NEWS IN BRIEF – OCT 20, 2011

1. CAG only doing its job, says FM :

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said the comptroller and auditor general had not overstepped its mandate, breaking ranks with his colleagues who have accused the auditor of overreach with regard to its reports on various scams. [TOI p1]

2. ‘PAC to have final word on loss estimates’

New Delhi: Saying the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) was acting within its mandate to bring up alleged “undue benefit” given to Reliance Power Limited by a group of ministers, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, however, added that the final word would come from the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC). [TOI p17]

3. Finance Secretary to appear before JPC on October 31 :

New Delhi : Union Finance Secretary R.S. Gujral will appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probing the telecom policies from 1998 to 2009 on October 31 to explain why the Ministry did not submit to the committee the March 25 office memorandum sent by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).[The Hindu p12]

4. Don’t Shoot the Messenger, PM Tells Cabinet Colleagues, Manmohan Singh for systemic corrections, ethical governance and sober political discourse :

New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday attempted to bring his government’s reflexes in line with the current popular mood by emphasising the need for systemic corrections, ethical governance and a more sober political discourse.[ET p2]

5. Don’t use harsh words : PM to LK :

New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while giving clear indications that the government was in sync with the public mood against corruption, sought to play down NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s attack on his government. At the same time, he asked senior BJP leader L.K. Advani not to use “harsh words” in politics.[AA p1]

6. Pawar remarks strain Cong-NCP ties further : New Delhi : Tensions

within the ruling alliance have surfaced with Nationalist Congress Party

(NCP) chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar publicly stating that

the UPA leadership had been weakened by the recent string of scams,

because of which the judiciary had become more assertive.[The Tribune

p1]

7. Vijaya Shanthi meets Advani :Pragnapur: TRS MP and Telugu actress

Vijaya Shanthi on Wednesday met veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani here in

her Lok Sabha constituency of Medak, amidst media reports that she

might join the saffron party. Ms Vijay Shanthi, who was in the BJP earlier,

stood beside Mr Advani, who is on his countrywide yatra, as he spoke

from atop his rath. [AA p2]

8. Kiran Lokpal Bedi buys discount air tickets, gets hosts to pay full

fare : New Delhi : Kiran Bedi, one of the most vocal members of Team

Anna, who riled Members of Parliament with her Ramlila ghoonghat act,

may herself have some explaining to do. The issue: the inflated travel

expenses she has been charging NGOs and institutions which invite her

for seminars or meetings.[IE p1]

9. Delhi topples Mumbai as maximum city, Capital’s Urban Sprawl Has

Over 2cr Popn: Delhi/ Mumbai: The urban agglomeration of Delhi has

for the first time overtaken that of Mumbai, a TOI analysis of census data

just released shows. Close to 22 million people now live in Delhi’s

extended urban sprawl, while Mumbai is home to close to 20 million. [TOI

p1]

10. CBI got RTI exemption without wanting it?: New Delhi : At a time

when it’s reeling under allegations of scams and scandals, official

documents show that the government gave the Central Bureau of

Investigation (CBI) more immunity from the Right to Information (RTI) Act

than what the agency had originally sought.[HTs p1]

11. France provides black money info : New Delhi: Finance minister

Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said the government had received

information from France about Rs 400 crore unaccounted money in as

many as 69 overseas accounts of Indians and had recovered Rs 30 crore

in taxes from them. [TOI p11]

12. UPA allies feel they are on sinking ship : New Delhi : Seizing upon

Sharad Pawar’s talk of low credibility of the UPA-II, the BJP on

Wednesday said members of the ruling coalition are feeling as if they are

on a sinking ship.[IE p2]

13. Cong plays down Pawar’s UPA remark : New Delhi: NCP chief Sharad

Pawar’s comment that UPA 2’s low credibility had led to the judiciary and

other societal forces asserting themselves sparked a controversy leading

to BJP claiming that regional allies at the Centre had become jittery while

Congress said Pawar’s views were not shared by all. [TOI p18]

14. Assembly resolution not needed : Hyderabad : BJP leader LK Advani,

whose Jan Chetna Yatra passed through parts of Telangana on

Wednesday, said a resolution of the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly

was not required to form the new state.[HT p10]

