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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - May 2019

May 2019

May 31, 2019

 Congress to Skip TV Debates

  • As party communications chief Randeep Surjewala, Indian National Congress decided to not send spokespersons on television debates for a month.
  •  The Congress said that it would not send its spokespersons and media panellists for television debates.
  • All media channels/editors are requested to not place Congress representatives on their shows.

Jagan Hikes Old Age Pension

  •  Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy increased pension for the elderly from the current Rs. 2,000 a month to Rs. 3,000 in a phased manner over four years.
  • This is the first file he signed after being sworn in as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Chief Minister, Mr. Jagan said that the implementation of the "Navaratnas", nine welfare measures announced in the party election manifesto, was the top priority of his government. 

Narendra Modi Takes Oath with 57 Ministers

  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with 57 Ministers, took oath of office at a grand swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
  • BJP chief Amit Shah finally deciding to join the Union government, and former Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar making a surprise entry into the Union Cabinet, among the top 10 Ministers.
  • Almost 22 Ministers have been dropped including those who lost the polls this time. NDA ally Janata Dal (U) hogged the limelight, ironically, by keeping away from the event because Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar demanded more berths than the single one being offered to every ally.
  • former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj would not be joining the Union Council of Ministers.
  • Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also opted out earlier.
  • Other notable exclusions were former Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, former Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi (making it possibly the first time that no Gandhi on either side is in government), former Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, former Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, and former Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha. 

India's only Orangutan Dies

  •  India's only orangutan, Binny died in Bhubaneswar's Nandankanan Zoological Park.
  • Binny transferred from Pune's Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park in November 2003, suffered from fever and cold and had trouble breathing.
  • The  41-year old primate was kept in enclosure, where she slept most of the time due to multiple ailments.

May 30, 2019

Khandu Takes Oath as Arunachal Pradesh CM

  • Six days after securing the first electoral victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party in Arunachal Pradesh in the assembly polls, Pema Khandu took oath as the northeastern state's Chief Minister for the second time.
  • Khandu, who has been in the CM's chair since July 2016 and witnessed several twists and turns in the state's politics, was administered the oath of office by Governor BD Misra.
  • Eleven ministers were also sworn in.

Amit Shah, Ravi Shankar and Kanimozhi Resign

  • Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and DMK leader Kanimozhi resigned as Rajya Sabha members. The three leaders resigned from the Upper House after they were elected to the Lok Sabha in the recently concluded election.
  • The BJP president created history by winning the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat with a margin of 5.57 lakh votes against his nearest Congress rival CJ Chavda.
  • Ravi Shankar Prasad won his first Lok Sabha election, defeating his colleague-turned opponent Shatrughan Sinha by more than 2.84 lakh votes from Patna Sahib.
  • Kanimozhi, daughter of the late party patriarch M Karunanidhi won the Thoothukudi Lok Sabha constituency by defeating her BJP rival Tamilisai Soundararajan by more than three lakh votes.

Jaitley Opts Out of PM Modi's New Team

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him not to give him any responsibility in the new government due to health reasons. The finance minister's letter comes a day before PM Modi begins his second term in office.
  • The minister added that he would, however, be able to undertake any work informally to support the government or the party.
  • Arun Jaitley's decision implies that PM Modi will have to induct a new Finance Minister in his second term.

May 29, 2019

Mizoram Becomes a Dry State

  •  Ending over four years of controlled sale of liquor, Mizoram turned into a dry state again with the coming into effect of a new law that bans the sale and consumption of alcohol in the northeastern state.
  • The present Mizo National Front (MNF) government, which came to power in 2018 with prohibition as one of its main promises, passed the Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition) Bill 2019 in the state assembly in March.
  • But the new legislation, which replaced the 4-year-old Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control) Act, (MLPC) couldn't be implemented immediately due to the model code of conduct in place for the Lok Sabha polls and legal issues.
  • The model code of conduct as well as the high court granting time till May 27 to liquor sellers to dispose of existing stock led to a delay. 

West Bengal MLAs and Councillors Join BJP

  • The BJP's "Mission Bengal" gathered pace, with three MLAs from West Bengal joining the party at its headquarters in New Delhi, along with 50 municipal councillors from Kanchrapara, Halishahar and Naihati.
  • Shubhrangshu Roy from Trinamool Congress is former Union Minister Mukul Roy's son; the other two are Tusharkanti Bhattacharya and Debendra Nath Roy.
  • With over 50 councillors joining the BJP, the party now has a majority in at least three municipal councils.

India 3rd Highest Forced Marriage Destination

  •  Latest UK government data revealed that India has become the third most likely country where a British national is forced into marriage.
  • The Forced Marriage Unit, a joint UK Home Office and Foreign Office government body, recorded 110 cases — 82 in 2017 and 79 in 2016 — of British nationals being subjected to forced marriage in India in 2018.
  • Pakistan topped with 769, followed by Bangladesh at 157 and Somalia with 46 cases. 

May 28, 2019

BIMSTEC Heads Invited

  •  India has invited several heads of state, including those from the Bay of Bengal community (BIMSTEC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony on May 30.
  • The Government of India has invited the leaders of the BIMSTEC Member States for the swearing-in ceremony.
  • This is in line with the government's focus on its 'Neighbourhood First' policy. 
  • The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation includes Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, India and Thailand and received sustained attention during Mr. Modi's first term.

May 27, 2019

Jolt to Kushwaha

  •  After drawing a blank in the Lok Sabha elections, former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) received yet another setback as all three of its members in the bicameral legislature joined Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U).

AAP Coins New Slogan for 2020

  •  During its first party workers' convention after the loss in the Lok Sabha polls, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) launched a new slogan, 'Kejriwal in Delhi', to gear up for the upcoming assembly polls in the city.
  • The convention, organised was attended by hundreds of party workers from across the city.
  • The slogan was officially launched by senior AAP leader and the party's Delhi convener Gopal Rai.
  •  In the 2015 assembly elections, AAP had achieved a landslide win.The AAP had won a record 67 seats out of 70.
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