Today Picture

Mumbai Rains: 17 flights diverted, train services from Kalyan to Karjat suspended

Mumbai: Heavy rains lashed Mumbai on Friday flooding several areas and severely affecting the road, rail and air traffic.Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) reported that 17 flights have been diverted so far.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the MIAL said that the flights are getting delayed by 30 minutes on average due to heavy rains since two hours. Rail services too have been hampered by the intermittent rains.

"Very heavy rains in Kurla-Thane belt and very-very heavy rains beyond Kalyan. As a precautionary measure, we have suspended services from Kalyan to Karjat/Khopoli. Services on all other corridors of Central railway are running," Chief Public Relation Officer, Central Railway said.


Suburban services update: 08.00 hrs
Services are running in all sections except Kalyan-Karjat/Khopoli due to heavy rainfall leading to overflowing of Ulhas river between Ambarnath-Badlapur-Vangani.@RidlrMUM @m_indicator @mumbairailusers @mybmc @drmmumbaicr


Our request to passengers of Mahalaxmi Express, please don't get down from train. Train is the safe place. Staff, RPF and City Police is in train to look after your well being. Please wait for advice from NDRF and other disaster management authorities


Mumbai Police requested people not to venture in waterlogged areas and to maintain distance from the sea.

"City is expecting intermittent heavy showers all through the night. We request commuters to not venture in water-logged areas and also request you all to maintain distance from the sea. Please tweet to us or call on 100 in any emergency/need of help," said Mumbai Police.

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said rainfall intensity is "very likely" to increase over North Konkan during next 48 hours.

"Due to the strengthening of monsoon currents and formation of low-pressure area over North West Bay of Bengal, rainfall intensity is very likely to increase over North Konkan during next 48 hours," IMD said.


BS Yediyurappa to prove majority on July 29

Bengaluru: Karnataka's new Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Friday said he would hold a floor test to prove his majority in the state Assembly on Monday (July 29).

"At the cabinet meeting held soon after I took oath as Chief Minister, I decided to go for floor test in the Assembly on Monday at 10 a.m., to prove majority," the 75-year-old Yediyurappa said at a press conference in the state secretariat.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, who was sworn-in alone in his fourth term, also said he would table the finance bill after the trust vote to ensure the state budget for this fiscal (2019-20) is passed by the Assembly.

Yediyurappa also announced that his present one-man cabinet also decided to give Rs 4,000 cash benefit in two instalments of Rs 2,000 each to all farmers across the state under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, and waive loans availed by weavers in the state up to March 31, 2019 at a cost of Rs 100 crore.

Assuring the opposition parties Congress and JD-S of not doing vendetta politics, Yediyurappa said he would forgive and forget all and work for the development of the state.

"My priority is to address the problems of farmers, weavers, fishermen and agricultural labourers," he added.

The BJP has 105 members in the 225-member Assembly, whose strength is currently 222 after Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar on Thursday disqualified three Congress rebels for defying the whip issued for their presence in the House on July 23 when then Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy put the confidence motion he moved on July 18 to vote but lost. One Independent is also supporting the BJP.

With all the remaining 13 rebels deciding to abstain from the Assembly till the trust vote is conducted, the Speaker's decision on their resignations by Monday will make no difference for the trial of strength by Yediyurappa.

With the absence of the 13, the house strength will be 209, with 105 as the halfway mark for simple majority. The effective strength of the Congress in the House will be 63 out of original 79, while the JD-S has 34 legislators.

As the combined strength of the coalition allies will be 97, the BJP will be able to sail through the floor test even if the lone BSP member (N. Mahesh) decides to abstain," BJP's spokesman G. Madhusudan told IANS.


NCP faces existential crisis with Sharad Pawar losing his clout

Mumbai: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has now become a sinking ship and is facing serious existential crisis with leaders leaving the party on a daily basis, literally.

