Morning
Brief: Sasikala Faces Decisive Court Verdict;  Countdown To Chabahar Port; Ola-Uber Strike EscalatesAll India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary V K Sasikala arrives at the party office in Chennai. (ARUN SANKAR/AFP/GettyImages)

Good Morning, Swarajya Readers! Here's What You Need To Know Today.

Sasikala Faces Decisive Supreme Court Verdict Today: The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict in a 21-year-old corruption case involving All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader V K Sasikala today, a judgment which could potentially impact her chances of becoming the chief minister of the state. An all-clear will immediately boost her chances as the legitimate successor to late J Jayalalithaa. An adverse verdict can disqualify her from becoming a legislator and force Sasikala to look for another nominee.

Inflation Eases To Five-Year Low: Government data showed on Monday that the annual consumer price inflation eased to 3.17 per cent in January, its lowest level in at least five years, helped by a sharp cooling in food prices. Food inflation was 0.53 per cent last month, lower than 1.37 per cent in December. According to data from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, inflation in vegetables continued in the negative zone. In pulses and products category, the rate of price rise was negative.

Hindi Daily Accused Of Violating Code Of Conduct: The Election Commission on Monday asked poll officers in 15 districts in Uttar Pradesh, where the first phase of polling was held on Saturday, to book editorial heads of media group Dainik Jagran for violating the code of conduct by publishing an exit poll on their website. Dainik Jagran said on Monday their report on exit polls was inadvertently published on its English site and was immediately removed.

Chabahar Port Set To Open: Chabahar port in Iran, in which India has major investments, is expected to open in a month. Afghanistan Consul General to India, Mohammad Aman Amin, said the strategic port of Chabahar will provide impetus to the trade between India and Afghanistan. It is being developed to build a transport-and-trade corridor through Afghanistan, giving India an access to global markets.

GVK Group Wins Navi Mumbai Airport Bid: The Rs 16,000-crore Navi Mumbai international airport project on Monday moved a step closer to reality a decade after it was cleared, with GVK Group bagging the financial bid to build and operate the facility. GVK Group pipped rival GMR Group to bag the contract for the proposed facility in Navi Mumbai which will ease the severe congestion at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

Stalemate Over Appointment Of Judges To End Soon, Says Khehar: After 14 months of stalemate over the drafting of Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and high courts, there appears to be a solution in sight. “We will finalise the MoP very quickly… probably within this month,” a bench headed by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar said during a hearing on judicial appointments.

Ola-Uber Drivers’ Strike Moves To The South: Thousands of drivers working with app-based taxi aggregators Ola and Uber in Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad said they will join the ongoing strike called by their colleagues in Delhi and the National Capital Region on Tuesday. The cab drivers in the national capital are protesting against slashed incentives, increased commission rates, declining number of rides, long working hours and decreased earnings among other issues.

Double Delight For India At The Grammys: The 59th Grammy Awards saw two Indian tabla artistes featuring in the list of winners. Leading tabla exponent Sandeep Das won a stunning solo trophy in the World Music category for his collaboration with acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. The second Indian connect came with the album White Sun II winning an award in the New Age Music category, in which Hyderabad-born Abhiman Kaushal is the featured percussionist.

MUST READ OP-EDS

Boardroom Squabbles That Go Public Fritter Away Hard-Won Respect For India’s Business Icons: Both the political leadership and the media have an obligation to ensure that the process of nation-building is not hurt by the manner we treat our national icons. But such icons also have an obligation.

Two Cheers For Inaction And Shift: The governor and the MPC might be new to their jobs but they are learning well. But what about those who criticised the institution for allegedly selling out to the government? Perhaps they are on “mute” now that the RBI has shown it has a mind of its own.

Markets’ faith in Narendra Modi is unshaken: Our economy may have all kinds of problems and demonetisation has exacerbated them. Even then, our rates of growth are better than those of our peers. And the markets seem to have full faith in Modi’s abilities to deliver long-term growth.

The Tamil Crucible: Tamil Nadu is at the moment of transformation like it was in the late ‘80s after MGR departed. Whether the current moment would lead to a transformation or it would only produce a period of deep complications decorated with political drama remains to be seen.

SWARAJYA SPECIAL

Why Kiren Rijiju Is Right About Hindus In Arunachal Pradesh: Almost the entire population of Arunachal Pradesh is divided among Other Religions and Persuasions, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians. Besides these, there are also 27,045 Muslims counted in 2011, as compared to only 842 in 1971.

We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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