Today Picture

Depriving states of GST dues a bid to undermine federalism: CM

Statesman News Service | 
Slamming the Centre over failure to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST) dues to the states, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that it undermines federalism and urged him not to destroy the trust between the states and the Centre on the issue.

“Depriving states of GST Compensation is an attempt to undermine federalism,” Miss Banerjee wrote and asked the PM “not to allow an insufferable blow to the federalist polity of the nation by depriving the states of the GST compensation”.

Miss Banerjee said that if it is said that it is not the responsibility of the Government of India to compensate states for GST shortfall in this pandemic then “this appears to be an act of subterfuge to undermine the trust reposed by the states in the spirit of cooperative federalism” and “an onslaught on the democratic and federal structure of the country”.

“I am deeply anguished by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) imbroglio which tantamounts to a betrayal of the trust and moral responsibility of the Government of India towards the states, violating the very premise of federalism.

Miss Banerjee reminded Mr Modi that he as CM of Gujarat had opposed the implementation of GST on various grounds while former finance minister Arun Jaitley had stated that the sole reason why BJP was opposing GST implementation was because it did not trust the Government of India in honouring compensation of GST losses to the states. “Today his words are ringing in our ears as we are losing trust on the BJP Government in the Centre, in honouring its solemn promise of fully compensating GST losses to the states,” she wrote.

She added that the “agreed formula” for giving up taxing powers was the promise of full compensation of shortfall in GST collection for five years.

Later in a Press Conference in Nabanna, Miss Banerjee said that she has spoken on behalf of all the chief ministers. “During the ongoing pandemic situation there is only burning and no earning. Why is the Centre moving back from its commitment? This is nothing but a breach of trust on the Centre’s part,” she said.

The non-BJP ruled states and Union Territory Puducherry on Monday had rejected the Centre’s suggestion that the states should borrow to make up for the GST shortfall, saying the constitutional liability to fill the gap lies with the Union government.


Bigg Boss 14 Updates: Will godwoman Radhe Maa enter the show?

Mumbai: The new season of one of the most talked-about and controversial reality show Bigg Boss is around the corner and fans have been eagerly waiting for the makers to announce the contestant list soon. While the makers of the show haven’t yet confirmed the final list of contestants, several names including the controversial Radhe Maa are being associated with Bigg Boss 14.

And now, if the buzz is to be believed then self-proclaimed godwoman Radhe Maa has been reportedly approached by the makers of Bigg Boss to participate in the Salman Khan hosted the show. It is being said that she was approached by the makers of the show for last season but she will likely be a part of the upcoming season.

Radhe Maa, whose original name is Sukhvinder Kaur, has been a prominent figure in Punjab. She was born in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab and has been on the spiritual path ever since she was young.

However, no official confirmation by the makers of Bigg Boss or Radhe Maa’s representatives has been released yet.

But if the latest reports turn out to be true, then the show will definitely get spiced up just like the season 10 when self-proclaimed godman Swami Om became a part of the show.

Speaking about the other probable contestants who are likely to take part in Bigg Boss 14, it is being said that Jasmin Bhasin, Nia Sharma, Nalini Negi, and Naina Singh have accepted the offer. Meanwhile, actress Disha Vkani who is popular for playing the role of Dayaben in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah is also approached by the makers to become a part of the most controversial show. But the confirmed list is yet to be announced.

Reportedly, the contestants were supposed to be kept in a quarantine period of at last week of August and the show was supposed to go live from the 5th of September. But the makers of the Bigg Boss were forced to push the show date by a month due to heavy rains in Mumbai. The official launch date is also yet to be announced.

PM Modi’s personal website hacked later restored: Twitter

New Delhi: Twitter on Thursday said that the account linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s website was hacked, and was later restored.

“We’re aware of this activity and have taken steps to secure the compromised account. We are actively investigating the situation. At this time, we are not aware of additional accounts being impacted. Advice on keeping your account secure can be found,” a Twitter spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

According to reports, the hacker put out messages seeking donations to the Prime Minister’s relief fund for COVID-19 using bitcoins.

“This account is hacked by John Wick (, We have not hacked Paytm Mall,” the message reportedly said.

