NEWS IN BRIEF – DEC 15, 2011

1. China won’t attack India: PM: New Delhi: Opposition members on

Wednesday accused the government of being soft against an aggressive

China, forcing PM Manmohan Singh to clarify that he had assurance from

the highest levels that the Chinese government too wanted to resolve the

border issue peacefully. [TOI p11]

2. Lokpal deadline in doubt as parties urge caution, No Agreement On

CBI; PM, Jr Babus May Be In Ambit: New Delhi: Majority in the political

class on Wednesday endorsed Team Anna’s position on putting the prime

minister and lower bureaucracy within the purview of the proposed Lokpal,

but cautioned the government against acting in a hurry to meet the winter

session deadline set by the anti-graft pressure group to put in place the

country’s first independent anti-graft watchdog. [TOI p1]

3. Anna part of trust accused of land grab : New Delhi: A prime Pune plot

belonging to the central Gandhi Smarak Nidhi was allegedly usurped by its

Maharashtra chapter and sold to a developer for Rs 1.62 crore in 1999,

according to a document scanned by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

[TOI p1]

4. Message for Anna: Focus on corruption, stay apolitical : NEW DELHI:

While many Delhiites support social activist Anna Hazare’s crusade

against corruption, people are not warming up to his comments on issues

such as foreign direct investment, polls and alcohol consumption.[HT p8]

5. PM bats for early passage of Lokpal bill: New Delhi: Neither the

government nor the key UPA partners — Trinamool Congress, DMK and

NC — revealed their hands at the all party meeting on Wednesday. [TOI

p17]

6. Did Anil Ambani overseas investor? : Chennai : Revelations from an

ongoing case against two bankers of UBS in a London tribunal could

prove potentially damaging to billionaire industrialist Anil Ambani, chief of

the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG). [The Hindu p1]

7. Anna protest venue may be Mumbai’s Azad Maidan, Delhi’s Chill

Reason For Likely Shift: New Delhi: Faced with Delhi’s chilly weather

conditions and the government’s cold shoulder, activist Anna Hazare

could shift his agitation from Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan to Mumbai’s Azad

Maidan. [TOI p13]

8. Look who’s backing CBI: Team Anna, ‘Splitting Agency, Preliminary

Probe By Lokpal Will Jeopardize Effectiveness’: New Delhi: The

hectic outreach by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) appears to

have paid off with support coming from some unexpected quarters. Team

Anna on Wednesday said it did not favour splitting of the CBI and echoed

the investigating agency’s concerns that preliminary probe by the Lokpal

could jeopardize its effectiveness. [TOI p10]

9. CBI, CVC urge PM to protect their turfs : NEW DELHI: The chiefs of the

Central Bureau of Investigation and Central Vigilance Commission on

Wednesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s to ensure that the

roles of the two premier central agencies is not whittled down in the

exercise to create a strong lokpal.[HT p1]

10. Parties ride the Anna wave : CHANDIGARH: With the Punjab assembly

polls around the corner, political parties are out to make the most of social

activist Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement.[HT p8]

11. BJP, CPM stand united on Lokpal at all-party meet : New Delhi: BJP

and CPM put up a united front on Wednesday, reiterating their known

positions on the Lokpal Bill at the all-party meeting where broad

consensus could not be evolved. [TOI p11]

12. UPA keeps : Lokpal card close to chest : Give us some time : New

Delhi : After a marathon meeting at which all political parties gave their

views on major aspects of the Lokpal bill, the government tonight chose to

play it safe, keeping its options open on when to bring the legislation.[IE

p1]

13. Govt to bring white paper on black money, No MPs In List Of Holders

Of Illegal Accounts: Pranab: New Delhi: The government on

Wednesday accepted senior BJP leader L K Advani’s demand and

assured Parliament that it would issue a white paper on the black money

issue. However, it rejected the opposition’s insistence that names of those

who have accounts in the Geneva branch of HSBC be revealed. [TOI p1]

14. Lok Sabha rejects BJP motion on black money, govt refuses to

disclose names : NEW DELHI: The BJP’s bid to censure the UPA

government in the Lok Sabha for “failing“ to bring black money back from

foreign banks was rejected by the House on Wednesday. Contrary to the

opposition’s expectation, the government got the adjournment motion –

moved by senior BJP leader LK Advani -defeated by voice vote.[HT p1]

15. Black money should be part of EC affidavit : New Delhi : Finance

Minister Pranab Mukherjee took a dig at L K Advani’s Jan Chetna Yatra

underlining that PM Manmohan Singh had been at the forefront of pushing

automatic exchange of tax-related information between two countries

irrespective of the artificial distinction of tax evasion at the global for a

during G20 summits.[IE p5]

16. Cong MPs Play Left, Hinder Land Acquisition Act : NEW DELHI :

Congress MPs in the standing committee on rural development appear to

be hindering the government’s efforts to get the land acquisition bill

passed before assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. [TOI p1]

