has asked for a report from the Kerala government on the violence by workers of several parties, who clashed in the state on Saturday. Violence involving BJP-RSS and the ruling CPM rocked parts of Kerala, particularly Kannur district, with several houses and shops of rival leaders and workers being attacked over the Sabarimala issue.
Amid incidents of vandalism, Governor P Sathasivam briefed Union Home Affairs Minister Rajnath Singh about the law and order situation in Kerala. "We have asked for a report. It has not come yet," he said. "The situation should come under control soon."
Narendra Modi attacks Congress in Odisha
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused the Congress of "playing" with national security and working at the behest of middlemen in the defence sector, instead of running a government for the people during the UPA rule. "I cannot understand whether the Congress was running a government or a durbar of its own (Christian) Michel mama," he said at a BJP rally in Odisha.
The prime minister addressed the rally after unveiling a slew of projects worth over Rs 4,500 crore in different sectors ahead of the general elections in 2019. This was Modi's second visit in less than a fortnight to Odisha, where the Assembly elections are also slated to be held along with the Lok Sabha polls.
Mounting a scathing attack on the Congress after a showdown between the government and Opposition in Parliament over the Rafale deal, Modi alleged that there was a conspiracy to weaken the country's defence forces during 2004-2014 (the period of the UPA rule) and the revelation of facts was now "giving pain" to the Opposition party's leaders.
Rain forces early lunch on Day 4 of Sydney Test
Incessant showers washed out the morning session on Day 4 of the fourth Test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with the hosts still 386 runs behind. There is a possibility of further interruptions in play given the forecast for rain on Sunday. India had earlier restricted Australia to 236/6 on Day 3, the home team wasting a good start provided by Marcus Harris as the Indian spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav (3/71) and Ravindra Jadeja (2/62) made merry on conditions that were still suited for batting.
Marriott International on Saturday said that the hack into its reservation database in November had potentially compromised 383 million customers, an "upper limit" lower than the earlier estimated 500 million accounts. However, Marriott International confirmed that hackers had compromised the passport numbers of millions of people in a potential "foreign-intelligence gold mine".
Deepika Padukone launches personal website on her birthday
After an eventful 2018 with the release of Padmaavat and her wedding with actor Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, who turned 33 on Saturday, announced the launch of her website. Just a day earlier, the actress had taken to her Instagram handle and shared a handwritten note, stating something "super exciting" was coming up, with a countdown. The website features the landmarks and awards that Deepika has achieved, apart from information on Live Love Laugh, the foundation she has been supporting to spread mental health awareness.
Partial solar eclipse from 5 to 9 am IST today
The first partial solar eclipse of 2019 will take place on 6 January. Starting soon after dawn, around 5 am, till 9 am (IST), the eclipse will be visible to people in Northeast Asia, China, parts of Siberia, Korea and Japan, but won't be visible from India. For those in India, Transparenskies on YouTube will live stream the entire phenomenon.
With inputs from PTI
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At a rally in Kokrajhar, the BJP leader alleged that the previous Congress-led governments in the state and at the Centre did nothing to check violence in the Bodoland areas