15. Jharkhand’s Jana Sangh old boys to meet Advani : Ranchi : BJP

veteran LK Advani and old-timers of the Jana Sangh in Jharkhand will

share some nostalgic moments on October 21, when the former will

felicitate them as part of his Jan Chetna Yatra.[Pioneer Daily p4]

16. Now, two biometric I-cards for you :New Delhi : Get ready to have two

photo identity cards based on similar bio-metric details to avail services

from separate Central government agencies.[HT p13]

17. Now, Baalu says govt took wrong turns : New Delhi : A day after NCP

chief Sharad Pawar argued that the string of scandals that have hit the

UPA government have weakened its authority prompting forces like the

judiciary to assert themselves, the DMK — the second largest constituent

of the ruling coalition — on Wednesday said it “partially” agreed with his

observations and asserted that the government had not handled certain

situations “properly”.[IE p2]

18. EC weighs options for polls in 5 states: New Delhi: The Election

Commission is considering various options for holding assembly elections

in five states next year. One of the options is to club the elections in all the

five states though the terms of the assemblies end between March and

June. Of the five states, the EC is thinking of having a five phase election

in Uttar Pradesh and a single phase poll in Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur

and Goa. [TOI p19]

19. Poll countdown begins, but Cong not battle-ready : New Delhi : The

Congress may appear to be working hard to revive its fortunes in Uttar

Pradesh after more than two decades but the party is still struggling to

strengthen its organisational base in the state with the crucial assembly

elections a few months away. [HT p13]

20. Anna lauds team’s call to boycott Rahul, Denies His Crusade Has

Taken Political Colour: Pune/New Delhi: Activist Anna Hazare on

Wednesday lauded the decision of a delegation from his village to boycott

Rahul Gandhi after they were denied audience with the Congress leader

in New Delhi on Tuesday. [TOI p11]

21. Anna, Kejriwal autocratic are politicising campaign : Jaipur : A day

after he quit Team Anna, activist Rajendra Singh accused Anna Hazare

and Arvind Kejriwal of autocratic behaviour and expressed unhappiness

over politicisation of the India Against Corruption campaign. [HT p10]

22. Bring Telangana Bill in Next Session, will Support: Advani: NEW

DELHI : BJP leader LK Advani has asked the UPA government to

introduce a bill for formation of Telangana state in the winter session of

Parliament, which his party was willing to support. He alleged that

Telangana had still not been formed because of the “indecisiveness and

paralysis” in the ruling regime at the Centre. [ET p3]

23. Firm action needed to make Telangana a reality : Advani : Hyderabad

: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishna Advani said on

Wednesday a separate Telangana State could become a reality by

January 1, 2012 if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress

president Sonia Gandhi took a firm decision and introduced a Bill in the

winter session of Parliament.[The Hindu p1]

24. Train fares may get demand-based: New Delhi: Hinting at revision of

passenger fares in the near future, railway minister Dinesh Trivedi said a

“dynamic pricing policy”, based on demand, was being considered. The

proposal has come as a course correction for the state-run transporter,

reeling under acute financial crisis.[TOI p1]

25. BJP in damage control mode : NEW DELHI : Down playing the

bitterness created in the party by senior leader L.K. Advani’s remarks over

former Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s arrest, the Bharatiya

Janata Party on Wednesday sought to give credit to itself for maintaining

“zero tolerance” against corruption. [AA p2]

26. Party did not heed my advice on BSY, says Shanta Kumar : Shimla :

BJP vice-president Shanta Kumar on Wednesday said the party could

have avoided the embarrassment caused by former Karnataka chief

minister B S Yeddyurappa’s arrest had it heeded his advice when he first

raised the issue of corruption in Karnataka.[IE p4]

27. CBI grills two in Bhanwari case : Jaipur : The Central Bureau of

Investigation on Wednesday questioned two persons arrested in Jodhpur

in connection with the disappearance of the missing auxiliary and midwife

nurse, Bhanwari Devi.[The Hindu p5]

28. A Geelani first : ‘Will consider a talks offer : Srinagar : For the first

time in 20 years, Hurriyat hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani is sending

positive vibes about dialogue with New Delhi, saying Hurriyat “is ready to

discuss in the advisory council” any talks offer made by the Centre.[IE p5]

29. Bengal Set to Crack Down on Maoists : KOLKATA : Armed Maoist

squads, which were active in some pockets of West Midnapore district,

have recently moved to Ayodhya hills in Purulia district following combing

operations by joint forces in the forests of Bankashole, Chondri and

Lodhashuli. [ET p3]

