NEWS IN BRIEF – JULY 17, 2012

1. Saviour or ‘poodle’, asks UK paper about Manmohan : New Delhi: Hailed abroad not too long ago as a statesman and economic guru, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is at the receiving end of increasingly harsh comment with British daily, The Independent, critiquing his tenure under a disparaging headline — “Manmohan Singh: India’s saviour or Sonia’s poodle?” [TOI p1]

2. Monsoon worry mounts, food prices rise sharply : New Delhi :

Despite a pickup in rainfall last week, the southwest monsoon remains in

deficit by a significant 22%, almost certainly lowering annual production of

grains, pulses and oilseeds, the three crops where sowing has been worst

hit.[HT p1]

3. China puts Indian oil block up for auction : New Delhi : Drawing India

into the South China Sea muddle, China has put up a Vietnamese

petroleum block under exploration by an Indian oil firm for global

bidding.[IE p1]

4. NDA names Jaswant for VP polls: New Delhi: The NDA on Monday

decided to field Jaswant Singh for the “token contest” for Vice-President

after Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav

refused take the field heavily tilted for UPA’s Hamid Ansari. [TOI p9]

5. Mamata may go with UPA on Ansari; decision today : New Delhi :

Notwithstanding her past reservations for Hamid Ansari, Trinamool

Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee is said to be warming up to the idea

of supporting his candidature for a second term as the Vice-President,

although she is yet to take a final call.[IE p5]

6. Sangma confident of Mamata support : Dehradun : The NDA

presidential candidate PA Sangma has expressed confidence about

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee extending support to his

candidature by Tuesday. Sangma said this while talking to media persons

after his arrival in Dehradun on Monday.[Pioneer Daily p4]

7. Rahul-for-PM chorus betrays unease in Cong : New Delhi: The

indication that Rahul Gandhi will step out of his limited role in the AICC to

assume bigger responsibility triggered speculation about what his new

designation might be, with party sources not ruling out his projection as

the prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 general elections. [TOI p14]

8. No differences with BJP over Vice-presidential candidate : Nitish :

Patna : Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Monday the JD(U) had

“no differences” with its alliance partner BJP, and that senior BJP leader

Jaswant Singh was “NDA’s Vice-Presidential candidates and the JD(U)

was very much party of the NDA”.[IE p5]

9. No problems with Ansari’s candidature : Team Anna : New Delhi :

Twelve days ahead of Team Anna’s indefinite fast demanding SIT inquiry

against 15 ministers, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal courted controversy yet

again by describing Parliament as “saudon ka adda (a place where deals

are struck)”. His colleague from Team Anna Prashant Bhushan said that

they had no problems with the candidature of Vice-President Hamid

Ansari.[IE p5]

10. Sushma: interlocutors report anti-constitutional : New Delhi : Terming

the contents of the Jammu and Kashmir interlocutors’ report as “anticonstitutional”

and “singing to the tune of the separatists”, Leader of

Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj on Monday rejected it

saying that it was against Parliament’s resolution that declared even the

Pak-occupied Kashmir as an integral part of India.[IE p6]

11. Sonia to remain Chief but Rahul to Handle Party, Generation Next

Gandhi to graduate from dealing with youth Congress matters: NEW

DELHI : Sonia Gandhi will lead Congress in the 2014 general election,

even as her son and Congress general secretary, Rahul Gandhi, takes on

a larger role in mainstream of the party from September. [ET p2]

12. TMC to Abstain But Stay in UPA, Mamata Banerjee keen to avoid

adversarial relationship with central government: NEW DELHI : UPA

presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee’s written appeal to Trinamool

chief Mamata Banerjee to support his candidature has not softened her

stance and the ally appears set to abstain from voting in both the

presidential and vice-presidential poll. However, Trinamool sources on

Monday ruled out an imminent walkout from UPA. [ET p2]

13. CPM and FB to Support Ansari; RSP to Abstain: NEW DELHI : CPM

and the All India Forward Bloc have declared their support for incumbent

Hamid Ansari in the vice-presidential election. However, RSP has decided

to abstain. [ET p2]

14. BJP, CPM Criticise Obama’s Remark on Retail FDI, UPA government

should not succumb to US pressure, says Opposition :NEW DELHI :

Opposition parties have slammed US president Barack Obama for his

remarks on ‘deteriorating’ foreign investment climate in India. They said

the Centre should not be pressured into opening the retail sector after his

statements. [ET p2]

15. Keshubhai willing to contest 2012 election : Ahmedabad : Taking

further his political battle against Chief Minister Narendra Modi, dissident

BJP leader Keshubhai Patel has expressed his willingness to contest

upcoming Assembly elections in the State.[Pioneer Daily p6]

16. Raj calls on Uddhav in hospital, drives him home : Mumbai : Shiv

Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, 51, underwent an

angiography at a suburban Mumbai hospital on Monday after complaining

of severe chest pain.While he will require further medical attention in the

coming weeks following the discovery of three blockages, including two

major ones, warring cousin Raj not only cancelled a scheduled visit to

Alibaug to visit him in hospital but also drove Uddhav home in the

evening.[IE p6]

17. Lokpal : Anna questions relevance of RS panel : Ahead of their team’s

indefinite fast beginning next week, social activist Anna Hazare and his

close associates on Monday questioned the need for referring the lokpal

bill to a Rajya Sabha panel even as the government said differences

among the political class on the bill were narrowing.[HT p15]

18. New construction in Gurgaon put on hold to tackle water problem,

Nod Only For Builders Who Agree Not To Use Groundwater:

Chandigarh/Gurgaon: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday

restrained the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) from

issuing new licences to developers in Gurgaon unless they give an

undertaking that groundwater would not be consumed for construction

work. [TOI p1]

19. After 5 yrs, India to play cricket series with Pak, BCCI To Host 3

ODIs, 2 T20s In Dec-Jan: New Delhi: The wait is over. The Indian cricket

team will play a limited-overs home series against Pakistan, five years

after the two rivals last met in a bilateral encounter. The Indian board

(BCCI) on Monday agreed to host the series — three ODIs and two T20

matches — beginning in December-end this year. [TOI p1]

20. CBI closes 2G probe against Arun Shourie : New Delhi: One and a

half year after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a

Preliminary Enquiry (PE) to probe the 2G spectrum allocation during the

tenure of former telecom ministers in both NDA and UPA-I regimes, the

agency has closed the investigations against senior BJP leader Arun

Shourie, who had held the telecom portfolio from 2001 to 2003. [TOI p9]

21. CBI will not file any new case in spectrum scam : NEW DELHI: The

CBI will not register any fresh case in the highly-publicised 2G spectrum

scam. The agency has closed its larger preliminary enquiry (PE) into the

irregularities in implementation of the telecom policy between 2001 and

2007.[HT p15]

22. Akalis ask PM to remove Tytler, Gill from Olympic team : New Delhi :

A delegation of Delhi State Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) submitted a

memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday demanding

that former Congress Member of Parliament Jagdish Tytler and former

Director-General of Punjab Police K.P.S. Gill should not be part of the

country’s official delegation for the Olympics in London because of their

alleged anti-Sikh deeds.[The Hindu p6]

23. ED files money laundering case against arms dealer: New Delhi : In

fresh trouble for jailed arms dealer Abhishek Verma, the Enforcement

Directorate (ED) has registered a fresh money laundering case against

him while probing another case in which he allegedly received money from

a Swiss defence firm to keep it off the government’s blacklist. Arrested by

the CBI last month, Verma and his wife Ancia Maria Neascu, a Romanian,

are currently in judicial custody.[IE p2]

24. Diggy : Ready to fight LS polls from MP : New Delhi : Congress

general secretary Digvijay Singh on Monday expressed readiness to

contest the next Lok Sabha elections from his home state Madhya

Pradesh saying his vow to stay away from electoral politics for 10 years

comes to an end in November next year.[AA p2]

25. IB, R&AW brass almost got the sack after 26/11 attacks : The

government came close to sacking top intelligence officials soon after

26/11 because of serious lapses that led to the 2008 Mumbai attacks,

senior officials have told HT. Disclosures made by 26/11 handler

Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal, have only confirmed the assessment

that IB and R&AW both failed in analysing, disseminating and acting upon

intelligence that was fairly specific.[HT p1]

26. BSY faces challenge, MPs gather around Karunakara : BANGALORE:

Master of pressure tactics BS Yeddyurappa may now be beaten at his

own game. His challenger is none other than G Karunakara Reddy,

brother of mining baron Janardhana Reddy, the beginner of “resort

politics”.[HT p15]