On August 30, cybersecurity firm Cyble had claimed that hacker group John Wick was behind a data breach at Paytm Mall, the e-commerce unit of Paytm.


Twitter said at this stage, there is no indication or evidence of any correlation between this account compromise and the incident that took place in July.

In July, accounts of Jeff Bezos, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and other high-profile users were also compromised.


Source: PTI


4 LeT militant associates arrested in J&K

“Arms and ammunition recovered from the arrested persons include AK-47 rounds, detonators among others,” the police said.

Four associates of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group were arrested by the security forces on Wednesday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Badgam district, police said.

“During a cordon and search operation troops of the 53 Rashtriya Rifles and police arrested 4 LeT militant associates in Pethkoot village of Beerwah tehsil. Incriminating material has been recovered from them.

“The four men were identified as Shakil Ahmad Wani and Showkat Ahmad, both residents of Pethkoot village, and Aqib Maqbool Khan and Ajaz Ahmad Dar of Cherwani Chrar-e-Sharief. The group was involved in providing shelter and logistical support to active LeT militants in the area.

“Arms and ammunition recovered from the arrested persons include AK-47 rounds, detonators among others,” the police said.

Covid-19: Tally nears 37 lakh; recovery rate 76.94 per cent

According to a Covid tracker report by JM Financial, of the top 6 worst-hit states, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have peaked out based on a 7-day moving average. The top 20 districts constitute 39 per cent of total cases led by Delhi.

Of the top six worst Covid-hit states, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have peaked out while new cases in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh are not yet seeing a downward curve.

According to a Covid tracker report by JM Financial, of the top 6 worst-hit states, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have peaked out based on a 7-day moving average. The top 20 districts constitute 39 per cent of total cases led by Delhi.

The others are Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Thane, Bengaluru Urban, East Godavari, Hyderabad, Kurnool, Hyderabad, Anantapur, Kolkata, Nashik, Visakhapatnam, West Godavari, Chittoor, Guntur, North-24 Paraganas, Ahmedabad, Raigad, SPS Nellore.

India’s Covid-19 tally is though the third-largest in the world, India’s recovery rate has been steady and the death rate is moderating. India’s deaths-to-positives ratio has moderated to 1.79 per cent versus 1.86 per cent last week. The daily recoveries-to-new cases ratio for India averaged 88 per cent in line with last week, the Ministry of Health data showed.

As per the tracker, the daily growth in cases is now lower than testing per million. The deaths per test for India remain below most nations while the daily growth in testing per million (at 2.4 per cent) is now above daily case growth (at 2.2 per cent)

Donald Trump condoles death of ex-President Pranab Mukherjee

US President Donald Trump has expressed his condolence over the death of former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee who passed away at a hospital here on Monday.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the US President said: “I was saddened to learn of the passing of India’s former President, #PranabMukherjee. I send my condolences to his family and the people of India as they grieve the loss of a great leader.”

Mukherjee, a Congress veteran, was admitted to the hospital on August 10. He was hospitalised for over 20 days. His condition turned critical following brain surgery.

Mukherjee was the President of India from 2012 to 2017.

He was conferred the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, in 2019, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.

COVID update: India conducts more than 1.22 crore tests in last 2 weeks

The states contributing maximum to the overall number of tests include Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra among others.

The guiding principle of Test, Track, Treat by Centre and States/UTs has led to the early diagnosis and enhanced recoveries of COVID19 patients in the country.

As of Tuesday, India’s cumulative tests have crossed 4.3 crores (4,33,24,834) while 1,22,66,514 tests were conducted in the last two weeks alone.

States/UTs are progressively increasing their testing capacity. The states contributing maximum to the overall number of tests include Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra among others. These three states account for nearly 34% of the total testing.

India’s per day testing capacity has crossed 10 lakh tests and 10,16,920 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.

There has been sustained growth in the average weekly numbers of tests. The weekly average tests have multiplied by more than 4 times since the first week of July 2020.

Expanded diagnostic lab network and facilitation for easy testing across the country have given a substantial boost. The Tests Per Million (TPM) have also seen a sharp increase to 31,394.

