NEWS IN BRIEF – APR 06, 2012

1. CAG listed security gaps but it didn’t bother MPs, Reports More

Detailed Than Gen’s Letter: New Delhi: The political establishment was

outraged when Army chief Gen V K Singh’s letter to PM Manmohan Singh

highlighting the hollowness in India’s battle preparedness found its way

into the media. Many politicians had even asked for the chief ’s sack,

assuming that he had leaked the sensitive facts. But now it transpires that

the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) had in a report in December

highlighted the same critical gaps in India’s defence, only much more

starkly. [TOI p1]

2. Named by CAG, Deshmukh in Oppn line of fire, ‘Rampant Misuse Of

Government Land In Mumbai’: Mumbai: Calls for Union minister

Vilasrao Deshmukh’s resignation got shriller on Thursday as the BJP and

Shiv Sena cited the Supreme Court’s criticism of his land allotment to

Subhash Ghai and a yet-to-be-tabled CAG report naming him in murky

land allotments in Mumbai. [TOI p1]

3. Movement may have been cover against sacking, hints Lt Gen Panag

: New Delhi : A day after The Indian Express report on unusual

movement of troops that rang alarm bells in the Government, former

Northern Army Commander Lt Gen H S Panag has suggested that the

move to mobilise troops on January 16 could have been be linked to fears

that Army Chief Gen V K Singh would be relieved of his charge by the

government if he went to court on the age issue.[IE p1]

4. CPM meet : Karat under fire for snapping ties with UPA-I : Kozhikode

: The ghost of the Indo-US nuclear deal returned to haunt Prakash Karat

on Thursday as the CPM general secretary came under criticism from

Bengal delegates at the party congress here. [IE p3]

5. Trinamool, RLD Kept Out of GoMs, Rail minister Mukul Roy and

aviation minister Ajit Singh have no place even in groups overseeing

policy decisions in their own sectors: NEW DELHI : In a snub to

political allies with diminishing utility, the United Progressive Alliance

leadership has not included their Cabinet nominees in charge of railways

and civil aviation in critical ministerial groups overseeing policy decisions

even in their own sectors. [ET p3]

6. Can’t question loyalty of Army, Gen V K Singh, says BJP : New Delhi

:In the backdrop of the debate over whether a trust deficit persisted

between the Army and the government, the BJP on Thursday came out in

support of the Army and its chief General V K Singh, saying his loyalty

should not be questioned.[IE p4]

7. J&K: Case against Lt Gen Bikram Singh in HC next week : Srinagar

:The case regarding an alleged ‘fake’ encounter in which Army Chief-inwaiting

Lt General Bikram Singh was “injured” is likely to be listed in the

Jammu and Kashmir High Court next week.[IE p4]

8. 13 Rajasthan Cong MLAs target Gehlot, meet Rahul : Jaipur : A group

of disgruntled Congress MLAs from Rajasthan met AICC general

secretary Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Wednesday to “apprise” him of

poor governance and even a demand for a change in leadership. The

MLAs stated that there were several examples of bad governance in

Rajasthan and it was their “duty” to bring it to the notice of the Congress

high command.[IE p5]

9. Son-in-law of Bukhari in SP MLC list : Lucknow :Umar Ali Khan, the

son-in-law of Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari, figures in

the Samajwadi Party list of seven candidates for Legislative Council and a

lone Rajya Sabha seat. The list, announced on Thursday, includes Chief

Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Revenue Minister Ambika Choudhary.[IE p5]

10. CAG raps Andhra for Ghai deal : Hyderabad: Filmmaker Subhash

Ghai’s film institute is facing fresh trouble in Andhra Pradesh with the CAG

rapping the state over allotment of 20.10 acres of prime land to the

institute, allegedly in violation of rules. [TOI p10]

11. Maha has no database on land: CAG : Mumbai: Pointing out several

lapses in land management in Mumbai, for reasons ranging from official

ineptness to collusion, the comptroller and auditor general’s report said,

“Being a premium asset with increasing value, land management is to be

dealt with judiciously. However, neither the government nor the collector

has any database of land.” [TOI p15]

