Here are the top 5 news updates of January 18, 2021:
Mamata Banerjee today declared she will contest the upcoming assembly election from Nandigram, as she took her battle for West Bengal to the home turf of poitical heavyweight Suvendu Adhikari, who recently quit the TMC and joined the BJP. That Banerjee chose Nandigram to make the big announcement reflects the TMC supremo's determination to take the BJP, which has launched a spirited campaign to unseat her after a decade-long stint in power, head on.
Addressing a rally, Banerjee said she is not worried about those joining rival parties as they were hardly around when the TMC was formed. Banerjee said these leaders left the ruling party to protect the money "they have looted" in the last few years. "I have always started my campaign for the assembly polls from Nandigram. It is a lucky place for me. So this time I feel that I should contest the assembly polls from here. I request our state party president Subrata Bakshi to approve my name from this seat," Banerjee said.
Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik's son-in-law Sameer Khan was today sent to 14-day judicial custody in connection with a drug case. Khan who was arrested on January 13 was taken for medical examination before being produced before a court in Mumbai today. He was arrested by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in connection with a drug case and his remand was supposed to end today.
The prosecutor had said that NCB had found evidence from Sameer regarding some chats indicating that he was planning to mix CBD oil and other chemicals with marijuana. "We have come to know that there were multiple transactions between Karan Sajnani (a British national) and Sameer Khan which was much more than Rs 20,000. He was involved in the commercial activity of drugs so we have invoked 27A of the NDPS Act (Punishment for financing illicit traffic and harbouring offenders) act against him," NCB prosecutor said.
The Bombay High Court today asked media houses to exercise restraint when reporting on suicide cases, saying "media trial leads to interference and obstruction to administration of justice". A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni said some reportage by Republic TV and Times Now in the aftermath of the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput were "contemptuous". The bench further said that it had, however, decided against taking any action against the channels.
The HC said such reportage by any media organisation, that obstructs an ongoing investigation or administration of justice in a case, will amount to contempt of court. "Media trial leads to interference and obstruction to administration of justice and violates programme code under the Cable TV Network Regulation Act," it observed. "Any reportage has to be in accordance with the norms of journalistic standards and ethics, else media houses stand to face contempt action," it said.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa today slammed Maharashtra Chief Minister and said that Uddhav Thackeray's speech on the integration of Marathi language and culture into Maharashtra is contrary to the principles of the Indian Union. "The statement of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's speech on the integration of Marathi language and culture into Maharashtra is obnoxious. This is contrary to the principles of the Indian Union. Mahajan report is final and true," said Yediyurappa.
He further said that it is painful that the Chief Minister of Maharashtra is trying to sabotage an amicable atmosphere. "Thus regionalism and talk of linguistics are detrimental to the unity of the country. I condemn this. In Karnataka, the Marathas are living with Kannadigas. While the Kannadigas in the border districts of Maharashtra are living with the Marathas," he added. Uddhav on Sunday had said that his government will incorporate areas of Karnataka where Marathi-speaking people are in majority into the state.
The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) today asked the government to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the purported chats between Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and former Broadcast Audience Research Council head Partho Dasgupta.
Referring to the purported chats widely reported in media which mentioned that Goswami was privy to the Balakot air strikes, NCP chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said, "It is extremely shocking and disturbing to know how issues related to national security have been used to gain TRPs." Tapase said he will meet Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday on the issue and seek clarification from Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the 'chatgate'. "The question also arises how Arnab was privy to such sensitive information. The Ministry of Home Affairs has to identify the source and immediately take action," he said.
(With input from agencies)