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PM Modi pays obeisance at Ber Sahib Gurdwara in Sultanpur Lodhi

Sultanpur Lodhi: As a part of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his obeisance at Ber Sahib Gurdwara here on Saturday.

Wearing an orange headcover, the Prime Minister offered his prayers at the gurdwara. After paying his obeisance, he was garlanded with a sacred 'chadar'.

Union Minister Harsimrat Badal and Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh were also present with Modi at the gurdwara.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays obeisance at the Ber Sahib Gurudwara, in Sultanpur Lodhi.

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Later in the day, Modi is slated to inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor in Gurdaspur district. The 4.7-kilometre-long route will connect Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur and Gurdwara Kartarpur Darbar Sahib in Pakistan.

Modi will today flag off the first batch of 500 Indian pilgrims, which includes former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and her husband and SAD chief Sukhbir Badal and several ministers, MPs and MLAs from Punjab who will travel to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib through the Kartarpur Corridor.


Giani Harpreet Singh, the Jathedar of Akal Takht, will lead the Indian delegation as the religious leader.

The Prime Minister will also inaugurate passenger terminal building, also known as Integrated Check Post, where pilgrims will get clearance to travel through the corridor.

Meanwhile, the first 'jatha' of Sikh pilgrims from India has arrived at Pakistan through the Kartarpur Corridor.

On the other hand, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will also inaugurate the other side of the route on the same day, apart from other events that will be hosted to mark Guru Nanak Dev's birth anniversary.


Ayodhya Verdict: Section 144 imposed in Mumbai till 11 am tomorrow

The judges at the Supreme Court have begun reading out judgment in the century-old Ayodhya case. Section 144 was imposed on Saturday in Mumbai till 11 am tomorrow, Sunday.

"Section 144 of CrPC (prohibits assembly of more than 4 people in an area) imposed in Mumbai city till 11 am tomorrow," reported news agency ANI.

Earlier, Pranay Ashok, PRO Mumbai Police told ANI that, "We're taking the situation very seriously. We'll make complete use of the 40,000 strong Mumbai police. We have RCP (Riot Control Police), Law&Order reserves, special forces like SRPF, RAF,they'll be deployed at strategic locations."


"We're continuously monitoring social media, we'll ensure that rumours aren't spread. Internet services haven't been suspended, further decision will be taken as per situation. More than 5000 cameras are already installed for city surveillance, we will monitor with the help of the feed coming in at our control room. We will also deploy our drone units as per the situation," Pranay Ashok further added.

"Peace and unity are our biggest assets and priority. We appeal to all the citizens to avoid forwarding any objectionable, unverified messages circulating on social media. Dial 100 or reach out to your nearest police station to report any such instances #AyodhyaVerdict," Maharashtra police tweeted.


Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Saturday said that the verdict on the Ayodhya land title dispute case is "unanimous" and that it will preserve balance. "This court must accept faith and belief of worshippers. The court should preserve balance. I will take about half an hour to read it," Chief Justice Gogoi said during the course of proceedings today.

Schools, colleges and other educational institutes will remain closed in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Delhi as the Supreme Court delivers its verdict. Security has been beefed up across the country keeping in view of any untoward incident after the Supreme Court delivers its historic judgement in the politically-sensitive Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.

A decade-long legal dispute was fought between right-wing party Hindu Mahasabha, a sect of Hindu monks Nirmohi Akhara and Muslim Waqf Board over 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya. The dispute which had, over the years, turned into both religious and political battles, is expected to come to an end with the decision of the top court.

(Inputs from Agencies)


Ayodhya verdict: School, colleges shut in UP, MP, Karnataka, J-K, Delhi; Section 144 imposed

New Delhi: Schools, colleges and other educational institutes will remain closed in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka and Delhi as the Supreme Court delivers its verdict in the decades-old Ayodhya dispute on Saturday.

As a precautionary measure, the government has closed all schools, colleges, educational institutions from Saturday to Monday in Uttar Pradesh. Schools and colleges in Karnataka, Jammu, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are also shut today. Even in Delhi all government schools and many private schools are closed, as it is a second Saturday and the government has advised all private schools to also remain closed today.


