Top news of the day: Conrad Sangma and Neiphiu Rio take oath as CMs of Meghalaya and Nagaland; BJP accuses Rahul of seeking foreign intervention in India’s internal affairs, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

Published - March 07, 2023 06:51 pm IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Meghalaya Governor Phagu Chauhan attend the swearing-in ceremony of Meghalaya CM-designate Conrad Sangma in Shillong on March 7, 2023.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Meghalaya Governor Phagu Chauhan attend the swearing-in ceremony of Meghalaya CM-designate Conrad Sangma in Shillong on March 7, 2023. | Photo Credit: ANI

Conrad Sangma takes oath as Meghalaya CM for second term, Cabinet sworn in 

National People’s Party (NPP) head Conrad K. Sangma was on March 7 sworn in as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya to head a coalition government for the second straight term. He was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Phagu Chauhan at a ceremony at the Raj Bhawan in Shillong in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and BJP national president J.P. Nadda.

Neiphiu Rio takes oath as Nagaland CM for fifth term 

Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) leader Neiphiu Rio on March 7 took oath as the Chief Minister of Nagaland for the fifth term. The 72-year-old politician was administered the oath of secrecy by Governor La Ganesan. Taditui Rangkau Zeliang and Yanthungo Patton took oath as Deputy Chief Ministers of Nagaland in Kohima, while other members of the Rio Cabinet also took oath.

BJP believes it will be in power “eternally” but that is not the case, says Rahul Gandhi 

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi claimed that the BJP believes it will be in power eternally but that won’t be the case as Opposition parties can come together to ‘repair’ the damage to Indian democracy. Addressing a session at the London-based think tank Chatham House late on Monday evening, Mr. Gandhi also compared the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to Muslim Brotherhood and called it a “fundamentalist, fascist organisation”.

Indian Navy successfully test-fires indigenous surface-to-air missile from INS Visakhapatnam: officials 

The Indian Navy on March 7 carried out a successful test-firing of a Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) from frontline warship INS Visakhapatnam, officials said. The test firing validated the capability to engage the weapon as an anti-ship missile, they said. The MRSAM has been jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Institute of Actuaries of India (IAI), and produced at Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), reflecting the Navy’s commitment to Atmanirbhar Bharat.

CBI arrests Pearls Group scam case accused after his deportation from Fiji 

The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested an accused, Harchand Singh Gill, in connection with ₹60,000-crore Pearls Group scam case, following his deportation from Fiji. Mr. Gill’s deportation and subsequent arrest was secured by the agency in coordination with the Interpol. He was a director and shareholder of PGF Limited. “He will be produced before a special court today (Tuesday),” said an official.

BJP accuses Rahul of seeking intervention of foreign govts in India’s internal affairs 

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks abroad are continuing to raise heat in India, with the BJP lashing out at the Congress leader for reportedly “seeking the intervention of the U.S. and Europe in India’s internal affairs” a charge that has been denied by the Congress, who have accused the BJP of “distorting and twisting” Mr Gandhi’s remarks. Addressing a presser at BJP headquarters in New Delhi, former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accused Mr Gandhi of having sought to “shame India’s democracy, India’s polity, India’s Parliament, India’s judicial system and her strategic security from a foreign land.”

UEFA to reimburse Liverpool fans who attended 2022 Champions League final 

UEFA will reimburse all Liverpool supporters who attended last year’s chaos-hit Champions League final between the English club and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Paris, European football’s governing body said on March 7.

Salhoutuonuo Kruse is Nagaland’s first woman minister  

Salhoutuonuo Kruse made history on March 7 by becoming Nagaland’s first woman minister. The berth in the Nagaland cabinet led by Neiphiu Rio came five days after she and Hekani Jakhalu were elected as the first women MLAs of the State. Both represent the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP). 

Adani Group repays share-backed financing worth ₹7,374 crore 

Embattled Adani Group on March 7 said it has repaid share-based financing of ₹7,374 crores (over $900 million) and will prepay all such remaining loans by the end of the month, as it looks to allay concerns over leverage and debt to win over investors. The repayment will release pledge on shares of promoters in four group companies, it said in a statement, adding that together with repayments done earlier, the group has prepaid $2.016 billion of share-backed financing.

Defence Ministry inks ₹6,800-crore contract with HAL to procure 70 basic trainer aircraft 

The Defence Ministry on March 7 sealed a deal with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to procure 70 HTT-40 basic trainer aircraft at a cost of more than ₹6,800 crore for the Indian Air Force. The Ministry also finalised a contract with the Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) for acquisition of three cadet training ships worth more than ₹3,100 crore. Both the procurement proposals were cleared by the Prime Minister-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on March 1.

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang slams U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy as ‘encirclement’ 

China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang on March 7 accused the United States of attempting “to encircle China” through its Indo-Pacific strategy, taking aim at what he called “exclusive blocs” led by the U.S. “The U.S. ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy’ seeks to gang up to form exclusive blocs, stir up confrontation, and undermine regional integration,” said Mr. Qin, speaking at the Foreign Ministry’s annual press conference on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress (NPC) or Parliament session in Beijing.

Slowdown in GDP growth late last year temporary: Moody’s Analytics 

Moody’s Analytics on March 7, said India’s domestic economy, rather than trade, is its primary engine of growth and the slowdown in economic activity late last year will only be temporary. The government data released last week showed India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to a three quarter low of 4.4% in October-December, 2022, mainly due to contraction in manufacturing and low private consumption expenditure.

Biden will seek Medicare changes, up tax rate in new budget 

President Joe Biden wants to increase taxes to boost funding for Medicare and expand the programme’s ability to negotiate lower costs for prescription drugs, according to advance details of his budget proposal being released later this week. The Democratic president outlined his plan in a guest essay in The New York Times on Tuesday, writing that “Medicare is more than a government programme. It’s the rock-solid guarantee that Americans have counted on to be there for them when they retire.” Mr. Biden is scheduled to release his budget proposal on Thursday in Philadelphia. Pushing the proposal through Congress will likely be difficult, with Republicans in control of the House and Democrats with only a slim majority in the Senate.

Over 9,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras opened across India to make health facilities accessible to all: Bhupender Yadav 

As many as 9,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras have been opened across the country by the Central Government to make health facilities accessible to people, Union Minister Bhupender Yadav said on March 7, 2023. Union Minister for Labour and Employment and Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav addressed the Jan Aushdhi Diwas 2023 program, a Ministry statement said.

India vs Australia Tests | Ricky Ponting backs struggling Virat Kohli to ‘bounce back’ 

Australia great Ricky Ponting has once again backed out-of-form batter Virat Kohli but suggested that India should consider a change to their batting order should they qualify for the ICC World Test Championship Final at The Oval in June. Kohli has managed just 111 runs from five innings during the ongoing Border-Gavaskar against Australia and will once again come up against the same opposition should India clinch the final spot in the World Test Championship decider with a victory in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad this week. Ponting discussed Kohli’s current woes with the bat with host Sanjana Ganesan on the latest episode of The ICC Review.

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