NEWS IN BRIEF – OCT 29, 2011

1. War fear struck Pak post-26/11: Rice, Alarmed, It Called Up Several Countries To Stop ‘Impending’ Indian Attack:

Washington: Tough talking by then external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee after 26/11 rattled Pakistan so much that it pressed the panic button and called everyone from the Chinese to the Americans to say that India has decided to go to war. [TOI p9]

2. Hand over Maha scheme to NCP, Jairam tells Cong :

New Delhi: In an unusual move, rural development minister Jairam Ramesh has written to Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan that the responsibility of implementation of the Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act may be shifted from Congress-controlled departments to the one that is with the Nationalist Congress Party. [TOI p9]

3. Changing food habits spur inflation, says Thomas : New Delhi: In a

remark that could kick up a row, the food minister on Friday blamed

changing food habits and increased purchasing power for high food

inflation in the country. “Food habits of people are changing. Their

purchasing power is up. This is causing food inflation,” food minister K V

Thomas said, adding , “there is no inflation in food grain, it is in items like

milk, poultry, meat and vegetables.” [TOI p9]

4. Destitutes’ to benefit from tweaked food bill : New Delhi : The

government will redraft the food security bill on the recommendations of

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to widen its reach, particularly among

special populations. Some original provisions that had been pared down

due to financial concerns are back on the menu. [HT p8]

5. In 16 years, farm suicides cross a quarter million : Mumbai : It’s

official. The country has seen over a quarter of a million farmers’ suicides

between 1995 and 2010. The National Crime Records Bureau’s latest

report on ‘Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India’ places the number for

2010 at 15,964. That brings the cumulative 16-year total from 1995 —

when the NCRB started recording farm suicide data — to 2,56,913, the

worst-ever recorded wave of suicides of this kind in human history.[The

Hindu p1]

6. Black Money Accounts: Oppn may Target Govt in Winter Session :

NEW DELHI : The list of bank accounts of Indians allegedly holding illegal

wealth in HSBC, received from France through diplomatic channels a few

months ago, could come in handy for the Opposition to target the

government in the coming winter session of Parliament. [ET p2]

7. Short on cash, govt eyes surplus with PSUs : New Delhi : The Prime

Minister is eyeing the “Significant” cash surplus with 24 rich public sector

undertakings (PSUs) to tide over his government’s revenue shortfall in the

current financial year and to keep the fiscal deficit within bounds.[IE p1]

8. Diggy at it again, makes party leaders squirm: New Delhi: Congress

refused comment on outspoken general secretary Digvijay Singh drawing

on former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta getting bail to seek similar

relief for corporate and political bigwigs jailed in the 2G scam in an

indication that the leader is testing the party’s patience. [TOI p10]

9. Digvijaya Demands Bail for Undertrials, ‘Once a person is

chargesheeted…every accused has a right to get bail as a principle’:

NEW DELHI : Even as political correctness prompts his political peers not

to speak out against infinite custody of undertrials, Congress General

Secretary Digvijaya Singh has made a strong pitch for the release on bail

of all accused who have been chargesheeted in various cases. [ET p2]

10. Cong Trying to Divert Attention from Culprits in Scams: BJP : NEW

DELHI : The BJP on Friday hit out at Digvijaya Singh for favouring bail to

undertrials, terming it as an attempt to “derail justice”, and said the

statement had been made because of cases and allegations faced by

Congress leaders, including ministers.[ET p2]

11. Rajiv killers’ plea deferred till Nov 29 : Chennai: The Madras high court

on Friday adjourned the hearing on petitions of three convicts in the

former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case seeking

commutation of death sentence to November 29. [TOI p10]

12. PAC members attack CAG, say 2G loss estimate based on fraud:

New Delhi: In an unusually sharp attack on the CAG, some Public

Accounts Committee (PAC) members recently alleged that the auditor’s

reports were based on “fraud” and “untruth” and must be revised. [TOI p9]

13. CAg’s 2G report a fraud : Cong :New Delhi : With the Government hit

hard by the 2G spectrum scam, the Comptroller and Auditor General of

India (CAG), Vinod Rai, and his team — which pegged the loss at Rs 1.76

lakh crore — faced the wrath of Congress members in the Public

Accounts Committee (PAC), when it met last on October 10.[Pioneer

Daily p1]

14. Team Anna may accept Lokpal quota, May Go With Govt On

Reflecting Social Reality: New Delhi: In a significant climbdown from its

earlier stance, Team Anna is likely to concede to the demand to have

representation for backward castes in the proposed Lokpal. Sources said

while Team Anna was opposed to quota within the Lokpal, the team has

decided not to oppose the government if it chooses to make conditions for

appointment of members that better reflect social reality. [TOI p15]

15. Patkar and Hegde to skip Team Anna meet today : New Delhi :

Prominent Team Anna members will not be present at its core committee

meeting being held in Ghaziabad tomorrow at a time when the grouping is

beset with internal contradictions and facing embarrassing disclosures

relating to financial impropriety.[IE p1]

16. Kiran Bedi’s NGOs under I-T scanner : New Delhi: The Income Tax

Department has sent notices to the two NGOs run by Team Anna member

Kiran Bedi to find out whether they are engaged in commercial activities.

