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Friday, January 15, 2021

Daily Briefing: Committed to hearing farmers, says RS Prasad; CBI loses 100 kg gold, HC orders probe

From late President Pranab Mukherjee's candid revelations about the Congress in his memoir, to the Election Commission's proposal to make voter ID cards available in electronic form; here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 12, 2020 8:52:06 am
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Good morning,

The Big Story

Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad, in an interview to The Indian Express, said the government was committed to listening to the protesting farmers and addressing their issues. “Our hope is that more and more persuasion will make them realise there is light at the end of the tunnel, and ultimately it is in their interest,” he said. “Democracy is ultimately dialogue. Democracy is ultimately persuasion. Democracy is ultimately reaching out…”

From the Front Page

A new convoy of protesters, travelling in 1,500 vehicles from nearly 1,000 villages in seven districts of Punjab, is expected to reach the Delhi border this weekend to join the farmers’ agitation. The entrants will replace the farmers who have been at Kundli border for the last two weeks.

The late Pranab Mukherjee believed the leadership of the Congress lost political focus after he became President. In his memoir released Friday, Mukherjee said Sonia Gandhi was “unable to handle the affairs of the party”, and Manmohan Singh’s prolonged absence from the House “put an end to any personal contact with other MPs”.  

Only in Express

The enforcement of anti-slaughter laws has led to the dwindling of cattle populations. This is ironic as the stated objective behind enacting the legislation is “preservation of cattle”. Between 2012 and 2019, the BJP-ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, saw their cattle populations fall. 

The Election Commission has proposed making voters’ ID cards available in electric form. The idea may be considered before the next set of Assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

A man walks past a painted mural of Covid-19 warriors informing people to abide by rules, in Mumbai on Friday. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Must read

In a major embarrassment to the CBI, the Madras High Court has ordered the Tamil Nadu Police to probe the disappearance of 103 kg gold (amounting to more than Rs 43 crore) from the agency’s custody, rejecting its plea that “the prestige of the CBI would come down if investigation is done by the local police”.

Hoping to help domestic companies “overcome technical and economic barriers” in going global, the government will soon come up with a policy aimed at promoting 3D printing on an industrial scale.


Factory output is gradually reaching pre-Covid levels. It rose to an eight-month high of 3.6 per cent in October, official data showed. 

Colonel Prithipal Singh Gill (retd), a World War 2 veteran, who had the unique distinction of having served in the Royal Indian Air Force, Royal Indian Navy and the Indian Army during his career in uniform, turned 100 on Friday. 

From a trailer for the upcoming ‘Loki’ series to Ms Marvel’s first look reveal, Disney has dropped a tonne of new content for Marvel Cinematic Universe fans.

And Finally…

The death of South Korean director Kim Ki-duk has left ripples of anguish in Kerala, where he had a burgeoning fan base. The 59-year-old died of coronavirus complications in Latvia.

Delhi Confidential: BJP General Secretary BL Santhosh  surprised many when he turned to Twitter to advise Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on steps to take in his effort to contain Covid-19. 

In today’s podcast episode, we talk about the reason why farmers are getting support from sportspersons, and why it matters.

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Murali and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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