Delhi elections: BJP’s debacle is a failure of Amit Shah, not PM Modi, says Shiv Sena

The Shiv Sena said on Wednesday that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s defeat in the Delhi Assembly elections was the failure of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, not Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana, the party said that it was not surprised by the Aam Aadmi Party’s victory.

Delhi: Five of a family, including three children, found dead in Bhajanpura locality

Five members of a family were found dead in their home in northeast Delhi’s Bhajanpura locality, Hindustan Times reported, citing police officials on Wednesday. Police said the family may have died six days ago, but the cause of death is still unknown.

Shaheen Bagh: Chandrashekhar Azad files plea in SC, alleges alternative routes intentionally blocked

Bhim Army Chief Chandrashekhar Azad on Wednesday filed an intervention petition in the Supreme Court in a case for clearing the anti-Citizenship Act protestors from Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh locality, Bar and Bench reported. The Supreme Court had on Monday noted that the protest in the neighbourhood has been underway for a long time, and questioned how the demonstrators could a block a public road for the entire period.

Assam education minister says government-run madrassas, Sanskrit ashrams to be converted to schools

Assam Education Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday said the state will introduce a law to convert all government-run madrassas and ashrams where Sanskrit language is taught, into high schools and higher secondary schools, India Today reported.

Second group of foreign envoys visits Kashmir, interacts with local media and business leaders

A second group of foreign envoys visited Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, since the region’s special constitutional status was revoked in August. Kashmiri media outlets talked to the group about the problems they were facing because of internet restrictions.

Union Cabinet approves Rs 2,500 crore fund infusion in three state-run general insurance companies

Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said that the government has decided to recapitalise three public sector general insurance companies by infusing Rs 2,500 crore because of their critical financial condition, PTI reported. At a press conference, the minister said the insurance firms are National Insurance Company, Oriental Insurance Company and United General Insurance Company.

CAA: ‘Deoband produces many terrorists like Hafiz Saeed’, claims Union minister Giriraj Singh

Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Giriraj Singh on Tuesday described Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband in Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh as the “gangotri of terrorism”, and blamed the region for nurturing terrorists, IANS reported on Wednesday.

2012 Delhi gangrape: Court adjourns hearing on pleas for fresh death warrants till tomorrow

A court in Delhi on Wednesday adjourned the proceedings on the pleas seeking new death warrants against the four convicts in the 2012 gangrape and murder case. The woman’s parents and the state government had filed a petition on Tuesday for a new date of execution for the four convicts.

Mumbai: Uber reinstates driver who took poet to police for talking about CAA protests

Ride-hailing company Uber has reinstated a driver in Mumbai who was suspended last week for reporting a passenger to the police after hearing him talk about anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests during a journey.

Cooking gas price hiked across metros from today

The price of cooking gas , or non-subsidised liquefied petroleum gas, was hiked by at least Rs 144.5 per cylinder on Wednesday because of an increase in benchmark global rates of the fuel. This is the steepest increase in rates since January 2014, when prices had gone up by Rs 220 per cylinder. However, the government decided to almost double the subsidy it provides on the fuel to keep the outgo per cylinder almost unchanged.

Citizenship Act: Puducherry becomes first Union Territory to pass resolution against the law

The Puducherry Legislative Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act, and urged the Centre to withdraw the legislation that has triggered nationwide protests since the middle of December. The Congress is in power in Puducherry.

Coronavirus: Andhra farmer fears he contracted infection, dies by suicide

A 50-year-old man in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district allegedly committed suicide on Tuesday over fears that he had contracted the novel coronavirus infection. He was a farmer from Seshamnaidu Kandriga in Thottambedu block and was allegedly disturbed after reading reports about the disease.

Congress’ Delhi unit head PC Chacko quits, says party’s decline began under Sheila Dikshit

All India Congress Committee Delhi head PC Chacko has resigned from his post on Wednesday. His resignation came a day after the party’s Delhi unit President Subhash Chopra resigned from his position after the Congress could not secure a single seat in the Assembly elections results of which were declared on Tuesday.

Bihar: CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar’s convoy once again attacked in Gaya district

Communist Party of India leader Kanhaiya Kumar’s convoy was attacked in Bihar’s Gaya district on Tuesday, PTI reported. Kumar has been on a statewide tour protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the National Register of Citizens and the National Population Register. The Joint Forum Against NPR-NRC-CAA, which has organised the “Jan Gan Man Yatra”, claimed this was the seventh such attack on Kumar’s convoy in the last two weeks. At least two had been reported widely in the media. The yatra will conclude at Gandhi Maidan in Patna on February 29.

India among 120 countries that CIA spied on for decades using Swiss encryption firm: Report

American and German intelligence agencies secretly bought a Swiss company that sold encryption devices to governments across the world, and added weaknesses in these devices to eavesdrop on other countries for decades, a report by The Washington Post and German broadcaster ZDF has revealed.

Congress leader asks Chidambaram if party has outsourced task of defeating BJP to others

Delhi Mahila Congress chief and party spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee on Wednesday hit out at party veteran P Chidambaram for celebrating the defeat of Bharatiya Janata Party in the Delhi Assembly elections. Mukherjee said the Congress should be concerned about its own drubbing in Delhi.

Arvind Kejriwal to take oath as Delhi CM on Sunday at Ramlila Maidan

Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal will take oath as the chief minister of Delhi for third time on February 16 at Ramlila Maidan in the national Capital, Hindustan Times reported on Wednesday. This came a day after the Aam Aadmi Party trounced the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Assembly elections in the city, winning 62 of 70 seats.