22 States/UTs have better TPM than the National Average.

Goa, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are reporting the maximum number of tests in a day.

For all authentic and updated information on COVID-19 related technical issues, guidelines and advisories please regularly visit: and @MoHFW_INDIA

Technical queries related to COVID-19 may be sent to and other queries on and @CovidIndiaSeva

In case of any queries on COVID-19, please call at the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare helpline no.: +91-11-23978046 or 1075 (Toll-free).

List of helpline numbers of States/UTs on COVID-19 is also available at

Day after Army thwarts PLA, China alleges Indian troops violated consensus, illegally trespassed LAC

‘India’s move has grossly violated China’s territorial sovereignty, seriously violated relevant agreements, protocols and important consensus reached between the two countries,’ said Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong.


A day after India’s allegation of Chinese intrusion and its measures to thwart the action, the Chinese side said that the Indian troops had violated the consensus on Monday and illegally trespassed the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

“On August 31st, Indian troops violated the consensus reached in previous multi-level engagements and negotiations between China and India, illegally trespassed the Line of Actual Control again at the southern bank of the Pangong Tso Lake and near the Reqin Pass in the western sector of China-India border, and conducted flagrant provocations, which again stirred tension in the border areas,” Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong said in a statement.

“India’s move has grossly violated China’s territorial sovereignty, seriously violated relevant agreements, protocols and important consensus reached between the two countries, and severely damaged peace and tranquillity along with the China-India border areas. What India has done runs counter to the efforts made by both sides for a period of time to ease and cool down the situation on the ground, and China is resolutely opposed to this,” she said.

She further said that China has made “solemn representations to the Indian side, urged the Indian side to strictly control and restrain its frontline troops, earnestly honor its commitments, immediately stop all the provocative actions, immediately withdraw its troops illegally trespassing the Line of Actual Control, immediately stop any actions leading to the escalation and complication of the situation”.

Yesterday, the Indian Army said in a statement said that the Chinese Army has carried out provocative military movements on the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake on Saturday night to change the status quo.

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops violated the previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo,” said the statement.

“Indian troops preempted this PLA activity on the southern bank of Pangong Tso lake, undertook measures to strengthen our positions and thwart Chinese intentions to unilaterally change facts on ground,” it said.

The statement further said that the army is committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity through dialogue, but is also equally determined to protect its territorial integrity.

Today, the Chinese embassy’s remarks are on the same line as that of the Chinese Defence Ministry and Foreign Ministry.

Yesterday, the Chinese Weterns Theatre Command’s spokesperson Senior Colonel Zhang Shuili said that Indian troops had illegally passed the LOC again at the southern bank of the Pangong Tso Lake and near Reqin Mountain.

Shuili said that the Indian military’s move has violated the consensus reached in previous multi-level engagements and negotiations between the two countries.

He further pointed out that India’s move has grossly violated China’s territorial sovereignty, and severely damaged peace and stability in the China-India border area.

“We solemnly demand the Indian side to immediately withdraw its troops that (are) illegally trespassing the border line, strictly control and restrain its frontline troops and earnestly honor its commitments, so as to avoid further escalation in the situation,” he had said.

On the other side, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian had said, Chinese border troops have been strictly observing the Line of Actual Control and never crossed the line. The Chinese and Indian border troops are in contact with each other regarding the issue on the ground.”

“China and India are in close communication through diplomatic and military channels. As for the specific meetings and talks, information will be released in due course once we have an update,” he added.

The two sides were engaged in a confrontation on the northern bank of Pangong Tso Lake but it was for the first time such an incident occurred on the southern bank.

It is the first major incident in the area after the Galwan Valley clashes on 15 June in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. China also suffered casualties but it is yet to make the details public but according to an American intelligence report it was 35.

The stand-off between the two Asian superpowers escalated in the eastern Ladakh region in April-May and peaked on June 15 when 20 Indian soldiers were martyred at the Galwan Valley.

The bone of contention between the two sides is the interpretation of LAC in the mountainous region as the Indian side believes that Line of Actual Control lies at Finger 8 while China believes the LAC is at Finger 4.



