Naidu-led Andhra Pradesh’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) quits NDA over special status

On Friday, the Andhra Pradesh’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has formally decided to quit the NDA, days following two of its MPs resigned as ministers in the Narendra Modi government to protest the Centre’s refusal to grant Special Category Status to the state. The TDP has 16 MPs in the Lok Sabha and it might impact NDA’s total number in the lower house.

The PTI reported that an official statement said the party will also move a no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government over the injustice given to the state. The N Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP and the YSR Congress are not satisfied that the Centre has not given special status to Andhra Pradesh. The TDP coming out of the NDA coalition hasn’t come as big surprise as speculations were already high on the same, seeing two TDP members quit the Narendra Modi ministry in Delhi on March 8. Including two nominated MPs, BJP has 275 MPs in the Lok Sabha. The Andhra Pradesh chief minister Naidu announced yesterday support for a no-trust motion against the Centre moved by YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy.

TDP and YSR Congress have been stirring in both Houses over the special status demand and the former has also drawn its ministers out of the central government. The government sources revealed that the notice would require to be examined but would not take much progress except an important section of the opposition supported it. Jaganmohan Reddy stated that if the Centre continued reluctant to grant special category status to the state, then all MPs of his party will resign on April 6.

Bhagwant Mann resigns as AAP’s Punjab chief over CM Kejriwal’s apology to Majithia

On Friday, AAP’s big leader Bhagwant Mann resigned as the party’s Punjab unit president, a day following Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to former Akali Dal minister Bikram Majithia for leveling “unfounded allegations” of his involvement in drug trade last year.

“I m resigning as a president of AAP Punjab …but my fight against drug mafia and all kind of corruption in Punjab will continue as an “Aam Aadmi “ of Punjab (sic),” Mann tweeted, who is the AAP’s member of Parliament from Sangrur. The Delhi CM Kejriwal wrote to Majithia that he will withdraw all the statements and allegations made against him and also offered an apology, saying the accusations were unfounded. Kejriwal had accused Majithia, who was a powerful minister in the state government, of being involved in drugs trade while campaigning for the high-octane Punjab assembly elections last year when the AAP made drug abuse as a main issue in the polls.

Akali Dal’s Majithia announced that he has decided to withdraw the case against Kejriwal and another AAP leader Ashish Khetan keeping in mind of the apology. Kejriwal’s apology drew flak response from party’s Punjab unit leaders who labeled it a “meek surrender”. The leader of opposition Sukhpal Khaira said on Twitter that “We’re appalled n stunned by the apology of @arvindkejriwal tendered today, we don’t hesitate to admit that we haven’t been consulted on this meek surrender by a leader of his stature”. The AAP MLA Kanwar Sandhu also tweeted that the apology was a disappointment to the people, especially the youth of Punjab. “We in Punjab have not been taken into loop. Our fight for Punjab continues,” Sandhu said.

AAP co-president Aman Arora said that he was shocked and disappointed to distinguish about the apology offered by Kejriwal. “I still believe drugs would not have taken so many young lives had the previous government not patronised drug mafia. Our fight against drugs continues,” Arora tweeted.

CBSE class 12 Accountancy paper not leaked, confirms board, might file FIR

On Thursday, the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) said that the class 12 accountancy paper was not leaked following reports arose of the paper being circulated on WhatsApp. A statement issued by the board said that an FIR will be filed and action will be taken.

The board spokesperson Rama Sharma said, “There has been no leak of the question paper. All the seals have been found intact at the exam centers. During the process of examination, however, at local level, some miscreants have tried to play mischief by circulating messages through WA and other social media to disturb the sanctity of examination.” The media reported on the alleged leak surfaced whereas the accountancy examination was being held on Thursday morning. The Delhi education minister Manish Sisodia had ordered a probe after the reports. “Received complaints about the Class 12 CBSE Accountancy paper being leaked. Have asked officers of Directorate of Education to investigate and lodge a complaint with CBSE. Swift action must be taken, so that hard-working students don’t suffer due to the negligence of CBSE,” Sisodia tweeted.

The CBSE earlier this week had directed examination centers to make sure safe delivery of answer books to its headquarters following an official of a private school in the national capital was found carrying answer sheets of class 12 chemistry exam in a Delhi Metro train. The board, on the other hand, explained that secrecy of the answer books in the particular case was not been compromised with and purity of the examination has been followed. A senior official said, “The board has issued detailed guidelines to center superintendents, which includes safe delivery of answer books. They have been asked to personally ensure that such instances are not repeated.” The official added that “It has also been verified that the secrecy of the answer books has not been compromised with and sanctity of the examination has been maintained”.

There is strong anti-Modi and anti-BJP feeling across the country: CM Chandrababu Naidu

The Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu alleged today that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is using the same tactics he assumed in Tamil Nadu when he had supported OPS faction against the EPS in the dispute between the two factions of the AIADMK party, by opposing YSR’s Jagan Mohan Reddy and Jana Sena’s Pawan Kalyan against him.

