What to Watch Out For
CBI saga continues: Delhi HC verdict on Asthana on Friday one day after Alok Verma is removed
The Delhi High Court on Friday will announce its verdict on former CBI special director Rakesh Asthana’s plea to quash the FIR against him on charges of bribery. The charges were first taken up by former CBI director Alok Verma who accused Asthana of accepting bribes. Asthana, in return, charged Verma with similar acts of corruption following which the apex court ordered a Central Vigilance Commission inquiry. The two CBI officers were then sent on a forced leave by the government. On Thursday, a three-person committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi moved to oust Verma a few days after the Supreme Court reinstated him. Opposition however claim that the government was driven to divest Alok Verma of his powers after he started an investigation on the controversial Rafale deal. In a tweet, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Prime Minister sacked Alok Verma out of fear of being caught. “Sacking the CBI Chief #AlokVerma twice in a row, clearly shows that he is now a prisoner of his own lies,” Gandhi wrote.
Largest ever BJP National Council meeting to start today, 12000 delegates to attend
The BJP national council will be holding a two-day meeting on the Ramlila grounds starting today to discuss a host of issues, including the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah are slated to attend the meeting. This will be the last of such meetings before the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and will also be the largest meeting of the party's National Council. Around 12,000 delegates will be inaugurated by the BJP President in the meeting.
Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme for farmers to be announced
The Bhartiya Janata Party led-government is all set to clear the direct benefit transfer scheme for farmers, as per sources. According to reports, DBT worth Rs.4000 per acre per season with interest-free crop loan up to Rs 1 lakh per farmer will be given to farmers. The compensation will be calculated based on size of land holdings. But, will these schemes for farmers be enough to boost BJP’s chances in the upcoming polls? Read Sindhu Bhattacharya analysis here.
‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ on former PM Manmohan Singh's days in office to release today
The much-awaited film ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ will hit the theatres today. The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to accord an urgent hearing on a plea challenging the Delhi High Court ‘s decision to dispose of a petition looking to ban the trailer of the movie. The movie stars Anupam Kher as the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
What You May Have Missed
‘Triple Talaq’ ordinance re-issued by the union Cabinet
The Union Cabinet on Thursday allowed the re-promulgation of the ‘Triple Talaq’ ordinance. The ordinance would have lapsed on January 22 after the Rajya Sabha failed to pass the Bill, despite the lower house giving its approval. An ordinance has a life of six months after which it has to be replaced by a bill, that must be passed by the Parliament within 42 days (six weeks), else it lapses. The 'triple talaq' bill criminalizes the Muslim practise of Triple Talaq, which allows men to divorce their wives by uttering the word talaq three times in quick succession.
Sheila Dikshit Appointed as Delhi Congress Chief
A few days after Ajay Maken put in his resignation, Sheila Dikshit was appointed as the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President. Although, Maken had cited reasons of ill-health, many have said that he was unhappy with the party’s plans to draw an alliance with the Aam Admi Party for the upcoming Lok Sabha Polls. But, the former chief did make it a point to congratulate Sheila Dikshit over Twitter. Dikshit, who is 80-years-old, has been a three-time chief minister of Delhi.
PIL against Quota Bill: No Constitutional basis for the bill, only economic criterion cannot be considered
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed against the recently introduced constitutional amendment, which accords 10% reservations to the economically weaker sections within the general category. The PIL was filed by the NGO Youth for Equality on the grounds that the economic criterion cannot be the only basis for reservation and the amendment stands in violation of the Constitution. Earlier this week, the bill that was passed unanimously by the Rajya Sabha, set a quota, which will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation to SCs, STs and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
Chhattisgarh becomes the third state to bar CBI from probing cases without state government’s consent
The Congress-led Chhattisgarh government on Thursday decided to withdraw the general consent given to Central Bureau of Investigation to conduct raids and probes. Chhattisgarh is the third state to do so, after Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal also decided to withdraw consent under Section 5 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, which accords such powers to the investigating agency.
Cricketers Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul face two-match ban for ‘sexist’ comments
Cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul face a two-match ban for controversial comments made on the chat show ‘Koffee With Karan’. Following the interview, many slammed Pandya’s comments as being misogynistic and sexist. Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai on Thursday recommended a two-ODI ban for the duo.
Another movie to hit the theatres today is the Vicky Kaushal-starrer ‘URI: The Surgical Strike’, which is based on the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian army in 2016. Watch News18.com’s review of the movie. Watch News18.com's review.