Allahabad HC orders Dr Kafeel’s release, NSA charges dropped

Allahabad: In a huge relief to Dr. Kafeel Khan, who has been in custody under the stringent provisions of the National Security Act, 1980, the Allahabad High Court has directed the Government to immediately release him.

The order has come in a habeas corpus petition filed by Dr. Khan’s mother who alleged that his son had been detained illegally.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal Singh has revoked the NSA charges against Dr. Khan, who is presently lodged in the Mathura jail. The order of detention dated 13th February, 2020 passed by District Magistrate, Aligarh under the NSA Act and confirmed by the State of Uttar Pradesh has been set aside. The extension of the period of detention of detenue Dr. Kafeel Khan is also declared illegal.

He was arrested from Mumbai in January this year, for allegedly giving a provocative speech at the Aligarh Muslim University on December 13, 2019, amidst the anti-CAA protests.

Notably, Khan had been granted bail by the court of CJM, Aligarh on February 10. However, he has been languishing in jail under the NSA Act, which was slapped on him by the Aligarh District Magistrate on February 15.

The present habeas corpus plea was moved by Khan’s mother, Nuzhat Perween. She had first approached the Supreme Court in March this year, seeking release of his son. However, a bench comprising CJI S A Bobde, Justices Surya Kant and BR Gavai disposed of the plea with an observation that Allahabad High Court is the appropriate forum for dealing with the matter.

Vide an order dated August 19 the High Court sought for the original record of the proceedings against Dr. Khan under the NSA.

Khan came in news first in August 2017, during the tragedy in Baba Raghav Das(BRD) Medical College Hospital, Gorakhpur, regarding the death of nearly 60 infants due to lack of oxygen supply.

He was initially reported to have acted as a saviour by promptly acting to arrange emergency oxygen supply by paying out of his pocket.

Despite being hailed as a hero for arranging cylinders as children gasped for breath, he was named in an FIR registered under Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. It was alleged that he was negligent in his duties, which resulted in a shortage of medical oxygen.

Pranab Mukherjee’s funeral to take place with full military honours; PM, President pay last respects

Due to the Covid protocol, the dead body of the former President will be taken for last rites in a hearse van instead of the gun carriage. The funeral will take place at the Lodi Road crematorium.


Former President Pranab Mukherjee’s funeral will take place on Tuesday with full military honours. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu were among the dignitaries to pay the last respect.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and the chiefs of the three services also paid homage to the former president.

President Ram Nath Kovind paid last respect:

The 84-year-old former President Pranab Mukherjee was admitted after testing positive for coronavirus died yesterday.

Pranab Mukherjee was admitted to the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital on August 10, underwent life-saving brain surgery on the same day.

After admitting to the hospital, it was found that he had a large brain clot for which he underwent emergency life-saving surgery, but remained critical subsequently and on a ventilator.

He has not shown any improvement and his health status has remained unchanged since then.

Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit Mukherjee in a tweet informed about the loss.

“With a Heavy Heart , this is to inform you that my father Shri #PranabMukherjee has just passed away inspite of the best efforts of Doctors of RR Hospital & prayers ,duas & prarthanas from people throughout India ! I thank all of You,” he said.

Due to the Covid protocol, the dead body of the former President will be taken for last rites in a hearse van instead of the gun carriage.

The funeral will take place at the Lodi Road crematorium.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Home Affairs had announced to observe seven days mourning across the nation from August 31 to September 6 as a mark of respect to the departed former President of India Pranab Mukherjee.

“As a mark of respect to the departed dignitary, seven days State Mourning will be observed throughout India from 31.08.2020 to 06.09.2020, both days inclusive. During the period of State Mourning, the National Flag will fly at half-mast on all buildings throughout India, where it is flown regularly and there will be no official entertainment,” it said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday expressed grief over the demise of former President Pranab Mukherjee.

Taking it to Twitter, he recalled his oath-taking ceremony during which Pranab Mukherjee was the President.

“I was new to Delhi in 2014. From Day 1, I was blessed to have the guidance, support and blessings of Shri Pranab Mukherjee. I will always cherish my interactions with him. Condolences to his family, friends, admirers and supporters across India. Om Shanti,” he said.

Pranab Mukherjee was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour, in August last year.