17. Group C : BJD claim contested : New Delhi : At Jantar Mantar on

Sunday, BJD MP Pinaki Misra, the only one in the group of politicians on

Anna’s stage who was a member of the Standing Committee that tabled

its report on the Lokpal Bill, confessed to his “invidious position”.[IE p1]

18. PM Confident of FDI in Retail after State Elections : NEW DELHI :

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India’s economy will return to a

long-term growth pace of 9% as inflation slows and the government

extends a record of market-opening policies. “We will stay the course,”

Singh said in an interview on Wednesday.[ET p3]

19. Sunday Cabinet Meet on Food Security Bill, Sonia asks minister to

work for a consensus among allies: NEW DELHI : The Cabinet is

expected to resume discussion on the Food Security Bill on Sunday to iron

out differences over the coverage of the scheme and pricing of subsidized

grain.[ET p2]

20. Montek, Pawar join Mamata on food bill : NEW DELHI: After West

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s letter to Prime Minister

Manmohan Singh stalled a decision on the National Food Security Bill, the

Centre has learnt a lesson: it is likely to approach the Trinamul Congress

supremo to get her on board before moving ahead with this landmark

legislation.[AA p2]

21. CBI’s prosecution wing can be put under Lokpal: Govt : NEW DELHI:

In an effort to evolve a broader consensus on the Lokpal Bill, the UPA

government is willing to place the CBI’s prosecution wing under the

Lokpal’s purview. With this, the government hopes to address three

contentious issues — bringing the Prime Minister, Group C and D

employees and the CBI — under the ambit of the proposed anti-corruption

body.[AA p1]

22. PC, Sibal at receiving end of oppn heckling, ‘Chidambaram Must Quit

For 2G Scam’: New Delhi: Continuing with their move to corner the UPA

government on various issues, the opposition parties on Wednesday

vociferously heckled home minister P Chidambaram whenever he rose to

answer queries in the Rajya Sabha, while jeering HRD minister Kapil Sibal

in the lower house. [TOI p10]

23. No proposal to regulate www content, says Pilot : New Delhi: Amid a

raging controversy over monitoring of the internet, the government on

Wednesday said there is no proposal to formulate a mechanism to

regulate content on the world wide web, Parliament was informed on

Wednesday. [TOI p11]

24. DMK keeps Cong guessing on berths : New Delhi: DMK continues to

keep everyone guessing on whether party chief M Karunanidhi will

nominate his colleagues against the slots in the Union Cabinet belonging

to the party quota which are going alleging. Sources said the UPA partner

has not revealed its mind despite soundings from the Congress

leadership. [TOI p10]

25. With BJP’s help, LIC Bill passed in RS, Paid-Up Capital Hiked To

100Cr From 5Cr In State-Owned Insurance Firm: New Delhi: With main

opposition BJP turning out to be a ‘saviour’ for ruling UPA, Parliament on

Wednesday approved a bill for increasing paid-up capital to Rs 100 crore

of the state-owned Life Insurance Corporation of India after the

government faced some tense moments in the Rajya Sabha, where Left

parties backed by BSP pressed for division of votes over an ‘amendment’.

[TOI p11]

26. Dalit Inc. ready to show business can beat caste : New Delhi : Two

days from now, a 1,000-strong club of Dalit entrepreneurs will showcase

their wares over 1 lakh square feet of space in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla

complex. The Rs 2-crore infrastructure budget for the three-day event

beginning December 16 is not without purpose. It will tell the world that

Dalits, given the opportunity, will beat the caste order with capitalism —

and will give much more than they seek.[IE p1]

27. Union minister has ULFA links, says AGP : New Delhi : The Rajya

Sabha witnessed uproar when AGP MPs were not allowed to raise an

issue of a Central minister allegedly having links with ULFA. “It is a matter

of national security… Constitution says a person involved in such activity

cannot hold office,” said BJP’s S S Ahluwalia.[IE p6]

28. Modi orders hoardings on PM, Sonia to be removed : AHMEDABAD:

Anxious to ensure that his sadbhavna (harmony) fast in Surat began

untainted by ill will, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday

asked BJP activists to remove all hoardings that were sarcastic about PM

Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.[HT p9]

29. Swamy wants HC to direct EC to stop use of EVMs : New Delhi :

Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday moved the Delhi

high court seeking direction to the Election Commission to stop the use of

EVMs and return to ballot papers for the purpose of voting during

elections.[AA p2]

30. Chavan announces Rs. 2,000-crore relief package for farmers :

Nagpur : Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Wednesday

announced the much-awaited Rs.2,000-crore relief package for cotton,

soyabean and paddy farmers in the Vidarbha, Marathwada and North

Maharashtra regions of the State, amid protests from the Opposition that it

was a pittance.[The Hindu p20]

