The newly formed NDA Government in Bihar won the trust vote in the Bihar State Assembly on February 12, amid a walkout by members of the Mahagathbandhan. In the 243-strong Assembly, a total of 129 members voted in favour of the motion of confidence. Deputy Speaker Maheshwar Hazari was in the Chair when the voting took place. Mr. Hazari ordered a headcount after having declared the motion as passed through voice vote, following a request from State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, which was seconded by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on February 12 resigned from the primary membership of the Congress party, ending his family’s longstanding association with the grand-old party. Speculations are ripe that he is likely to join the BJP. Mr. Chavan submitted his resignation to the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Nana Patole. Earlier in the day, he met Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar and submitted his resignation to the House.
Tamil Nadu Governor R. N. Ravi on February 12 refused to read out the customary address on the opening day of the Legislative Assembly session, saying it contained numerous passages with which he disagreed on factual and moral grounds. “This address has numerous passages with which I convincingly disagree on factual and moral grounds. I, lending my voice to them, would constitute constitutional travesty. Hence with respect to the House I conclude my address,” he said in his speech.
Massive deployment of police and paramilitary personnel besides multi-layered barricading have taken place to seal the National Capital borders at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur to prevent the protesting farmers from entering the city during their scheduled ‘Delhi Chalo’ march on February 12. The police are also using drones to keep a tight vigil at border points, an official said, adding that they are fully prepared to deal with any law and order situation.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh described the current situation in the State as a battle for survival and identity, reflecting the gravity of the challenges being confronted. Speaking at the launch of a skill development programme in Imphal on February 12, Mr. Singh emphasised the need to address the crisis facing the State. “We are passing through troubled times. The crisis we are facing today is one of struggle for existence, survival, and identity. The properties and identity, inherited over centuries, have now become insecure due to the lack of vision of certain politicians. Our generation is insecure today, so the Government is working to make your future secure,” he said.
The Supreme Court on February 12 dismissed a petition challenging the appointment of Deputy Chief Ministers in States on the ground that no such position exists in the Constitution. A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud found no harm in the appointment of Deputy Chief Ministers, reasoning that they were after all Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) of the States and Ministers of State governments, and never mind the nomenclature.
India’s Unified Payment Interface services were on February 12 rolled out in Sri Lanka and Mauritius, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi describing it as linking historic ties with modern digital technology. India’s RuPay card services were also launched in Mauritius at a virtual ceremony attended by Prime Minister Modi, his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 12 said his government has given 1.5 times more jobs in its 10 years than the previous dispensation did in the same duration. Handing over recruitment letters to government jobs to more than one lakh youngsters via video conference during a Rozgar Mela programme, Mr. Modi castigated the previous government for taking an inordinately long time to complete recruitment exercises and said it bred bribery.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on February 12 hit out at the BJP-led Centre while claiming that people in the country were not getting employment and were facing the wrath of inflation. Addressing a gathering in Chhattisgarh’s Korba district during his ‘Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra’, Mr. Gandhi asked the people to wake up, claiming their pockets were being robbed and they were being misled.
Senior BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari and several other MLAs of the party were stopped from visiting the unrest-hit Sandeshkhali on February 12, with Police citing prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC clamped in the area. Earlier in the day, six BJP legislators including Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari were suspended from the West Bengal Assembly for staging protests in the House over unrest in Sandeshkhali in North 24 Parganas district.
The Assam government on February 12 presented a ₹2.9 lakh crore Budget for the 2024-2025 financial year with a deficit of ₹774.47 crore and proposed no new tax. Presenting the annual financial statement for the next fiscal, Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog also said the government will support the education of 10 lakh girls up to post graduation level in order to eliminate child marriage from society.
The Israeli military said it rescued two hostages from captivity in the Gaza Strip early on February 12 marking a small but symbolically significant success in its quest to bring home over 100 captives believed to be held by the Hamas militant group. The two men were rescued from a residential building in the southern border town of Rafah in a raid that also killed at least seven people, according to Palestinian officials. Witnesses reported at least 17 airstrikes, flares and Apache helicopter fire.
The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) led by former three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has pitched the idea of a “participatory coalition government” to rival parties to end the logjam following the split verdict in the February 8 election, according to media reports on February 12. PML-N has 75 seats in the 266-member National Assembly, the single largest party. Independent members, mostly backed by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, have secured 101 seats.
Human Rights Watch said on February 12 that Afghanistan’s public health system has been hit hard following a sharp reduction in foreign assistance, coupled with serious Taliban abuses against women and girls, jeopardising the right to healthcare of millions of Afghans. In a new report, the New York-based watchdog said this has left the “Afghan population increasingly vulnerable to severe malnutrition and illness” among other effects of inadequate medical care.”
Retail inflation eased to a three-month low of 5.1% in January, mainly on account of lower food prices, according to official data released on February 12. Inflation based on the Consumer Price Index was at 5.69% in December 2023. In August 2023, inflation touched a high of 6.83%. According to the data released by the National Statistical Office, retail inflation in the food basket was at 8.3% in January 2024, down from 9.53% in the preceding month.
World marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum and his coach Gervais Hakizimana died in a traffic accident on February 11, former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said on social media platform X. Kenya’s Minister for Sports, Ababu Namwamba, said on X , “Devastatingly sickening!! Kenya has lost a special gem. Lost for words.”