“We are not targeting any particular NGO or charitable trust.[TOI p15]

17. Now, Kejriwal’s wife under lens : New Delhi: The department of

revenue in the finance ministry has written to the corporate affairs ministry

seeking clarification as to how it has unilaterally extended the tenure of

Sunita Kejriwal, a senior Income Tax official on deputation to the Serious

Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). Sunita is the wife of Team Anna

member Arvind Kejriwal. [TOI p15]

18. Omar gets cold feet on AFSPA withdrawal, ‘Decision Only After

Stakeholders’ Consensus’: Srinagar: The Jammu & Kashmir

government will decide on revoking the Armed Forces Special Powers Act

law from some areas of the state after there is a consensus of all

stakeholders on the issue. [TOI p14]

19. Don’t start debate on AFSPA : Jaitley to Omar : New Delhi : Opposing

the withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, Leader of the

Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Friday appealed to J&K CM

Omar Abdullah not to initiate a debate on the issue at a stage when

circumstances still warrant the continuation of the operation of the law.[IE

p5]

20. Bomb found on LK’s route : Madurai:Senior BJP leader L K Advani

escaped an alleged attempt on his life in Madurai on Friday. A crude pipe

bomb stuffed with gelatine sticks was found planted under a bridge across

Gownda river at Alampatti village, near Thirumangalam, in Madurai district

hours before Advani’s Jan Chetna Yatra was scheduled to travel along

that route. [TOI p10]

21. Advani calls for united fight against corruption :

Thiruvananthapuram : The anti-corruption Jan Chetna Yatra led by

senior BJP leader LK Advani was given a rousing welcome to God’s Own

Country by several State party leaders and hundreds of workers at

Aryankavu on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border on Friday evening.[Pioneer

Daily p6]

22. Advani remark angers BSY : BENGALURU: Incarcerated former

Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa is miffed with L.K. Advani over

his caustic remarks on corruption, and even warned of a counteroffensive

in case the patriarch and senior Central leaders continue to make

unpleasant comments against him.[AA p2]

23. Rajiv killers’ plea deferred till Nov 29 : Chennai: The Madras high court

on Friday adjourned the hearing on petitions of three convicts in the

former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case seeking

commutation of death sentence to November 29. [TOI p10]

24. BJP: Don’t take away armed forces’ shield : New Delhi: With the

government struggling to craft its stance on the contentious question of

withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from some parts of

J&K, the BJP joined the debate by warning the Centre against diluting the

law. [TOI p14]

25. Was Bhanwari blackmailing politicians? : Jodhpur: The Central

Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has stumbled upon clues suggesting that

missing nurse Bhanwari Devi was blackmailing some politicians in

Rajasthan on the basis of CDs which showed them in compromising

positions with her, officials said on Friday. [TOI p10]

26. Kerala’s Minister Withdraws Lewd Comment Against VS, LDF

demands dismissal of Ganesh Kumar, forces adjournment of House

27. : KOCHI : Kerala’s Forest Minister KB Ganesh Kumar withdrew his

controversial remarks about the Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan on

Friday even as the Left Front spokesmen called for the dismissal of the

minister from the Oommen Chandy ministry. [ET p3]

28. NO U.P. PRE-POLL ALLIANCE FOR BJP: GADKARI : Nagpur:The BJP

will not have any pre-poll alliance in the upcoming Assembly elections in

Uttar Pradesh, its president Nitin Gadkari said on Friday and exuded

confidence that his party will put up an impressive showing.[AA p2]

29. UPA plans to consult electoral partners : New Delhi : The Congress

Core Group on Friday reviewed the continuing Telangana crisis and

discussed electoral reforms the United Progressive Alliance government

hopes to introduce in the winter session of Parliament.[The Hindu p7]

30. Cong core committee meets on Telangana : NEW DELHI:The

Congress core committee meeting, which was attended by Prime Minister

Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi on Friday deliberated

at length on issues of Telangana and electoral reforms.[AA p5]

31. Clamour of leaders’ kin for tickets delay BJP list : LUCKNOW: It is

neither the party ideology nor the political complexities that are delaying

the BJP list for the UP Assembly elections. It is the clamour of relatives —

wives, sons, daughters — for tickets that is forcing the party to delay the

decision.[The Hindu p3]

32. Pot is calling the kettle black, says BJP : New Delhi : The BJP on

Friday took potshots both at the UPA government at the Centre and the

BSP government in Uttar Pradesh for alleged corruption in use of

MNREGA funds saying the “pot was calling the kettle black”. [AA p3]

33. Mayawati Rejects Ramesh’s Charge of Rural Job Scam, Rural

Development Minister has made baseless allegations, Maya writes to

PM: LUCKNOW : Crying foul over politicisation of the rural jobs scheme,

Chief Minister Mayawati has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan

Singh, alleging a “preconcieved agenda” of Union Rural Development

Minister Jairam Ramesh. [ET p3]

