Delhi: BJP MP Parvesh Verma banned from campaigning for 24 hours for calling Kejriwal a ‘terrorist’

The Election Commission on Wednesday banned Bharatiya Janata Party MP Parvesh Verma from campaigning for 24 hours in the run up to the Delhi elections for calling Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal a “terrorist”. Campaigning will end on Thursday, and Delhi will vote two days later.

Former BJP MP Chinmayanand walks out of jail two days after getting bail in sexual harassment case

Former Bharatiya Janata Party MP Chinmayanand was released from Shahjahanpur prison in Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday, two days after the Allahabad High Court granted him bail in a case of alleged sexual harassment of a law student.

Ayodhya Ram temple trust’s office set up in Delhi’s Greater Kailash locality

The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday said the office of the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, which will oversee the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, will be set up at senior Supreme Court lawyer K Parasaran’s home in Delhi’s Greater Kailash locality, PTI reported. The 93-year-old lawyer had represented Hindu parties in the top court in the land dispute case.

Madhya Pradesh: Anti-CAA resolution approved by state Cabinet

The Madhya Pradesh Cabinet on Wednesday passed a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act and called for its abrogation. If the resolution is passed by the state Assembly as well, Madhya Pradesh will become the fifth state to do so after Kerala, Punjab, West Bengal, and Rajasthan.

Tamil Nadu: Actor Vijay questioned by Income Tax officials, say reports

Tamil actor Vijay was questioned by Income Tax officials in the state’s Cuddalore district on Wednesday in connection with alleged tax evasion by the AGS Cinemas company. The company had produced Vijay’s last film Bigil.

Uddhav Thackeray claim Citizenship Act is misunderstood, rules out Assembly resolution against law

Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday said the Citizenship Amendment Act had been misunderstood, and claimed there was no need to pass an Assembly resolution against it. Last month, the ruling party had said the law has several loopholes.

If Sunni Waqf Board accepts land for Ayodhya mosque, it will not be decision of all Muslims: AIMPLB

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Wednesday said the Sunni Waqf Board does not represent Muslims, hours after five acres of land were allotted to it in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya district to build a mosque as relief for the “unlawful destruction” of Babri Masjid in 1992.

J&K: Two Kashmiri politicians moved from detention at MLA hostel to house arrest

Two Kashmiri leaders were released from detention in Srinagar and put under house arrest on Wednesday, six months after they were detained following the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

Jammu and Kashmir: Two militants, one CRPF jawan killed in gunbattle near Srinagar

Two militants and a Central Reserve Police Force jawan were killed in a gunbattle in Shalteng in Parampora area near Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, police said. The CRPF jawan was identified as Rajeev Ranjan.

‘Vivad Se Vishwas’ Bill, meant to resolve tax disputes, introduced in Lok Sabha

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday introduced a bill that proposes to provide for resolution of disputed tax cases involving Rs 9.32 lakh crore. In her Budget speech on February 1, the finance minister had announced the “Vivad se Vishwas” scheme that aims to resolve 4,83,000 direct tax disputes that have been pending with various tribunals.

2012 Delhi gangrape: Convicts get one week from Delhi HC to exhaust all legal remedies

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday gave the four convicts in the 2012 gangrape-murder case one week’s time to resort to all legal remedies available to them, reported PTI. The court said proceedings for their execution will be initiated after seven days.

The court also dismissed the Centre’s plea challenging the trial court order staying the execution of the death-row convicts. It said that the death warrant against the convicts cannot be executed separately. Justice Suresh Kait clarified that all the convicts must be hanged together.

Coronavirus: ‘India should not suspend trade, we need understanding and support,’ says Chinese envoy

China is hopeful that India will not put trade restrictions and limit movement of people to the country in the wake of the novel coronavirus epidemic, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong told PTI in an interview. He said that China’s foreign ministry and local governments would ensure the safety of Indians and those working at Indian diplomatic missions in China.

‘Are we still a democracy?’ asks Priyanka Gandhi as J&K leaders remain in detention after 6 months

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday doubted if India is still a democracy as former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers continue to be under detention for six months. Wednesday marks the completion of six months since the government abrogated the region’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5. The erstwhile state was also bifurcated into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Delhi elections: Arvind Kejriwal invites Amit Shah for public debate

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday asked Union Home Minister Amit Shah to engage with him in a public debate on any matter, reported PTI. He said the voters of Delhi want to know why should they pick the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Assembly elections on February 8.

Kejriwal had on Tuesday dared the BJP to name a chief ministerial candidate by 1 pm on Wednesday and had said he was ready for a debate with that person.

