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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - March 2019

Mar 2019

Mar 31, 2019

Big Blow to SP-BSP

  • The anti-BJP alliance in Uttar Pradesh led by the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party received a setback after a key OBC partner, the Nishad Party, ditched them allegedly for not following alliance dharma and within hours moved towards stitching a deal with the BJP.
  • The changing equations hold significance as it was the Nishad Party's Pravin Nishad who snatched the prestigious Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat from the BJP's grip in a byelection last year on SP symbol with the support of the BSP.

SP MLA Joins BJP

  • Six-time Samajwadi Party MLA and former Minister Chaudhary Virendra Singh joined the BJP.
  • A member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council, Mr. Singh joined the BJP in the presence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and State unit chief Mahendra Nath Pandey.

Mar 30, 2019

India Fears Misuse of Kartarpur Corridor

  • A senior government official said that reports had surfaced about the association of anti-India elements with the Kartarpur Corridor such as Bison Singh, Kuljit Singh, Maninder Singh, and others.
  • On the role of Gopal Singh Chawla, aide of terrorist Hafiz Saeed, in the managing committee of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, as announced by Pakistan, the official said this raised concerns about the misuse of the corridor for anti-India activities.
  • The official said that to expedite the infrastructure development for the corridor, India has proposed to hold another meeting of technical experts in mid-April to resolve outstanding issues at the "zero point.

Mar 29, 2019

India Despatches Fourth Ship to Mozambique

  • The Indian Navy has despatched a fourth ship to Mozambique hit by tropical cyclone Idai to assist in disaster relief.
  • INS Magar, an amphibious warfare vessel, departed Mumbai for Port Beira in Mozambique with essential relief material for the cyclone ravaged areas.
  • The warship is carrying 300 tonnes of relief supplies, including essential medicines, anti-epidemic drugs, food provisions, clothing, repair and rehabilitation equipment, and temporary shelters.
  • INS Magar will join INS Sujata , Shardul and Sarathithat are already operating there for over 10 days.

Government Defends Move on Finance Act

  • The Centre defended the passing of the Finance Act, 2017 as a Money Bill.
  • Arguing before a Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal said that the Lok Sabha Speaker's certification of the Money Bill was final. The Centre countered the allegation that the passing of Finance Act, 2017 as a Money Bill was a colourable exercise of power and a fraud on the Constitution.
  • The Constitution Bench is hearing a clutch of petitions, including one by Member of Parliament Jairam Ramesh, challenging certain provisions of the Finance Act, 2017 which modify the terms of appointment and functioning in various statutory tribunals, including the National Green Tribunal.

Mar 28, 2019

Woman Candidate in Fray

  • For the first time in the history of parliamentary elections in Mizoram, a woman candidate has filed nomination for the state's lone Lok Sabha seat.
  • Lalthlamuani will be contesting as an Independent candidate against five male rivals in the constituency reserved for scheduled tribes (ST). Mizoram, which has a total electorate of 770,395, goes to the polls on April 11.
  • Lalthlamuani had contested the Aizawl South-I constituency in last year's assembly polls as well but had secured just 69 votes. This time, she will contest the lone Lok Sabha seat, currently held by the Congress.
  • Although woman voters (4,02,408) outnumber men (3,81,991) in Mizoram, they don't have enough representation in legislative bodies.

Drama in Goa as MGP Splits

  • Deepak Pausakar, one of the two Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) MLAs who joined the BJP was sworn in as a Minister in the BJP-led coalition government by Goa Governor Mridula Sinha at Raj Bhavan.
  • Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and his Cabinet colleagues, among others, were present.
  • Hours after the two joined the BJP, Mr. Sawant had dropped Deputy Chief Minister and senior MGP leader Sudin Dhavalikar from the Cabinet.
  • The Congress and the BJP now have 14 MLAs each in the House, whose current strength is 36. Four seats in the 40-member Assembly are vacant.

Mar 27, 2019

Hathin MLA Kehar Singh Joins BJP

  •  Four days after Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) MLA from Nalwa, Ranbir Singh Gangwa joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), another INLD MLA Kehar Singh of Hathin constituency joined hands with the saffron party.
  • Kehar Singh was taken into the fold of saffron party by Haryana BJP president Subhash Barala and national general secretary and Haryana in-charge Anil Jain at the party headquarters in New Delhi.
  • Besides Kehar Singh, the first Indian Paralympics medalist Deepa Malik also joined the BJP in New Delhi.
  • Malik is the first Indian woman athlete to have won a medal at Paralympics with her silver in the women's shotput event at the Rio Games in 2016.

Army Most Trusted Institution

  •  According to a report, the Army is India's most trusted institution followed by the judiciary while the police, government officials and political parties are the least trusted.
  • Bengaluru's Azim Premji University and Delhi-based research institute Lokniti Centre For the Study of Developing Societies' report titled Politics and Society Between Elections (2019) is based on a survey of public opinion related to politics, society, and governance between elections.
  • The survey was conducted in Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, and the National Capital Region of Delhi.
  • According to the report, the key concern among those between the ages of 18 and 35 (49%) was related to jobs.
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