Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Political updates: Centre recommends drought relief for UP, India seeks to invest in Iran

The government has ordered a high-level review to take stock of drought relief operations in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra

New Delhi: While a high-level committee headed by Union home minister Rajnath Singh has recommended 1,304 crore as drought relief to Uttar Pradesh under the National Disaster Relief Fund, a meeting of the committee set up to review the drought situation in the state was held late on 9 April.

Meanwhile, polling for the second phase of Assam and second part of the first phase of West Bengal began on Monday. On the second day of polling in the ongoing assembly elections the remaining 61 constituencies in Assam and 31 constituencies of West Bengal will vote.

Union government directs Uttar Pradesh to step up drought relief

The government has ordered a high-level review to take stock of drought relief operations in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The first review meeting was held on Saturday in the prime minister’s office (PMO) where the government took stock of the situation in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh. The action comes close on the heels of the Supreme Court rapping both the Centre and states a few days ago. The PMO meeting directed the Uttar Pradesh government to deposit relief money to affected farmers in a week. The Centre approved 1,304 for the state from the National Disaster Relief Fund in early January. Read more

India offers to invest $20 billion in Iran

India has sought land and cheap natural gas for investing about $20 billion in new petrochemical, fertilizer and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Iran, primarily for importing these commodities into India. Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who is in Iran with a delegation of state-owned and private sector companies to seek greater investment and trade opportunities, has held discussions with his counterpart Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, senior adviser to the President of Iran on free trade zones Akbar Torkan and Iran’s central bank governor Valliolah Seif, a statement from the oil ministry said. Read more

DMK election manifesto promises blanket liquor ban in Tamil Nadu

A day after Tamil Nadu chief minister and head of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) J. Jayalalithaa promised liquor prohibition in a phased manner during her poll campaign, arch-rival Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) followed suit and promised complete prohibition in its election manifesto released on Sunday. Party chief M. Karunanidhi also promised to set up a Lok Ayukta, an anti-corruption watchdog, in the state. Read more

Nitish Kumar elected JD(U) president for first time

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar was elected as president of Janata Dal (United) on Sunday for the first time. Kumar’s elevation to the post is critical for the ruling party in Bihar as it attempts to increase its political presence in other states.

With Kumar taking the top post, the 10-year tenure of former JD(U) chief and veteran Sharad Yadav comes to an end. Yadav, who had announced earlier that he would not seek another term, resigned as president on Sunday. The decision to elect Kumar was taken at the party’s national executive meeting in the national capital.

The promise of Rajasthan’s titling law

Last week, the Rajasthan government led by Vasundhara Raje set in motion policy change which, if pursued to its logical conclusion, could revolutionize the existing concept of land and property ownership in the country. It managed to steer through the state assembly The Rajasthan Urban Land (Certification Of Titles) Bill, 2016, which basically clears the decks for creating a guaranteed titling regime in the state. Implementation of a new titling regime, especially if emulated nationally, will be another big step in moving the country towards a rules-based regime.

More than 100 killed in Kerala temple fire

At least 100 people were killed and over 300 injured after a fireworks competition disallowed by local authorities in the southern part of Kerala ended in a massive explosion, fire and a possible stampede.

The explosion occurred around 3.30am on Sunday at Puttingal temple in Kollam when sparks landed on explosive material, triggering the explosion in the temple complex where thousands of devotees had gathered to watch the fireworks. Read more

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