The Opposition alliance of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal looked set to unseat the Bharatiya Janata Party as votes were counted for the state’s 81 Assembly seats on Monday. Incumbent Chief Minister Raghubar Das, a five-time MLA from Jamshedpur-East, was trailing in his seat.
The Congress party held a protest against the amended Citizenship Act at Raj Ghat on Monday. Massive rallies were also held in Chennai and Bengaluru against the new legislation.
Here are the day’s top stories:
Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is like a god to persecuted communities that will benefit from the amended citizenship law, ANI reported on Monday. The BJP leader made the remarks on Sunday amid nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act that have claimed 24 lives so far.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Hemant Soren on Monday thanked the people of Jharkhand for giving the Opposition alliance in the state a clear mandate. He called the results a “milestone” in the history of Jharkhand. Soren is the alliance’s candidate for the chief minister’s post.
The members of a feminist group in Kolkata were attacked by men allegedly wielding sticks and shouting “Jai Shri Ram” on Sunday night for organising a mobile campaign against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens exercise. While one person was beaten, others received minor injuries. One woman also filed a molestation complaint against one of the attackers.
The Ministry of Finance has refused to share details of Swiss bank accounts of Indians, saying such disclosures are prohibited under “confidentiality provisions” of a tax treaty signed between the two countries. The ministry, in its response to a Right to Information query of a PTI journalist, also refused to disclose black money-related information received from other countries.
Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act continued on Monday, with thousands of people showing up at rallies in Bengaluru and Chennai.
The Calcutta High Court on Monday told the West Bengal government to suspend its media campaigns against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The court sought the Trinamool Congress government’s detailed reply to the petitioners’ claim that taxpayers’ money was used for the campaigns.
A local court on Monday refused to give bail to 15 people accused in connection with last Friday’s violence in Old Delhi’s Daryaganj area, Live Law reported. The accused were sent to judicial custody for two weeks, according to PTI.
The India Meteorological Department on Monday said “cold wave conditions” were likely to develop in several parts of North India, including Haryana, Punjab, and Delhi from Wednesday because of clear skies and low wind speed. Weather conditions ranging from “cold to severe cold day” were expected at a few places in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, and the national Capital till Wednesday. According to the Met department, isolated areas in Uttar Pradesh may witness cold day conditions till Tuesday.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said the country’s economy was facing a challenge and that decisions related to it would have to be taken swiftly. “I called senior officials at my home and told them there are cases of around Rs 89,000 crore,” he said at an event in the city of Nagpur in Maharashtra. “I will not tell you what to do, I will only tell you that the economy of the country is going through a challenging situation. There is a shortage of liquidity and decisions have to be taken quickly.”
A member of the banned Jamaat-i-Islami Jammu and Kashmir who had been detained under the Public Safety Act has died in a prison in Allahabad. Ghulam Mohammed Bhat, 65, was suffering from various ailments and died on Saturday evening, officials said. Bhat, a resident of Handwara in Kupwara district, had been detained under the Public Safety Act soon after the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special constitutional status on August 5. His detention at Allahabad’s Naini Central Jail was scheduled to end on January 9.
The number of debit cards in India witnessed a two-year low in October, with only 843 million of them in circulation as opposed to the 998 million in the same period last year. This is a 15% decline in two years in the total number of cards in circulation. Experts in the banking sector said that around 155 million such cards were eliminated during the Europay/MasterCard/Visa or EMV migration from cards with magnetic strips to chip-based ones.
Fourteen of the 17 people who were killed during clashes between police and anti-Citizenship Act protestors in parts of Uttar Pradesh since December 19 succumbed to “firearm injuries”, The Indian Express reported on Monday. This is in contradiction to the police claims of not firing even a single bullet at protestors. The police instead said that they suspected the involvement of outsiders in the demonstrations against amended citizenship law.
A study on attacks on journalists in India has recorded nearly 200 such “serious instances” and 40 killings since 2014. Of these 40 deaths, 21 were directly linked to their professional work, the study showed. Only three convictions have taken place in journalists’ murder cases since 2010, it said.
The Congress party will hold a protest against the amended Citizenship Act at Raj Ghat today at 3 pm. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urged students to join him to protest against “the hate and violence unleashed on India by Modi-Shah”. Meanwhile, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam will hold a rally against the legislation in Chennai.
Counting of votes for the 81 Assembly seats in Jharkhand began on Monday morning. The elections were held in five phases from November 30 to December 20. Most exit polls have predicted that the Congress-Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Rashtriya Janata Dal will win more seats than the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Sunday defended the Mangaluru Police for firing upon anti-Citizenship law protestors. Two people were killed in the police firing on December 19. “Police resorted to firing when mob tried to storm the police station and steal arms,” the chief minister told reporters at his Bengaluru residence.
Nine people were killed after a fire erupted in a cloth godown in North Delhi’s Kirari area in the early hours of Monday, the Delhi Fire Service told PTI. The 10 injured have been admitted to a hospital.