Home > politics > policy > Political updates: Tumultuous week for AAP; ‘Udta Punjab’ releases today

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday removed MLA and parliamentary secretary Alka Lamba from their list of spokespersons. This comes after she made a controversial comment on the resignation of former transport minister Gopal Rai. In another development, veteran Congress leader Kamal Nath resigned from the post of general secretary from Punjab after opposition parties criticised the move.

A host of civil society organisations said that it had been more than a month that the Supreme Court gave a series of orders to provide relief to drought-affected areas, but state governments were yet to comply.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the income-tax department a new target of doubling its taxpayer base to 100 million.

Alka Lamba removed as AAP spokesperson

The ruling AAP on Thursday removed Alka Lamba, a member of the Delhi legislative assembly, as party spokesperson in the middle of what has been a politically difficult week for the state government. Lamba’s removal comes a day after she told reporters that former transport minister Gopal Rai was asked to step down from the department as chief minister Arvind Kejriwal wanted to ensure a fair probe into allegations of corruption. The week began on a tumultuous note for the Delhi government with President Pranab Mukherjee refusing to give his assent to an amendment bill to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997. The government is seeking to appoint 21 AAP legislators as parliamentary secretaries. Read more

Kamal Nath resignation adds to confusion within Congress

Veteran Congress leader Kamal Nath has resigned from the post of general secretary to relieve himself from the charge of the Punjab assembly elections after he came under fire for his alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The development came barely three days after he was given the charge of Punjab, which goes to polls next year, but the move was criticized by opposition parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). Read more

States have failed to comply with SC order on drought, say activists

It has been more than a month that the Supreme Court gave a series of orders to provide relief to drought-affected areas, but state governments are yet to comply. So far not a single state has universalized the public distribution system (PDS) in drought-hit areas. The court on 13 May ordered that no household in a drought-hit district be denied subsidised rations for want of a ration card. These were among the revelations during a review on Thursday by a host of civil society organisations tracking the ground-level implementation of the Supreme Court orders. Read more

PM Modi tells income-tax dept to double taxpayer base to 100 million

The income-tax department has a new target: doubling its taxpayer base to 100 million. Handing down the target to the department, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this has to be achieved with a soft touch by creating an enabling environment for voluntary compliance. In his address to senior officers of both the direct and indirect tax departments at the inaugural session of Rajasva Gyan Sangam, a conference of tax administrators, the PM said there need not to be a trade-off between tax enforcement and taxpayer-friendly steps. Read more

British MP Jo Cox is murdered, silencing Brexit debate

UK opposition Labour Party lawmaker and anti-Brexit campaigner Jo Cox was murdered on Thursday as she met constituents, shocking Britain and silencing the increasingly bitter debate about membership of the European Union. It was the first killing of a Member of Parliament in more than two decades, since the days of Irish Republican terrorism. All campaigning in the referendum, just a week away, was suspended. It is unclear when it will resume. Read more

India says denial of special status by US will have little impact

In a setback to efforts to place India-US relations on a higher plane, the American Senate failed to pass an amendment to modify its export control regulations to pave the way for legal recognition of India as a “global strategic and defence partner" of the US. New Delhi, however, said that this would have no impact on its new-found status as “a major defence partner" of the US, as mentioned in a joint statement issued on 7 June. Read more

New law to recover black money from secret accounts likely: Subramanian Swamy

BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy said on Thursday that the Centre was likely to bring in a law in Parliament that would authorise the government to recover all assets of those who have secret accounts in foreign banks. Read more

SC refuses to stay release of ‘Udta Punjab’

A day before the scheduled release of Udta Punjab, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with the order of the Bombay high court allowing it with just one cut. Refusing to stay the release, justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Nageswara Rao directed the petitioner to approach the Punjab and Haryana high court. Read more

Jisha murder case: Prime suspect nabbed, Kerala CM calls it a major feat

A Kerala police team has nabbed a person suspected of raping and killing 28-year-old Dalit law student Jisha on 28 April, Kerala police said in a statement on Thursday. According to a statement released by Kerala police, the suspect, 23-year-old Amiyur ul Islam, was arrested from Tamil Nadu near the Palakkad border two days ago. He is a construction labourer from Assam, who was among workers who were building a new house for Jisha. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who also heads the home ministry, wrote a congratulatory message to the police team on his Facebook page, calling it a “major achievement". Read more

Final call on BJP-LJP tie-up for UP election soon: Chirag Paswan

Expressing Lok Janshakti Party’s (LJP) willingness to fight the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections next year as part of National Democratic Alliance (NDA), party leader Chirag Paswan said the final call over the issue would soon be taken by the BJP. Read more

Sheila Dikshit may be Congress’s face in UP election

Speculations were on Thursday rife about Congress planning to make three-time Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit the party’s chief ministerial nominee for next year’s assembly election in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, once its stronghold. Read more

Govt incentivizes private sector for opening deemed universities

The human resources development (HRD) ministry on Thursday rolled out incentives for private entities to set up deemed universities, approving the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) recommendations in this regard. The ministry said the new deemed universities regulations would go a long way to “reducing red tape" and give a “fillip to the private sector". Read more

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