Alliance storms to majority in Jharkhand, Hemant Soren tipped to be CM
The JMM-led three-party alliance stormed to power in Jharkhand on Monday, ousting the BJP in yet another state in the Hindi heartland after the saffron party's stupendous performance in the Lok Sabha elections, a development that could have profound implications for the country.
The Raghubar Das government's feat of providing a stable government that lasted a full five-year term in a state where chief ministers changed faster than seasons did not cut ice with the electorate which decided to repose faith in a coalition that fought over seats and broke up five years ago.
Contesting the state Assembly elections alone for the first time sans long-standing ally the AJSU Party, the ruling BJP bagged 25 seats, five less than the JMM which led the table, clinching 30 in the 81-member House.
The JMM-led alliance, which also has the Congress and the RJD, secured 45 seats, way above the majority mark of 41. Of the 75 seats, the JMM won 29 seats, the Congress 15 and the RJD 1, as per the results available till 10 PM. Das tendered his resignation and accepted defeat.
Key Cabinet meet today, likely to discuss National Population Register, Census 2021
Reports say that the Union Cabinet is scheduled to meet at 10.30 am today to discuss several policy matters, including a proposal to allocate funds for updating the National Population Register. The NPR is a list of "usual residents" of the country. A "usual resident" is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past six months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next six months or more. The data for National Population Register was collected in 2010 along with the house listing phase of Census of India 2011. The updation of this data was done during 2015 by conducting door to door survey. The digitisation of the updated information has been completed.
Now the government plans to conduct data collection for an updated National Population Register along with the Houselisting phase of Census 2021 during April to September 2020.
Furthermore, although it not on the official agenda, the nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens may also come up as NPR could be the first step towards establishing the NRC. Both listings of Indian citizens — NRC and NPR — are proposed under the same law, the Citizenship Act of 1955.
Saudi court sentences five to death over Khashoggi murder
Five people have been sentenced to death over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but two top figures investigated over the killing have been exonerated. Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, was murdered in October last year in what Riyadh called a "rogue" operation, tipping the kingdom into one of its worst diplomatic crises and tarnishing the reputation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The 59-year-old Saudi insider-turned-critic was strangled and his body cut into pieces by a 15-man Saudi squad inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, according to Turkish officials. His remains have not been found.
"We found that Khashoggi's murder was not premeditated," Saudi deputy general prosecutor Shalaan al-Shalaan told a press conference.
Saudi prosecutors had said deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri oversaw Khashoggi's killing and that he was advised by the royal court's media czar Saud al-Qahtani.
However, Qahtani was investigated but not indicted "due to insufficient evidence" and Assiri was investigated and charged but eventually acquitted on the same grounds, the prosecutor said in a statement. Both aides were part of Prince Mohammed's tight-knit inner circle and were formally sacked over the killing, but only Assiri appeared in the court hearings, according to Western sources.
Anti-CAA protests to continue today in various parts of the country
The protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and a proposed countrywide National Register of Citizens will enter the ninth day today. Jamia Millia Islamia students will continue their agitation and a protest meet has been called at 12 pm. Another protest has been planned in Mandi House, from where protesters will march to Jantar Mantar around 12:30 pm.
In West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will hold a rally in Kolkata at Swami Vivekananda's residence at 12pm.
Meanwhile, the BJP will continue its mobilisation programme in support of the CAA. After the West Bengal march on Monday, the party will today hold protests in various parts of Gujarat in support of CAA.
AAP to launch five years' report card, key housing scheme ahead of Delhi polls
'Acche beete paanch saal-lage raho Kejriwal' is the slogan of the Aam Aadmi Party for the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections. With the launch of the slogan, the party kick-started its campaign for the Assembly polls scheduled to be held early next year. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which won 67 of the 70 seats in 2015, will fight this election in collaboration with election strategist Prashant Kishor's consultancy firm I-PAC. Senior party leader Gopal Rai said Kejriwal will also release a report card on the performance of his government during its five-year tenure. Sisodia said AAP members will take the report card to around 35 lakh homes in the city as part of the party's door-to-door campaign. AAP is also scheduled to launch its 'jahan jhopdi, wahin makan' programme to grant housing to shanty dwellers, without displacing them.
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Updated Date: Dec 24, 2019 08:04:12 IST