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Major News and Events of 23 February 2015

What Happened on 23 February 2015


Rahul Gandhi Takes a Break to Reflect on Future Course of Congress

Vice-President of Congress, Rahul Gandhi, has reportedly decided to take a few weeks break to reflect upon the events that occurred recently and decide upon future course of Congress. Reports say that he is also going to miss the crucial first week of Budget Session of Parliament. Rahul requested leave from Congress President Sonia Gandhi for introspection. Sources reveal that Rahul Gandhi’s decision comes just months before leadership conclave of the party, to be held in April 2015. Murmurs in the political corridors say that Rahul Gandhi may be elevated for higher role during April conclave. However, Sonia Gandhi refused to comment.

V S Achuthanandan out of CPIM Kerala State Committee; Kodiyeri Balakrishnan Becomes New State Secretary

V S Achuthanandan (ex-Chief Minister of Kerala, popular mass leader, and founding member of CPIM) has been dropped from Kerala state committee, after he refused to come back to the State Conference as per the directive of ‘available’ Politburo members. He reportedly walked out of the conference because of the resolution adopted by Kerala state secretariat that termed him an ‘anti-party activist’. It is learnt that his demand for taking action against the accused CPIM members for murdering T P Chandrasekheran, rebel CPI-M leader, was also turned down by the party. Today CPIM’s Kerala unit unanimously elected Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Politburo member of the party, as new state secretary.        

Union Government Faces Stiff Opposition on Land Acquisition

United opposition is steadfast to give nod to Land Acquisition Ordinance and called it ‘anti farmer’. Opposition parties including Indian National Congress have stressed that the new ordinance does away with the 70 per cent land owners’ consent clause and also scraps social impact assessment. Venkaiah Naidu, Parliamentary Affairs minister, told media that the government is prepared to make amendments if there is a broad consensus. It is learnt that top BJP leaders, except Narendra Modi, are going to meet for deciding upon possible government’s strategy on the controversial ordinance. It is learnt that farmers’ body of BJP is also against the ordinance.

SC: N. Srinivasan shouldn't have Chaired February 8 Working Committee Meeting of BCCI

The Supreme Court observed today that BCCI’s President-in-exile N. Srinivasan should not have chaired working committee meeting of Board of Control for Cricket in India earlier this month. Apex court has categorically said that Srinivasan cannot hold the post because he can’t contest for the President’s position of BCCI, in the first place. Last month SC had barred N. Srinivasan from contesting BCCI’s President’s position until and unless he gives up his ownership rights of his IPL team named Chennai Super Kings. Today SC observed that after their judgement Srinivasan’s position is vulnerable.

Corporate Espionage Case Takes a New Turn with Arrest of Lokesh

Corporate espionage case took an interesting turn today when Lokesh, energy consultant with Infraline, was arrested for leaking Coal and Power Ministry information. Delhi Police has raided many places in the Coal and Power ministries and also registered fresh FIR. Lokesh is going to be produced to the court today itself. 12 people, who were arrested earlier, will also be produced in court today. Reliance ADAG has issued statement that except for a specific employee’s office of Reliance Power, no raid was conducted by the Police in any Reliance Group office across India.

Budget Session Starts with President's Address

President Pranab Mukherjee today addressed members of parliament from both upper and lower Houses, marking the start of Parliamentary Budget Session. Mukherjee stressed upon the need of inclusive growth and to include poorest of poor in the growth story while delivering his speech before the MPs. He also said that his government is committed in expanding the job market, protecting interests of the farmers, streamlining scholarship schemes for timely disbursement, developing skills, kick starting smart city initiatives, easing processes of doing business, etc. President reminded that these are the basic tenets of ‘sab ka saath, sab ka vikas’ slogan.

Six States to Earn Rs one Lakh Crore over coming 30 years After Coal Block E-Auction

Available information reveals that six mineral-rich states of India are going to earn over Rs one lakh crore in the coming 30 years after successful e-auctioning of coal block that ended yesterday. Sources reveal that during the first round of e-auction, 90 million tones of extractable reserve spread over 18 mines were bagged by some renowned industry behemoths. While boasting about his government’s success in conducting transparent e-auctioning, minister of state for coal, power and renewable energy Piyush Goyal told media that it will not only increase revenue of states but also decrease fuel costs of thermal power plants.    

Indian Cricket Team Wins against South Africa; Breaks World Cup Jinx

India won their second match in ICC World Cup tournament by defeating South Africa by 130 runs. Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan made a superb 137 runs from 146 balls to guide India to a commendable 307 runs score. Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli also played their parts by scoring 79 and 46 runs respectively. South Africa needed to score 308 runs to win but bundled out in 40.2 overs by scoring 177 runs. By clinching this win, Indian cricket team has broken the World Cup jinx of not winning a single match against the mighty Proteas.    

Nitish Takes Oath as Bihar CM

Nitish Kumar has been sworn-in as the new Chief Minister of Bihar after his predecessor stepped down just a few days back. The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Chief Minster of Assam Tarun Gogoi and CM of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee. 22 cabinet ministers also took oath yesterday evening. While addressing the press, Nitish thanked Indian PM for his wishes and stressed upon working closely with PM for the betterment of Bihar as well as India. NaMo congratulated newly sworn-in Bihar CM through a tweet just after the swearing-in ceremony.   

16GB White Variant of OnePlus One to be Available from Tomorrow

OnePlus One’s white variant will be available in India through OnePlus’s current invite-system from tomorrow at Amazon India. This handset is the 16GB variant of the flagship killer and is priced at Rs. 18,999, Rs. 3,000 less than the 64GB Sandstone Black variant. Market analysts believe that this smartphone version is going to give Xiaomi Mi 4’s 16GB-version a run for its money as the former is Rs. 1,000 cheaper than the latter. Reports say that 16GB OnePlus One comes with CyanogenMod 11S OS, 2.5GHz processor, 1080x1920 pixels resolution display, 13MP rear and 5MP front camera, and 3GB RAM.

Hazaare Starts His Agitation Against Land Acquisition Ordinance

77-year old Anna Hazaare has started his crusade against current Narendra Modi government’s land acquisition ordinance by launching his two-day agitation programme today at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. When asked, Hazaare categorically said that he will not allow any political outfit to share dais with him but also welcomed Congress or AAP to be part of the movement by participating it as common people. He was reportedly joined by another noted social activist Medha Patkar. While referring to Modi government as anti-farmer, Hazaare said that the land ordinance is an undemocratic one.

Defence Minister of France Visiting India Today; Expected to Vouch For Rafale Deal

Jean-Yves Le Drian, Defence Minister of France, is all set to meet Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister of India, today to vouch for finalising the multi-billion Rafale deal. Sources reveal that Drian is scheduled to visit a series of countries including India and UAE. Official sources within Defence sector reveal that second meeting between the two defence ministers of the two countries is intended to fast track the process of Rafale fighter jets’ deal, estimated to be around US$ ten billion. Recently, the Defence Minister of India refused to comment on the deal as it was discussed by the Contract Negotiations Committee.  




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