Section 144 of CrPC, which prohibits gathering of more than four people, has been clamped in entire Goa, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. The prohibitory orders will be in effect in Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal and Bengaluru. "Section 144 CrPC has been imposed in Bengaluru from 7 am-12 midnight," Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said.

As a precautionary measure, Jammu and Kashmir administration has also postponed examinations and declared Saturday as dry day that means no sale of liquor will take place. The newly-made Union Territory has also banned the bursting of firecrackers. In Hyderabad Anjani Kumar, Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad City said special deployment has been done in the sensitive areas in the city.

"We have taken all necessary measures to keep the situation under control in Hyderabad and to maintain peace and law and order. Special deployment has been done in the sensitive areas in the city," Kumar said. Security has been beefed up across the country keeping in view of any untoward incident after the Supreme Court delivers its historic judgement in the politically-sensitive Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.


Ayodhya verdict: A timeline of the lengthiest case in Supreme Court's history

The entire country are awaiting for the crucial verdict in the Ayodhya Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case which will be pronounced today. The verdict is likely to be pronounced at 10.30 am by a five-judge Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

Security has been beefed up across the country keeping in view of any untoward incident after the Supreme Court delivers its historic judgement in the politically-sensitive Ramjanmbhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appealed for calm ahead of the verdict and the Uttar Pradesh government has ordered all schools and colleges in the state to remain shut today.


While the country awaits for the judgement here's a look at the timeline of the lengthiest case in the apex court history:

1528: Babri Mosque built by Mughal emperor Babur's commander Mir Baqi

1885: Mahant Raghubir Das files a petition in the Faizabad District Court, seeking permission to build raise a structure next to the mosque. The plea is rejected.

1949: Idol of Lord Ram, Goddess Sita found inside the mosque by unknown persons. Hindus call it divine appearance and start offering prayers.

1950: Two suits filed in a Faizabad court by Gopal Simla Visharad and Paramhansa Ramachandra Das, seeking permission to worship the idols at the mosque

1959: Nirmohi Akhara, a party in the case in the Supreme Court, files suit seeking possession of the site

1981: Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board files suit for possession of the site and removal of idols from the mosque

1986: A local court orders opening of the site and allows Hindus to offer prayers.

1989: The Allahabad High Court orders status quo on the site. Rajiv Gandhi government at the Centre lets Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) perform shilanyaas for Ram Temple.

1990: BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani starts Rath Yatra from Gujrat to gather support for the temple.

1992: Babri Mosque structure demolished by karsewaks

1993: The Central passes an Act to acquire land in and around the disputed site in Ayodhya.

1994: In the Ismail Faruqui case, the Supreme Court rules that the mosque is not integral to Islam

2002: The Allahabad High Court starts hearing to adjudicate the ownership of the disputed site.

2003: The Supreme Court bars any religious activity at the site.

2010: The Allahabad High Court rules trifurcation of the 2.77-acre disputed land between UP Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla Virajman.

2011: The Supreme Court stays the High Court order

2016: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy files plea in the Supreme Court seeking permission to worship and construction of Ram Temple at the disputed site.

2018: The Supreme Court rejects all interim pleas, including that of Swamy, seeking to intervene as parties in the case. Advocate Rajeev Dhavan files plea in the court requesting it to refer the issue of reconsideration of its 1994 judgement to a larger bench which is denied. The court forms a three-judge bench instead to hear the case.

January 2019: Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi constitutes a five-judge Constitutional Bench to hear the case

March 2019: The Supreme Court appoints a mediation panel headed by Judge (retd) FMI Kallifulla for an out-of-court settlement on March 8.

August 2019: The mediation panel fails to reach an amicable settlement. The Supreme Court begins hearing on August 6.

October 2019: After hearing the case on a day-to-day basis for 40 days, the court reserves its order on October 15.


Ayodhya halts NCP-Congress in their tracks

Mumbai: Now that it is almost clear that the BJP and the Shiv Sena cannot form the government, the Congress and the NCP have started fine-tuning their strategies.

Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan was instructed by the High Command to meet Sharad Pawar. The non-BJP formulation was expected to stake claim by midnight but stopped in its tracks after the announcement that the Ayodhya verdict will be out on Saturday.


