Here are the top 5 stories of December 14, 2020:
1. Farmers intensify protest against new agri laws, observe one-day fast
As the ongoing farmers' protest at Delhi borders entered the Day 19, the farmers union has intensified the agitation with a one-day hunger strike at all protest sites today. Reportedly, forty farmer leaders from different unions were on hunger strike at all borders points. 25 of them were at the Singhu border, 10 at Tikri border and 5 at Ghazipur border.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs, volunteers, and supporters are also holding the fast in support of the farmers' protest. "Fasting is sacred. Wherever you are, fast for our farmer brothers. Pray to God for the success of their struggle. In the end, farmers will definitely win," Kejriwal tweeted.
Meanwhile, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today asserted that agriculture was a "mother sector" and there was no question of taking any "retrograde steps" against it ever. "There is no question of taking retrograde steps against our agricultural sector ever. The recent reforms have been undertaken with the best interests of India's farmers in mind. We are, however, always willing to listen to our farmer brothers, alley their misgivings and provide them with assurances we can provide. Our Government is always open to discussion and dialogue," Singh said.
2. Rajasthan: After Panchayat poll setback, Congress trumps BJP in civic body elections
After a poor showing in the panchayat and zila parishad polls, the ruling Congress bounced back in the urban local bodies’ polls, winning 14 of 50 municipal bodies. However, it is independents who will be kingmakers as they won on 32 of the 50 civic bodies that went to the polls.
The BJP which had outperformed the Congress in the panchayat and zila parishad polls, was relegated to the third spot, winning a majority only in four municipal bodies.
For the BJP, the results are a setback as it is seen to be stronger in the urban areas. In the 2015 polls, BJP had won on 34 of the 50 civic bodies while Congress had won 14.
Of the total municipal bodies, polls were held for 43 municipalities and seven municipal councils in 12 districts. Results were declared on Sunday evening.
The BSP won seven of the municipal bodies while the CPI and CPIM won two each while the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party won one urban local body, as per the state election commission.
Of the total 1,775 wards this time, the Congress won on 619, Independents won on 595 and BJP won 549.
Reacting to the results, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot congratulated all the winners and thanked Congress workers for their hard work in the polls. He thanked the people of the state for reposing faith in the Congress party.
3. Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik submits breach of privilege notice against Kangana Ranaut
Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik has submitted a notice to Principal Secretary Maharashtra Legislative Assembly against actress Kangana Ranaut for her tweet in which she had allegedly said that 'those who were threatening me to break my face, now Pakistani credit card is seized from their residence in Enforcement Directorate (ED) raid'.
Sarnaik in his notice says that ED has conducted two raids at his residence and has found nothing suspicious in those raids.
ED called Sarnaik and his son for inquiry and they are cooperating with the ED and there is no issue but after Kangana's tweet, electronic media and print media published news against Sarnaik which were defaming and baseless as ED has officially said nothing about seizures in their raids, says Sarnaik.
So, the MLA has requested the Principal Secretary to forward his notice/complaint to the Privilege Committee of Maharashtra Assembly so that an inquiry in the matter of breach of privilege and necessary action against Kangana and news organisations can be taken.
4. SC questions feasibility of examining declaration of 1975 Emergency
The Supreme Court today agreed to examine whether it would be feasible or desirable, after the passage of 45 years, if the declaration of Emergency in 1975 was unconstitutional or not.
A three-judge bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy issued notice to the Centre and sought its response on the plea filed by a 94-year-old woman for the proclamation of Emergency in 1975 to be declared as unconstitutional.
The petition filed by Veena Sarin, said she filed it for "restitution of a lifetime spent in utter misery and anguish on account of the atrocities" suffered by her, her deceased husband, and her family.
"The petitioner, in a genuine desire to bring about an end to the undemocratic nightmare, infamously known as 'the emergency' seeks a peaceful closure, that can be brought only by an acknowledgment and declaration by the highest court of justice of the country in which citizens repose the highest level of confidence and faith, that the said incident was unconstitutional," the plea has said.
5. Indian armed forces will leave no stone unturned to safeguard our frontiers, says CDS Bipin Rawat amid standoff with China
Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat today said that the Indian armed forces will leave no stone unturned to safeguard our frontiers be it at land, air or ocean.
He said, "China's attempt to change the status quo on Line of Actual Control along the northern border amidst COVID-19 pandemic necessitates high-level preparation on land, sea and air."
Rawat added, "The government through its policies has actively promoted Make in India and its vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat to ensure large defence contracts are executed by Indian firms with employment being generated within our own country."
Underlining the importance of technology in the armed forces, the Chief of Defence Staff said, “Time has come now to look at the future of warfighting imbibing technology into our systems. We have got adequate forces to counter any threat or challenges that we may face on northern borders.”