12. Army chief lashes out at ‘absolutely stupid’ report: New Delhi: Army

chief General V K Singh on Thursday dismissed as “absolutely stupid” a

newspaper report that the “unusual” movement of a mechanized infantry

unit and elements of a Para Brigade towards Delhi in mid-January had

“spooked” the government. [TOI p1]

13. Ramdev to invite Army chief to join June 6 fast: Patna: Yoga guru

Ramdev said on Thursday that he will invite Army chief General V K Singh

to participate in the ‘samuhik upwas’ (mass fast) at Jantar Mantar in New

Delhi on June 6, nearly three weeks after his retirement. [TOI p12]

14. Strong Lokpal Depends on Sonia, Jaitley: Kiran Bedi: BHOPAL :

Emphasising the need for political will to push through a strong Lokpal

Bill, Team Anna member Kiran Bedi on Thursday said if UPA Chairperson

Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj “wish”, the

country can get an effective anti-corruption legislation to ensure

decriminalisation of politics.[ET p3]

15. HC Asks Poll Panel to Order Probe by Specialised Agency, Rejects

writ petition seeking quashing of EC decision to countermand polls:

NEW DELHI | RANCHI : In a move that is likely to deter moneybags from

using Jharkhand as a route to get into the Rajya Sabha, the high court on

Thursday directed the Election Commission to order an inquiry by a

specialised agency, such as CBI, to look into the circumstances leading to

the countermanding of the election to the House of Elders. [ET p2]

16. Petrol dealers threaten strike : New Delhi : Petrol pumps may run dry

from April 24. Dealers, who run 40,780 pumps across the country, have

threatened an indefinite strike. The pump owners want their commission to

be increased to 5% of the per-litre cost of petrol and diesel. If accepted, it

will mean an added burden of R1.71 a litre on petrol and R1.13 a litre on

diesel for consumers.[HT p1]

17. Now, Andhra CM faces scam taint: Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh CM N

Kiran Kumar Reddy allegedly flouted guidelines and ignored finance and

health departments’ objections to dole out several concessions to the GVK

group to acquire ambulance service in August last year.[TOI p15]

18. Koda Gets Bail, But Will Have to Stay in Jail: RANCHI : The Jharkhand

high court on Thursday granted bail to former state chief minister Madhu

Koda in a case of alleged illegal grant of mining leases. However, he will

remain in prison in connection with other cases. [ET p3]

19. EPF interest rate may be increased to 8.6% this yr: New Delhi: There

may be good news for Employees Provident Fund subscribers soon. The

EPF scheme may fetch 8.6% interest from 2012-13 if the Central Board of

Trustees of the fund agrees to raise the rate. [TOI p1]

20. Raj BJP MLA held in Dara Singh fake encounter case: Jaipur:The

chief whip of BJP in the Rajasthan assembly, Rajendra Rathore, was

arrested by the CBI on Thursday for his alleged role as a conspirator in

the Dara Singh fake encounter case of October 2006. [TOI p9]

21. Akhilesh Yadav to contest Vidhan Parishad poll : Lucknow : It’s

official. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who is a member of

Parliament from Kannauj, has been declared a candidate for the

forthcoming biennial election to the Vidhan Parishad (State Legislative

Council) on April 26. He is in the list of seven Samajwadi Party

candidates for the Parishad polls whose names were declared on

Thursday.[The Hindu p5]

22. Rahul invites UP leaders for poll postmortem, but cuts them short:

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi on Thursday directed Congress workers to

watch the Akhilesh Yadav government on implementation of Samajwadi

Party’s poll promises, hinting at a renewed political battle. [TOI p13]

23. Rahul Analyses UP, Tells Party to Focus on ’14, Gandhi meets 153

candidates who polled over 20,000 votes in UP polls: NEW DELHI :

The Congress ‘war-room’ in Lutyens’ Delhi buzzed with activity once again

on Thursday, exactly a month after the party’s debacle in Uttar Pradesh

cast a deathly silence upon it. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi

was back among the party candidates who lost but exhibited promise by

polling over 20,000 votes, listening to their assessment of reasons behind

the poll defeat and motivating them to re-energise and strengthen the

party organisation at the grassroots level for the 2014 general election.