Trust for Ram temple construction in Ayodhya will have one Dalit member, says Amit Shah

The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, which will oversee the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, will have one Dalit trustee, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced on Wednesday. “For such an unprecedented decision that strengthens social harmony, I thank PM Narendra Modi,” he said.

Shah added that the trust will have a total of 15 members. “The trust will be completely independent to take every decision relating to the temple and 67 acres of land will be transferred to the trust,” Shah tweeted. “I am confident that the wait for centuries of millions of people will soon end and they will be able to visit the birthplace of Lord Shri Ram in his magnificent temple.”

Complaint to EC says BJP’s campaign songs target minorities, promote hatred between communities

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s campaign songs for the Delhi Assembly elections are a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct and several other rules, a group of filmmakers, advocates and an author have told the Election Commission of India in a complaint filed on February 4. Delhi is set to vote on February 8, and the results will be out on February 11.

EC Ashok Lavasa’s family paid unaccounted cash to get house built, claims tax department: Report

The Income Tax Department has accused members of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa’s family of using unaccounted cash to get a house built in Gurugram and of having cash deposits worth nearly Rs 5 lakh in bank accounts after demonetisation, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday. This is the latest in a series of allegations made by the department against Lavasa’s family members in recent months.

Rajinikanth claims amended Citizenship Act won’t affect any Indian, NPR is essential

Actor and politician Rajinikanth on Wednesday claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act will not affect any citizen of the country and that preparing the National Population Register was essential. This is the first statement on the matter by the popular actor.

“If it [Citizenship Amendment Act] affects Muslims, then I will be the first person to stand up for them,” he told reporters, according to ANI. “NPR [National Population Register] is a necessity to find out about the outsiders.”

Budget Session: Narendra Modi announces setting up of Ram temple trust in Lok Sabha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the Centre has prepared a scheme for the development of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. “A trust has been formed, it is called ‘Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirath Kshetra’,” he told the Lok Sabha.

The prime minister praised the Ayodhya verdict passed by the Supreme Court on November 9, and said the people of India displayed “remarkable faith in democratic processes and procedures” after the judgement.

There is no ‘love jihad’ under current laws, Home Ministry tells Lok Sabha

The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that there was nothing called “love jihad” under current laws in the country. “Love jihad” is a term frequently used by Hindutva organisations to allege a conspiracy by Muslim men to marry women from other religions solely to convert them to Islam.

“The term ‘Love Jihad’ is not defined under the extant laws,” Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, G Kishan Reddy, said in response to a written question.

Industry must get rid of hesitation and pull Indian economy forward, says Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday urged the industry to overcome its hesitation and be the engine that pulls the Indian economy forward, Mint reported. She was speaking at a post-budget meeting organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries in New Delhi. The finance minister told members of the industry body that the “larger picture” was macro-economic stability.

Shaheen Bagh: AAP says Delhi Police is acting at the BJP’s behest after probe links shooter to party

The Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday questioned the Delhi Police’s investigation into the February 1 shooting in the city’s Shaheen Bagh locality after the Crime Branch claimed that the gunman, Kapil Gujjar, and his father were members of the party. Hundreds of women have been protesting at Shaheen Bagh since December 15, against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

“On whose instructions is the police issuing such statements?” asked the party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, according to a tweet by the party. The police had claimed they recovered the gunman’s photos with Singh and AAP leader Atishi from the shooter’s phone.

Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi’s son joins BJP

Senior Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi’s son Samir Dwivedi joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday, the Hindustan Times reported. Samir Dwivedi claimed that he was inspired by the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Samir Dwivedi joined the BJP in the presence of the party’s National General Secretary Arun Singh. “This is my first political party,” Dwivedi said. “Looking at the circumstances today, apolitical people should join politics, good and educated people should join politics.”

AMU proctor resigns, students say they will not relent till vice chancellor and other officials quit

The proctor of Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh stepped down on Tuesday, days after the institution’s Students Coordination Committee demanded the resignation of top university officials for failing to stop police violence on campus on December 15, The Indian Express reported. Professor Afifullah Khan, however, did not say why he had resigned.

Karnataka: Bidar Police intensify probe, question schoolchildren on anti-CAA play for fifth time

The Bidar Police in Karnataka on Tuesday questioned schoolchildren of Shaheen School for the fifth time, in a case related to an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act play the school had staged in January, The NewsMinute reported. The police had filed sedition cases against the head teacher of the school and the mother of one of the children last week, and arrested the two women.