While outgoing CM Devendra Fadnavis tendered his resignation on Friday, he refrained from staking claim as representative of the single largest party.

Since the term of the Assembly is expiring, the Governor is obliged to call the single-largest party or the single largest pre-poll alliance to form the government in the next two days.

Though there is no time limit fixed for a caretaker government, it can at best be at helm for 5 to 10 days, said constitutional expert and former Secretary General of Lok Sabha Subhash Kashyap. It should pave the way for the alternative arrangement at the earliest.

When attention was drawn to the fact that the Governor has not invited anybody for the last fortnight, Kashyap said that the Governor ought to have done so by now.

If the single largest party or alliance declines the invite or fails to prove its majority in the house, then the Governor should call the second largest party, the constitutional expert added. After exhausting all options, the Governor can recommend President’s rule in the State.

But the Governor should keep in mind that Raj Bhavan is not the place where majority is to be showcased. For that, the best place is the floor of the house.

Winds of change

The thrust of the Sena insistence since October 24, the day of the results, has been, implement the 50:50 power sharing formula and a firm ‘no’ to Fadnavis as the next chief minister.

Fadnavis has bitten more than he can chew, which was borne out by the video that went viral. In it, he is seen speaking to journalists on the microphone and saying that if his government is re-elected, then the BJP and the Sena will equitably share responsibilities and posts.

After his public slamming of the Sena, Fadnavis was dubbed a liar by Uddhav; what a climb down for a man known to be principled.

The fact is Fadnavis made far too many claims prior to the Assembly election. He claimed BJP will cross the 220 milestone. But Sena has exposed how the BJP fooled them into accepting 124 seats.

Fadnavis also forced the smaller regional parties to contest on the Lotus symbol, thereby contesting on all the 228 seats, which again was a betrayal of the coalition dharma.

This is not the first time the BJP rode roughshod over the Sena. In 2014, the party gave only the heavy industries ministry to the Sena at the Centre which they repeated this time too.

Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray watched the moves, waiting for the right time to strike back. It is not as if the Sena was charitable towards the BJP; the party was attacked on issues but Sena leaders desisted from personally attacking any of their leaders.

The final nail in the coffin was the recourse to vindictive politics by appointing only BJP cronies to all political institutions. The BJP also began hounding its rivals.

In one such flourish, the Enforcement Directorate on September 24, said, they will send a notice to NCP chief Sharad Pawar in the Maharashtra Cooperative bank scam.

Fadnavis saw this as a fine opportunity to speak against the Maratha leader, whom he has targeted even before and about whom he has made personal remarks.

The sympathy, not just in Maharashtra, but across the country, went in Pawar’s favour. For once, the BJP forgot the word ‘loyalty’, something that Sena did not. Many believe the change of guard will now herald the winds of change in the state.


‘Toiled for decades to give shape, strength to BJP’: PM Modi wishes LK Advani on 92nd birthday

New Delhi: Describing Lal Krishna Advani as a 'statesman', Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday extended his birthday greetings to the BJP stalwart on his 92nd birthday and said that India will always cherish his exceptional contribution towards empowering the people of the country.

In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister lauded Advani for his contributions to BJP party. "Scholar, statesman and one of the most respected leaders, India will always cherish the exceptional contribution of Shri Lal Krishna Advani Ji towards empowering our citizens. On his birthday, I convey my greetings to respected Advani Ji and pray for his long and healthy life," Modi said.

"Shri LK Advani Ji toiled for decades to give shape and strength to the @BJP4India. If over the years, our party has emerged as a dominant pole of Indian politics, it is because of leaders like Advani Ji and the selfless Karyakartas he groomed for decades," he said in a follow-up tweet.

The Prime Minister said that public service has always been associated with values for Advani and asserted that he has not compromised on the core ideology even once. "When it came to safeguarding our democracy, he was at the forefront. As a Minister, his administrative skills are universally lauded," Modi said.

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also extended his birthday greetings to Advani and prayed for his good health. "Warm birthday greetings to senior BJP leader and former Dy PM respected Shri Lal Krishna Advani Ji. I pray for your good health," he tweeted. Former Madhya Pradesh chief minister and senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan hailed Advani as a symbol of integrity in politics.

