Daily wrap: MHA warns of violence; Anniversary of anti-Sterlite stir observed
CBI says that its investigation clearly shows that the act of police firing against the protestors -- which resulted in 13 deaths -- was not pre-determined

Daily wrap: MHA warns of violence; Anniversary of anti-Sterlite stir observed

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MHA warns of violence on counting day, asks states UTs to stay alert

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked all states and Union Territories to stay alert against possible eruption of violence. The MHA caution comes in the midst of heavy police deployment across the country to ensure the smooth counting of votes and subsequent announcement of results for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The MHA has reportedly sent a note in this regard to all chief secretaries and directors general of police (DGPs) asking them to make security arrangements.

Also read: Counting of votes to start at 8 am, 42,000 cops deployed in TN

Adani Group to withdraw defamation cases against ‘The Wire’

In a surprise move, The Adani Group has decided to withdraw all defamation cases filed against The Wire, a news portal, and its editors, in an Ahmedabad, reports said. A report on Scroll.in said the cases were filed with regard to articles against Adani Group companies. Adani Power Maharashtra Ltd had filed two suits against the news portal, while group firm Adani Petronet Port Dahej Ltd had moved a defamation case against it.

Congress firm on VVPAT checks, says no logical grounds for rejection of demands

Slamming the Election Commission for rejecting the demands of the Opposition parties pertaining to the counting of VVPATs, the Congress on Wednesday (May 22) asserted that the VVPATs were not just for ‘ornamental and decorative purposes.’ Reacting to this, former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami said there had not been a single incident of VVPAT-EVM mismatch in the past and that the VVPAT was an ‘unnecessary device.’

Also read: VVPAT check likely to delay counting of votes, results

Drug case in Hyderabad brushed under the carpet to save Tollywood stars

It was the most high-profile drugs case, which had rocked Hyderabad as the names of several celebrities from Tollywood surfaced during the investigations. Leading film personalities one after the other appeared before the Prohibition and Excise department officials investigating the case. Shocking details of the use of drugs by some people in film industry, Information Technology sector and even students of some corporate schools were emerging. The year was 2017. Two years later everything about the case has been forgotten with authorities giving it a quiet burial to protect the Tollywood personalities and other influential people involved.

Karnataka Congress may not recover quickly if old wounds don’t heal

The death of the Congress in Karnataka will be certain if the party does not try to pacify the anger of senior leaders, stop internal rifts, halt opportunistic leaders joining other parties, and attempt to regain support from its party cadres at the ground level. After the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, and subsequent state elections by 2017, the Congress was in power in only four states — Karnataka, Punjab, Mizoram and Meghalaya. Karnataka remained important for the Congress as the state sent the highest number of MPs (nine) and was the only southern state in its hold. Now it holds power Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and Puducherry.

Yogi cabinet to see rejig after poll results; some ministers may face axe

A major cabinet rejig is on the cards in Uttar Pradesh. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath chaired a review meeting to assess the performance of ministers, on Tuesday. All non-performing ministers are likely to face the axe. Performing ministers will be rewarded with better portfolios. The rejig assumes significance in the wake of a probable NDA win and the exit poll results predicting the same. UP sends the maximum number MPs, 80 to be precise. Also, the state has given the maximum number of Prime Ministers to the country.

Opposition in Bihar refuses to buy ‘NDA sweep’ predictions

Victory and loss are part of any electoral system. But the kind of suspense and tension that prevails this time, was perhaps never witnessed in the past. Earlier, both sides would reach the counting centres, hoping for the best, but this time, even before the actual counting of votes could begin, the exit polls itself – which predicted an absolute majority for the NDA – seems to have dampened the spirits of many. So much so that opposition leaders in states such as Bihar, have alleged EVM tampering and issued threats of bloodshed if it is proved.

Budgam chopper incident: IAF may press charges against officer

The Indian Air Force may press charges against those who found guilty of lapses that led to the downing of the Mi-17 helicopter on February 27 by friendly fire which killed seven people. The IAF inquiry into the accidental shoot down of its own chopper will be over in 20 days. The summary of evidence will be presented and the officers will be charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder as specified by military law under the Air Force Act 1950.

Is there a method to Chandrababu Naidu madness?

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu appears to be a man in a hurry.  He has been shuttling between Amaravati, Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow and Bengaluru at a breathless pace in the last few days, networking with the opposition leaders for building a non-BJP coalition to stake claim to form the next government at the Centre. Even the most optimistic among the opposition leaders are surprised over the aggressive moves by the Telugu Desam Party supremo, particularly in the backdrop of a clutch of exit polls predicting the return of the NDA government with a bang.

Unable to digest “defeat of dynasty,” opposition wants to discredit democracy: Naqvi

Attacking the Congress and other opposition parties for raising concerns about EVMs, senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Wednesday said they want to “discredit” democracy as they are unable to digest “defeat of the dynasty”. The Minority Affairs Minister said the “glamour of victory and grace in defeat” should be two sides of the same coin for those who believe in democracy. The way the Congress and its allies are putting on a “horror show over their defeat”, makes it clear that these political parties want to make the country’s democratic and constitutional system a “means of convenience”, Naqvi told reporters.

Court reserves order on plea against Rahul for ‘khoon ki dalali’ jibe at Modi

A Delhi court on Wednesday (May 22) reserved for June 7 its order on a complaint seeking lodging of an FIR against Rahul Gandhi for his alleged ‘Khoon ki Dalali’ remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

CJI sexual harassment case: Ex-SC judge Madan Lokur finds ‘bias’ in panel probe

The complainant woman in the CJI sexual harassment case has not been treated fairly, former Supreme Court judge Madan B Lokur has said. Writing in the Indian Express, he said ‘there was institutional bias’ in the way the SC dealt with its former employee. The internal inquiry committee should have given the complainant a copy of its findings so that ‘she gets answers to the questions that she and others have raised.’

First anniversary of anti-Sterlite protests observed in Tuticorin

The first anniversary of the police firing during the anti-Sterlite protests, which left 13 people dead last year, was observed here on Wednesday ( May 22) with scores of locals turning up to remember the victims. Security was beefed up in the district though there were no reports of any untoward incidents so far. The victims were remembered by their near and dear ones and others who lit up candles before their portraits at events held in different parts of the district.

Two terrorists killed in encounter in J&K

Two terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in the wee hours of Wednesday (May 22) in Gopalpora area of Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, ANI reported. The police is yet to ascertain the identity of the terrorists. Sources, however, said the terrorists belonged to the Hijb-ul-Mujahideen.

ISRO places surveillance satellite RISAT-2B in orbit

In a pre-dawn launch on Wednesday (May 22), Indian space agency ISRO scripted history by successfully launching earth observation satellite RISAT-2B that would enhance the country’s surveillance capabilities among others. As the 25-hour countdown which began Tuesday concluded, the agency’s trusted workhorse, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C46) blasted off at 5.30 am from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on its 48th mission, carrying the 615 kg satellite.

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