Daily Bulletin: SC verdict on Centre-Delhi govt power tussle; Rafale row to rage on; Adityanath in Kerala; day's top stories
Today's top stories: Supreme Court verdict on Centre-Delhi government power tussle; war of words over Rafale deal to rage on; Adityanath to address BJP workers in Kerala; and more.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has ripped into the Rafale report, challenging Narendra Modi again for a debate
Veteran actor-director Amol Palekar questioned the vulnerable state of artists in a world of excessive government interference
he Mahindra XUV300 to be released on 14 February, will be available in four variants
Supreme Court to deliver verdict on Centre vs Delhi government power tussle
The apex court is set to demarcate the powers of the lieutenant-governor and the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi on Thursday.
In July 2018, in what came as a major win for the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi, the Supreme Court had overturned the Delhi High Court order in a majority decision, stating that the elected government has the real power in Delhi and not the lieutenant-governor.
In its over-500-page judgment, a five-member bench led by the then Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, made several observations on the power tussle between the Kejriwal government in Delhi and lieutenant-governor Anil Bajial, representing the Centre.
CAG report unable to quell controversy surrounding Rafale deal
The much-anticipated report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on India's deal with France to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets was tabled in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on Wednesday, the last day of the Budget Session and the last Parliament session of the current government.
Amid repeated back and forth between the Congress and the Narendra Modi-led government over the issue, Union minister Arun Jaitley claimed that the latter had been vindicated, slamming Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's charges of corruption against the NDA government. Jaitley cited the fact that the CAG report looks at 11 deals (five from the UPA era and six from the NDA) and concludes that India managed to save 2.86 percent, thanks to the "India-Specific Enhancements" in the Rafale contract signed by the Modi government.
Rahul, however, has ripped into the report, challenging Modi again to a debate. At a press conference, Rahul said the focal point of the Rafale debate was price and that the Indian Air Force needed the planes quickly, but thanks to the new deal, Modi will get the planes later than the UPA-negotiated dates.
Champions League: Spurs thump Borussia Dortmund; Real Madrid seize advantage against Ajax
Despite missing Harry Kane and Dele Alli, Tottenham Hotspur scored three goals past Borussia Dortmund to put one foot into the Champions League quarter-finals.
Elsewhere in Amsterdam, Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio scored to hand Real Madrid a slender 2-1 advantage going into the second leg of their Round of 16 encounter.
IndiGo to cut 2 percent of flights due to bad weather
IndiGo Airlines, the country's largest domestic carrier, said on Wednesday that it will cut the number of flights it operates by 2 percent this month due to bad weather.
The Interglobe Aviation-owned company will also reduce some flights in March as a "proactive measure", it said in a statement. The airline told the country's aviation regulator it had cancelled 49 flights scheduled for Thursday.
IndiGo, which is India's largest airline by fleet size and number of passengers it ferries, cancelled the flights as a precautionary measure because of bad weather.
Yogi Adityanath to visit Kerala
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath will visit Kerala on Thursday and address booth-level party workers at a function in Pathanamthitta district. Adityanath has been the BJP's staple campaigner, even outside of Uttar Pradesh.
He has earlier marched to voice his protest against the CPM allegedly targeting BJP workers in Kerala and had said there was no scope for political violence in a democracy.
DHFL CEO Harshil Mehta resigns, will 'continue to be associated with company'
Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL) CEO Harshil Mehta has decided to resign from his position with immediate effect. "However, he will continue to be associated with the company and shall hold the designation of 'executive president - retail business; with effect from 14 February, 2019," DHFL said in a regulatory filing to stock exchanges.
The board has recommended the appointment of Sunjoy Joshi as an independent director and Srinath Sridharan as a non-executive director.
Recently, online portal Cobrapost had alleged that DHFL, through layers of shell companies, had allegedly siphoned off Rs 31,000 crore out of total bank loans amounting to Rs 97,000 crore.
Amol Palekar says too much governmental interference makes it tough for artistes to take a stand
Veteran actor-director Amol Palekar, who was in the news last week when he was interrupted during a speech at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) criticising the Ministry of Culture, questioned the vulnerable state of artistes in a world of excessive government interference.
"Since there is too much governmental interference even in the world of art, artistes cannot afford to take stands so they can seek benefits, patronage and assignments from and of the government. This vulnerability is crippling, and the voice of dissent gets suppressed at that level itself. So the contingencies cause gagging. Then, of course, it's their choice not to raise their voice, or take a side, or conform to the diktats of the system," Palekar said.
2019 Mahindra XUV300 SUV set to launch in India today
The Mahindra XUV300 will be available in four variants and will follow the same nomenclature as that of its larger cousin, the XUV500, from Thursday. The variants of the XUV300 are the W4, W6, W8 and W8 (O).
Dual airbags, disc brakes on all four wheels will be standard along with ABS. Buyers will be able to choose from six colour options. Other features that should ideally be available from the base variant onwards are power windows, a stereo system with Bluetooth or aux connectivity, central locking and halogen headlamps.
Bookings for the upcoming Mahindra XUV300 sub-four-metre had recently opened.
The top court had taken suo motu cognisance and said it cannot allow the UP government "to hold 100 percent physical Kanwar Yatra in view of COVID"
A plea by Leichombam Erendro's father alleged that Erendro was detained under the NSA solely to punish him for criticising BJP leaders purportedly advocating cow dung and cow urine as cures for COVID-19
The Yogi Adityanath government had on Tuesday allowed the yatra from 25 July despite concerns raised about the risk of a third COVID-19 wave