NEWS IN BRIEF – DEC 30, 2011

1. Lokpal Bill Put To Sleep At Midnight, Faced With A Loss In RS, Govt

Avoids Vote; TMC, Oppn Cry Foul: New Delhi: Faced with a certain

defeat in the Rajya Sabha over the Lokpal Bill, the government on

Thursday ducked the vote, leaving the fate of the landmark anti-corruption

legislation in limbo and prompting many parties to term it a sad day for

India’s parliamentary democracy. UPA ally Trinamool Congress described

it as a murder of democracy. [TOI p1]

2. Parties talk lokpal bill, but target UP elections: NEW DELHI: “We have

different strategies for the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha,“ explained BSP

leader Satish Chandra Misra on the change in stance from the lower

house to the upper house. But what does not change in the strategy of

both BSP and SP is their sharp focus on the elections in Uttar Pradesh

while deliberating on the Lokpal bill.[HT p8]

3. Jaitley, Singhvi face off on Lokpal Bill in RS, Legal Eagles Lock

Horns On Contentious Issues Like Federalism And Constitutional

Status: New Delhi: It was a face-off between two legal eagles. While the

arguments that Leader of opposition Arun Jaitley and Congress’s

Abhishek Manu Singhvi made may have been cloaked in legalese, they

were clear about their political objectives. The two leaders went head to

head on all the contentious issues: federalism, constitutional status to

Lokpal, government domination in Lokpal selection, independence of CBI.

[TOI p7]

4. Jaitley praise for Pranab : New Delhi : BJP leader Arun Jaitley said it

was unfortunate that finance minister Pranab Mukherjee was not a lawyer

and could not argue on both sides. Jaitley said his respect for Mukherjee,

the government’s key troubleshooter and negotiator, was known.[HT p8]

5. UPA has egg on its face, Bill in deep freeze after RS midnight farce :

New Delhi : Seems the Lokpal Bill is an idea whose time hasn’t come yet.

In the backdrop of high drama in the Rajya Sabha this midnight during

which one RJD MP tore a copy of the Lokpal and the Lokayuktas Bill,

2011, a helpless government was forced to use its only option of an

escape route, deciding to fight the battle another day.[IE p1]

6. Jethmalani storm rattles Cong in RS, Attacks Cong Over Black

Money, Cites Swiss Report That Named Rajiv Gandhi: New Delhi: The

debate on the Lokpal in Rajya Sabha seemed at its liveliest when a fiery

Ram Jethmalani launched a scathing attack on Congress, including former

PM Rajiv Gandhi, on corruption provoking vehement interjections from the

ruling party, leading to a ruckus.[TOI p8]

7. S P Gupta not my client: PC : New Delhi : Responding to an article,

“PC’s client accuses VLS Finance of torture” that appeared in TOI on

December 29, Union home minister P Chidambaram has written that he

takes “strong exception” to the report and the use of the term ‘PC’s client’.

[TOI p13]

8. Eye on poll, PM talks of minority schemes : NEW DELHI: Sending out

a political message ahead of the upcoming and crucial assembly elections

in Uttar Pradesh next year, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh emphasised

on the UPA government’s policy skew towards backward communities and

minorities, saying several recommendations of the Justice Sachar

Committee recommendations have been incorporated in schemes

announced by the central government.[HT p9]

9. Teesta, FDI, Pension Now Lokayukta why Mamata is Cong’s loyal

adversary : Kolkata : More than the opposition, it was ally Trinamool

Congress (TMC) that was behind the egg on the Congress’s face tonight.

That many in the Congress were caught unawares by its opposition to the

Lokpal Bill only underlined the disconnect between the two parties.[IE p1]

10. Oppn Forces Govt to Defer Judicial Accountability Bill : NEW DELHI :

The winter session of Parliament ended on a cold note in the Lok Sabha

where yet another legislation — Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill,

which was part of a bunch of anti-graft legislations — was put on the

backburner. [ET p3]

11. Govt in minority, Prime Minister must resign : BJP : New Delhi : After

the Government avoided voting on the Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha and

adjourned the House sine die, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sought

resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said it was a “political”

and moral defeat for the UPA.[Pioneer Daily p1]

12. Singhvi to BJP: You want Lokpal or not? : NEW DELHI: Accusing the

main Opposition BJP for “making excuses” for not passing the Lokpal and

Lokayuktas bill, senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on

Thursday asked the BJP “not to hide behind pretensions “ and to make its

stand clear on the bill.[AA p3]

