Top news of the day: Perform or perish, Kharge tells Congress office-bearers in Steering Committee meet; protest-hit Iran scraps ‘morality police’, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more.

December 04, 2022 06:52 pm | Updated 06:52 pm IST

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge being felicitated by party leader KC Venugopal during the party’s Steering Committee meeting at AICC HQ in New Delhi.

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge being felicitated by party leader KC Venugopal during the party’s Steering Committee meeting at AICC HQ in New Delhi. | Photo Credit: PTI

Congress Steering Committee meet | Perform or perish, Kharge tells party office-bearers

“There are many responsible people in the party who fulfil their duties. But at the same time, a few of our colleagues believe that their deficiencies in fulfilling the responsibility will be ignored. This is not acceptable. Those who are unable to fulfill the responsibility will have to give chance to others,” Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said at the first meeting of the party’s Steering Committee. He also stressed that winning the electoral battles is essential for the party to serve the country and this in turn can only be done by a strong organisation that delivers on people’s expectations. 

Protest-hit Iran abolishes ‘morality police’

Iran has scrapped its ‘morality police’ after more than two months of protests triggered by the arrest of Mahsa Amini for allegedly violating the country’s strict female dress code, local media said Sunday. “Morality police have nothing to do with the judiciary” and have been abolished, Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

Delhi MCD election | 45% voter turnout recorded till 4 p.m.

Over 45% voter turnout was recorded till 4 p.m. in the high-stakes election to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi on Sunday. While the turnout at 12.30 pm was 18%, it rose to 30% by 2.30 p.m. Voting will conclude at 5.30 p.m. The previous civic body polls in 2017 had recorded 53% voting. Meanwhile, several people expressed disappointment after their names were missing from the voters list. People in North-East Delhi and several other areas complained that their names were not mentioned in the voters’ lists. Anil Kumar, the Delhi Congress president, was among those who could not vote after their name was missing from the list. BJP Manoj Tiwari alleged that the names of several hundred voters were deleted in Mauj Pur and Yamuna Vihar areas in his North East Delhi constituency at the behest of the ruling AAP.

With pollution turning severe, air quality panel bans non-essential construction work in Delhi-NCR

With pollution in the national capital turning severe on Sunday, the Centre’s air quality panel directed authorities in the Delhi-NCR to ban non-essential construction work in the region under stage III of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). Delhi’s 24-hour average air quality index stood at 407 at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Rajasthan Congress fully united, focused on making Bharat Jodo Yatra historic in State: Sachin Pilot

Dismissing apprehensions that infighting may affect the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Rajasthan, senior Congress leader Sachin Pilot said the party’s State unit is “fully united” and focussed on ensuring that the Yatra is even more successful than it has been in other States. Mr. Pilot also slammed the BJP for taking potshots at the Congress over his differences with Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, saying that “sounds rich” coming from the BJP which has at least a dozen claimants for the post of chief minister. “There is so much disunity in the BJP. They have not even been able to establish themselves as a proper opposition in the last four years in Rajasthan,” Mr. Pilot said.

Centre to convene all-party meet on Dec. 5 to finalise strategies for 2023 G-20 summit

The Centre will convene an all-party meeting on Monday to solicit suggestions, discuss and finalise strategies for the G-20 summit which India will host in September next year. Presidents of nearly 40 parties have been invited to the meeting by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be present. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is also likely to attend the meeting at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

MoU delay holds up translocation of South African cheetahs to India; 12 big cats in quarantine since July

A dozen cheetahs quarantined in South Africa for more than four months have lost fitness in their wait to be flown to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park as a formal signing of an agreement is holding up their inter-continental translocation, wildlife experts have said. They said prolonged quarantine is taking a toll on the health of these big cats, who are slated to join the eight cheetahs imported from Namibia and released in KNP in Sheopur district in mid-September.

U.P. gears up for bypolls in Mainpuri, Khatauli, Rampur

A direct contest between the BJP and Samajwadi Party-Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance is on the cards in the bypolls to one Lok Sabha and two assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh on Monday. The BSP and Congress are not contesting from the seats. While the bypoll to the Mainpuri parliamentary seat is taking place due to the death of Samajwadi Party (SP) founder Mulayam Singh Yadav, in Rampur Sadar and in Khatauli, the polls were necessitated after SP MLA Azam Khan and BJP MLA Vikram Singh Saini were disqualified following their conviction in different cases.

Rajasthan’s Sardarshahar Assembly bypoll on Monday, tight security put in place

Tight security has been put in place for the Sardarshahar Assembly bypoll in Rajasthan’s Churu on Monday where the Congress and the BJP are the main contenders. The bypoll has been necessitated by Congress MLA Bhanwar Lal Sharma (77) who passed away on October 9 after a prolonged illness. Polling will be held on Monday from 8 am to 5 pm and counting of votes will take place on December 8. The Congress has fielded Bhanwar Lal Sharma’s son Anil Kumar while the BJP has pitted former MLA Ashok Kumar for the bypoll.

Indonesia’s Mount Semeru volcano erupts, top alert status triggered

Indonesia’s Mount Semeru erupted spewing hot ash clouds a mile into the sky and sending rivers of lava down its side, sparking the evacuation of nearly 2,000 people exactly one year after its last major eruption killed dozens. The eruption of the highest mountain on Indonesia’s main island of Java, around 800 kilometres (500 miles) southeast of capital Jakarta, prompted authorities to raise the alert status to the highest level. “Hot avalanches” caused by piles of lava at the tip of the 3,676-metre (12,000 feet) volcano slid down after the eruption, National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesperson Abdul Muhari said in a statement.

Islamic State claims responsibility for attack on Pakistani embassy in Kabul

Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack on Pakistan’s embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul on Friday, a statement carried by one of the militant group’s affiliated channels on Telegram said on Sunday. Islamic state claimed the attack was carried by two of its members armed with “medium and sniper weapons” and was targeting the ambassador and his guards who were present at the courtyard of the embassy.

Mirabai, Indian lifters begin quest for Olympic qualification with World Championships

Indian weightlifters, led by Mirabai Chanu, will look to find their rhythm as they kick off their preparations for the 2024 Paris Olympics with the first qualifying event — the World Championships, starting on Monday. Olympic silver medallist Chanu, Commonwealth Games medallists S. Bindiyarani Devi (59kg), Achinta Sheuli (73kg) and Gurdeep Singh (+109kg) will all be in action for the first time since the Birmingham Games in August as they aim to collect the required ranking points to qualify for the Paris Games.

Rishabh Pant released from Indian ODI squad in Bangladesh

Flamboyant wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant has been released abruptly from the Indian ODI squad for the three-match series against Bangladesh, the BCCI said on Sunday. Pant was released following consultation with the BCCI medical team and no replacement has been sought.

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