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QBullet: Bimstec Leaders to Attend PM Modi’s Oath-Taking Ceremony

1. Bimstec Leaders Invited to Modi’s Oath-Taking Ceremony on 30 May

File photo of PM Modi and other leaders from BIMSTEC in its last meeting in Kathmandu.

Leaders of the Bimstec nations, Kyrgyzstan, and Mauritius will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi on Thursday, with the focus on the Bay of Bengal-centric grouping dovetailing with the India’s foreign policy initiatives to boost connectivity, security and development.

The decision to shift focus from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), whose leaders attended Modi’s inauguration in 2014, to the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) was made because it was felt this was a more active grouping with greater potential, people familiar with developments said.

Bimstec also has a better fit with several key foreign policy initiatives of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government – the “neighbourhood first” policy, the Act East policy focused on India’s extended neighbourhood, and the Indo-Pacific policy, the people added.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: BIMSTEC: The Strategic Neighbours Who’ll Attend Modi’s Swearing In

2. Chemistry Defeated All Calculations, Says Modi

Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi said on Monday, 27 May said that chemistry defeated arithmetic in the Lok Sabha elections in an apparent reference to the opposition coalition in Uttar Pradesh, and added that workers of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faced “political untouchability” because of a wrong perception.

Speaking to party workers in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Modi said that BJP workers were killed in Tripura and West Bengal because a narrative of violence was created against it, and that elections in UP had given a new direction to politics.

“Dr BR Amedkar and Mahatma Gandhi worked to put an end to untouchability but it is unfortunate that political untouchability has increased in the country . BJP workers are the victims of political untouchability as several forces are creating wrong perception about us. But the chemistry of ‘samajshakti’ (power of society), chemistry of ‘adarsh’ (ideals) and ‘sankalp’ (resolution) defeated all calculations and arithmetic,” he said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Chemistry Beats Arithmetic in 2019 Polls: Modi in Varanasi

3. Ex-Kolkata Top Cop Rajeev Kumar Misses CBI Summons, Says He’s on Leave

Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar is to meet CBI in ‘neutral’ Shillong and cooperate in investigations.

Former Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar facing arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the Saradha chit fund case, failed to appear before the agency on Monday, following which the federal investigation agency is considering legal action.

CBI officials said they wouldn’t rule out approaching a court for a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Kumar if he continues to evade CBI.

The West Bengal Indian Police Service officer, who is believed to be close to state chief minister Mamata Banerjee, sent a letter to the agency’s Salt Lake office in Kolkata stating he could not keep his appointment with CBI because he is “on leave” for the next seven days.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Rajeev Kumar Skips CBI Summons, Sends Letter Seeking More Time

4. Firm on Stepping Down, Rahul Asks Congress to Look for his Successor

Rahul Gandhi Monday appeared firm on his decision to step down as Congress president, plunging the party which suffered the second-worst defeat in its history into more turmoil, confusion and uncertainty.

He is said to have told the party he will continue until a suitable successor is found. Some in the party interpreted this as a sign that he may relent. Others said finding a successor is not easy given the sense of deep distrust among senior leaders.

As Gandhi remained adamant, many state Congress presidents either resigned or offered to quit to allow him to undertake a restructuring of the party. The resignations are seen as an attempt to persuade Gandhi to change his mind.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: CWC to Meet Once More Over Rahul’s Future Amid Crisis: Reports

5. Eyeing RS Majority by Nov ’20, NDA Gears Up to Push Key Bills

Photo used for representation.

The BJP-led NDA is likely to get a majority in the Rajya Sabha by November next year. This will complete the BJP’s domination of Parliament and clear the way for the Narendra Modi government to push some key legislations that have been stalled in the Upper House where the numbers favoured the opposition benches during the NDA’s first term.

At present, the NDA has 102 members in the Rajya Sabha, while the UPA, led by the Congress, has 65. Parties not aligned to either block have 73 MPs in the House where support of 123 members is needed to cross the half-way mark.

Ten seats will fall vacant in 2019 and another 72 in 2020. Fifty-five of the 72 seats will fall vacant in April, five of them in June, one in July and 11 (including 10 from UP) in November next year.