Naidu said during a teleconference with his party MPs that “Instead of giving what AP people are rightfully asking, BJP is resorting to using Jagan Mohan Reddy and Pawan Kalyan against us…PM Modi is trying to repeat in Andhra Pradesh what he has done in Tamil Nadu”. It appears that the Andhra Pradesh chief minister was referring to the ‘role’ played by BJP in the dispute between O Panneerselvam and Edappadi Palaniswami factions in 2017 when the party had divided into two parts after the death of its leader J Jayalalithaa. Naidu also mentioned that there are strong anti-Modi and anti-BJP sentiment in the country and the results of yesterday’s bypolls in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were a predecessor of the things to derive – a reference to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

“There is strong anti-Modi and anti-BJP feeling across the country. Yesterday’s UP and Bihar by-poll results are an example of that,” the TDP chief said. The saffron party lost the both Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh bypolls yesterday, including the Gorakhpur constituency, which was measured to be a stronghold of BJP, and also failed to grab the two RJD’s seats in Bihar. Prior to this month, the TDP chief shattered ties with the BJP-led NDA government in New Delhi following the Centre denied Naidu-led TDP’s request for a special status for Andhra Pradesh.

Delhi Metro’s Pink Line is all set to open today

A new 21.5-km circular metro corridor will be opened for the general public on Wednesday evening, which will connect South and North West Delhi along the ring road. The route between Majlis Park and Durgabai Deshmukh South Campus is a part of a longer 58.9-km “ring corridor”, which will develop into the longest metro line in the country following completion.

The circular Pink Line will ultimately turn the Delhi Metro network into a network by connecting many of the existing circular corridors at 10 different interchange points, counting the Airport Express Line at Dhaula Kuan station. The national capital has the 12th largest metro network in the world. China has five of the top 10 largest networks. Delhi is projected to include close to 100 km of metro lines by the end of the year, forming its metro network the 8th largest in the world. The Delhi Metro Rail Cooperation spokesperson Anuj Dayal said that “By June of this year, a majority of the ongoing Phase-III expansion would be opened to the public”.

The new portion of the Pink Line will particularly benefit college students, as the Delhi University’s South and North campuses would ultimately be linked directly through public transport. It is also expected that Durgabai Deshmukh station near South Campus to become a major transport hub as it will be linked to the existing Airport Express Line station at Dhaula Kuan. Just like the recently inaugurated Magenta Line, the Pink Line will also have the facility of driverless technology. The opening of the Pink Line Metro is expected to bring down travel time significantly between the city’s outskirts since commuters will no longer require traveling to the city center to change lines.

Kamal Haasan supports Rahul Gandhi’s statement of GST must be thrown into wastebasket

The actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan criticized GST openly on Sunday and said it has badly affected all sectors and it must be thrown into a wastebasket. While addressing a press conference repeated similar sentiments as Congress president Rahul Gandhi said Demonitization must not have been implemented.

“I would somehow support this (Rahul’s statement),” Hassan said. “If I was the Prime Minister, and someone had given me a file with demonetisation written on it, I would have thrown it in the dustbin,” Hassan said while speaking at a gathering of the Indian diaspora in Malaysia. Hassan, while addressing a huge gathering at Gobichettipalayam, said youth should come to agriculture field, “instead of only concentrating on engineering and medicine.” “All the fertile lands are waiting for the youth. They should learn latest technologies in agriculture,” he added.

Explaining that Gobichettipalayam is famous for weaving industry, the actor-turned-politician said that only elderly people are now involved in weaving sector. “There won’t be anyone to do it once they go. So youngsters should take it up,” Hassan said. The actor added that complete prohibition of liquor could not be implemented in the state in a day. “It could be possible only after people are convinced about that,” Hassan said and added that people may turn to some other bad habits if prohibition was implemented at once.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s advisor VK Jain resigns

The sources said on Tuesday that the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s advisor VK Jain has resigned from his post mentioning personal reasons and family commitments, days following he was questioned by police in connection with the alleged assault on chief secretary Anshu Prakash.

“Jain has resigned from the post of advisor to the Delhi chief minister citing personal reasons and family commitment,” one of the sources said to the PTI. The source added that Jain has submitted his resignation letter to the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) and sent a copy to the lieutenant governor. VK Jain was appointed to the post in September last year, days following he retired as the CEO of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), a board chaired is chaired by Kejriwal. The sources added that Jain had not been coming to the CMO after the incident and had gone on a week-long medical leave. The chief secretary Prakash was allegedly assaulted by AAP MLAs during a meeting at the chief minister Kejriwal’s residence in the evening of February 19.

Last week, the Delhi police told a court during the investigation that Jain revealed that AAP MLAs Prakash Jarwal and Amanatullah Khan bounded the chief secretary and witnessed them assaulting him at CM’s residence. Jain, on the other hand, had earlier said that he did not see anything as he had gone to the washroom during the time of the incident. Shockingly, the alleged assault happened in the presence of Delhi CM Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia.