NEWS IN BRIEF – JULY 20, 2012

1. Cong-NCP ties get shakier as Pawar, Patel skip Cabinet meet, Duo Snub PM As Seating Tiff Deepens: New Delhi: Relations between the Congress and the NCP appeared to be at tipping point on Thursday after Sharad Pawar and his close associate Praful Patel stuck to their protest over the NCP chief being denied the no.2 seat in the Cabinet and stayed away from its deliberations. [TOI p1]

2. UPA Blues Continue as NCP Chief and Patel Offer to Resign : NEW

DELHI: The UPA government faced fresh trouble after Nationalist

Congress Party representatives in the Union Cabinet offered to resign.

According to a Cabinet minister, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and

heavy industries minister Praful Patel, who boycotted Thursday’s Cabinet

meeting, offered to quit the government. [ET p2]

3. Russia, China use veto for Syria : New Delhi : Russia and China on

Thursday vetoed a new U.N. Security Council resolution that would have

slapped new sanctions against President Bashar Al Assad’s regime in

Syria, while India was among the 11 countries that voted in favour.[The

Hindu p1]

4. Less Than 75% Polling by Legislators, PREZ POLL Mulayam errs,

Gujarat MLA Kanu Kalasariya cross votes for Mukherjee; result

5. on Sunday : NEW DELHI : In the course of the seven-hours of polling to

elect the 13th president, nearly 72% of 4,896 member electoral college

voted. Though the results will only be announced on Sunday, UPA’s

candidate, former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, is expected to win

by a huge margin, defeating his challenger former Lok Sabha Speaker PA

Sangma. [ET p2]

6. Pranab’s Parting Gift Stumps PMO, . 20,000-cr compensation to

states put on hold as PMO weighs impact on fisc health: NEW DELHI

: For a few weeks before he stepped down as finance minister to formally

join the presidential contest, Pranab Mukherjee took care not to clear any

important files, following a time-honoured ministerial tradition of not lading

successors with the burden of one’s decisions.[ET p1]

7. At home, Pranab tracks poll : New Delhi : Among all the elections he

has fought in his political career, the presidential poll is perhaps the

easiest for Pranab Mukherjee. The electoral arithmetic provides little hope

or his competitor, Opposition-backed PA Sangma, as the UPA secured

support even from a part of the Opposition camp.[HT p10]

8. MNS abstains from voting : Mumbai : The Raj Thackeray-led

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena abstained from voting in the Presidential

poll on Thursday. The Congress had made overtures to Mr. Thackeray on

Tuesday, with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan appealing to

the 12 MNS legislators to back UPA presidential candidate Pranab

Mukherjee.[The Hindu p10]

9. Rahul finally ready to play bigger role : New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi on

Thursday confirmed that he had agreed to play a bigger role in the party

— an assertion that would move him up in the hierarchy leading to his

projection as the party’s prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 elections.

[TOI p1]

10. RSS material sale disrupts House : New Delhi : A row over alleged

RSS activists selling promotional material in the Civic Centre disrupted the

South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s House meeting on Thursday.

Congress councillors raised slogans against the ruling Bharatiya Janata

Party forcing Mayor Savita Gupta to adjourn the House.[HT p3]

11. Tata bats for PM, but seeks radical reforms : New Delhi : Tata Group

chairman Ratan Tata on Thursday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

to implement pending reforms and hit out at the Opposition, media and

some ruling party members for blaming Singh for India’s economic

woes.[HT p21]

12. CPM meet starts todaym action against VS likely :

Thiruvananthapuram : CPM top bosses, meeting in Delhi from Friday to

discuss Kerala-specific issues, are likely to take disciplinary action against

veteran leader VS Achuthanandan for his “anti-party activities”. [HT p13]

13. Diggy Raja Welcomes Decision : LUCKNOW : Congress general

secretary Digvijaya Singh has welcomed Rahul Gandhi’s willingness to

play a bigger role in politics. He said the exact contours of Gandhi’s

involvement and position in the party/government has not been decided.

[ET p2]

14. Rahul could get party’s VP post : New Delhi: A change of assignments

in September would coincide with the end of the monsoon session and

beginning of a spell when the Congress would look forward to consolidate

affairs before taking on Gujarat CM Narendra Modi in the state polls. [TOI

p14]

15. MSY’s gaffe enlivens Prez poll, Before Voting For Pranab, SP Boss

First Marked His Vote For Sangma: New Delhi: The presidential poll on

Thursday, which saw over 72% of MPs and MLAs casting their votes, was

briefly enlivened by a gaffe by Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh

Yadav, who ticked a ballot in favour of opposition nominee P A Sangma,

only to tear the paper and vote for UPA’s Pranab Mukherjee. [TOI p13]

16. Ravi Shankar Prasad is BJP Dy Leader in RS : NEW DELHI : BJP

leader Ravi Shankar Prasad will be the new deputy leader of the party in

Rajya Sabha. BJP’s parliamentary party chief LK Advani on Thursday

recommended his name for the post in a letter to Rajya Sabha Chairman

Hamid Ansari. [ET p2]

17. Kejriwal is the new Anna : New Delhi : Is Anna Hazare’s aide Arvind

Kejriwal emerging as the new face of India Against Corruption? It seems

so, as the organisation is planning to recreate the magic of its lokpal show

at Jantar Mantar from July 25.[HT p1]

18. Govt to probe charges against HSBC India staff : New Delhi : The

government would probe the allegation that HSBC India staff had violated

safety rules against money laundering and terrorist financing, said home

secretary RK Singh. He also asked the Indian ambassador to the US,

Nirupama Rao, to get more information on the probe being carried out by

the US Senate, which found that the British bank’s anti-money laundering

compliance department was inadequately staffed.[HT p1]

19. It will be a misfortune if Pranab is elected : New Delhi : Calling it a ‘Do

or Die against Corruption’ campaign, the India Against Corruption (IAC)

team is trying to recreate last year’s magic in its fight for a strong Lokpal.

But this time, at the protest at Jantar Mantar from July 25, there will be two

major changes: Arvind Kejriwal, along with Manish Sisodia and Gopal

Rai, will be on an indefinite fast.[HT p3]

20. Hafiz formed 26/11 team a year before strike: Jundal : New Delhi: Key

26/11 conspirator Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal told his

interrogators that a 10-member team was formed to plan and execute the

26/11 attacks ayear before the actual strike, with Lashkar chief Hafiz

Saeed at the top of the list. [TOI p11]

21. Foreigners’ MoD access sparks concern, Verma Wife’s Visit Puts

Lens On Security System: New Delhi: On December 7, 2011, Anca

Maria Neacsu, a Romanian citizen married to alleged arms dealer

Abhishek Verma, held a formal meeting with the top brass of the ministry

of defence. She was there as India’s representative of Sig Sauer, the

American firm specializing in small arms, and was accompanied by other

foreign colleagues. It is not known if she had met MoD officials on other

occasions as well. [TOI p14]

22. Court gives explicit photos of Verma to CBI: New Delhi: A set of

documents on alleged arms dealer Abhishek Verma and his associates

that a city court handed over to the CBI early this week contains

sensational new disclosures and several explicit photographs.[TOI p14]

23. CBI links changes in Lokpal Bill to more autonomy : New Delhi: The

CBI is open to changes in the Lokpal Bill that strengthen the agency’s

autonomy by enhancing the proposed Lokpal’s role in key appointments

like those of director, head of prosecution and lawyers who represent the

probe agency. [TOI p11]

24. Cong workers stone Ramdev’s motorcade in Bhopal: Bhopal: Yoga

guru Baba Ramdev escaped unhurt after a group of Congress workers

stoned his motorcade, burnt his effigy, pulled down his hoardings and

waved black flags at him while he was on his way to attend a programme

in Bhopal’s Ayodhya Bypass area on Thursday. [TOI p13]

25. Maruti GM died in Manesar attack, tooth helps identify charred body :

Gurgaon : The man burnt to death in an attack by workers at automobile

major Maruti Suzuki India’s Manesar plant on Wednesday evening was

identified a day later as Awanish Kumar Dev, general manager (human

resource).[IE p1]

26. Panel proposes new law to give govt say in BCCI, NGOs : New Delhi :

A panel set up by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has recommended that

all organisations registered as societies that have a presence in more than

one state must come under the ambit of a new law that will give the

central government a say in their functioning.[IE p3]

27. Adarsh not a security threat; Ex Army chief differs with MoD :

Mumbai : In sharp contrast to the Ministry of Defence’s stand on the

issue, former Chief of Army Staff General (Retd) Deepak Kapoor on

Thursday told the two-member Adarsh commission that he did not feel

that the Adarsh housing society was a security threat on account of its

height and proximity to a defence area.[IE p5]

28. Rudy : Time will end all speculation on Rahul’s bigger role : New

Delhi : The BJP on Thursday made light of Rahul Gandhi’s comments on

playing a larger role in the Congress or the Government and said that it

will end all speculation about his capacity, his administrative and political

ability that many have wanted to see.[Pioneer Daily p5]

29. ND Tiwari pleads against declaring DNA result : New Delhi : Former

Uttarakhand Chief Minister ND Tiwari has filed a petition in the Delhi High

Court, pleading against the declaration of the result of the DNA test

conducted on him for ascertaining whether he is the biological father of

32-year-old Rohit Shekhar.[The Tribune p2]

30. Prez poll : 2 MLAs fail to vote : New Delhi : Polling for the presidential

election at Old Secretariat ended peacefully. Among 70 members in the

Delhi Legislative Assembly, two could not exercise their franchise in the

election today. The senior BJP MLA H S Balli and Independent MLA

Bharat Singh could not vote in the election.[The Tribune p3]

31. Police keep vigil at mosque site, Corpn Denies Nod For Prayers But

MLA Says Sentiments Must Be Respected: New Delhi: The

construction work at the site of a Mughalera structure near Jama Masjid –

claimed by some locals to be remains of Akbarabadi Masjid – was halted

on Thursday amid increasing concern over holding of Friday prayers at the

site. [TOI p2]

32. North corporation stops construction of mosque : New Delhi : The

North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Thursday stopped the ongoing

“unauthorised” construction work on a mosque being built on the

archaeological remains of what is believed to be the 1650-built Akbarabadi

mosque near Jama Masjid.[HT p4]