The party is now witnessing desertion from prominent leaders which raises a poignant question, will any prominent leader stay on in this party? And if at all, for how long? This mass desertion by NCP leaders may eventually lead to NCP’s much-talked merger with the Congress party.

Once the battery of strong leaders leave this party, then its party chief Sharad Pawar will have little options. He may be forced to merge the party with the Congress, to ensure his family's relevance remains in Maharashtra politics.

After Sachin Ahir quit NCP, few others have followed in line. Among the prominent leaders expected to cross over are, Pankaj Bhujbal, son of former Deputy Chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who is expected to join the Shiv Sena on Monday. Along with him, Sangram Jagtap, a legislator from Ahmednagar district is expected to join the Sena.

Though the Shiv Saniniks are opposing Bhujbal family joining their party, the leadership is in no mood to entertain. Meanwhile, the NCP faced serious setback on Friday, when two sitting MLAs from Solapur district refused to appear for the interviews for ticket distribution.

The NCP leader, Ajit Pawar was in Solapur on Friday, to conduct interviews of ticket aspirants, but two legislators, Baban Shinde from Madha and Dilip Sopal from Barshi did not turn for their interviews.

A clear signal to their leadership, they will say bye bye to NCP. Baban is considered to be a strong leader from Solapur for the NCP. The NCP had given him a ticket from Madha Lok Sabha constituency. He however lost to the Bharatiya Janata Party candidate, Ranjit Naik-Nimbalkar, who had crossed over from Congress.

Sharad Pawar had in fact denied ticket to another NCP loyalist family, Mohite Patil to field Baban from Madha. This ultimately resulted in a rift and the die-hard NCP loyalist Mohite Patil family crossed over to the BJP.

In another twist, during the Ashadhi Ekdashi celebrations Baban welcomed the Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis at the Solapur Airport, giving signals of his intentions to cross over.

Ranjit Shinde, Baban's son is also said to be on his way to the BJP which is why he gave a miss to the interview. This bigger shock however, is that of Dilip Sopal, a close confidante of Pawar family who is on his way to join the Sena.

After Vaibhav Pichad and Shivendra Raje Bhosale hinted, they too will join the BJP, NCP is witnessing one of its worst exodus. In the last two months, Jayadutt Kshirsagar, Pandurang Barora and Sachin Ahir joined the Sena.

Rana Jagjit Singh Patil, legislator from Osmanabad district and son of former minister Padam Singh Patil, Bhaskar Jadhav, former minister and senior NCP leader too are expected to leave the party.


ED arrests Satish Babu Sana in connection with Moin Qureshi case

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested Satish Babu Sana, a Hyderabad-based businessman, in connection with the money laundering case against meat exporter Moin Qureshi, the agency officials said on Saturday.

During investigation by the law enforcement agency, it came to the fore that Sana was a close aid of Qureshi, who is accused of hawala transactions through Delhi-based operators.

In October last year, on the basis of a complaint filed by Sana, a case was registered against the then CBI director Alok Verma and special director Rakesh Asthana on charges of accepting a bribe from a businessman, who was related to controversial meat exporter Moin Akhtar Qureshi case.


Opposition accuses BJP of manipulating ballot paper during voting on RTI Bill

New Delhi: Opposition on Thursday accused the BJP of manipulating ballot papers during the voting on the Right to Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Rajya Sabha.

The Bill was passed by voice vote after witnessing chaos and pandemonium after the house rejected opposition's demand to refer it to Select Committee. As the voting process was going on, some of the members from the treasury benches were seen instructing other members. Soon after opposition members angrily rushed towards them. They were having some arguments with C M Ramesh, who recently quit TDP to join the BJP.

As the confrontation took ugly shape with some of the opposition members objecting Ramesh's act, Deputy Chairman Harivansh asked him to go back to his seat. The opposition members trooped into the well and started sloganeering against the government. Miffed with the behaviour of Ramesh and other BJP members, Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the treasury benches of intimidating the opposition members.