30. Thackeray praises Indira, but attacks Rahul : Pune : Shiv Sena

supremo Balasaheb Thackeray, in a front page article published in Party

Mouthpiece Saamna on Wednesday, praised former Prime Minister Indira

Gandhi but dismissed Rahul Gandhi.[IE p4]

31. Bhatt now facing conspiracy charge : Ahmedabad : Two days after the

suspended Gujarat cadre IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt, was released on bail,

the police added the charge of “conspiracy” against him and others in the

case arising out of constable K. D. Panth’s complaint on which he was

arrested, in the first place, on September 30.[The Hindu p9]

32. Chouhan faces case by Congman over mining : BHOPAL: Madhya

Pradesh Congress unit media chief Manak Agrawal on Wednesday filed a

criminal case in the court of the first class judicial magistrate here

targeting state chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, along with three

state ministers, few senior officers and others, accusing them of

involvement in illegal mining to the tune of over `1,000 crores in Sehora

tehsil of Jabalpur district.[AA p2]

33. Yeddyurappa Back in Jail from Hospital, Former CM’s bail petition

will be heard in Karnataka High Court today : BANGALORE : After

getting admitted into two hospitals over the last four days, former

Karnataka chief minister and BJP leader, BS Yeddyurappa returned to

central jail in Bangalore on Wednesday. [ET p3]

34. Realty bill to give buyers fair deal : New Delhi : Months after the Noida

Extension fiasco left 6,000 home buyers in the lurch, the government is

ready with a bill to regulate the real estate sector and protect property

buyers from unscrupulous developers. [HT p1]

35. Ambala RDX haul: Sajjan Kumar was the target : New Delhi: Security

at the Karkardooma court complex was strengthened on Wednesday

following intelligence inputs that senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar,

who was to appear in court in connection with the anti-Sikh riots case, was

the target of terrorists. [TOI p4]

36. Congress to start ‘Punjab Bachao Yatra’ from Nov 1 : Chandigarh :

The state Congress today announced to launch the ‘Punjab Bachao Yatra’

from Damdama Sahib on November 1. The yatra will conclude at

Budhladha on December 2. The month-long yatra will cover all the

assembly segments and will witness about 40 rallies during this

period.[The Tribune p5]

37. Court notice to CBI on Kalmadi’s plea : New Delhi : The CBI was on

Wednesday asked by a Delhi court to respond to sacked Commonwealth

Games organising committee chief Suresh Kalmadi’s plea to clarify if the

agency’s probe into games-related contract, in which he has been

arrested, is complete or not.[TOI p5]

38. RLD to join UPA at centre to fight UP poll : New Delhi : Ajit Singh’s

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) is all set to join the UPA at the Centre as a

precursor to an electoral alliance in the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. If all

goes well, a formal announcement will be made shortly. A tie-up with the

Congress will help the RLD consolidate the Muslim vote in western UP,

where it enjoys traditional Jat support.[HT p10]

39. High court verdict on Noida land cases tomorrow : Noida : The

Allahabad High Court will, on Friday, give its verdict on the 492 quashacquisition

petitions filed by 40 villages in Noida Extension and other

areas of Greater Noida. The court will also decide the fate of about 80

petitions filed by farmers of about two dozen Noida villages.[HT p4]

40. EC casts Net to lure Gen Y, Cutting Red Tape For Getting ID: New

Delhi: The red tape will no longer hold you from exercising franchise. A

new initiative of the chief electoral officer of Delhi provides for online

registration for voter ID cards. This is expected to cut down on procedural

delays and corruption in public dealing. The scheme was launched on

October 1 and so far, 6,000 applications have been received. [TOI p8]

41. Mangu Singh to be next Metro chief : New Delhi: Delhi Metro’s much

feted 79-year-old chief E Sreedharan is expected to hand over the baton

to in-house choice Mangu Singh, now director of works, when he steps

down in December. [TOI p1]

42. MCD to resume sealing drive after Diwali : New Delhi : Rapped on the

knuckles for not doing enough against illegal construction, the Municipal

Corporation of Delhi’s sealing and demolition squad will be back in full

swing with a list of 40,000 properties after Diwali. Senior MCD officials

said the decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the

Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee on Tuesday.[HT p1]