[ET p3]

24. Patnaik announces names of 27 Maoists to be freed : Bhubaneswar

:Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday announced the

names of 27 persons whose release the government will facilitate through

legal steps to ensure the release of Biju Janata Dal MLA Jhina Hikaka and

Italian tour operator Bosusco Paolo from the hands of the Maoists.[The

Hindu p12]

25. Anna Hazare resolves to be back in Delhi : Pune : It has been a year

since anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare stepped into Jantar Mantar in

New Delhi, in what was the biggest attempt to bring corruption to the

limelight.[The Hindu p12]

26. Ministers get blame for Cong’s UP defeat : New Delhi :Central

ministers and MPS from Uttar Pradesh came under sharp criticism from

the state’s defeated Congress candidates at a meeting chaired by party

general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Thursday. The meeting was held to

analyse the outcome of the recent assembly elections in the politically

important state.[HT p1]

27. Modi continues to grab eyeballs in Western Media : Washington : The

Time magazine featured Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on its

cover last month. And on Thursday, The Washington Post put the Modi

story on its front page, displaying a new-found Western fascination of

sorts for the “complex” man who has spearheaded Gujarat’s dramatic

growth and enthused American investments in the state, but is continued

to be denied a visa to visit the United States.[Pioneer Daily p1]

28. Mulayam faces CBI heat in ayurveda scam: Lucknow: While the CBI is

yet to complete its probe into the Rs 5,700crore NRHM scam, it has

suddenly got proactive about a Rs 26crore ayurveda scam that took place

in Uttar Pradesh between 1993 and 1995 when SP president Mulayam

Singh Yadav was the chief minister. [TOI p9]

29. Polls coming, Andhra CM, PCC chief smoke peace pipe : New Delhi :

After months of hostility that threatened to crack the Andhra Pradesh

Congress, chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and PCC chief Botcha

Satyanarayana declared a ceasefire on Thursday.[HT p10]

30. NRHM scam: 3rd chargesheet filed: New Delhi: The CBI on Thursday

filed the third chargesheet in the multicrore National Rural Health Mission

(NHRM) scam before a special court for alleged irregularities in purchase

of computers and peripherals in Uttar Pradesh under the centrally

sponsored scheme. [TOI p9]

31. 250 Delhi cops recruited on fake driving licences: New Delhi: Another

Commonwealth Games-related scam has been unearthed, this time in the

Delhi Police. It has emerged that as many as 250 out of 676 constables

recruited as drivers before the Games had submitted fake driving licences

to get the job. [TOI p1]

32. ‘Ex-servicemen must go from local bodies’: New Delhi: The Delhi

Andaman & Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS) association has

written to the Prime Minister demanding that retired defence services

personnel serving on different posts in Delhi Development Authority (DDA)

and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) should be replaced by officers

from their cadre.[TOI p7]

33. BJP attacks govt on new municipal posts, Says These Will Add To

Financial Burden: New Delhi: With Municipal Corporation of Delhi

(MCD) inviting applications for 19 director-level posts for the three new

corporations, BJP has launched a fresh attack on the Delhi government.

Mayor Rajni Abbi said the city government misled the Centre and that

creation of new posts will add to the burden. [TOI p7]

34. Cong blames BJP for MCD’s mountain of debt : New Delhi : A day

after it lambasted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for using national

issues in local elections, the Congress blamed it for ruining the financial

condition of the civic body. Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC)

president Jai Prakash Aggarwal claimed that the MCD had a liability of

more than Rs 4,000 crore.[HT p5]

35. Cong uses BJP’s ‘poor’ MCD work to deflect attack: New

Delhi:Congress thinks it has an answer to BJP’s poll strategy of

highlighting corruption and scams. The party is deploying

countermeasures by highlighting BJP’s “poor” record in MCD. [TOI p7]

