NEWS IN BRIEF – JAN 17, 2012

1. Army chief drags govt to SC on date of birth row, Says It Is About

Honour, Not Tenure: New Delhi: In a first for a serving military chief in

the country’s independent history, Army chief Gen Vijay Kumar Singh

dragged the government to the Supreme Court on Monday by challenging

it over the festering issue of his date of birth (DoB). [TOI p1]

2. Def min ready for legal battle with Gen : New Delhi: General V K Singh

has promised in his writ petition before the Supreme Court that he would

not take advantage of the correction and retire as scheduled on May 31,

2012. All he wanted of the court, said Gen Singh, was to protect his

honour, which was fundamental to a soldier’s life, by making his year of

birth 1951. [TOI p9]

3. Rushdie persuaded to stay away from Lit Fest, Raj Govt Raises Fear

Of Security Threat: Jaipur: A major flashpoint ahead of the Jaipur

Literary Festival has been avoided with a jittery Rajasthan government on

Monday persuading organizers to ask Salman Rushdie, the main draw at

the book-lovers’ jamboree, to call off his visit. [TOI p1]

4. Chidambaram had no role in eviction of Ramdev, Centre tells SC :

New Delhi : The Centre on Monday denied in the Supreme Court that

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram gave instructions to the Delhi

Police for evicting yoga guru Baba Ramdev and his followers from the

Ramlila grounds on June 4, 2011.[The Hindu p6]

5. Cong leaders wanted Rushdie kept out of India Jaipur: Rajasthan’s

sensitivities over the visit of controversial author Salman Rushdie to the

Jaipur literature festival, however, are easier to comprehend. The state

government has been on the defensive after the state police were

accused of failing to protect Muslim protesters in Gopalgarh where riots

last September left nine Muslims dead.[TOI p10]

6. May not need Voltaire to report on 2G scam but do need humility,

hard work : New Delhi : The majority of media people are of poor

intellectual level. On a day that the Fifth Ramnath Goenka Excellence in

Journalism Awards celebrated the finest in Indian journalism, 2009, that

was a provocative statement to make.[IE p1]

7. Jaitley guest at Express Adda today : New Delhi : He is among the top

four leaders in the BJP whose counsel is sought by the party on issues

ranging from political and legal to foreign policy. While he will not admit it,

Arun Jaitley is also very much among the party’s prime ministerial

contenders.[IE p2]

8. Swamy questioned on inflammatory article : New Delhi : The Crime

Branch of the Delhi Police on Monday questioned Janata Party chief

Subramaniam Swamy regarding an “inflammatory article” published in an

English daily last year. Lawyer Shehzad Poonawala had lodged a case

against Swamy and the editors of the daily after the article was

published.[IE p7]

9. CBI case ‘abuse to process of law’s Advani to SC : New Delhi : BJP

leaders, including L K Advani, told the Supreme Court that the CBI’s

pursuance of a case of criminal conspiracy against them in connection

with the 1992 Babri Masjid case is an “abuse of process of law”.[IE p5]

10. Maya’s list has some wanted men : Lucknow : Announcing the list of

BSP candidates on Sunday, Chief Minister and party president Mayawati

had said a clean image was one of the criteria, besides dedication to the

BSP movement and loyalty to voters. The list, however, contains names of

several men who are involved in criminal cases, are history-sheeters and

at least two men for whom courts have issued non-bailable warrants in

cases of rape and murder.[IE p3]

11. In first reshuffle, Mamata targets Congress ministers : Kolkata :

Despite attempts by the Congress high command to save its alliance with

the Trinamool, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seems to be in no mood

for reconciliation. On Monday, she clipped the wings of two Congress

ministers as she expanded her Cabinet for the first time since coming to

power and reshuffled the portfolios.[IE p6]

12. BJP to go on Telangana yatra now : Hyderabad : The BJP will launch a

22-day “yatra” to demand Telangana statehood on Thursday. The yatra, to

be flagged off by BJP president Nitin Gadkari, will start from the banks of

Krishna river in Mahbubnagar district and end on the banks of Godavari

on February 9.[IE p5]

13. BJP to focus on Bundelkhand, east UP : Lucknow :The BJP has

promised to adopt the Israel model for development of Bundelkhand and

the Bihar model for positive change in eastern UP in its vision document

for the state which was released by party president Nitin Gadkari here on

Monday.[IE p4]

14. BJP shifts gear, fields mechanic as lone Musim face : Lucknow : It’s

after a decade that the BJP has fielded a Muslim in the UP Assembly polls

— Shakeel Alam Saifi, 48, from Sahaswan in Badaun district.[IE p4]

15. Relief on prices: At 7.47%, inflation slows to 2-yr low : New Delhi:

Inflation slowed to a two-year-low in December on the back of a sharp

decline in food inflation, providing enough headroom for the Reserve Bank

of India to start easing tight monetary policy in the months ahead. [TOI p1]

