Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not assign him a role in the Cabinet because of his ill health.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she will not attend Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, a day after she said she will be present at the event. Her statement comes reports claimed 54 people related to BJP workers who were killed in alleged political violence in West Bengal were invited to the event.
Meanwhile, Biju Janata Dal leader Naveen Patnaik was sworn in as the chief minister of Odisha for the fifth straight term. BJP leader Pema Khandu was also sworn in as the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh.
Here are the day’s biggest stories:
The Rajasthan Police have booked eight men for allegedly killing an eight-year-old boy after attempting to rape his mother at their home in Bharatpur on Wednesday. The 28-year-old disabled woman said she worked at a brick kiln owned by four of the accused. The woman in her complaint said that the accused broke into her home on the night of May 12 and tried to rape her. The police said they strangled her son when he tried to stop them. They threatened her against reporting the crime before the last rites of her son were performed.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Wednesday indicated that Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa could have spoken out against the poll panel’s failure to record his dissent. Arora said he cannot be a “moral judge of anybody, least of all somebody as senior as Ashok Lavasa”.
He added that the three members of the poll panel are not supposed to be “photocopies” of each other.
Trinamool Congress MLA Manirul Islam on Wednesday became the latest leader from his party to join the Bharatiya Janata Party. He joined the saffron party with other TMC leaders Gadadhar Hazra, Mohammed Asif Iqbal and Nimai Das in the presence of BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya in New Delhi.
Congress workers on Wednesday held a hunger strike outside party chief Rahul Gandhi’s residence in new Delhi, in an attempt to convince him not to resign. The police detained the protestors but they were released soon after. Among the party workers were boxer-turned-politician Vijender Singh and Delhi Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Vijay Jatan. Those present said Gandhi should take his resignation back because the party needs his leadership.
The Shiv Sena on Wednesday reiterated its goal to expedite the process of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya and said it will be constructed soon now that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been elected for a second term. In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena said crores of people have voted the Bharatiya Janata Party to power so that “Ram Rajya can be established in the country, all with the blessing of Lord Ram”.
A special Central Bureau of Investigation court on Wednesday convicted 16 people in connection with a fodder scam case and sentenced them to three to four years in prison. They were convicted of illegally withdrawing Rs 37 crore from the Chaibasa treasury in Jharkhand in the 1990s. Judge SN Mishra also ordered the convicts to pay fines ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 7 lakh. Eleven people were sentenced to three years in jail and five others to four years.
A fire broke out at Rifle Range Road in Kolkata’s Park Circus area on Wednesday. Fifteen fire engines have been deployed to douse the fire that engulfed plywood shops and a bamboo shed. An official said no one was hurt in the blaze.
Chinese technology giant Huawei said in a press release on Wednesday that it has filed a motion in a United States court, seeking summary judgement in a lawsuit that seeks to overturn American legislation barring its federal agencies from buying Huawei’s products, on grounds of national security.
A special court in Mumbai on Wednesday remanded three senior doctors, arrested in connection with the death of Dr Payal Tadvi, to police custody till May 31. Tadvi, who belonged to the Bhil Adivasi community, committed suicide on May 22 after allegedly facing casteist abuse from the accused at the Topiwala National Medical College in Mumbai where she worked.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pressurise the Pakistani government to investigate the destruction of the Guru Nanak Palace in Narowal. He also offered to rebuild the property if the Centre gets permission from Islamabad.
A military tribunal on Wednesday allowed Vice Admiral Karambir Singh to take over as the chief of naval staff, after deferring a hearing that challenged his appointment. The government had appointed Singh to the post on March 23, and he will take over from Sunil Lanba on May 31.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said she has decided not to attend Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30. “The oath-taking ceremony is an august occasion to celebrate democracy, not one that should be devalued by any political party,” she said on Twitter.
Senior leaders of the Karnataka Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) met in Bengaluru on Wednesday amid reports of rift between the coalition partners, ANI reported. Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, Congress state chief Dinesh Gundu Rao, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Congress minister DK Shivakumar were among those present.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi has said party chief Rahul Gandhi should go on a padayatra (walking tour) of the country to connect with people, the Hindustan Times reported on Tuesday. Gandhi should not resign as Congress president, he added.
