QBullet: New Rafale Row Rocks Parl; Hooch Kills 39 in UP, U’khand

1. Row on Parallel Rafale Talks Rocks Parliament

A Rafale fighter jet. Image used for representation.

A fresh political firestorm broke out on Friday, 8 February, over a report that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had conducted parallel talks with the French government over the Rs 59,000-crore Rafale jet fighter deal and had prompted the Union Ministry of Defence (MOD) to protest that the PMO was undermining India’s negotiating position.

Both houses of Parliament were rocked by Opposition protests over the newspaper report, which Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman dismissed as “flogging a dead horse,” saying periodic inquiries by the PMO “cannot be construed as interference”. In a statement in the Lok Sabha, she said the opposition parties were playing into the hands of multinational companies and vested interests.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Should PM Modi be Worried About The Hindu’s New Rafale Expose?

2. Delhi Govt Says Kejriwal Car Attacked by BJP Workers

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. 

On his way to inaugurate development work in 25 unauthorised colonies in Narela, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s car was “attacked by BJP workers” on Friday, 8 February, morning, the Delhi government alleged in an official statement.

The government claimed “police allowed BJP workers to surround the CM’s vehicle, block it and bang the window panes of the vehicle in full public view with sticks”.

“We didn’t have any inputs on the presence of BJP workers. It was a surprise visit. The ACP piloted the car to the place of the event. There is not a single scratch on the CM’s car. The protesters, 20 in number, only raised slogans,” said Gaurav Sharma, DCP (outer North).

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Kejriwal’s Car Attacked in Narela by Around 100 Men, Nobody Hurt 

3. Audio Tapes, Bribery Charges Spice up K’tka Politics

BS Yeddyurappa and HD Kumaraswamy. 

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of trying to destabilise the state government by bribing lawmakers of his Janata Dal (Secular), triggering a sharp rebuttal from the opposition party that called the allegations “fake and concocted”.

Hours before presenting the state budget, Kumaraswamy released an audio tape that, he said, contained a purported conversation between state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa and a Janata Dal (Secular) leader’s son who was allegedly offered money and other benefits to influence his father.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Beaten by Cong’s Trojan Horse, Yeddyurappa Challenged Within BJP  

4. ‘Maya Should Deposit Money Used for Erecting Her Statues’

BSP chief Mayawati. 

In a strong oral observation, the Supreme Court on Friday said BSP chief Mayawati should deposit public money used for erecting statues of herself and elephants, the party's symbol, at public places in Uttar Pradesh to the state exchequer.

The remarks were made by the apex court which was hearing a petition filed in 2009 by an advocate who had alleged that about Rs 2,000 crore was used from the state budget for 2008-09 and 2009-10, when Mayawati was the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, for stalling her statues and BSP's symbol at different places.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: Mayawati May Have to Deposit Money Used for Erecting Statues: SC

5. Muzaffarnagar Riots: All 7 Convicts Handed Life Imprisonment

The charred walls of one of the two mosques which were attacked during the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.

A local court on Friday, 8 February, awarded life imprisonment to all seven men convicted of killing two cousins in Kawal village in one of the series of incidents related to the 2014 riots in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district.

The seven, identified as Muzammil, Mujassim, Furkan, Nadeem, Jahangir, Afzal and Iqbal, had been convicted on Wednesday of killing cousins Gaurav and Sachin on 27 August 2013.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: All Seven Accused in 2013 Muzaffarnagar Riots Given Life Sentence

6. PM Modi Greeted with Black Flags in Assam

PM Narendra Modi waves back at protesters with black flags in Assam.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Guwahati on Friday, 8 February, on a two-day visit to the Northeast amid protests against the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB).

Student’s bodies had declared that they will protest against the proposed amendment during PM’s visit. The All Assam Students Union (AASU), which is leading the protests against CAB, staged a protest with black flags at its office in Guwahati as Prime Minister’s cavalcade made its way to Raj Bhawan. The state administration has made heavy security arrangements for Modi’s visit.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Assam Protesters Show Black Flags to PM Modi, He ‘Waves’ at Them

7. SC Declines to Stay 10% EWS Quota, Issues Notice to Centre on Fresh Plea

The Supreme Court on Friday, 8 February, declined to stay the implementation of ten per cent reservation to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) of the unreserved categories. The court has issued a notice to the Centre on the fresh plea challenging the constitutional amendment.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi tagged the plea filed by political activist Tehseen Poonawala along with similar pending petitions. Backwardness for the purpose of reservation cannot be defined by “economic status alone”, contended the plea by Poonawalla challenging the Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: SC Refuses to Stay Implementation of 10% Quota for Gen Category

8. Pak to Submit Evidence Against Kulbhushan Jadhav in ICJ

Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav has been accused of espionage by Pakistan and was sentenced to death on 10 April 2017.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Friday, 8 February, that Islamabad would present evidence in the case of detained Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on 19 February.

Speaking at a reception in Manchester, UK, Qureshi said his country’s legal team would present its stance in the case. The FM added that Jadav had already confessed that he was involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan.

Last year, the ICJ had decided to hold public hearings in the Jadhav case from February 2019. The hearings are to take place from 18 February to 21 February at the Peace Palace in The Hague, the ICJ had announced.

(Source: The Times of India)

Also Read: ICJ to Hold Public Hearing on Kulbhushan Jadhav in February

9. Hooch Kills at Least 39 in UP, Uttarakhand

At least 39 people died and several more were in a critical condition in several villages of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand after consuming hooch. 

At least 39 people died and several more were in a critical condition in several villages of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand after they consumed country liquor between Wednesday, 6 February and Thursday, 7 February, officials in both states said on Friday, 8 February.

The deaths were reported between Thursday and Friday from villages in Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, and Saharanpur and Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Spurious liquor toll 23 at Uttarakhand-UP border

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