Evening Digest: Nitish woos women voters in Bihar, promises liquor ban

GN Bureau | September 23, 2015



With voting for the first phase of Bihar elections just weeks away, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is now trying to woo women voters, which is the 46 percent of the total electorate. Nitish reached out to women voters by promising them a ban on liquor but there is some skepticism as well. Nitish Kumar said, "Prohibition laonga agar phir se aaya (I agree that liquor should be banned. If I come back to power I will ban it). In the last two elections in Bihar, women have outvoted men and both times favoured Nitish Kumar.

India's monsoon deficiency has dropped
Widespread rainfall in states like Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra has reduced the overall monsoon deficiency to 13 per cent in the country, although several parts are still reeling under acute water shortage. According to the India Meteorological Department ( IMD), the overall monsoon deficiency which was around 16 per cent until last week has now dropped by 3 per cent. The east and northeast India has witnessed a deficiency of seven per cent, followed by 13 per cent in Central India. The southern peninsula has recorded a deficiency of 15 per cent while the northwest is staring at a deficiency of 19 per cent, which is highest in the country.  The current spell of rain has also helped in bringing down the regional deficiency to a large extent.

TRAI to test networks for call drops in Delhi, Mumbai from September 28
Telecom watchdog TRAI will start testing the networks in the national capital and Mumbai from September 28 to ascertain whether operators have taken measures to address the call drops menace. With regard to call drops issue, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has floated a discussion paper. After meeting CEOs of telcos on September 9, the regulator had given 15 days time to the telecom operators for taking steps to address the call drops problem. Then, TRAI would hold open house discussion on October 1."Thereafter, we will take about a week or so to come out with the final policy, which should be around middle of October," TRAI chairman RS Sharma said.

7/11 Mumbai train blasts: Prosecution seeks death for 8 convicts
The prosecution in the Mumbai serial train blasts case on Wednesday pressed for death sentence for eight convicts, while demanding life imprisonment for four others. The prosecution, which concluded arguments today, termed the 8 convicts as 'merchants of death'. A special MCOCA court will on September 30 announce the quantum of sentence.

Twelve people were convicted last week by the special court here in connection with the serial blasts that killed 188 people on July 11, 2006, in Mumbai suburban train bombings.

China Rail to conduct India high-speed rail study
A consortium led by China's national train operator has been chosen to conduct a feasibility study for a 1,200 kilometre-long high-speed rail link between Delhi and Mumbai, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday. The consortium includes China Railway's unit, the Third Railway Survey and Design Group, and local Indian firms, the news agency said, without providing names. It did not provide financial details of the award. The contract was awarded by the High Speed Rail Corporation of India Ltd, a company set up by India's railway ministry, Xinhua said.

Sensex ends 171 points higher at 25,823, Nifty @ 7,846
The domestic equity market rebounded smartly on Wednesday after slipping more than 200 points in morning trade as weak PMI data raised fresh concerns over the slowdown in the Chinese economy, spooking investor sentiments across global markets. While most Asian markets caved in on weak signals from China, the Indian market brushed asides those concerns and notched up some gains. The S&P BSE Sensex ended day in the green at 25,823, gaining 171 points, or 0.67 per cent. The 50-stock NSE Nifty closed 34 points, or 0.43 per cent, higher at 7,846.

Nation-wide strike by I-T employees on October 8
Nearly 97 per cent of employees and officers of Income Tax department would observe a nation-wide strike on October eight to press for filling up of vacant posts. The Joint Council of Action of Income Tax Associations, an umbrella body of Income Tax employees and officers, said that targetted tax collection of the government was getting hampered due to inadequate personnel.

Lalu's two sons make debut in Bihar electoral politics
Following their father's footstep, two sons of RJD chief Lalu Prasad today entered the electoral politics as their names were announced by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the ensuing five-phase Assembly polls in Bihar. Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejaswi Yadav will contest from Yadav-dominated Mahua and Raghopur seats respectively. As per seat sharing, JD(U) and RJD are contesting for 101 seats each while Congress on 41 seats. Kumar said name of the candidate for Rajgir (SC) seat would be declared later. A total of 25 women candidates have been given tickets forming 10 per cent of the total.

Iran offers gas at $2.95, India to invest Rs 1 lakh crore
Iran has offered to supply natural gas at $2.95 for a urea plant that India will set up at Chabahar port on the Persian Gulf, but New Delhi wants rates to be lowered. With the US and other western powers easing sanctions against Iran, India has been in talks with Tehran to set up a gas-based urea manufacturing plant at the Chabahar port, besides developing a gas discovery ONGCBSE 0.70 % had made.

ACB orders probe into onion sale, Arvind Kejriwal government cries foul
The Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) headed by LG-appointed M K Meena today ordered an inquiry into alleged irregularities in procurement and sale of onions by the Delhi Government, which accused him of acting at the Centre's behest and maintained that there was no wrongdoing. The move by Meena, whose appointment had been opposed by the Arvind Kejriwal government, comes two days after an RTI activist and BJP leader, Vivek Garg, filed a complaint with the anti-graft body seeking a probe into ..

Priest arrested for making threat calls to Karnataka Sahitya Academy
A man working as a hostel warden and priest has been arrested at Hubballi in north Karnataka for allegedly making threat calls to Karnataka Sahitya Academy for choosing rationalist free-thinker and writer KS Bhagwan for annual Honorary Awards for Lifetime Achievement for 2013. The arrested person was tracked down yesterday through the mobile phone used by him. Following the announcement of the award, which will be presented to Bhagwan and others on November 7 in Dharwad, Sahitya Academy had complained about receiving a threatening call

Final decision on Google case to take quite some time
Fair trade regulator CCI today said it would take "quite some time" before reaching a final decision on the case related to Internet major Google's alleged anti-competitive practices.The Competition Commission of India's investigative arm has submitted its report on the matter.

Airports Authority of India to invest in expansion of Chennai airport

State-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) would invest up to Rs 1,400 crore in further expansion of Chennai Airport and setting up an ATC tower at Kolkata Airport, a move which comes after the government dropped its privatisation plans. Besides, the national airport operator plans to develop city side of Lucknow, Raipur and Tirupati airports to shore up additional revenue and curtail operational losses of these airports.

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