36. Delhi’s urban landscape by 2021, The Master Plan 2021 has allocated

277 sq km for future urbanization in Delhi by 2021, says ET Realty

:New Delhi : The Master Plan of Delhi 2021 has been in force since

2007. Once this is reimplemented with the new land development policy,

Delhi will also offer options to thousands of homebuyers. The capital city

has still 27,628.9 hectares of land to fulfil the dreams of thousand of

homebuyers. [ET p19]

37. BJP finds scapegoat in Kushwaha : Lucknow : The BJP in Uttar

Pradesh has finally found a scapegoat for the party’s debacle in the recent

elections. At a meeting of senior BJP leaders that continued till late on

Wednesday evening, the party has conveniently blamed Babu Singh

Kushwaha for the debacle.[AA p2]

38. UP CM playing dangerous appeasement game :BJP : Lucknow :

Strongly objecting the SP government’s move to withdraw cases against

accused of serial blasts in court compounds in Lucknow and Faizabad

and at Dashashvmedh Ghat in Varanasi, the BJP on Thursday alleged

that CM Akhilesh Yadav was following the footprints of his father Mulayam

Singh of indulging in the dangerous game of Muslim appeasement for vote

bank politics.[Pioneer Daily p6]

39. SP, NCP may cut Maha Cong vote share : New Delhi :Maharashtra

Congress leaders fear that the Samajwadi Party and the Maharashtra

Navnirman Sena could make a dent in its political constituency in the state

if “corrective steps” are not taken urgently.[AA p2]

40. Delhi Cong chief denies allegations : New Delhi :Responding to the

show cause notice issued by State Election Commission, Delhi Congress

chief JP Aggarwal has denied the allegations levelled against him. In his

reply, Agarwal has stated that the news article for which Delhi BJP lodged

a complaint with State Election Commissioner should be

produced.[Pioneer Daily p2]

41. In Janakpuri, it’s high flyer versus son of soil : New Delhi :One

seldom finds a Congress candidate who projects himself over and above

the party in polls. In Uttar Pradesh it’s said, “Amethi Ka Danka, Beti

Priyanka”; in Delhi municipal polls its being sung “Sanjay Puri hain Janak

Puri”.[Pioneer Daily p23

LEGAL/CRIME NEWS

42. Nirmal Yadav moves SC over CJI nod to prosecute her : New Delhi :

Controversial former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Nirmal

Yadav has moved the Supreme Court for a direction to quash the sanction

to prosecute her for corruption in the infamous cash-at-judge-door case of

2008.[IE p8]

EDITORIAL / OPINION

43. No country for saints : Rajdeep Sardesai : It is not without reason that

AK Antony is referred to as ‘Saint’ Antony. When you’ve spent four

decades in public life and don’t have a whiff of a financial scandal

associated with your name, then sainthood is truly deserved. Last year,

Antony declared just Rs 1.8 lakh in personal assets, while his wife

declared Rs 30 lakh and a Wagon R car.[HT p12]

BUSINESS NEWS

44. Sahara in Talks to Buy NY’s Plaza for $600 m, Subroto Roy looks to

move into super-luxury hospitality segment with 2nd overseas buy:

NEW DELHI : Little over a year after he snapped up London’s iconic

Grosvenor House hotel, Subroto Roy is about to do a similar deal across

the Atlantic. The Sahara Group is in exclusive talks to acquire The Plaza,

a 105-year-old landmark property in New York whose guests have

included Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles, for around $600 million (. 3,000

crore). [ET p1]

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

45. Saeed case an internal issue: Pak, PM Gilani Asks US To Provide

‘Concrete Proof’ On JuD Chief’s Terror Links: Islamabad: The case of

Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed is an “internal issue”

and any evidence against him should be provided to Pakistan so that the

courts can take action, prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on

Thursday. [TOI p7]

46. No compromise on Kashmir : Pak on Zardari visit : Islamabad

:Pakistan on Thursday said it is looking forward to a “constructive

engagement” between President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister

Manmohan Singh at their upcoming meeting but there would be no

compromise on the “core issue” of Kashmir or maintaining credible nuclear

deterrence.[IE p8]