NEWS IN BRIEF – DEC 31, 2011

1. After RS debacle, Cong battles to regain ground on Lokpal, Hopes

Poll Boost Will Check Didi: New Delhi: With the Lokpal fight set to drag

into the new year, Congress has crafted a fresh plan to pass the anti-graft

legislation, hoping elections to five states will boost its Rajya Sabha tally.

They could also end up adding new partners to the UPA coalition — a

scenario that could reduce its reliance on Trinamool Congress. [TOI p1]

2. It was clear match-fixing in RS: Team Anna : New Delhi: Parliament

fiasco over the Lokpal Bill gave some much-needed oxygen to a flagging

Anna Hazare movement. A day after Anna Hazare called off his fast due

to lack of popular support, Team Anna regained its combative mood on

Friday, alleging the government had “fixed” the Rajya Sabha proceedings

on Thursday night. [TOI p14]

3. Oppn Sees Opportunity in Trinamool Congress, Oppn on the lookout

for neutral issues like Lokpal to bring anti-Cong parties on same

platform: NEW DELHI : With the Lokpal fiasco in the Rajya Sabha

magnifying the vulnerability of the Manmohan Singh government, its own

ally, the Trinamool Congress, and the Opposition appeared determined to

fuel two larger reinforcing realities. [ET p2]

4. Flee-Dom at Midnight: Jaitley, Both prime minister and finance

minister were ‘not mere mute witnesses, but were key players in the

conspiracy’: Swaraj: NEW DELHI : BJP on Friday said the lack of

numbers for the UPA and stiff resistance from an ally were the main

factors that forced the government to call off a vote on the Lokpal bill in

the Rajya Sabha. “Jawaharlal Nehru gave the expression freedom at

midnight. [ET p2]

5. We had objected at Cabinet meeting itself, says TMC : New Delhi :

Two days before the Lokpal Bill was introduced in Parliament, the

Trinamool had objected to the inclusion of the Lokayukta chapters in the

draft. This happened at the December 20 cabinet meeting which cleared

the draft.[IE p1]

6. Jaya eyes Centre: Will be part of next govt : Chennai : AIADMK

general secretary and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday

said her party would be part of the next government to be formed at the

Centre after the general elections in 2014, urging her party cadre to begin

work in this regard from now itself.[IE p11]

7. BJP blames PM for ‘midnight fraud’ : New Delhi: BJP squarely blamed

the Lokpal fiasco in the Rajya Sabha on PM Manmohan Singh and finance

minister Pranab Mukherjee as the party on Friday launched a bitter

assault on the government accusing it of perpetrating the biggest fraud at

the stroke of midnight. [TOI p14]

8. Lokpal is dream of every youth, not just mine: Rahul :

SAHARANPUR: A day after the government deferred the vote on the anticorruption

legislation in the Rajya Sabha, Congress general secretary

Rahul Gandhi on Friday vowed that his party will definitely bring a strong

lokpal. “Ham mazboot Lokpal la kar hi rahenge (we will bring a strong

Lokpal),“ he said.[TOI p14]

9. Govt Misused Parliamentary Procedures: Team Anna: NEW DELHI :

Team Anna on Friday amplified the Opposition’s charge that the

happenings in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday midnight was scripted by the

government. “It’s a conspiracy against the people. Ruling party has a

control over parliamentary procedures. It has misused the procedures,

ensured that the voting doesn’t happen,” said Team Anna member Arvind

Kejriwal. [ET p2]

10. We’re open to talks with Kashmir separatists: PC : NEW DELHI: Union

home minister P Chidambaram on Friday disclosed that the channels of

communication with some of the separatist groups in J&K were still open

and there was a possibility of negotiation with them in the new year if they

came forward for dialogue.[HT p9]

11. Govt no to army chief plea for DoB change : NEW DELHI: India looks

set to get a new army chief in the new year. The defence ministry has

rejected army chief Gen VK Singh’s statutory complaint to change his date

of birth (DoB) from May 10, 1950 to May 10, 1951. Under the

circumstances, Singh will retire in May on turning 62.[HT p1]

12. Govt orchestrated the whole thing : BJP : New Delhi : Attacking the

government for “running away“ from a vote on the lokpal bill in the Rajya

Sabha, the BJP demanded on Friday that it step down and seek a fresh

mandate.[HT p8]

13. Cyclone kills 35, batters Auroville : Puducherry/Chennai: Packing

winds at 140km per hour, Cyclone Thane pummelled the Tamil Nadu

coast and Puducherry on Friday morning, killing 35 and wreaking untold

devastation. The French quarters of Puducherry, including Auroville, was

a tangle of uprooted trees and electric poles. [TOI p1]

14. ‘No party wanted Bill passed’, Lokpal Debate Just An Act, Says City:

New Delhi: Some of them had waved the tri-colour at the height of the

Anna tide in Ramlila Maidan. Others tuned into the Lokpal debate only

when Parliament took it up. But regardless of their interest in the issue,

most Delhiites felt dismay at the fate of the Lokpal Bill on Thursday night.