"The House has just now witnessed how the members are being intimidated. It is a sample of how the BJP won 303 seats," he said. The senior Congress leader alleged that the ruling party members get signatures from members who do not understand the process. "Don't make the parliament a government department. They are killing democracy. We don't have any faith on this government," he said and then the Congress and other opposition members staged a walkout.

After the Bill was passed, Trinamool Congress' Derek O'Brien took on twitter to attack the government, saying the Right to Information became "Right to Intimidation". "In the larger interest of democracy, Rajya Sabha TV should air all footage of what transpired in the House today while voting to send the RTI Bill to a Parliament committee. RTI Right to Information became RTI Right to Intimidation. Did the same tactics get BJP 303 seats," he said.

"On voting in RS today on RTI Bill. BJP MP caught red-handed trying to manipulate; had multiple ballot papers with him. He was influencing MPs distributing and collecting ballot papers Shame Appeal to Rajya Sabha TV to share video footage recorded on multi-cameras," he said without taking Ramesh's name. Later talking to reporters outside parliament, Azad said the opposition parties would raise the issue when the Rajya Sabha meets on Friday.

Responding to the allegations, Ramesh said that the opposition parties didn't have the numbers and that's why they were "putting blame" on him. The BJP rejected the allegations as "baseless "Opposition including the Congress walked out of Rajya Sabha on RTI bill because they lacked the numbers. Only 75 MPs voted to send the bill to Select Committee.

Leader of Opposition's Ghulam Nabi Azad silly and baseless accusations questioning today's vote and 2019 mandate show them as bad and arrogant losers," BJP spokesperson and Rajya Sabha MP GVL Narasimha Rao tweeted. The Bill seeks to empower the Centre to make rules to decide the tenure, salary, allowances and other terms of service of Information Commissioners of the Central Information Commission and also of State Information Commissions.


Vice President Venkaiah Naidu slams Imran Khan for his remarks on presence of terrorists in Pakistan

New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday took a veiled dig at Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan for his remarks that thousands of terrorists still exist on Pakistani soil.

"Encouraging terror has become state policy of some countries including our neighbour. Aiding, funding, abetting, training terrorist and causing havoc....I am happy our neighbour Prime Minister (Imran Khan) yesterday said that there are 30,000-40,000 terrorists but he gave wrong address saying that they are trained in Kashmir," Naidu said here.

"They are trained in your part of the country you should understand that and take steps because that will affect that country also," said the Vice-President. His remarks came during his address at the launch of book on Artificial Intelligence written by Rajya Sabha MP Narendra Jadhav. On Tuesday, Imran Khan during his visit to Washington said that his country still has 30,000-40,000 terrorists.

"There was a watershed in Pakistani politics. In 2014, the Pakistani Taliban slaughtered 150 schoolchildren at Army Public School. All the political parties signed the National Action Plan and we all decided after that, that we will not allow any militant groups to operate inside Pakistan," Khan had said. "Until we came into power, the governments did not have the political will, because when you talk about militant groups we still have about 30,000-40,000 armed people who have been trained and have fought in some part of Afghanistan or Kashmir," he revealed.


Whatever I said was in 'fit of anger', as Guv I should have avoided it: Satya Pal Malik

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir): A day after he said that terrorists should gun down those who have looted the country and their state, Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday said that as a Governor he should have avoided the comment while adding that whatever he said was in a "fit of anger".

"Whatever I said was in a fit of anger and frustration due to rampant corruption. As a Governor, I should not have said this. But if I was not holding this post, I would have said the same and would have been ready to bear the consequences," Malik told ANI.

"Many of the political leaders and top bureaucrats are steeped in corruption here, they are criminals. As a Governor I should have avoided making such a comment, but as an individual this is what I feel," he added.

Addressing a gathering at the inaugural event of Kargil Ladakh Tourism Festival 2019 at Khree Sultan Choo Sports Stadium Kargil on Sunday, Malik opined that the biggest disease in Jammu and Kashmir is corruption.