“I love you,” Kejriwal said in a brief address to joyous supporters and party workers on Tuesday evening. “It is a victory of the people of Delhi who considered me their son...Lord Hanuman has blessed us. May God give us more strength to serve people of Delhi.” Kejriwal gave a big “I love you” shout-out to the city, and ended his speech with “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Inquilab Zindabad” slogans.

CBI row: Delhi court pulls up agency after Rakesh Asthana cleared in bribery case

A Delhi court on Wednesday expressed its displeasure with the inquiry conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation into allegations of bribery against its own officials, reported PTI. This came a day after the CBI cleared its former special director Rakesh Asthana and Deputy Superintendent of Police Devender Kumar in the case. The CBI filed a chargesheet in the case on Tuesday, in which it dropped Asthana and Kumar’s names. The chargesheet was filed before Special CBI Judge Sanjeev Kumar.

‘AAP proves it’s bullet-proof’: What newspapers said about Kejriwal’s massive win in Delhi elections

The political drama in Delhi was the focus of all newspapers on Wednesday morning, a day after the Aam Aadmi Party beat the Bharatiya Janata Party to easily gain a third term in the national Capital. Newspapers in several languages came up with clever puns on the name Kejriwal, the party AAP as well as its election symbol of a broomstick to use as headlines and other elements on their front pages. They also made references to the campaign slogans by the BJP, which were often described as hate speech.

SC to hear plea of Omar Abdullah’s sister tomorrow as judge recuses himself

Supreme Court Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar on Wednesday recused himself from hearing a plea filed by former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s sister Sara challenging his detention under the Public Safety Act. No reasons were cited for his recusal. Justices NV Ramana, Shantanagoudar and Sanjiv Khanna were supposed to hear the plea on Wednesday. A different bench of the Supreme Court will now take up the matter on Thursday.

Assam NRC data disappears from official website, cloud service not renewed, say authorities

All the data related to Assam’s National Register of Citizens has disappeared from the official website, PTI reported on Tuesday. The final NRC list – an exercise to update the citizens’ database – for Assam was published on August 31, 2019. It excluded over 19 lakh people or around 6% of the population. An unidentified official at the NRC office said the data were stored in cloud storage. “But, the service period of the cloud storage provided by Wipro expired and the subscription renewal was not done as there was no coordinator after the transfer of the former coordinator Prateek Hajela,” the official told The Times of India.

India will give Donald Trump a memorable welcome, says PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said he was “extremely delighted” that United States President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump would visit India later this month. This came after the president said he was looking forward to the visit. The Trumps will travel to New Delhi and Ahmedabad on February 24 and February 25.

“India will accord a memorable welcome to our esteemed guests,” Modi tweeted.

Rakesh Asthana bribery case: CBI clears former special director of all charges

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday announced that it had cleared former special director Rakesh Asthana and deputy superintendent of police Devender Kumar of bribery charges, The Hindu reported.

Asthana and Devendra Kumar, along with middleman Manoj Prasad, were under the CBI lens for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 2 crore in exchange for a clean chit to Hyderabad-based businessman Sathish Babu Sana, who was being investigated in the Moin Qureshi corruption case. Qureshi is accused in multiple graft cases.

AAP MLA Naresh Yadav shot at, one volunteer dead

Shots were fired at MLA-elect Naresh Yadav’s convoy in Kishangarh area late on Tuesday, in which one party volunteer was killed. This came hours after the party swept the Delhi elections, winning 62 of the Capital’s 70 seats. Yadav was elected from Mehrauli.

The Mehrauli legislator was on his way home after visiting a temple when the shots were fired at his car by an unidentified person. One volunteer, Ashok Mann, died, while another volunteer, Harinder was injured, according to The Print. An unidentified police official told The Print that the motive for the shooting appeared to be personal enmity. The police have filed an FIR.

Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra resigns after election wipeout

Delhi Congress President Subhash Chopra resigned from his post on Tuesday after his party’s crushing defeat in the Delhi Assembly elections, ANI reported. The party drew a blank, and secured less than 5% of the votes polled. Sixty-three of its 66 candidates lost their deposits. The party had left the other four seats for ally Rashtriya Janata Dal.

Delhi: AAP storms back to power for third straight term, Kejriwal calls it a victory for development

The Aam Aadmi Party won a resounding victory in the Delhi Assembly elections on Tuesday to get a third straight term. The party won 62 seats, just five fewer than in 2015, and saw a marginal decrease in its vote share to 53.57%. The Bharatiya Janata Party, the main challenger, won just eight seats, five better than its performance in 2015. However, the party’s vote share grew from 32% to 38.51%.

The Congress repeated its dismal performance from the 2015 elections, winning no seats at all. Its vote share fell further, sinking below 5%. As many as 63 Congress candidates lost their deposits, PTI reported.

Mumbai: TISS student accused of sedition for pro-Sharjeel Imam slogans granted anticipatory bail

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to Tata Institute of Social Sciences student Kris Chudawala, who has been charged with sedition by Mumbai Police for allegedly chanting slogans in support of Jawaharlal Nehru University PhD student Sharjeel Imam at a queer pride parade in the city.

Parliament: Nirmala Sitharaman claims economy is not in trouble, says ‘green shoots’ are visible

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said green shoots were visible in the Indian economy, and dismissed the Opposition’s concerns about Gross Domestic Product growth slowing down, PTI reported. She made the remarks in the Lok Sabha during a debate on the Union Budget.

Sitharaman spoke about the steps taken by the Narendra Modi government to promote foreign direct investment, consumption, exports, and job creation. “There are seven important indicators which show that there are green shoots in the economy...economy is not in trouble,” the finance minister claimed.