Daily Bulletin: Priyanka, Rahul to visit Uttar Pradesh, CAG report on Rafale to be tabled in Parliament; day's top stories

FP Staff
Daily bulletin: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will visit Uttar Pradesh as Congress general secretary for the first time, CAG report on Rafale to be tabled in Parliament today; day's top stories

Priyanka, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Rahul Gandhi to visit Uttar Pradesh today

Newly appointed Congress general secretary of Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will begin a four-day visit to the state on Monday for the first time after taking charge. After a roadshow from Lucknow airport to the party office, she is likely to offer tributes to key icons by garlanding the statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Bhimrao Ambedkar. She is scheduled to address party workers and also hold election strategy meetings with senior office bearers.

Priyanka will be accompanied by Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was appointed as the party's in-charge of western Uttar Pradesh while Priyanka will manage the eastern region. Congress president Rahul Gandhi is also expected to join them.

A day before her maiden visit, Priyanka said that together with the people of the state she hopes to start a "new kind of politics" in which everyone will be a stakeholder. "I am coming tomorrow to Lucknow to meet all of you. I have hope in my heart that together we will start a new kind of politics, a politics in which all of you will be stakeholders €" my young friends, my sisters and even the weakest person, all their voices will be heard," said Priyanka through Congress' Shakti App.

CAG report on Rafale to be tabled in Parliament today

The CAG report on the controversial Rafale deal is likely to be tabled in Parliament on Monday. Alleging conflict of interest, the Congress on Sunday requested Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Rajiv Mehrishi to recuse himself from auditing the deal to purchase 36 Rafale fighter aircraft as he, as the then-finance secretary, was part of the negotiations.

The Opposition party also said that it would be improper on the part of Mehrishi to present the report in Parliament and said that it had written to him to recuse himself. In a communique to the former bureaucrat, the Congress has alleged that the government compromised "national interest" and "national security" in the purchase of the 36 aircraft and said the CAG has a constitutional and statutory duty to undertake a forensic audit of all defence contracts including the Rafale deal.

"It is an act of gross impropriety for you to deal with the audit of the 36 Rafale aircraft deal on account of patent conflict of interest. You are constitutionally, legally and morally disentitled to either conduct an audit or to present a report before Parliament. We urge upon you to recuse yourself and publicly accept the gross impropriety committed by you in initiating the audit...," it said.

Chandrababu Naidu to sit on hunger strike in Delhi demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh

TDP president and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will sit on a day-long hunger strike in the national capital on Monday demanding special status for his state and fulfilment of commitments made by the Centre under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. The Telugu Desam Party had walked out the BJP-led NDA last year protesting the "injustice" done to Andhra Pradesh after its bifurcation.

Naidu will stage the 'Dharma Porata Deeksha' (a day-long protest for justice) at the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan in the national capital from 8 am to 8 pm on Monday. He will also submit a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind on 12 February, an official statement said.

The chief minister will sit on a hunger strike along with his ministers, party MLAs, MLCs and MPs. Members of state employee associations, social organisations and student organisations will also join the fast, it said.

Narendra Modi to visit Vrindavan today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will serve food to schoolchildren from the underprivileged background in Vrindavan on Monday, marking the "three billionth meal" offered by an NGO that works with the government on mid-day meal schemes, PTI reported.

Akshaya Patra, which is a Bengaluru-based not-for-profit organisation, said that Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar are also likely to join the prime minister at the event to be held at its Vrindavan campus.

"Prime Minister Modi will serve food to a few school children from the underprivileged background in the facility at Vrindavan where Akshaya Patra's kitchen is located. A couple of children, who have been beneficiaries of the programme, will also share their experiences," a spokesperson of the foundation told PTI.

IMF warns governments of global economic 'storm'

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Sunday warned governments to gear up for a possible economic storm as growth undershoots expectations. "The bottom-line is €" we see an economy that is growing more slowly than we had anticipated," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told the World Government Summit in Dubai.

Last month, the IMF lowered its global economic growth forecast for this year from 3.7 percent to 3.5 percent. Lagarde cited what she called "four clouds" as the main factors undermining the global economy and warned that a "storm" might strike. The risks include "trade tensions and tariff escalations, financial tightening, uncertainty related to (the) Brexit outcome and spillover impact and an accelerated slowdown of the Chinese economy", she said.

Lagarde said trade tensions €" mainly in the shape of a tariff spat between the United States and China, the world's two biggest economies €" are already having a global impact. "We have no idea how it is going to pan out and what we know is that it is already beginning to have an effect on trade, on confidence and on markets," she said, warning governments to avoid protectionism.

Cold Pursuit director supports Liam Neeson over racism row

Cold Pursuit director Hans Petter Moland came out in support of actor Liam Neeson, who was slammed by people for passing racist comments. During a press conference for his new drama Out Stealing Horses, Moland defended Neeson saying he is not racist, reports Variety.

He said: "He is a very honest, he is a very decent, grounded man...people commenting on the movie in derogatory ways€¦lumping it together with something that has nothing to do with it. It's taking my voice away."

Roma, The Favourite win big at BAFTA

Tragicomic royal drama The Favourite and Mexican family memoir Roma split the honors with multiple wins each at 10 February's British Academy Film Awards -- victories that suggest a wind of change may be blowing through the movie industry.

The Favourite won seven trophies including best British film and best actress for OIivia Colman, who plays Britain's 18th century Queen Anne in the female-centric drama. Alfonso Cuaron's Roma, which centres on the nanny to a middle-class Mexico City family, took prizes for best picture, director, cinematography and foreign-language film.

NASA to recover satellites that went silent

NASA says that it will retrieve its satellites, which disappeared into deep space after a Mars mission. Eve and Wall-E have not been heard from for more than a month. However, NASA says that the two will start moving toward the Sun this summer, and that's when it will rescue them.

With inputs from agencies

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