"The biggest disease in Kashmir is corruption...These youth with guns, they are killing PSOs and SPOs for no reason, why are you killing them? Kill those who have looted your country and all the wealth from Kashmir, have you killed anyone out of them? Nothing will be achieved by this," Governor had said.

Hitting out at former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, the Governor called him a "political juvenile" after Abdullah criticised him over his statement on Sunday.

"He is a political juvenile who tweets on everything. See the reaction to his tweets and you will find out, go on the streets and ask about him," Malik said.

Earlier, the National Conference leader had taken to Twitter and said that if any politician or bureaucrat is killed in the state then it must be considered as the execution of Governor's order.

"Save this tweet - after today any mainstream politician or serving/retired bureaucrat killed in Jammu and Kashmir has been murdered on the express orders of the Governor of J and K Satyapal Malik," tweeted Abdullah.

Supreme Court refuses to urgently list plea of 2 Independent Karnataka MLAs seeking floor test forthwith

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to urgently list a plea of two Independent Karnataka MLAs seeking holding of floor test forthwith, but said it may consider listing of the petition Tuesday.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, "Impossible. We have never done this before. Tomorrow we may see to it."

The bench's remarks came when senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the two legislators -- R Shankar and H Nagesh, said he has filed a new petition in the Karnataka matter and seeks its urgent listing.

Rohatgi said the floor test is being delayed on one pretext or the other. He said when the Congress-JD(S) coalition can take orders for holding of floor test earlier, then same order can be issued now.

To this the bench said, "We will see tomorrow." The two MLAs, who withdrew support to the Congress-JD(S) government in Karnataka, moved the top court seeking a direction for conducting a floor test forthwith in the state Assembly.

They said that the state has plunged into a political crisis after they withdrew their support to the government and 16 lawmakers of the ruling coalition tendered their resignations.

After missing two deadlines, Karnataka gears up for trust vote again

Bengaluru (Karnataka): Tension in both the camps i.e. JD(S)-Congress and the BJP, is apparently at its peak with leaders pulling up their socks and making all-out efforts to fetch numbers. In pursuit, both BJP and Congress leaders simultaneously held legislative party meetings in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Also, ahead of the trust vote, the BJP is scheduled to convene another parliamentary party meeting on Monday morning.

In a seemingly last-ditch attempt to persuade rebel MLAs, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Sunday appealed them to attend the Assembly Session and explain how the BJP allegedly sabotaged democratic edifice and "destroyed its sanctity".

With Karnataka Assembly scheduled to take confidence motion on Monday, all eyes are now stuck on the proceedings of the day particularly in the backdrop of BJP alleging the Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar of dragging his feet on the floor test. On Friday, the Assembly failed to meet two deadlines set by Governor Vajubhai Vala to complete the trust vote.

After which, Chief Minister Kumaraswamy moved the Supreme Court challenging the Governor's directive to the government saying it was in violation of well-settled law laid down by the court.

On the other hand, two independent Karnataka MLAs on Sunday moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to conclude a floor test in the state Assembly on Monday before 5 pm.

Earlier giving a twist to the political stalemate in Karnataka, the Supreme Court had on July 12 ordered a status quo until July 16 on a plea filed by 10 dissident MLAs of Congress and JD (S) seeking a direction to the Assembly Speaker to accept their resignation and not proceed with the applications for their disqualification.

Afterwards, the Supreme Court on July 17 held that the 15 rebel Karnataka Congress-JD(S) MLAs cannot be compelled to participate in the trust vote in the Assembly.

The 13-month-old Congress-JDS government slumped into a minority earlier this month following the resignation of several dissident MLAs. Sixteen MLAs from the ruling coalition including thirteen Congress and three JD(S) MLAs have resigned.

The state Assembly has 225 members, including one nominated MLA. The halfway mark in the 225-member Assembly is 113.

Aiming for the Moon, ISRO to launch Chandrayaan 2 today