(Source: The Times of India)

6. Anil Ambani to Sell Big FM for Rs 1,200 Crore

File photo of Anil Ambani, chairman of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group during a news conference in Mumbai.

The Reliance (Anil Ambani) Group has decided to exit the FM radio broadcasting business in a two-part deal. It will sell a part of its portfolio in Reliance Broadcast Network (RBN) to the Jagran Prakashan Group and the rest to another local media player.

RBN operates 58 stations in the country under the Big FM brand. In the first phase, Reliance will sell 40 stations to Jagran Prakashan for Rs 1,050 crore and in the second phase, it will sell the balance 18 stations to another FM radio operator for Rs 150 crore.

Reliance will sell the FM radio broadcasting business in a two-part deal as rules don’t allow a single operator to run two stations in one circle. If Jagran Prakashan acquires the entire 58 stations of Reliance, then there occurs an overlap of 18 stations with the former’s portfolio.

(Source: The Times of India)

7. Trolled for Decrying Attack on Muslim, Gambhir Stands Firm: I Live in Black & White

East Delhi MP-elect and former cricketer Gautam Gambhir.

Facing a backlash on Twitter after describing the alleged attack on a Muslim man in Gurgaon as “deplorable” and urging authorities to act, newly elected BJP MP Gautam Gambhir told The Indian Express that “trolls and critics are not a problem” and he will “continue to live in black and white”, and that “it is easier to say the truth rather than hide behind the froth of falsehood”.

Reacting to the alleged attack on 25-year-old Mohammad Barkat Aalam, who said his skull cap was thrown on the ground while he was returning from a mosque Saturday, Gambhir, elected MP from East Delhi, first tweeted: “In Gurugram Muslim man told to remove skullcap, chant Jai Shri Ram. It is deplorable. Exemplary action needed by Gurugram authorities. We are a secular nation where Javed Akhtar writes ‘O Palan hare, nirgun aur nyare’ and Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra gave us the song ‘Arziyan’ in Delhi 6.”

(Source: The indian Express)

Also Read: BJP Leader, Twitterati Slam Gambhir’s Support of Gurugram Victim

8. Kamal Nath Aides, 11 Congress Candidates Including Digvijaya Under Scanner

File photo of Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia. 

Investigation reports and testimonies submitted by the Income Tax Department to the Election Commission, and now forwarded to the CBI, allege money transfers to 11 Congress candidates of the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections in Madhya Pradesh as well as payments to the tune of Rs 20 crore made to the All India Congress Committee (AICC), records accessed by The Indian Express show.

In all, five key persons connected to Chief Minister Kamal Nath were covered in search operations conducted on 7 April 2019. IT investigators are said to have matched accounting records with testimonies and tracked money transfers through WhatsApp chats and intercepted phone conversations. Transcripts of these calls have not been submitted to the EC yet but it alleged that money was “diverted for use of various candidates” while recommending, in writing on 4 May, a CBI inquiry.

Investigators’ records show that former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and 2019 candidate from Bhopal Digvijaya Singh tops the list of candidates who received election funds from persons covered in the searches and that these details were gleaned from the computer of one Lalit Kumar Challani, described by IT in its report, as an accountant who worked with R K Miglani and Praveen Kakkar, former aides of the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Kamal Nath devises strategy to keep party flock united

9. Begusarai: Muslim Vendor Shot at After Revealing his Identity to Man

Mohd Qasim was shot at in Begusarai allegedly over his Muslim name.

A Muslim hawker from Begusarai has alleged that a youth asked him his name and then shot at him, saying that he “should be in Pakistan”.

Police have, however, said the complainant, Mohammed Qasim, has not mentioned any “provocative remark” in his statement to the police and that he was shot at following an argument during bargaining. Police said a case has been lodged against the accused, identified as local youth Rajiv Yadav, on attempt to murder charge and under provisions of the Arms Act.

A video of an injured Qasim went viral after the incident on May 21. The video shows Qasim telling a local reporter that an inebriated Yadav approached him and asked him his name. “When I said I am Mohammed Qasim, he abused me and said, ‘tumko to Pakistan me hona chahiye (you should have been in Pakistan)’ and fired at me,” he alleged.

(Source: The Indian Express)

Also Read: Muslim Man Shot at in Bihar’s Begusarai Allegedly Over His Name

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