"I extend my birthday greetings to the revered Shri LK Advani Ji, a symbol of integrity in politics, our guide and source of inspiration. May God give you a healthy and long life. May your affection and blessings always be on us," he tweeted. Born on November 8, 1927, in Karachi, Advani served as the Minister of Home Affairs in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government from 1998 to 2004.

He also served as the Deputy Prime Minister under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led government from 2002 to 2004. Advani began his political career as a volunteer of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). In 2015, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan - India's second-highest civilian honour.

The BJP stalwart represented from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency in 1991 and again from 1998 to 2019, before party chief and current Home Minister Amit Shah contested and won from this seat in this year's national elections.


Cyclone Maha - why is it raining in Mumbai in November

Several parts of Mumbai along with satellite cities of Thane and Navi Mumbai woke up to heavy rainfall on Friday morning.

The cyclonic storm Maha that formed over north-east Arabian Sea moved towards the east and north-east with wind speeds up to 12 kmph. Heavy rain has been reported at Borivali, Kandivali and Malad in the financial capital. The rain intensified in the early morning hours today.

The cyclone Maha fizzled out into the Arabian Sea as a "depression" without making a landfall in Gujarat, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Thursday, according to news agency Press Trust of India.

IMD Deputy Director-General MS Hosalikar blamed the remnants of Cyclone Maha as the cause of the unseasonal downpour as the maximum city received around 5.7 mm of rainfall. In a tweet Hosalikar said, "Rainfall in Mumbai and around in last 24 hrs was light to moderate with more impact on suburbs and Thane area. Post MAHA cyclonic strorm effect causing convection during early morning hours. Thane side still its cloudy as seen from radar. Now sun is out and weather improving."

The IMD further predicted that the city will face light to moderate showers or thunderstorms, along with a cloudy sky over the next 48 hours. The deputy general added that suburbs like Borivali, Chembur, Santacruz witnessed heavier rains. Due to the showers, the temperatures are also expected to drop.

In the last 24 hours ending 8.30 am, Thane recorded 59.94 mm rainfall, taking the season's total to 4,565.10 mm. Thane and Palghar district administrations had stepped up preparedness in the wake of cyclonic storm 'Maha' that weakened into a depression in the Arabian Sea, off Gujarat coast. The Palghar district administration had already ordered closure of educational institutions between November 6 and 8.


Approach Shiv Sena if you are ready to share CM post: Sanjay Raut to BJP

Mumbai: The BJP should approach the Shiv Sena only if it agrees to share the chief minister's post with the junior saffron ally in Maharashtra, senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut said on Friday.

Talking to reporters here, he said the BJP should not misuse the provision of "caretaker" government and remain in power in Maharashtra, where there is an impasse over the next dispensation.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should resign as the term of the existing assembly is ending (on November 9), the Sena spokesman said.


To a question on Union minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari's trip to Mumbai and possibility of him visiting 'Matoshree' (the residence of Thackerays) to break the logam over government formation, Raut said the BJP should approach the Sena only if it is willing to share the CM post.

"Gadkari is a resident of Mumbai. There is no news that he is coming. He will go to his house. Has he told you that he is bringing a letter giving the Sena 2.5 years of chief ministership?" he asked.


The BJP and the Shiv Sena, which together have enough seats to form the next government, are engaged in a bitter tussle over power-sharing, particularly over the CM's post.


Will not let BJP form government in Maharashtra: Congress

Mumbai: Congress leader Husain Dalwai on Friday said that his party will not allow the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the government in Maharashtra.

The leader also exuded confidence that the party MLAs will follow the party high command's direction.

"All Congress MLAs are together. No MLA will break away from the party. MLAs will follow what party high command. We'll not allow BJP to form the government in the state.


National Congress Party (NCP) is our ally, they are with us. People have voted for us to save Maharashtra," he said while speaking to ANI in Mumbai.

Hussain Dalwai said, "I am fully sure that BJP will not be able to poach our MLAs.Some Congress leaders who defected before elections are planning to return."

Yesterday, he also hinted at forming an alliance with Shiv Sena saying that the two parties can have a discussion over having the next chief minister from Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena.