27. 400 crore more for Uttarakhand Plan : New Delhi :The Planning

Commission on Monday approved a Rs.8,200-crore Annual Plan for

Uttarakhand for 2012-13 which is Rs.400 crore more than last year.[The

Hindu p5]

28. Defamation Case : Army vice-chief, two others to appear in court :

NEW DELHI: Vice-chief of Army Staff SK Singh and two senior officers

will have to appear before a Delhi court in a defamation case filed by Lt

Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh. The Delhi High Court on Monday turned down

their plea for stay on summonses issued to them. They will have to appear

before the trial court on Friday.[HT p12]

29. Centre sets up panel to fix blame for Airport Metro Express mess :

New Delhi : Having established the presence of serious faults along the

Delhi Airport Metro Express high-speed line that have led to suspension of

the service, the Union Urban Development Ministry is now going to

ascertain who is culpable for the shortcomings.[The Hindu p1]

30. Airport Metro: CM says safety should be top priority : New Delhi:

Upset over the blame game by DMRC and Reliance Infrastructure on the

suspension of Airport Metro Express line, chief minister Sheila Dikshit on

Monday said safety parameters should be the top priority in operating

trains on the 23-km high-speed corridor. [TOI p5]

31. Ramadoss faces 2nd CBI chargesheet in 2 months : New Delhi: The

CBI will soon chargesheet ex-health minister Anbumani Ramadoss for

showing favours to a private medical college — Rohilkhand Medical

College and Hospital in Bareilly, UP — despite the Medical Council of

India (MCI) denying permission to the college to run an MBBS course.

[TOI p7]

32. East Delhi Mayor calls councillor “mad” : New Delhi:Since the

trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the East Corporation has

seen many lighter moments with the latest being a faux pas by its

Mayor.[The Hindu p3]

LEGAL/CRIME NEWS

33. 1996 Bihar massacre: SC notice to accused: New Delhi: The Supreme

Court on Monday issued notices to 23 accused seeking their response to

a Bihar government’s petition challenging a Patna high court’s judgment

acquitting them in the 1996 Bathani Tola massacre of dalits by members

of upper caste landlord militia, Ranbir Sena. [TOI p9]

34. Rein in khaps, prevent honour killings: SC panel : New Delhi : Local

police and district administration should initiate preventive steps to ensure

khap panchayats are not held in villages to issue diktats curbing individual

freedom, recommends a report submitted to the Supreme Court on

Monday. [HT p11]

35. Uttarakhand HC upholds life in jail to Amarmani, wife : Dehradun

:The Uttarakhand High Court on Monday upheld the life term awarded by

a CBI court to former SP MLA Amarmani Tripathi, his wife Madhumani,

nephew Rohit Chaturvedi and associate Santosh Rai in the Madhumita

Shukla murder case.[IE p6]

EDITORIAL / OPINION

36. On Your Marks, The BJP would have done better to pitch its own

horse for the presidential race: By finally deciding to field veteran leader

and parliamentarian Jaswant Singh as the NDA’s vice-presidential

nominee, the BJP has been slow off the mark. Singh will now contest

against Hamid Ansari, nominated by the UPA for a second term in office.

Currently a Lok Sabha MP from West Bengal’s Darjeeling constituency,

the senior BJP leader has held charge of six ministries including the highprofile

defence, finance and external affairs during the NDA regime. [TOI

p16]

37. Dribble That Reforms Ball, Manmohan Singh’s refusal to engage with

coalition politics is to blame for economic woes: Arati R Jerath :

Recent commentary on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s ability to revive

the India story has swung between great expectations now that he has

taken charge of the finance ministry and a caustic appraisal of the man as

an ‘‘underachiever’’.[TOI p16]

38. The journey of a First Information Report : N.K. SINGH: The Supreme

Court order quashing the Central Bureau of Investigation’s FIR in the

assets case against former Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Mayawati, has

come as a jolt. Yes, the Supreme Court’s order is binding and must be

respected but, equally, it is important to record honest opinions on such an

important matter that affects the fight against corruption in high places.

The order was based on technical grounds which, in the view of many, are

untenable.[The Hindu p8]