13. Notices for 187 amendments in Rajya Sabha : New Delhi : Notices

have been given for as many as 187 amendments to the Lokpal and

Lokayukta Bill, 2011, including those from Trinamool Congress for deletion

of the entire Part III of the Bill regarding establishment of Lokayuktas. The

Biju Janata Dal and the Shiromani Akali Dal too had given similar

notices.[The Hindu p1]

14. Left for corporates under Lokpal, Govt Must Not Violate Spirit Of

Constitution, Federal Structure: Yechury: New Delhi: Ploughing a lone

furrow, the Left reiterated its demand for the inclusion of corporate sector

under the ambit of the Lokpal in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, even as it

pitched for a strong and effective anti-corruption watchdog rather than the

infirm one being ushered in by the government. [TOI p9]

15. TMC: Bill provision making Lokayuktas must unacceptable : New

Delhi: As was being speculated, government ally Trinamool Congress

came out strongly against the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha asserting that

the provision which made it mandatory to set up Lokayuktas in states was

unacceptable. [TOI p9]

16. “Every word of Jaitley echoes our concerns” : New Delhi : Team

Anna member Kiran Bedi said on Thursday that she would rather the

Lokpal Bill was not passed as of now. “I had appealed for a ‘save CBI’

campaign. Non-passing of Lokpal Bill as of now will at least save the CBI

from further dilution,” she said.[The Hindu p12]

17. Trinamool does U-turn after Mamata blasts LS team: New Delhi: As

U-turns go, this one was breathtaking. Just two days after Trinamool

Congress came around to help Congress with the passage of the Lokpal

Bill in the Lok Sabha, the volatile UPA partner reversed its stand to

declare that it would not support the legislation unless the provision

empowering the Centre to set up Lokayuktas for states was dropped. [TOI

p1]

18. State parties unite against Lokayukta : NEW DELHI:Behind the scene

efforts by the government managers to bring the supporting parties — the

BSP, the Samajwadi Party, the RJD and ally Trinamul Congress on board

for passing the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 failed in the Rajya Sabha

on Thursday.[AA p3]

19. Rajiv Shukla asks Opp. to take ‘balanced view’: NEW DELHI: Urging

those who were opposing the Lokpal and Lokayukta bill, minister of state

for parliamentary affairs Rajiv Shukla, while participating in the debate in

Rajya Sabha, on Thursday asked the adversaries of the legislation to take

a balanced view and help government enact a “just law”, which maintains

“balance of power” among institutions.[AA p3]

20. Declare Lalu Prasad a national personality :New Delhi: Lalu Prasad

should be declared the ‘national personality’ of the country, like peacock is

the national bird, BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha said in the Lok Sabha on

Thursday.[IE p5]

21. Paswan, Ram Kripal Yadav Attack Anna : NEW DELHI : A section of

MPs, mostly from the ‘social justice’ parties, took off the gloves to throw

punches at Anna Hazare and his supporters. Ram Vilas Paswan and Ram

Kripal Yadav, who led the attack against Anna, said the itch of the civil

society to tar politicians with the corrupt brush was unacceptable.[ET p2]

22. Poll gains force SP, BSP U-turn: New Delhi: Samajwadi Party and

Bahujan Samaj Party stumped observers on Thursday by deciding to vote

against the Lokpal Bill barely two days after their walkout rescued the

government in the Lok Sabha, raising questions on what had changed so

fast to turn them against Congress. [TOI p11]

23. EC orders probe into complaints against UPCC chief :

LUCKNOW:The Election Commission on Thursday ordered an inquiry into

complaints of violation of the model code of conduct by Uttar Pradesh

Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi.[HT p9]

24. Ahead of Polls, BSP Targets Cong for Destroying Federal Structure,

Party general secy SC Mishra Says UPA using CBI to harass

Mayawati: NEW DELHI : With an eye on the upcoming state elections,

the Bahujan Samaj Party on Thursday used the debate in the Rajya

Sabha on the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill to launch a frontal attack on the

Congress, accusing it of destroying the country’s federal structure by

introducing central laws to intervene in the states. [ET p3]

25. Black Money in Polls: EC Deploys 204 IRS Officials : NEW DELHI : To

curb instances of black money use during the polls in five states, 204

Indian Revenue Service officials have been deployed as ‘expenditure

observers’ by the EC.[ET p2]

26. Priyanka May Campaign in Rae Bareli, Amethi : LUCKNOW : Priyanka

Gandhi is likely to lead Congress campaign in Amethi and Rae Bareli,

pocket-borough of Nehru-Gandhi family, in the coming assembly elections

in Uttar Pradesh.[ET p2]