[TOI p4]

15. Yet another increase in CNG prices : New Delhi : Indraprastha Gas

Limited (IGL) on Friday announced yet another increase in the prices of

compressed natural gas (CNG) by Rs.1.75 per kg in Delhi and Rs.2 per kg

for neighbouring townships of Noida and Ghaziabad. [The Hindu p1]

16. Ahead of polls, Maya sacks 4 more netas, Ten Ministers Shown Door

In Past 6 Days: Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati sacked

four more ministers on Friday, taking the number of her ministerial

colleagues shown the door in the past six days alone to 10. [TOI p11]

17. BSP leader, son quit, join SP : Lucknow: Former Bahujan Samaj Party

general secretary Naresh Agarwal and his son Nitin joined the Samajwadi

Party on Friday. Apart from the Agarwal duo, two other BSP turncoats,

Rajeshwari Devi, a sitting BSP MLA from Sandi assembly constituency in

Hardoi and MLC Raj Kumar Agarwal also joined SP. [TOI p11]

18. EC Enhances Cash Carrying Limit to . 2.50Lakh : CHANDIGARH :

Relenting to the business community’s demand, the Election Commission

has enhanced the limit of carrying cash from . 1 lakh to . 2.50 lakh during

the period when model code of conduct is in force.[ET p3]

19. Goa NCP legislator pacheco resigns : Panaji : Former tourism minister

of Goa and controversial NCP leader Fransisco “Mickky” Pacheco on

Friday resigned as a member of the Legislative Assembly, two months

ahead of the state elections.[AA p2]

20. Shatru, Varun not ‘free’ for campaign : Lucknow : With elections just

one month away, the BJP seems to have upset its two major star

campaigners, Shatrughan Sinha and Varun Gandhi.[AA p2]

21. Diggy praises Rahul over sub-quota : Saharanpur : Referring to the

recent Union Cabinet nod to allow 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities

from among the 27 per cent reservation for OBCs, AICC general secretary

in-charge for Uttar Pradesh Digvijay Singh, who accompanied Mr Rahul

Gandhi to the rally, said this had been possible because of the young

leader’s initiative and the share could also increase in future as per the

findings of the caste survey.[AA p2]

22. For Punjab Congress, it’s over to Delhi : Chandigarh : It’s over to Delhi

for Punjab Congress as all leaders of the state Congress are busy with

intense lobbying for party tickets. The fact that the Assembly elections in

the state are exactly a month away but Congress leaders are absent from

their constituencies has created a political lull for the Congress in the

state.[AA p2]

23. Lokayukta ‘no’ to Delhi request for illegal colonies scam report : New

Delhi : Delhi Lokayukta Manmohan Sarin has turned down a strange

request from the Divisional Commissioner ana Revenue Secretary of the

Delhi Government to return the investigation report over issuance of

provisional regularisation certificates to some non-existent unauthorized

colonies in South Delhi.[The Hindu p4]

24. Centre sowing seeds of another partition : Joshi : Lucknow :

Terming the provision of religion-based reservation as a ploy of the

Congress to garner Muslim votes in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections,

senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi asked the community how long it

would allow the so-called secular parties to treat them as a vote

bank.[Pioneer Daily p16]

25. Supreme Court insulated 2G case from interference :New Delhi : The

year 2011 was a watershed for the Supreme Court, and its judges, led by

Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia, left their mark on all walks of life,

especially in exposing corruption in high places and ensuring filing of three

charge sheets in the 2G spectrum allocation case.[The Hindu p11]

LEGAL/CRIME NEWS

26. Justice Pal sworn in as Gujarat HC Judge : Ahmedabad : Justice

Mohinder Pal, who has been transferred from the Punjab and Haryana

High Court to the Gujarat High Court under controversial circumstances,

was on Friday morning administered the oath of office by acting Chief

Justice H C Bhaskar Bhattacharya at an official function.[IE p2]