From the Newsroom: MP approves 'Love Jihad' Bill

From the Newsroom: Madhya Pradesh approves 'Love Jihad' Bill; Omar accuses BJP of horse-trading

Representative image: iStock Photo

In your evening news brief, From The Newsroom, Omar hits out at BJP, accuses the saffron party of horse-trading; Prime Minister Modi slams Congress over local polls in Puducherry; Madhya Pradesh Cabinet approves law against ‘Love Jihad’ and Britain publishes Brexit text.

Here are the top news of December 26, 2020:

Accusing the BJP of horse-trading and pressurising DDC candidates to switch sides, regional National Conference (NC) leader and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, on Saturday alleged that official machinery is being used for the purpose.

“The winning DDC candidates are being forcefully made to join the BJP or Apni Party. One of the candidates from the NC was forcefully made to join the Apni Party,” he alleged in a hurriedly called press conference, at his Gupkar residence.

 

The DDC polls in Jammu and Kashmir have written a new chapter in the region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Saturday and cited the transparent election process and enthusiastic participation of voters to say it is a "moment of pride" for India.

Launching a scheme via video-conference to extend the benefits of Ayushman Bharat to all residents of the union territory, Modi also hit out at the Congress for offering him lessons in democracy while "not carrying out panchayat and municipal polls" in Puducherry, a UT where the opposition party is in power.

 

The Madhya Pradesh cabinet on Saturday approved the Religious Freedom Bill 2020, which provides for prison term of up to 10 years and fine of Rs 1 lakh for conversion through marriage or by any other fraudulent means, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra said.

Madhya Pradesh follows in the footsteps of Uttar Pradesh, the first state was to approve a Bill against forced conversion, in proposing a law against what nationalist leaders refer to as 'Love Jihad'.

 

Britain on Saturday published the text of its narrow trade agreement with the European Union just five days before it exits one of the world's biggest trading blocs in its most significant global shift since the loss of empire.

The text includes a 1,246-page trade document, as well as agreements on nuclear energy, exchanging classified information, civil nuclear energy and a series of joint declarations.

The treaty explicitly recognises that trade and investment require conditions for "a level playing field for open and fair competition."