27. Rampur SP Secy Resigns Alleging Favouritism : RAMPUR : SP

secretary of Rampur Afroz Ali Khan resigned from his post alleging

favouritism in allotment of tickets for the upcoming UP assembly polls. [ET

p2]

28. SP fields candidates with criminal cases : LUCKNOW: The Samajwadi

Party, which had lost the 2007 Assembly elections mainly because of its

patronage to criminals and anti-social elements, has again given tickets

for the upcoming Assembly elections to people facing serious criminal

charges. The Samajwadi Party has fielded Abhay Singh, a history sheeter,

from Gosainganj constituency of Faizabad.[AA p2]

29. Congress is helping BSP, says Akhilesh : NEW DELHI:The Congress

is trying to disrupt the Samajwadi Party (SP) attempts to defeat the

Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) government in Uttar Pradesh, said SP

leader Akhilesh Yadav.[HT p11]

30. Rahul takes poll campaign to Varun’s Pilibhit : NEW DELHI: Congress

general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Thursday continued with his election

tour in cousin Varun Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency -Pilibhit. After

addressing an election meeting in Puranpur on Wednesday, he moved to

Amaria in the same district.[HT p11]

31. Ahead of polls SP chief meets Shahi Imam : New Delhi : SP chief

Mulayam Singh Yadav called on the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid

on Thursday and sought his blessings for the forthcoming Uttar Pradesh

Assembly elections.[IE p7]

32. After BSP, Rahul targets BJP in UP : Pilibhit: After a sustained attack

on the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh over the past

three days, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Thursday

trained his guns on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). His first major attack

on the BJP came in parts of Pilibhit district, the political turf of his cousin

Varun Gandhi, who is the Lok Sabha member from that constituency.[AA

p2]

33. EC order on confiscation irks industry : CHANDIGARH : An order of

the Election Commission (EC) to curb the use money power to influence

elections in Punjab has produced a knock on effect on business

transactions.[HT p11]

34. Punjab traders threaten to boycott polls : Chandigarh : Punjab’s trade

and industry on Thursday threatened to boycott the forthcoming State

Assembly polls if the Election Commission of India does not withdraw its

direction of cash confiscation over Rs.1 lakh without proof, saying it was

affecting its business transactions.[The Hindu p5]

35. Uttarakhand Panchayati Raj Minister Resigns : DEHRADUN :

Uttarakhand minister for panchayati raj and public security, Rajendra

Bhandari, has resigned citing personal reasons. Bhandari, who also holds

the portfolios of jail and home guards said he has sent his resignation to

chief minister BC Khanduri on Wednesday and a copy has also been

forwarded to the governor.[ET p2]

36. Party symbol of UKD frozen : Dehradun : In a major blow to ruling

alliance partner Uttrakhand Kranti Dal, the Election Commission has

frozen its ‘ Chair” symbol and asked the two warring factions UKD Bhatt

and UKD Panwar to apply for new symbols within a week.[The Hindu p5]

37. Countdown to MCD split begins, notification soon: New Delhi: Armed

with the President’s assent, the Delhi government has taken the final step

towards notification of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Amendment Bill

2011 to make trifurcation a reality.[TOI p3]

38. Lokayukta finds councillor guilty of encroachment : New Delhi: The

Delhi Lokayukta has held a woman councillor guilty of encroaching on

public land in Jhilmil colony and recommended she be suspended for a

day as token punishment. [TOI p6]

39. Ahead of elections, MCD kick-starts two projects: New Delhi: With

less than a month left for the model code of conduct to come into effect,

MCD has decided to start the construction of two important projects —

covering of drains between Pushp Vihar and Defence Colony, and from

Africa Avenue to Ring Road. [TOI p6]

40. FIR against 26 for sale of govt land : New Delhi : The Delhi Police has

registered a case of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy against 26

persons, including eight government officials, for allegedly conniving with

property dealers and builder mafia to sell government land in Pul

Prahladpur area of Southeast Delhi. [IE p1]

EDITORIAL

41. Not in the picture: RAJDEEP SARDESAI: Those who live by the media

are often slain by it. At the 2011 CNN-IBN Indian of the Year awards,

Anna Hazare candidly admitted that it was the media which was

responsible for his rise from a regional figure in Maharashtra into a

national icon. “If your cameras had not followed me everywhere, who

would know Tme?“ was the activist’s honest response.[HT p10]

BUSINESS NEWS

42. Petrol Prices may go up by 2.25 from Jan 1: NEW DELHI : State-run oil

firms plan to raise petrol prices by about . 2.25 a litre from Sunday unless

the government asks them to defer the move in view of assembly

elections, company executives said. [ET p5]