Maha Siddiqui is Editor Foreign Affairs and Anchor at CNN-News18. She has a career spanning nearly two decades. She reports on India’s foreign relations with primary focus on US, China, Pakistan, and other neighbouring countries. She has covered Parliament for over a decade, national and state elections since 2004 and has done in-depth reportage on social issues. Maha is a Chevening scholar and studied journalism at IIMC, Delhi.
The political drama in Karnataka seems to be reaching the final act... The Speaker has called for a floor test immediately to end the tussle for power in the state - Section 144 has been imposed in Bengaluru for 48 hours - all pubs and wine shops have been shut - the JDS is adamant on letting the discussion continue - clearly buying time to keep the government afloat while the Congress MLAs have called on the party leadership to issue a whip to the rebel MLAs. Congress troubleshooter DK Shivakumar warned the BJP saying the rebels would betray the party as well - while Congress workers continued their protest in Mumbai outside the hotel where the rebel MLAs are staying. The Speaker earlier threatened to resign if the floor test was not conducted - all eyes are on the Vidhana Soudha - will the numbers finally declare the victor in this game for power?
Will he or won't he, that's the big question at the moment in Karnataka as speculation swirls that HDK could resign before taking a trust vote. The political crisis in Karnataka seems to be far from over. Earlier in the day, speaker KR Ramesh Kumar confirmed that the crucial floor test will take place today and won't adjourn the house till the trust vote ends. Conflicting reports are emerging over the fate of Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
When BJP's Bareilly MLA Rajesh Mishra's daughter Sakshi's video crying for help went viral, there was instant sympathy for her. And why not? Here was a young couple which had eloped and got married against the legislator's wishes and were now fearing for their life. Had India not seen two startling cases of honour killing in the recent past by the powerful and mighty in Telangana and Gujarat, maybe Sakshi's video wouldn't have evoked such a strong response. But the danger of breaking a social order, is so in your face even in 21st century India, that it is hard for people to look away anymore. No matter how much Sakshi's father claims he is not out to hurt the couple, the case has already tilted in favour of the young girl. And with such palpable fear in the hearts of those who dare to choose their own partner and discard the set social norms, is it not time to protect such couples? That's our debate this evening on Viewpoint.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has hit out at what he calls forces that have been trying to scuttle the government's CCTV project from the beginning. This comes after the Supreme Court refused to pass an interim stay on the installation of 1.5 Lakh CCTV cameras in Delhi Government schools, giving a nod to move ahead with the project. The Delhi CM had earlier dismissed concerns that the CCTV cameras would compromise privacy of the school children, saying the initiative would help improve the results of Delhi government schools and boost security. Kejriwal also said over 1,000 Delhi government schools would be equipped with CCTV cameras by November this year.
Today a TRS MLA's kin & his aide were arrested for thrashing a woman forest official who was doing her job. Drunk on power..Koneru Krishna, TRS MLA Koneru Konappa' brother, led a mob that brutally attacked the forest official. The incident has given fresh ammo to BJP to launch a scathing attack on the state government for the crumbling law and order situation in the Telangana. 14 people have been detained and a special team has been constituted to nab the rest of the accused. After the video went viral, Kaghaznagar SPDO and rural Circle Inspector have been suspended. Meanwhile, TRS Working President KT Rama Rao has tweeted out a warning saying that no one is above the law of the land.
One spell of rains in Mumbai today saw the roads turn into rivers and water-logging in several parts of the city. It's a familiar picture that Mumbaikars witness year after year. Tonight on Face Off, Maha Siddiqui discusses whether the maximum city will ever be monsoon-ready.
India's water crisis is increasing day-by-day and a delayed monsoon has made matters worse. Have we as citizens taken water for granted and failed to conserve every drop? Tonight on Face Off, Maha Siddiqui debates whether the water crisis is man-made.
From Karnataka to Madhya Pradesh, politicians are going on a power trip. BJP's Indore MLA beat up a civic official with a cricket bat. Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy lost his cool at protesters, telling them that if they voted for Modi, they shouldn't expect him to help them. Tonight on Face Off, Maha Siddiqui discusses who will rein in these netas.
In his vote of thanks today in Parliament, PM Modi tore into the Gandhis, accusing them of them disconnected from the ground reality. Tonight on Face Off, Maha Siddiqui debates whether it's time for Congress to dump the Gandhis.
India's fourth largest city - Chennai is fast running out of water. And instead of trying to arrive at a solution, the two political parties in Tamil Nadu are either protesting or praying to the rain gods for relief. Tonight on Face Off, Maha Siddiqui discusses who is to blame for Chennai's water crisis.
Chennai is facing its worst crisis in 30 years. But 2 days ago, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister accused the media of exaggerating the situation. Today he held an emergency meeting on the situation. Tonight on Face Off, Maha Siddiqui discusses how politicians have let down Chennaites.
For the last year, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy has been operating out of a suite in a 5-star hotel in Bengaluru. The bill is 5 lakh rupees a month, and 63 lakhs a year. Who is footing this bill and is Kumaraswamy's splurge justified? That's the debate tonight on Face Off with Maha Siddiqui.
Private universities in Uttar Pradesh are being made to sign an undertaking to state that no anti-national activities will take place on campus. Tonight on Face Off, Maha Siddiqui debates if the move is censorship of free speech.
The elections may be over but the political sloganeering is playing out in Parliament. From Jai Shri Ram to Jai Mai Kala to Allahu Akbar - all these slogans were being raised by MPs during the oath taking ceremony. Tonight on Face Off, Maha Siddiqui debates whether Parliament has been reduced to theatrics.