QBullet: BJP Set to Sweep Assembly Polls; 2017 NCRB Data Released

1. Exit Polls Point to BJP’s Return in Maharashtra, Haryana with ‘Bigger Mandate’

With voting for the single-phase assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra ending on Monday, a series of exit polls have predicted a sweeping majority for the ruling BJP in both the states.

Four separate exit polls estimated that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance would return to power in the 288-member Maharashtra assembly, with two of them giving more than 200 seats to the ruling combine. On the other hand, pollsters have predicted an emphatic victory for the incumbent BJP government in Haryana, with three exit polls predicting that the saffron party will win over 70 seats.

The run-up to the vote witnessed a campaign which was dominated by the BJP’s aggressive narrative on the nullification of Article 370 and marked by the Opposition’s lacklustre canvassing. The results for Maharashtra’s 288 seats and Haryana’s 90 seats will be announced on October 24.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: If Exit Polls Hold True, BJP’s Maha, Haryana Wins Will be Historic

2. NCRB Leaves out Data on Lynchings, Khap and Religious Killings

Image used for representational purposes. 

The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released its latest data on crime incidents across the country on Monday, more than a year behind schedule. Officials said data collected under the new sub-heads of death due to mob lynching, murder by influential people, killing ordered by khap panchayat and murder committed for religious reason have not been published, resulting in partial delay of the agency’s report for 2017.

The new report has largely followed the pattern of the 2016 edition, barring additions in the category of cyber crimes and offences against the state.

Sources said the agency had begun a massive data revamp exercise under former NCRB Director Ish Kumar. It was under him that the bureau revised the proforma under the category of murder and added new sub-heads of mob lynching and murder for religious reasons among others.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: NCRB Data for 2017 Finally Out, But No Mention of Lynchings

3. CBI, ED Action May Now Follow I-T Default Probes

Trouble will now descend in threes for income tax defaulters with tax investigations coinciding or being followed by probes by the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation, with the three agencies coordinating among themselves as well as using the power of higher-order data analytics, two government officials said on condition of anonymity.

The idea is to identify major crimes behind tax cases, they added.

This doesn’t currently happen, one of the officials explained, which means that sometimes people get away lightly.

“Most of the violations under the income-tax law are compoundable and people used to get away easily by paying a penalty of 20% or so... serious crimes hidden behind tax violations can no longer remain hidden,” one of the officials cited above said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: NSE Co-Location Scam: HC Issues Notices to SEBI, CBI & 4 Others

4. Bring $500 Million FDI, Get Relationship Manager: Govt

Soon, those looking to invest $500 million or more in the country will have a designated person who will facilitate all clearances — from the Centre to local bodies — with officials from state government and central ministries too converging on one place to address investor queries and enhance flows.

Drawing from the experience in Gujarat, the department for promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) and Invest India have joined hands to put in place a new mechanism aimed at attracting investors, many of whom have in the past complained of a plethora of clearances holding up their plans, officials told TOI.

“Very soon, we will be announcing it. Within Invest India, another format in which we actually do handholding from investment query that anybody makes to operationalising it in the field,” DPIIT secretary Guruprasad Mohapatra said at an event on Monday.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: What Will 26 % FDI in Digital Media Mean, Ask Industry Veterans 

5. Supreme Court Accepts Govt’s Plan to Rebuild Ravidas Temple

The Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for the reconstruction of the temple of Guru Ravidas , revered by Dalits, in south Delhi, on a 400 square metre plot of land — at the same site where a Ravidas temple was demolished in August because it was located in a protected forest.

That demolition itself happened on the order of the apex court and attracted the ire of Dalit groups, supported by parties across the political spectrum. Analysts said the issue could become a significant one in the Delhi assembly elections that could happen early next year.

A bench of justices Arun Mishra and Ravindra Bhatt also ordered the release of people arrested for protesting the demolition and quashed all cases that were registered against the devotees. The bench said all arrested will have to give an undertaking to be “good citizens”.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

6. Siachen Area in Ladakh Now Open for Tourists: Rajnath Singh

Indian Army soldiers take part in pre-induction training at Siachen Glacier. Image used for representational purposes only.

The government Monday announced its decision to open the Siachen area, the world’s highest battlefield, for tourists. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the government has decided to open the entire area from Siachen base camp to Kumar Post for tourism purposes.

“Ladakh has tremendous potential in Tourism. Better connectivity in Ladakh would certainly bring tourists in large numbers. The Siachen area is now open for tourists and Tourism. From Siachen Base Camp to Kumar Post, the entire area has been opened for Tourism purposes,” said Singh, who was in eastern Ladakh to inaugurate Col Chewang Rinchin Bridge on Shyok River, located about 45 km from the county’s border with China.

“The step has been taken to give people a window to appreciate the tough work done by Army jawans and engineers in extreme weather and inhospitable terrains,” Singh said.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Siachen Area, World’s Highest Battlefield, Now Open for Tourism

7. ‘P Chidambaram, Karti Met Mukerjeas, Officials Buried Violations’: CBI in INX Charge Sheet

File image of former finance minister P Chidambaram.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in its charge sheet in the INX Media case filed on Friday, has said two meetings of Indrani Mukerjea and Pratim (Peter) Mukerjea -- the first with former finance minister P Chidambaram in his office at North Block sometime in April/May 2007, and the second with the minister’s son Karti Chidambaram at Hyatt hotel in June 2008 -- are at the centre of bribery allegations against the father and son.

Around the time, the Mukerjeas were looking for foreign investment for their media company in 2007; they, along with senior journalist Vir Sanghvi (the editor of their venture) met P Chidambaram at his office in North Block seeking FIPB approval.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: INX Media Case: SC to Decide on Chidambaram’s Bail Plea on Tuesday

8. Internet Disrupting Democratic Polity, New Rules in 3 Months: Govt

Underlining that the “Internet has emerged as a potent tool to cause unimaginable disruption to the democratic polity”, the Centre Monday informed the Supreme Court it will take another three more months to revise and notify “extant rules” for “effective regulation of intermediaries” such as social media platforms “keeping in view the ever growing threats to individual rights and nation’s integrity, sovereignty, and security”.

Also Monday, the Delhi High Court was told by Internet service provider World Phone Internet Services Pvt Ltd that “unregulated functioning of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp is a threat to the national security”.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Internet Activism: Stop Telling People To ‘Go Out & Do Something’

9. HC Keeps Eye on Honeytrap Probe

MP Honey Trap Case: With the names of some IAS and IPS officers having surfaced, efforts are now being made to protect some of them. 

After the noise and excitement it generated, the probe into the ‘honeytrap’ scandal seems to have gone cold, the prime reason apparently being that there is no complainant other than Indore civic engineer Harbhajan Singh.

The Indore bench of the MP high court on Monday said it was keeping an eye on the honeytrap scandal probe and ordered the government not to change the SIT team or transfer the officer-in-charge of the probe, SP Awadhesh Goswami, without its permission.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: Sex, Scandal, Politicians, Actors – MP Honey Trap Case Has It All

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