43. MCD collects Rs 912.54 crore as property tax : New Delhi : The

Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) today said that it collected over Rs

912.54 from around 8,15,115 property owners in the city during the last six

months.[The Tribune p3]

LEGAL/CRIME NEWS

44. States must shed mindset to control judiciary: SC : New Delhi:

Monitoring filling up of vacant judicial officers’ posts in various states

having over 2 crore pending cases, the Supreme Court on Wednesday felt

that there was a tendency among governments to control the exercise just

because they fund judiciary. [TOI p12]

45. Go to Karnataka for Trial, SC Tells Jaya : NEW DELHI : The Supreme

Court has asked Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to appear

before the trial court in Bangalore on Thursday in connection with the

disproportionate assests case against her. A bench comprising Justice

Dalveer Bhandari and Justice Dipak Misra turned down her plea for

deferment of the hearing in the DA case on security reasons.[ET p3]

46. 19 Maharashtra judges compulsorily retired by HC : Mumbai: The

Bombay high court has in the past year recommended the compulsory

retirement of 19 judges of lower courts across the state in a bid to

“cleanse the system of nonperforming judges”. [TOI p18]

47. Judge trying Sajjan Kumar in 1984 anti- Sikh riot case promoted :

New Delhi : The trial of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and others for their

alleged roles in a 1984 anti-sikh riot case was deferred on Wednesday to

next month as the judge conducting the trial has been elevated as District

Judge.[The Hindu p3]

EDITORIAL/OPINION

48. Charting A Different Course, India is the world’s largest democracy,

now make it the deepest one: Arun Maira : Whither India? Cracks are

appearing in our growth story. Everyday a new scandal, with faith in

institutions of government and capitalism running low. We are arguing, not

agreeing. The questions on the minds of all Indians are: How will we get

going again? And towards what vision? [TOI p22]

49. The Mirror Crack’d, Team Anna needs to project a cohesive face and

focus on the Lokpal Bill : Sustaining a cohesive popular movement is

often more challenging than launching one. True, Anna Hazare and his

team have initiated a buoyant anti-graft movement, placing a strong

Lokpal Bill at the centre stage of policymaking. But now dissensions within

the Anna camp are threatening to throw the campaign into disarray. [TOI

p22]

50. A vision for Nepal-India relations : Baburam Bhattarai : My visit to

India, which begins today, has great historical significance. Nepal is

passing through a major political transition. We fought against feudal

autocracy and monarchy, and for overall socio-economic transformation,

for almost 60 years. [The Hindu p10]

51. Poll reforms can’t be delayed further : Electoral reforms have become

a part of the public discussion in the course of the Anna Hazare campaign

for a Lokpal aimed at curbing corruption. Some may question the need for

the institution of the proposed Lokpal, but few are likely to question reform

in our election processes.[AA p6]

BUSINESS NEWS

52. FM seeks support to boost reforms, Rules Out Policy Paralysis,

Wants Passage Of Key Bills Like Insurance FDI: New Delhi: Finance

minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday reached out to the Opposition,

seeking cooperation to carry forward the reforms process and help usher

in faster growth against the backdrop of a gloomy global economic

outlook. [TOI p25]

53. Sensex rises 337 points on good results : Mumbai: Boosted by strong

results in the financial services segment and short covering by

speculators, the sensex on Wednesday gained 337 points to close at

17,085. Although institutional business on the bourses were muted during

the day, speculators, ahead of the expiry of current month’s derivatives

contracts on Tuesday, kept the prices at higher levels, dealers said. [TOI

p25]

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

54. Don’t mess with N-power Pak, Gen Kayani warns US, ‘Think 10 Times

Before Any Op In North Waziristan’: Islamabad/Washington:

Pakistan’s powerful army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has warned

Washington to “think 10 times” before launching any unilateral offensive in

the North Waziristan tribal region even as an angry US is lining up its

artillery on the Afghan border facing Pakistan. Kayani cautioned

Washington against treating the nuclear-armed country lightly. [TOI p1]

55. China backs Pakistan for non-permanent UNSC seat : Beijing: Beijing

on Wednesday supported Pakistan’s bid for nonpermanent United Nations

Security Council (UNSC) membership. “China attaches great importance

to Pakistan’s request for a seat on the UN Security Council,” Chinese

foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said. [TOI p12]