Morning Digest | India denies allegations of blocking deals at WTO; Congress Government fights for survival in Himachal Pradesh, and more

Here is a select list of stories to start the day

February 29, 2024 07:08 am | Updated 07:20 am IST

India is a consensus builder in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by playing a key role in the process, but some countries are breaking that, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said. File

India is a consensus builder in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by playing a key role in the process, but some countries are breaking that, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said. File | Photo Credit: ANI

India is consensus builder at WTO, but certain nations are breaking that on certain issues, says Goyal

India is a consensus builder in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) by playing a key role in the process, but some countries are breaking that, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on February 28. “We have to see who is blocking the issues and who is responsible for not letting things of the WTO smoothly,” he told reporters in Abu Dhabi, where the 13th ministerial conference of the WTO is being held. The Minister’s remarks came amid allegations by certain developed nations that India is blocking deals at the WTO.

Congress government fights for survival in Himachal Pradesh

The Congress government in Himachal Pradesh managed to survive the immediate threat to its existence on Wednesday, passing the State’s Budget for 2024-25 in the State Assembly after suspending 15 BJP lawmakers, including Leader of the Opposition (LoP) Jairam Thakur. The Budget Session of the Assembly was adjourned sine die soon afterwards, a day before it was scheduled to conclude on February 29. Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Pathania reserved his order on a disqualification motion against six Congress MLAs who were absent for the vote passing the Budget.

With the February 27 results, NDA just four MPs short of majority in the Upper House

The Rajya Sabha poll results on February 27 have far reaching implications for domestic politics, not just the unfurling crisis with regard to the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh, where six MLAs cross-voted in favour of the BJP, or in Uttar Pradesh where the Samajwadi Party (SP) lost its chief whip along with seven MLAs.

Jharkhand train accident | Two dead, a few injured as MEMU train hits them in Jamtara

At least two persons were run over and killed by a train in Jharkhand’s Jamtara district on February 28, police said. Jamtara Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Mujibur Rahman told PTI that the accident took place near Kaljharia around 140 km from Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi. “Bodies of two persons have been recovered so far. A search operation is on and the toll might increase,” he said.

Police in Manipur’s valley areas protest violence by radical Meitei group

Police personnel across the Meitei-dominated valley districts of Manipur laid down arms on February 28 to protest against the abduction of a police officer by members of Arambai Tenggol, a radical Meitei outfit.

On February 27, around 200 armed miscreants stormed the residence of ASP Moirangthem Amit in Imphal East, seeking the release of Robin M., chief of Arambai Tenggol’s Sekmai unit, who was arrested earlier in the day for allegedly snatching a vehicle from a petrol pump. “In the midst of the incident, the Addl SP and one of his escorts were abducted by the armed miscreants. They were later rescued from Kwakeithel Konjeng Leikai area and admitted to Raj Medicity for medical treatment,” Manipur Police said in a post on X. Police said the “armed miscreants” vandalised household property at the police officer’s residence, after which additional security forces were rushed to the spot.

Restoration of Old Pension Scheme: Govt. employees to go on indefinite strike from May 1

A platform of trade unions and associations working among 28 lakh employees of the Union government, including the Railways and Central Public Sector Undertakings, and more than three crore employees and teachers with the State governments have decided to go on an indefinite strike from May 1 demanding the restoration of Old Pension Scheme (OPS) replacing the present National Pension Scheme (NPS).

Panneerselvam group reiterates its support to BJP

The group led by the AIADMK’s former coordinator, O. Panneerselvam, reiterated its support to the BJP for the Lok Sabha election. Interacting with the media, Mr. Panneerselvam and Panruti S. Ramachandran explained the rationale behind their group’s position and said that in the interest of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should continue in power.

PM Modi flags off first indigenous hydrogen fuel cell ferry

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off India’s first indigenously built hydrogen fuel cell ferry boat in virtual mode here on February 28 (Wednesday). The vessel has been built at the Cochin Shipyard. 

Assembly elections: TDP-JSP combine calls for defeating YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP)-Jana Sena Party (JSP) combine, at a joint public meeting, called ‘Jenda,’ gave a clarion call to the people to defeat the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) in the coming elections. Addressing the public meeting, TDP national president N. Chandrababu Naidu and JSP chief Pawan Kalyan asserted that they forged an alliance not for the sake of power, but for the future and development of the State.

Imran Khan asks IMF to audit results before considering any bailout talks with new govt

Pakistan’s jailed former prime minister Imran Khan on February 28 sent a letter to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), urging it to ensure the audit of at least 30% of national and provincial assembly seats before considering any further bailout talks with the cash-strapped country.

Jaiswal rises to 12th, Jurel to 69th in ICC Test rankings

India’s latest batting sensation Yashasvi Jaiswal advanced towards a top-10 spot in the ICC rankings for Test batters by climbing three spots to 12th while his compatriot Dhruv Jurel leapfrogged 31 places to 69th on Wednesday.

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