The Congress leader also added that whatever decision the party will take, it will be taken along with NCP.

"We can have a discussion over this. We have said that we don't want the Chief Minister to be from the BJP. Congress and NCP do not want BJP chief minister. We don't think that it is a good thing," the Congress leader had stated.

As the deadline -- November 9 -- for government formation in Maharashtra is fast approaching, the Shiv Sena is not ready to settle for anything less than equal share in Cabinet portfolios and the chief minster's post for 2.5 years.

The BJP has emerged as the single largest party by winning 105 seats in the recently held Assembly polls. The Shiv Sena got 56 seats in 288-member Vidhan Sabha.


'Divider Didi': BJP leaders slam Mamata Banerjee over JEE row

Many BJP leaders on Thursday slammed Mamata Banerjee after she objected over the engineering entrance examination JEE being conducted `only' in Gujarati besides English and Hindi.

The National Testing Agency (NTA) on Thursday clarified it had decided to make available the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) (Mains) paper in Gujarati language as Gujarat was the only state to have approached it on the issue.

The statement came a day after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticised the Centre for adding Gujarati as a medium for the JEE (Mains) and asked why all other regional languages, including Bengali, should not be included as well. Escalating her fight with the Centre over alleged bias against regional languages in conducting JEE (Main) tests, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday her party will hold state-wide protests against it on November 11.


"The JEE (Main) Examination started in 2013 with the idea of all states admitting their engineering candidates through JEE (Main). The request was sent to all the states in the year 2013 itself," the NTA said in a press release. “The request was sent to all the states in 2013. Only Gujarat agreed to admit their candidates in state engineering colleges of Gujarat through JEE (Main) and requested that the JEE (Main) paper be made available in Gujarati language,” it said.

It said initially only Gujarat agreed to admit candidates to the state's engineering colleges through JEE (Main) and requested that question papers be made available in Gujarati language. In 2014, Maharashtra also opted for admitting the candidates through JEE and requested that question papers be provided in Marathi and Urdu. In 2016, both these states withdrew the admission to the state engineering colleges through JEE (Main). Therefore, the translation in Marathi and Urdu languages was stopped. However, the translation in Gujarati language continued at the request of Gujarat, it said.

Taking to Twitter, she said the Centre’s intention was to “malign all regions and regional languages”. “Joint Entrance Exams so long were conducted in English and Hindi languages. Surprisingly, now only Gujarati language has been added. Such a step is not at all praiseworthy,” she had said.

Banerjee further said that her move is not against Gujarati and all she wants is for other regional languages to be included as well. “I love Gujarati language. But, why the regional languages were ignored? If Gujarati language can be included, then all regional languages, including Bengali should be there,” she said.


Later, several BJP leaders engaged in war of words with Banerjee.

BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya on Thursday hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and called her "divider didi". Taking to Twitter, Vijayvargiya posted the statement released by the National Testing Agency (NTA), which clarifies the grounds for conducting the exam in Gujarati, Hindi and English across India. "Dear Divider Didi, dividing people in the name of the language is not going to multiply your votes! To set the record straight, you never requested the exam to be held in Bengali!" he tweeted.

Slamming Mamata Banerjee's, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani slammed Banerjee in a tweet. Taking to Twitter, Rupani also posted a link of a clarification issued by the National Testing Agency on the objection raised by the West Bengal chief minister. "Dear #DividerDidi, people of your state need development not such divisive stunts. Now that the facts are out, you should apologise to the people for your lies!," Rupani tweeted.

Addressing a press conference here, Banerjee claimed that West Bengal education minister had written a letter months back for also including Bengali language for writing the examination but that was not done.

Asked whether Bengali language was being discriminated against, she said, "Not only Bengali, there is discriminatory attitude towards all the languages except one or two." TMC will hold protest marches in every block of the state on the issue on Monday, the party supremo said. "I also appeal to other states to hold protests on the issue," she said. Recalling how a row had erupted after Union Home Minister Amit Shah pitched for Hindi as a common language, Banerjee said India is a vast country and there are many languages, caste, creed and religion. "But one thing must be remembered that we are united, we are together because ultimately a united India is our motto," the chief minister said.

(Inputs from PTI)