In a special session of the Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday, Pro tem speaker Kalidas Kolambkar administered the oath of office to the 288 newly-elected legislators. Nationalist Congress Party leaders such as Ajit Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal, and Congress leaders Ashok Chavan, and Prithviraj Chavan were among those who took the oath.
Meanwhile, India’s top diplomat in New York, Sandeep Chakravorty, has compared the proposed return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland to the return of Jews to Israel. Chakravorty said people criticising India’s actions in Kashmir at international forums should focus on Syria and Iraq instead.
Here is what made news through the day:
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Thakur on Wednesday referred to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse as a patriot during a debate in the Lok Sabha, PTI reported. “You cannot give the example of ‘deshbhakts [patriots]’,” she interjected when Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP A Raja mentioned Godse during a debate on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Wednesday said people should not be surprised if his party comes to power in New Delhi, ANI reported. His comments came a day after the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress staked claim to form government in Maharashtra following the resignation of former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The 288 newly elected legislators were administered oath of office earlier in the day.
India’s top diplomat in New York has compared the proposed return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland to the return of Jews to Israel. Sandeep Chakravorty, India’s consul general in New York City, made the remarks last week during an interaction with a group of Kashmiri Pandits. A video of the private event was posted by filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, who also addressed those who had gathered.
Indian markets on Wednesday surged again to an all-time high, because of purchases by foreign institutional investors and rising expectations that the United States and China will soon reach a trade deal, Mint reported. The BSE Sensex rose 199.31 points to close at 41,020.61. The National Stock Exchange Nifty 50 surged 63 points to finish at 12,100.70.
The Centre on Wednesday said it was not planning to reduce the retirement age of government employees from 60 years to 58 years. Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said this in a written response to a question asked in the Lok Sabha.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board will file a review petition against the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya verdict before December 9, PTI quoted the organisation’s lawyer and Secretary Zafaryab Jilani as saying.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying it had developed “sudden love” for people in the city’s unauthorised colonies ahead of next year’s Assembly elections, The Indian Express reported. The Aam Aadmi Party leader claimed it was a result of the development work done by his government in the colonies in the past five years.
A special court in Delhi on Wednesday extended the judicial custody of Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the INX Media money laundering case till December 11, ANI reported.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that economic growth might have slowed down, but it was not a recession yet and there never would be one, ANI reported. She claimed that India’s real growth in Gross Domestic Product was better during the first term of the Narendra Modi government than in the rule of the previous regime.
A Shiv Sena leader on Tuesday announced his resignation after the party decided to form an alliance with the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party in Maharashtra. Sena leader Ramesh Solanki in a series of tweets said his conscience and ideology did not permit him to work with the Congress. “Congratulations and all the best for forming government in Maharashtra and [for] having Shiv Sena chief minister,” Solanki tweeted.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved it verdict on pleas challenging the restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir. The bench of Justices NV Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and BR Gavai, which was hearing a clutch of petitions including those filed by Kashmir Times Editor Anuradha Bhasin and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, did not give any date for the verdict.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday met party veteran P Chidambaram at New Delhi’s Tihar jail. The meeting took place hours before the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear the former Union minister’s bail petition in the INX Media case.
A day after resigning as Maharashtra deputy chief minister, Ajit Pawar on Wednesday said he was with the Nationalist Congress Party. Despite his rebellion and swearing in on Saturday, Pawar was welcomed with a hug from his cousin and Lok Sabha member Supriya Sule at the special session of the Maharashtra Assembly. “I was and am still with the NCP,” Pawar told reporters as he walked into the Vidhan Bhavan premises to take oath as MLA. “I never left the party.”
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said the perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist attack have still not been convicted. Pompeo made the remarks on the 11th anniversary of the November 26, 2008, massacre in Mumbai that claimed 166 lives, six of whom were American.
The Indian Space Research Organisation on Wednesday launched imaging and mapping satellite Cartosat-3. Along with the advanced earth observation satellite, ISRO also launched 13 nanosatellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. It will all be carried by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C47. The PSLV-C47 successfully injected Cartosat-3 into orbit.
In a special session of the Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday morning, Pro tem speaker Kalidas Kolambkar administered the oath of office to the 288 newly elected legislators. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had called the special session. Nationalist Congress Party leaders such as Ajit Pawar, Chhagan Bhujbal, and Congress leaders Ashok Chavan, and Prithviraj Chavan were among those who took the oath early on Wednesday. Pawar was greeted with a hug from NCP MP and party chief Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule.
Women’s rights activists, led by Trupti Desai, cancelled their plans on Tuesday night to visit the Sabarimala temple in Kerala after the state police refused them protection due to security reasons, PTI reported. Earlier in the day, Desai had said that she would leave the state only after visiting the temple, which bans the entry of women between the age of 10 and 50.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday took a dig at those opposed to the electoral bonds scheme, and said some people have problems with anything that is done to ensure transparency, PTI reported. Nowadays, electoral bonds are the favourite topic for such individuals, he said.
“Before the [Parliament] session, news is planted or made a breaking news,” Modi said at the Republic TV Summit in New Delhi. “There was a similar pattern in NPAs [non performing assets], EVMs [electronic voting machines, Rafale jets and a few days back when the government cut down the corporate tax, they again started. These days election bonds has become their favourite topic. Some people have issues if anything happens in the country to ensure transparency.”
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that curbs imposed on internet services in the Union Territory were justified as terrorists, separatists and the Pakistan Army were trying to instigate the Kashmiri people on social media to undertake jihad against the Indian state, PTI reported. The administration also said that prohibitory orders were imposed as some people tried to incite others through “inflammatory speeches”.
Suspected militants killed a sarpanch and a government officer in Anantnag district of Kashmir on Tuesday, PTI reported. The incident took place during the “back-to-village” programme, a public outreach initiative by the government, in Badazgam village.
The additional deputy commissioner of Anantnag, who was leading the meeting with residents, was safely escorted out of the area after the firing, unidentified officials said.