31. For want of a signature, CBDT sits on babus ‘chargesheets’ : New

Delhi : At a time when corruption within the bureaucracy is one of the

focal points of the Lokpal debate, more than 50 charge sheets for

departmental action against over 30 Indian Revenue Service officers have

been put on hold in the past three years, all because of the lack of a

signature.[IE p1]

32. Petrol prices may be hiked from Friday : NEW DELHI: On the back of

the rupee hitting a new all-time low of 53.75 per dollar, petrol prices may

go up by 65 paise per litre this week. A falling rupee increases the cost of

oil imports by government-run refineries.[HT p1]

33. Finally, it’s Rahul vs Akhilesh in war for UP: Badaun: Rahul Gandhi

dragged Akhilesh Yadav on his anti-Mulayam radar, dubbing him a symbol

of his father’s anti-English hypocrisy and reigniting the personalized rivalry

between the political scions that started with Ferozabad by-polls two years

ago. [TOI p12]

34. Cong’s Muslim quota move a poll ploy : SP : New Delhi : SP chief

Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday said the Congress-led UPA

government’s plan to provide reservation to Muslims was a poll ploy and

added that his rule had provided a fair deal to the minority community in

the state.[IE p2]

35. You gave others 22 yrs, give Cong 5 yrs : Rahul : Badaun : Continuing

to target both Chief Minister Mayawati and Samajwadi Party leader

Mulayam Singh Yadav on the second day of his mass contact programme,

AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi today asked the people to give “five

years to the Congress” after having tried everyone else over the past 22

years.[IE p2]

36. BJP banks on Kalraj Mishra in U.P. : Lucknow : Having witnessed

steady erosion in its Brahmin support base, the Bharatiya Janata Party

has pinned its hope on veteran leader Kalraj Mishra for wooing the

community in the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections.[The

Hindu p5]

37. Trinamul Cong to enter UP politics : LUCKNOW: Ms Sonia Gandhi, Ms

Uma Bharti, Ms Mayawati and now Ms Mamta Banerjee. The Uttar

Pradesh Assembly elections are all set to take an interesting turn with four

top women politicians jostling for their political space in the state.[AA p2]

38. BJP debunks Gehlot’s claim : Jaipur : Even as the Congress

Government in Rajasthan is celebrating the completion of its three years

in power, the main Opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party, has termed it as

the most ineffective and weak” regime so far.[The Hindu p5]

39. Exams in UP could push polls to April : Allahabad: The UP Board of

Secondary Education on Wednesday announced that it will hold

examinations from March 1 to April 4, 2012. This may put pressure on the

Election Commission to complete the state polls by the last week of

February, which will be difficult to accomplish, or hold them in April, a

schedule which the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party prefers. [TOI p1]

40. Quota for Muslims soon, says Rahul in UP : BADAUN: Congress

general secretary Rahul Gandhi said on Wednesday the Centre, led by his

party, would soon announce reservation for the Muslims in government

jobs. [HT p8]

41. Maya Ready to Dissolve House?: NEW DELHI : Uttar Pradesh chief

minister Mayawati has convened a meeting of all secretaries,

commissioners, district magistrates, IGs and SPs in Lucknow on

Thursday, fuelling speculation that she may recommend dissolution of the

state assembly soon after. [ET p2]

42. Naidu ‘Bench-hopping’, says YSR’s wife : New Delhi : Alleging that the

former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his associates were

“Bench hopping” and that many judges in the Andhra Pradesh High Court

were recusing to hear the cases against Mr. Naidu and others, the

Supreme Court has been moved seeking transfer of the cases to some

other High Court. [The Hindu p7]

43. Joint survey for Metro Phase III soon, To Identify Areas For

Construction, Land-Owning Agency To Give Approval: New Delhi:

Work on the third phase of Delhi Metro network has started in earnest. At

a high-level meeting on Wednesday it was decided that all land-owning

agencies in the city will conduct a joint survey. [TOI p5]

44. MCD split a done deal, CM eyes polls : New Delhi: With the President’s

assent for trifurcation of MCD expected soon, chief minister Sheila Dikshit

has set her eyes on a win in the municipal polls early next year. A survey

to establish the party’s standing in the eyes of the common man may be

launched in the weeks ahead, sources said. [TOI p5]

45. No sealing, demolition for 3 yrs in Delhi : New Delhi: No sealing of

illegal commercial set-ups and no action against unauthorized structures

in Delhi for the next three years. That is, until Delhi’s Master Plan-2021 is

rid of its “absurdities” and revised in keeping with the times.[TOI p1]

46. ‘Master plan not in sync with city’s growth’ Constructions Violating

Safety Norms Can Still Face Demolition, Other Action : New Delhi:

The National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second

Bill, 2011 passed by Parliament on Wednesday restrains any punitive

action for those who are not meeting the existing master plan, said Urban

development minister Kamal Nath. He said for three years, no punitive

action will be taken in terms of sealing or demolition. [TOI p7]