34. Uttarakhand to go Jan Lokpal way: New Delhi: The Uttarakhand

Cabinet is likely to adopt a replica of the Jan Lokpal bill on Saturday, in a

clear sign of BJP hitching its wagons to Anna Hazare to be on the right

side of voters in the battle of perception. [TOI p1]

35. Uttarakhand to go Jan Lokpal way : New Delhi: The Uttarakhand

Cabinet is likely to adopt a replica of the Jan Lokpal bill on Saturday, in a

clear sign of BJP hitching its wagons to Anna Hazare to be on the right

side of voters in the battle of perception. [TOI p14]

36. Nitish yatra to avert damage to JD(U) : PATNA: With the Opposition in

Bihar waiting to flay chief minister and JD(U) stalwart Nitish Kumar for

supporting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran L.K. Advani’s ongoing

anti-corruption yatra, the JD(U) hopes to deflect the potential damage by

making a success of the month-long tour of Bihar Mr Kumar is beginning

from November 9.[AA p2]

37. Soren kin revolt worries Munda : PATNA: Smouldering rebellion in

JMM patriarch Shibu Soren’s family springing from his daughter-in-law’s

longing for power has brought Jharkhand’s precariously surviving

BJPJMM coalition government close to the brink of collapse. Both the

parties are working hard to contain the crisis. [AA p2]

38. CWG: Oz firm faces complaint : NEW DELHI: The ongoing probe in the

conduct of the Commonwealth Games has revealed that an Australia

based company, which was appointed international creative consultant for

the opening ceremony, allegedly provided defective bank guarantee

document to the Organising Committee (OC).[AA p5]

39. CAG should probe discoms’ account :BJP : The Delhi BJP on Friday

accused the Delhi Government of being “anti-people” and criticised Chief

Minister Sheila Dikshit’s recent remarks about a possible hike in power

tariffs.[The Hindu p3]

40. Move SC on Noida’s flood plain plan: LG : New Delhi: Noida

Authority’s bid to reclaim over 15 lakh sqm of flood plain along the Noida

link road for commercial development has suddenly made the Delhi

government wake up to the issue of land ownership. The L-G has asked

the chief secretary to file a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking ‘stay

against any modification regarding construction on the flood plain’. [TOI

p5]

41. Malik had also planned bombing Supreme Court : New Delhi :

Investigators have learnt that jehadi medical student Wasim Akram Malik

had also planned to target the Supreme Court and a few other high courts

of the country after coordinating the blast at the Delhi high court on

September 7. [HT p5]

42. Mayhem reigns at Metallica’s no-show : Gurgaon : All hell broke loose

at the first India outing of thrash metal band Metallica when the show was

abruptly called off just hours before their performance on Friday. The fans,

who had gathered at the venue, Leisure Valley in Gurgaon, went berserk.

[HT p2]

LEGAL/CRIME NEWS

43. Didn’t buy an inch of land as CJI: KGB : New Delhi: Former Chief

Justice of India and NHRC chief, Justice K G Balakrishnan, on Friday said

he had not bought an inch of land or invested in shares after becoming the

CJI on January 14, 2007. [TOI p13]

44. Judge shot at in Haryana courtroom: Karnal: Haryana : A judge

holding court in this Haryana town had a narrow escape on Friday when

an aggrieved man fired at him inside the courtroom, police said.

However,the judge was not injured in the incident, police said. The

assailant, identified as Surinder, was immediately overpowered by police

officers and court officials. [TOI p9]

EDITORIAL/OPINION

45. Sights On A Strong Lokpal, Anna Hazare’s campaign is not anti-

Congress, it is anti-corruption: Arvind Kejriwal : Our UP yatra just got

over. We spread the following message amongst people: “Annaji has

received a letter from the prime minister assuring that a strong Lokpal Bill

will be passed soon. Annaji believes in the PM’s assurance and has

requested you to keep a watch on the winter session.” [TOI p16]

46. Age is just a number : Soli Sorabjee : The mandatory age of retirement

of a Supreme Court judge under our Constitution is 65 years. The National

Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution, headed by retired

chief justice MN Venkatachaliah and comprising eminent persons, in its

report recommended that age of retirement be raised to 68 years.[HT p10]

BUSINESS NEWS

47. Sensex has a blast after Muhurat. Rockets 516 Pts, Registers Biggest

Rise In Post-Muhurat Trading Session: Mumbai: A slew of global and

domestic factors helped the sensex register its biggest post-Muhurat

trading session rise on Friday. A global rally on the back of positive steps

taken in Europe to tackle the sovereign debt crisis in Greece and RBI’s

assertion that if the inflation dips it will not raise rates helped push the

sensex up by 516 points (3%) to 17,805, its highest close in nearly three

months. [TOI p19]

SPORT NEWS

48. Govt plans to regulate multi-state bodies like BCCI : New Delhi: The

Centre proposes to enact a legislation to force transparency and public

accountability in business activities of multi-state societies like Board of

Control for Cricket in India, one of the world’s richest sports bodies. [TOI

p1]