16. Cong may propose SRC on UP split proposal: Lucknow: Congress

may propose a second States Reorganization Commission (SRC) for the

division of UP, indicating the Centre was unlikely to clear in a hurry-up

Mayawati’s resolution for the state’s four-way split. This is likely to cast a

shadow over Telangana’s statehood as well. [TOI p10]

17. Cong moves EC against UP officials : New Delhi: Congress on Monday

petitioned the Election Commission, accusing senior district officials in

Uttar Pradesh of acting as the “eyes and ears” of the ruling BSP. The

party demanded action against these officials and close scrutiny to ensure

balanced approach in the run-up to elections. [TOI p11]

18. BJP Prescribes Swadeshi Model for UP, Says it will create 100-fold

more gainful & livelihood opportunities for SCs, STs and Backward

Classes: NEW DELHI : Trying to woo the politically unattached among

Backwards and consolidate its base among the upper castes, including

Brahmins, BJP has reinforced its opposition to job reservations for

Muslims within the OBC quota and assured a better deal for the poor

among forward castes. However, it stopped short of promising reservation

for them. [ET p2]

19. UP strategy has BJP brass divided: New Delhi: BJP’s poll strategy for

UP may or may not work for the party, but it has divided the top leadership

on at least two important issues. First, if the induction of the tainted Babu

Ram Kushwaha was a good idea and second, whether it’s wise to contest

for third position in the state to beat Congress. [TOI p10]

20. Support of SP or BSP Must for UPA to Get Its Nominee Elected :

NEW DELHI : The Congress-led UPA may not be able to get its nominee

elected to the post of President of India unless it manages to get one of

the two main political players in pollbound Uttar Pradesh – either the

Samajwadi Party or the BSP — on board. [ET p3]

21. Councillors lose sleep over 50% reservation for women in MCD :

NEW DELHI: With a number of municipal councillors losing sleep over the

issue of women reservation in the coming municipal elections, the State

Election Commission has called an all-party meeting to discuss this and

other related issues.[HT p9]

22. Team Anna to campaign from Jan 21, to keep off politics : New Delhi

: Social activist Anna Hazare’s team will begin its tour of the poll-bound

states from Uttarakhand on Saturday and will devote the entire month of

February to Uttar Pradesh, but it will not ask people to vote in favour of or

against any particular party. [HT p11]

23. I will respect Gadkari’s decision, says Uma : Kanpur : BJP leader Uma

Bharti said she has left the decision on contesting assembly election in

Uttar Pradesh or doing party work to party chief Nitin Gadkari.[HT p11]

24. ‘Denial of Tickets to MLAs Shows BSP Govt Corrupt’ : NEW DELHI :

Congress has utilized denial of ticket to 100 odd BSP MLAs by Mayawati

as an opportunity to project the Uttar Pradesh government as

“incompetent and corrupt” that needs to be ousted in the coming

elections.[ET p2]

25. Congress to Promise MBC Sub-Quota Too, Party sees greater benefit

in wooing MBCs that comprise 70% of OBC population in Uttar

Pradesh: NEW DELHI : Congress is readying to redress discontent over

its plans to promise a sub-quota for minorities by pledging itself to yet

more reservation, this time for the Most Backward Castes (MBCs) in Uttar

Pradesh. It is set to declare in its election manifesto a sub-quota for MBCs

within the 27% reservation for the Other Backward Classes. [ET p2]

26. Priyanka ties up loose ends on home turf : Amethi: Priyanka Gandhi

Vadra spent more than 10 hours meeting workers from Assembly

constituencies of family pocket boroughs Amethi and Rae Bareli on

Monday. [TOI p10]

27. Priyanka hits poll stride after ‘Apology’ : Amethi : “Aap daantlijiye

mujhko (scold me),“ Priyanka Gandhi Vadra told groups of people

separately on Monday, taking command of electioneering in the assembly

segments of Amethi Lok Sabha constituency represented by her brother

Rahul Gandhi.[HT p11]

28. U.P. second phase of poll notified : New Delhi : Uttar Pradesh

Governor B.L. Joshi on Monday issued a notification opening nominations

for the second phase of Assembly polls slated for February 11, covering

59 constituencies out of the total of 403 seats.[The Hindu p1]

29. Mulayam promises free education, medicines for all : Sitapur

:Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday promised

Uttar Pradesh youth jobs or unemployment allowance if his party was

voted to power in the coming assembly polls.[HT p11]

30. SC seeks CAG report on NTRO scam, Nariman Says Vested Interests

Behind PIL, Petitioner Alleges Cover-Up: New Delhi: The Supreme

Court on Monday asked for a copy of the Comptroller and Auditor

General’s report pointing out alleged irregularities in the purchase of

intelligence equipment by National Technical Research Organisation

(NTRO), which was set up in 2004 to provide critical data relating to

threats to the nation. [TOI p7]

31. Sonia to launch campaign in Uttarakhand today : Dehradun:

Congress president Sonia Gandhi arrived at Raj Bhavan here on Monday.

