Pushkar Singh Dhami to be sworn in as CM of Uttarakhand on Sunday
Daily NEWS Summary | 03-07-2021; Two-time MP Pushkar Singh Dhami was elected by the BJP legislative party and will be sworn in as Chief Minister of Uttarakhand on Sunday. Dhami’s selection follows the resignation of his predecessor Tirath Singh Rawat yesterday.
- Rawat had tendered his resignation to Governor Baby Rani Maurya because he was caught in a legal deadlock over his retention as chief minister, a post which required him to be elected to the Uttarakhand Assembly within six months of his swearing in.
- This, in turn, has been made impossible by a clause in the People’s Representation Act that prohibits by-elections for vacant seats if the mandate of the state assembly expires within one year.
- Uttarakhand will go to the polls in March 2022. Without an option, Rawat tendered his resignation, paving the way for a new man to be chosen by the party to lead the state.
- Dhami, 45, will be the 10th chief minister of state and considers himself close to Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.
- He will be the third chief minister in four months to lead the state, plagued by serious internal feuds within the ruling party.
- Dhami was the special services officer of the second chief minister of the state, Bhagat Singh Koshiari, a year after the formation of the new state.
- Uttarakhand will go to the polls in March 2022 and as of this writing it is known to be unlikely to be the face of the state where the majority of MPs have decided to fight the elections under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Punjab’s energy crisis
Daily NEWS Summary | 03-07-2021; Power and the availability of power can decide who comes to power in the Punjab, which is the domain of an unprecedented power crisis amid a painful mercury. The state has witnessed some protests from farmers and ordinary citizens against energy shortages.
- People are complaining that power outages in the state last for hours. Energy demand is close to 14,225 MW while supply is 12,800 MW, a gap that the state government cannot fill.
- As rice planting is in full swing, farmers are unhappy that they are not getting their eight hour power supply. Consumers took to the streets sweating in the summer heat.
- Since the state government has to take strict measures such as stepped power supply to divert energy from agricultural crops, air conditioners are also prohibited in government offices.
- With the state due to go to the polls next year, the opposition AAP party of 16 MPs has pledged 300 units of free energy for every household in the Punjab if it votes for power next year.
Investigation into the Rafale affair
Daily NEWS Summary | 03-07-2021; A French judge will investigate the controversial sale in 2016 for 59,000 crore of 36 Rafale fighter jets to the Indian government. At home, the opposition Congress claimed he had been justified. The party was embroiled in a Twitter battle with the BJP over the issue.
- The agreement signed between the Indian government and French aircraft manufacturer Dassault, originally launched by the UPA government led by Congress in 2012 and executed by the BJP government led by Narendra Modi in 2016, has been the subject of controversy following accusations of hidden commissions and middleman payments which facilitated the transaction.
- The financier Parquet National (PNF), the French judicial institution charged with tracking down serious economic and financial crimes, has been reluctant to investigate, even when several French newspapers and websites reported loopholes in the agreement.
- The French site Mediapart even accused the French Anti-Corruption Agency of “burying suspicion around the September 2016 agreement”, as AFP reports today. In a series of complaints in 2018, The deal was unfavorable for India and more expensive for the Indian treasury; the report also revealed several loopholes in the defense deal that led the government to accuse the newspaper of “stealing” official documents.
- Several media reports today evoked how, three months ago, “Mediapart had claimed” millions of euros in hidden commissions “had been handed over to an intermediary who had helped Dassault to finalize the sale, of which” some Indian officials. ”Dassault replied that no irregularities were found in the group’s audits.
- Following the reports, the French NGO Sherpa, specialized in financial crimes, filed an official complaint for “corruption” and “influence peddling”, among other charges, prompting the appointment of an investigating judge to investigate the case.
- In this first complaint, the NGO had highlighted how Dassault had chosen Reliance Group, which had no prior experience in defense aircraft, as its Indian partner.
- Dassault had initially won a contract in 2012 when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was in power, to supply 126 aircraft to India, and had negotiated with the Indian aerospace company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). By March 2015, those talks had almost come to an end, according to Dassault.
- In January 2016, at the time of the negotiations, Reliance had financed a film co-produced by Julie Gayet, the partner of François Hollande, then president, forcing Hollande to specify that there was no conflict. of interest.
- Hollande added largely that France had no say in who the Indian partner of Dassault was. The former president has repeatedly said that it was the Indian government that suggested the signing of businessman Anil Ambani.
- French daily Le Monde also revealed that France canceled a € 143.7 million tax revaluation in 2015 against a French company owned by Reliance, while the deal was being negotiated. When the investigations begin, the Union government will have to work hard to defend its decision.
Twitter in the crosshairs
Daily NEWS Summary | 03-07-2021; The microblogging site Twitter caught in the crosshairs of the Union government today filed an affidavit in High Court saying it was in the final stages of hiring a United Nations agent.
- Twitter originally appointed Dharmendra Chatur, a senior partner at Poovayya & Co., a Bangalore-based law firm, who resigned from his position within a month, prompting the microblogging site to appoint its director of Global Legal Policy with California-based Jeremy Kessel as India’s new Complaints Officer.
- The new IT rules require an Indian resident for the job. Union government is a party to the application to the court.
- The affidavit was a response to a Twitter notice from the Delhi High Court for alleged breach of new information technology rules.
- Twitter and the Indian government have clashed in a bitter dispute with the latter accusing the California company of violating IT rules that require the appointment of a complaints officer, an Indian resident based in India, to handle complaints from the users.
- New rules went into effect on May 25. IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today praised social media platforms Google, Facebook and Instagram for publishing their first compliance report on the voluntary removal of offensive posts under new IT rules, calling it a big step. towards transparency.
Daily NEWS Summary | 03-07-2021; The number of reported coronavirus cases in India was 3,05,26,959 at the time of this bulletin, with the death toll at 4,01,516.
- Union government sent multidisciplinary teams to Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Manipur, Odisha and Chattisgarh on Saturday, following a high number of COVID cases reported in the states.
- The teams will monitor the COVID-19 management protocol followed in the states to assess testing, surveillance, bed availability, and vaccination progress.
- On the progress of immunization, VK Paul, president of the National Empowered Group on Vaccine, told reporters that the estimate of 216 crore of vaccine doses to be administered by the end of the year was ambitious and based on an “optimistic assessment” from vaccine manufacturers.
- To date, 34 million people have been vaccinated with at least one dose since the campaign began on Jan. 16, the government said.