Here are the top 5 news of December 24, 2020:
1. There's no democracy in India, says Rahul Gandhi; meets President Kovind over farmers' protest
There is "no democracy in India" and it exists "only in imagination", Congress leader Rahul Gandhi alleged after meeting President Ram Nath Kovind today and demanded a joint session of Parliament to repeal the three agri laws. If the prime minister does not repeal these laws, the country will suffer, he said.
Gandhi along with Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury met President Kovind and handed over to him a memorandum signed by two crore farmers seeking withdrawal of the three legislations.
"We told the president that the new agri laws are anti-farmer. The farmers and labourers will suffer due to this. The government said that these laws are in favour of the farmers, but the country is seeing that it is the farmers who are against these legislations," Gandhi said.
"The farmers (camping at Delhi borders) would not return till these laws are repealed. The government should convene a joint session of Parliament and repeal these laws," he added.
2. BCCI approves 10 teams for IPL 2022
The BCCI's governing body today ratified the entry of two new franchises in the IPL to make it a 10-team affair from 2022 during its Annual General Meeting (AGM).
In another major development, the Board, in principle, decided to back the ICC's bid for inclusion of cricket, in the T20 format, in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics "after getting some clarifications from the International Olympic Committee".
Also, it was decided that all first-class players, both men and women, will be suitably compensated for the curtailed domestic season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. Andhra woman tests positive for new strain of coronavirus, flees quarantine centre: Report
United Kingdom's new 'fast-spreading' coronavirus strain has made its entry in India. According to a Deccan Chronicle report, a woman who had arrived from London at the Delhi Airport on December 21 has now tested positive for the mutated strain of COVID-19. Not only that, the woman reportedly escaped from the quarantine centre and eventually tried to take a train to her hometown. On Wednesday, after a nation-wide alert was sounded, railway police officials found her travelling in the first class coach of a train from Delhi to Andhra Pradesh's Rajahmundry.
She is however not the only person to have been linked to the new strain. A 28-year-old man in Nagpur, who tested positive for COVID-19 on December 15, is suspected of carrying the new strain of COVID-19 found in the UK, administration of Government Medical College, Nagpur said today.
4. AAP MLA Raghav Chadha's DJB office vandalised, party blames 'mob led by Delhi BJP chief'
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) vice-chairman Raghav Chadha today claimed that BJP workers vandalised his office and attacked staff members at the board's headquarters. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) denied the allegations saying the attack was orchestrated by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Some of the staff members have suffered injuries, Chadha claimed. "Around 250 people barged into my office and broke the glasses, doors and pots. They threatened my staff and attacked them," claimed Chadha. The BJP workers had come to the DJB headquarters to protest and the police allowed them to enter the premises, he added.
Chadha also tweeted a video clip purportedly showing broken doors, glass, pots, furniture and blood stains on the floor.
5. Ranbir Kapoor reveals marriage plans with girlfriend Alia Bhatt
Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor in an interview got candid about his wedding plans, hoping it to happen in 2021. "It would have already been sealed if the pandemic had not entered our lives but I don’t want to jinx it by saying anything. I want to tick mark that goal very soon," Kapoor said.
When asked if he took any online classes in his spare time, Ranbir said, “My girlfriend Alia is a bit of an overachiever, and she probably took every class there is -- from guitar to screenwriting. I always feel like an underachiever next to her. But no, I didn’t take any classes. Initially, we were dealing with the family crisis, and then I got into reading, spent time with my family, and I watch two-three films every day.”
(With input from agencies)