Morning Brief: Modi To Address Rally In WB’s Midnapore; Railways Closes Oldest Working Narrow Gauge Line; Mamata Banerjee Transfers Two Teachers For ‘Anti Government’ Activities

by Swarajya Staff - Jul 16, 2018 07:50 AM +05:30 IST
Morning Brief: Modi To Address Rally In WB’s Midnapore; Railways Closes Oldest Working Narrow Gauge Line; Mamata Banerjee Transfers Two Teachers For ‘Anti Government’ Activities Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi during BJP rally ahead of Karnataka state Assembly election at National College Ground on 8 May 2018 in Bengaluru, India. (Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Good morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news and views brief for today.

Modi To Address Rally In West Bengal's Midnapore Today

Just weeks after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah's 29 June public meeting in West Bengal’s Purulia district, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address a rally in the state’s Midnapore town. Ahead of Modi’s rally, a poster war has erupted between the BJP and the Trinamool Congress. The TMC has wrapped the entire area around the venue of the rally with party flags. Mamata Banerjee-led TMC is now planning a counter-rally on the same ground.

During his address, Modi is expected to talk about his government’s decision to ensure 150 per cent MSP. After the recent panchayat polls, the BJP has emerged as the main opposition party in the state. The party is currently focusing on the state’s tribal belt, where it had won a sizeable number of seats in the panchayat polls. West Midnapore district is part of the tribal belt.

Railways Closes India’s Oldest Working Narrow Gauge Line

The 33-km Dabhoi-Miyagam line, India’s first narrow gauge railway stretch which started operations in 1862, was closed on Sunday. The line will soon be converted into broad gauge. This comes just weeks after it was identified as one of the five narrow gauge lines that were to be preserved to promote heritage tourism. Trains were running on the line without interruption since 1873.

The line was designed by a British engineer named A W Ford. When it started operation, coaches were pulled by oxen. However, steam engines were deployed in the year 1863, when Maharaja Khanderao of Baroda State purchased three steam locomotives built by Glasgow-based Neilson and Company.

Mamata Banerjee Transfers Two Teachers For ‘Anti Government’ Activities

In a diktat issued last week, Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal transferred two teachers for allegedly participating in “anti-government activities” and “trying to stir up unrest”. The teachers, posted in the hills, were transferred after the district administration wrote to the school education department. District Magistrate said many government officials in the hills are “involved in acts unbecoming of government employees and stirring up locals”.

Political parties in the Hills, including the Gorkha National Liberation Front, are protesting against the government’s move. One of the teachers who has been transferred is planning to knock on the court’s door.

Congress Tries To Control Damage After Kumaraswamy's Teary Speech

A day after Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy broke down saying he was unhappy heading the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress coalition government, Deputy CM G Parameshwara tried to control the damage. Parameshwara tried to downplay Kumaraswamy’s comments, saying the chief minister was happy and had to be so. Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge asked Kumaraswamy to be courageous to face the situation confronting him.

On Saturday, Kumaraswamy broke down at a party function organised to felicitate him for waiving off farm loans, saying he was finding it difficult to cope with the pressures. The Chief Minister said he was not happy because he is heading a government which lacks the mandate of the people.

Women Supporting Triple Talaq Ban To Be Ostracized From Islam

Two women in UP’s Bareilly, one of whom is a sister of Union Minister and BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, will be ostracized from Islam, a cleric named Mufti Khurshid Alam said on Friday. The cleric was talking about Farhat Naqvi, Naqvi’s sister and Nida Khan, daughter-in-law of the Aala Hazrat family. The two women have been threatened by Islamist for supporting the ban on Triple Talaq.

One of the two women, Nida Khan, has slammed the cleric for remaining silent when Muslim women were victimised in the name of triple talaq, nikah halala and polygamy. She also launched an attack on the All India Muslim Personal Law Board saying it not authorised to pass rulings on Muslims.

Sharif To Challenge Verdict In Corruption Case

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, along with his daughter Maryam Sharif and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar, will file an appeal in the Islamabad High Court on Monday against the verdict in a corruption case. The case is linked to the purchase of four luxury apartments by the Sharif family in London.

While Safdar was arrested soon after the court gave its verdict, Sharif and his daughter were arrested when they returned from London late on Friday. An accountability court had sentenced Sharif to 11 years in prison and a fine of £8 million. His daughter has been sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine.

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