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to clear its stand on a petition seeking to set “two-child policy” a criterion for government jobs and subsidies. The bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Brijesh Sethi asked the Centre what action has been taken to control the country’s population.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pema Khandu was sworn in as the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh on Wednesday. Governor BD Mishra administered the oath of office and secrecy to 11 ministers as well.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to give him any responsibility in the new Cabinet for the present because of his ill-health. Jaitley said he has faced some “serious health challenges” in the last 18 months.
The Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday arrested the main accused in the Barabanki hooch tragedy following a brief encounter. Pappu Jaiswal was shot on the leg during a gunfight with police officials near Amrai Kund. After consuming adulterated liquor, several people died or were taken ill on Tuesday. The toll has gone up to 16, while 38 people are undergoing treatment.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to examine the power of tax authorities to arrest individuals for evading the Goods and Services Tax. The court issued a notice to Centre and asked it to respond within four weeks
Congress leader AP Abdullakutty from Kerala on Tuesday courted controversy by praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s massive victory in the Lok Sabha elections. He made the remark in a Facebook post titled “On Narendra Modi’s impressive victory”.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has directed Johnson & Johnson to immediately withdraw a batch of its baby shampoo that allegedly contains harmful chemicals. The multinational company has claimed that its products are safe.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed Congress MP Karti Chidambaram’s petition seeking Rs 10 crore he had deposited with the court’s registry for travelling abroad. The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate are investigating his alleged role in the Aircel-Maxis and INX media cases.
The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday approved setting up a corpus to fund shelter homes for stray cattle in the state. Chief Minister Adityanath chaired a Cabinet meeting that cleared the Uttar Pradesh Cow Conservation and Development Fund Rules, 2019, to run and manage the “govansh ashray sthals” or cow shelters at the district-level.
The United States removed India from its currency monitoring watch list on Tuesday. The watch list contains the names of countries that have potentially questionable foreign exchange policies and are suspected to be manipulating their currencies to gain trade advantages over the US.
The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday opposed businessman Robert Vadra’s plea in Delhi court seeking permission to fly to the United Kingdom and two other countries citing health problems. The court reserved its order on Vadra’s application for June 3.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has summoned two officials of the West Bengal Police in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam. The CBI also sent “necessary documents” to former Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s office, a day after he failed to appear for questioning before the agency in connection with the scam.
Biju Janata Dal President Naveen Patnaik took oath as the chief minister of Odisha for a fifth consecutive term on Wednesday. Patnaik is the state’s longest serving chief minister. Patnaik met the governor on Sunday to stake claim to form the government, hours after he was elected the leader of the Biju Janata Dal Legislature Party.
The Mumbai Police arrested two doctors in connection with the death of Dr Payal Tadvi on Tuesday night. Tadvi, who was from Jalgaon in Maharashtra and belonged to the Bhil Adivasi community, committed suicide on May 22 after allegedly facing casteist abuse from three senior doctors at the hospital in Mumbai where she worked. With these arrests, all three are now in police custody. According to reports, their bail plea will be heard on Wednesday.
The Trinamool Congress downplayed the defection of two of its legislators and at least 50 councillors in West Bengal to the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday as a “temporary phase” and a “minor crisis”. Two Trinamool Congress legislators, including Bharatiya Janata Party leader Mukul Roy’s son Subhrangshu Roy, joined the saffron party at an event in New Delhi. Communist Party of India (Marxist) MLA Debendra Nath Roy also joined the party. Councillors from Kanchrapara, Halisahar and Naihati municipalities were also in Delhi to join the BJP.
The Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday booked seven men for allegedly raping and killing a 14-year-old Dalit girl in Muzaffarnagar district. The girl’s body was found in a charred state on Friday at her makeshift home near a brick kiln in the Rohana area of Nagar-Kotwali, where she worked. The autopsy suggested she died of asphyxiation and burn injuries.
Telugu Desam Party chief and outgoing Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said his party will keep a watch on the performance of Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress and will play the role of a constructive opposition in the state. “A new government is coming in, we have to give it some time,” Naidu said in his first public appearance after the defeat in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. “They promised certain things; let them fulfill those promises.”
Bharatiya Janata Party’s Assam MLA Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said the party wished to see Rahul Gandhi as the Congress President for “next 50 years” as it would help them. But this would not benefit the democracy as it needs a “vibrant opposition”, he added. “In Parliament, there should be space for the opposition, so if there is no Rahul Gandhi, then there is a possibility of a vibrant opposition,” said Sarma.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as prime minister on Thursday. Banerjee said the invitation for the ceremony had arrived earlier on Tuesday and she will be attending it as “constitutional courtesy”.