She is scheduled to kick start the party’s election campaign on Tuesday

from Bhauradi Stadium in New Tehri, the constituency of old-time Gandhi

family loyalist and sitting MLA Kishore Upadhyay.[The Hindu p5]

32. BJP promises jobs, economic growth : Dehradun : The ruling

Bharatiya Janata Party released its manifesto for the State Assembly

elections here on Monday. The occasion turned out to be more of an

attack on the Congress manifesto with senior leaders Rajnath Singh,

Bachi Singh Rawat and Chief Minister B C Khanduri spending the better

part of their addresses slamming the Congress.[The Hindu p5]

33. Ramdev supporters clash with Cong men at AICC HQ : NEW DELHI:

Supporters of yoga guru Baba Ramdev clashed with Congress workers

outside the All India Congress Committee office at 24, Akbar Road on

Monday afternoon. According to eyewitnesses, at least 25 protesters

reached the party headquarters around 4:30pm, carrying a banner of Yuva

Bharat Kisan Panchayat with a picture of Ramdev on it.[HT p7]

34. BJP Bids to Reach Out to Goan Christians : NEW DELHI : BJP may be

a stridently pro-Hindu party, but not in Goa. Even its opposition to the antiminority

job quota is missing here. While the party aggressively

campaigns against Congress’ promise to raise minority quota in Uttar

Pradesh, its mission is to reach out to Christians in the country’s smallest

state. [TOI p7]

35. Bhatta verdict only after polls : New Delhi : The Allahabad high court

on Monday reserved verdict on a public interest petition seeking a CBI

probe into the firing incident last May in Bhatta Parsaul, Greater Noida.[HT

p10]

36. Munde’s elder brother to quit BJP, join NCP : Mumbai : Less than a

month after his nephew Dhananjay revolted against him in the Parli civic

poll, senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde on Monday faced another

rebellion on his home front. This time around, his miffed elder brother

Pandit Anna Munde announced decision to join the Nationalist Congress

Party (NCP).[Pioneer Daily p10]

37. Nothing famous or infamous about Babri demolition: SC : New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to get swayed by the high-profile

character of the Babri Masjid demolition case, in which the CBI is seeking

fastening of criminal conspiracy charges against top political leaders

including L K Advani and Bal Thackeray, and said it was a mere incident

with nothing “famous or infamous about it”.[TOI p9]

38. Babri Case: Final hearing on conspiracy charge on March 27 : New

Delhi : The Supreme Court on Monday posted for final hearing on March

27 a CBI special leave petition against a judgment of the Allahabad High

Court, which upheld the dropping of the conspiracy charge by a special

court against BJP leaders L. K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti

and 18 others in the Babri Masjid demolition case.[The Hindu p11]

39. Games scam : key QBR suspect records statement with Scotland

yard : New Delhi : Eight months after he assured the Central Bureau of

Investigation (CBI), Londonbased businessman Ashish Patel, a key

suspect in the alleged irregularities in the award of the Commonwealth

Games (CWG)’s Queen’s Baton Relay (QBR) contracts that the agency is

probing, recorded his statement with United Kingdom(UK)’s Scotland

Yard.[HT p7]

EDITORIAL

40. UP Muslims : the changing priorities : Smita Gupta : Muslim, who

constitute 20 to 45 percent of the population in over a 100 constituencies

spread over 19 district in Uttar Pradesh , are the key to next month’s

Assembly election. Nearly a fifth of the candidates being fielded by the

three chief contenders, the Samajwadi Party (SP) the Congress and the

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are Muslims.[The Hindu p12]

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

41. Pak PM gets SC contempt notice, parliament backing : Islamabad:

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Monday slapped a contempt notice on

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, demanding he testify to explain why

he had ignored its directives to reopen graft cases against his party boss

and President Asif Ali Zardari. The order escalated the political crisis that

could lead to early elections and cost Gilani his job. [TOI p1]

42. If convicted, Gilani faces 6 months’ jail : Islamabad : Earlier, Gilani

and Zardari, pummeled for days for making statements against army chief

Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI head Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha, went

into a huddle after which the PM was quoted as saying he had offered to

resign to defuse the crisis created by the confrontation between the

military and the judiciary on one side and the government on the other.

[TOI p16]

43. Pak Govt Caught Between Judge and General, SC begins contempt

proceedings against Gilani for not acting against Zardari

44. ISLAMABAD : Pakistan’s supreme court ramped up the pressure on the

nation’s beleaguered government on Monday, beginning contempt

proceedings against prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for failing to carry

out its order to reopen a corruption case against president Asif Ali Zardari.

[ET p3]