The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a plea to stay the Centre's poll-eve notification to include the Jat community in the OBC list for providing the benefit of reservation, saying there is prima facie material for taking the decision. "Going through the document, we are prima facie satisfied that it cannot be contended there is no material for taking the decision (to include Jats in OBC list)," a bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said. "Before expressing any opinion, for further consideration we direct the Centre to file a counter-affidavit in three weeks," the bench, also comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and NV Ramana, said. After posting the matter for May 1, the bench said,"We are rejecting the request for stay." Senior advocate KK Venugopal, appearing for OBC Reservation Raksha Samiti, an organisation of members of communities which are included in the Central List of Backward Classes, alleged the March 4 notification was issued a day before the model code came into force and it was done by the party in power to garner votes. However, the bench said it cant come in the way of the government taking a decision a day before the code came into force.
High turnout in North-East once again in second phase of poll
It was another spectacle of very high turnout of voters on Wednesday in six Lok Sabha constituencies spread across four north-eastern states. The conduct of polling was smooth, barring a few incidents due to which voting could not take place in seven places in Arunachal Pradesh and one in Nagaland. In Outer Manipur Lok Sabha constituency, the turnout was 70%. With voters standing in long queues even after polling hours, the EC said the percentage could go up to 78%. In the two constituencies of Meghalaya, the poll percentage till 5 pm was 64%. The EC said the figure could go up to 66%. Voting in Nagaland's lone parliamentary constituency was reported as "brisk and peaceful" with 82.5% of the electorate casting votes. In Arunachal Pradesh's two constituencies, voters turned out in large numbers despite some regions experiencing rains and snowfall in Tawang. The poll percentage till 5 pm was recorded at 71% and was expected to go up.
Kejriwal visits houses of his attackers, forgives them
Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday visited the residences of two men who had attacked him in the Capital and said he had "forgiven" them. Kejriwal visited autodriver Lali who had slapped him at a roadshow in Sultanpuri on Tuesday. Touched by Kejriwal's gesture, the driver described the former Delhi CM as "God" and said he made a "mistake" by attacking him. In the afternoon, Kejriwal visited Abdul Basit at his residence in Jamia Nagar. Basit had punched Kejriwal last week at a roadshow in Dakshinpuri. "I had hit him to vent my anger. He met me today and I apologised for the act. He has also forgiven me," Basit, 19, said. He did not elaborate why he had punched Kejriwal.