India: Exit Polls Say That KCR has an edge in Telangana, Cong snatches Rajasthan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Election exit polls results 2018: KCR has an edge in Telangana, Cong snatches Rajasthan

Exit Polls Results 2018 LIVE Updates : The exit polls show Congress surging ahead in Rajasthan, a close contest between the BJP and grand old party in MP and Chhattisgarh, clear edge for TRS in Telangana and a close fight between MNF and Congress in…

By HT Correspondent | Dec 07, 2018 22:17 IST

Voters in the states of Telangana and Rajasthan exercised their franchise on Friday. The voting started at 7am in 13 Maoist-affected constituencies of Telangana and at 8am in other parts of the state and in Rajasthan. Initially slow, the voting picked up later with EVM glitches being reported from a few constituencies but polling was by and large smooth.

The much awaited exit polls for all the five states that went to polls over the last one month were released after the voting ended in Telangana and Rajasthan.

Read: Clash at Sikar polling centre, two motorcycles burnt

Rajasthan, Telangana are among the 5 states — others being Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram — that went to the polls. Capping a high-decibel campaign, the five voted in four-phase polls starting November 12 and the results will be known on December 11.

Also Read: Telangana exit polls 2018: All you need to know

https://www.hindustantimes.com/images/app-images/2018/assembly-election/exitpoll_chati.htmlhttps://www.hindustantimes.com/images/app-images/2018/assembly-election/exitpoll_mp.html https://www.hindustantimes.com/images/app-images/2018/assembly-election/exitpoll_miz.html

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7:59 pm IST

CNX – Times Now exit polls project a hung house in Mizoram

The CNX-Times Now exit polls predict a hung house in Mizoram with a close fight between the MNF and Mizoram. The survey predicts the MNF to win around 18 seats and around 16 seats for the Congress party.

7:33 pm IST

Surveys predict clear edge for Congress in Rajasthan

The exit polls are predicting the Congress party to sweep Rajasthan. While the CVoter-Republic TV, CNX-Times Now and Axis My India Today exit polls project the Congress party to be surging ahead, India TV survey predicts a close contest between the two rival parties.

7:12 pm IST

Exit polls show a close contest between BJP and Congress in Chhattisgarh

The exit polls are showing a close contest between the ruling BJP and Congress in Chhattisgarh.

While CVoter-Republic TV and Axis-My India-India Today predicted the Congress surging ahead in the state, CNX – Times Now, India TV and CSDS – ABP projects the BJP as the winner.

Here’s the seat projection for Chhattisgarh as per surveys:

Hindustan Times

@htTweets

| Exit polls show a close contest between the ruling BJP and the Congress in Chhattisgarh. Read more here: https://goo.gl/2rkWgM 

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7:06 pm IST

Close fight between MNF and Congress in Mizoram: CVoter – Republic TV

The CVoter-Republic TV survey projects a close fight between the Mizo National Front (MNF) and Congress in Mizoram.

The exit polls predict the MNF to be winning between 16-20 seats and project around 14-18 seats for the Congress.

6:54 pm IST

Jogi-Mayawati alliance likely to win between 4-8 seats in Chhattisgarh: Axis My India – India Today and Aaj Tak

The Ajit Jogi Mayawati alliance, which was being projected as the kingmaker in Chhattisgarh, is likely to win betwwen 4-8 seats in the states, says Axis My India – India Today and Aaj Tak exit polls.

6:10 pm IST

Close fight between BJP and Congress in Chhattisgarh: Republic TV

CVoter-Republic TV exit polls predict a close fight between the BJP and Congress in Chhattisgarh with the former likely to win between 35-43 seats and Congress likely to win 40-50 seats.

Here’s the seat projection for Chhattisgarh as per surveys:

Hindustan Times

@htTweets

| | Here’s the seat projection for Chhattisgarh as per surveys

Track LIVE updates here: http://goo.gl/ibgRGq 

See Hindustan Times’s other Tweets

6:07 pm IST

BJP to retain Chhattisgarh: India TV exit polls

The India TV exit polls suggest BJP is likely to win between 42-50 seats and retain Chhattisgarh.

Hindustan Times

@htTweets

| BJP to retain Chhattisgarh, show India TV ; to win 42-50 seats.
Track LIVE updates here: http://goo.gl/ibgRGq 

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6:02 pm IST

TRS to win Telangana, suggests CNX – Times Now

The CNX-Times Now survey suggests caretaker chief minister KCR’s party likely to win Telangana.

The survey shows Congress as no.2 with around 37 seats.

 

Hindustan Times

@htTweets

| In Telangana, TRS to win with 66 seats, show CNX – Times Now . Congress No. 2 with 37 seats.

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5:58 pm IST

CNX – Times Now, Axis My India – India Today and Aaj Tak exit polls show Congress winning in Rajasthan

The CNX-Times Now exit polls show Congress surging ahead of Rajasthan with around 105 seats while BJP likely to retain 85 seats.

Hindustan Times

@htTweets

| The CNX – Times Now show Congress
winning in Rajasthan. Here’s what the break up looks like –

BJP – 85
Congress – 105
Others – 9

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As per the Axis My India – India Today and Aaj Tak survey, Congress is likely to win between 119-141 seats, whereas the BJP is projected to win 55-72 seats,

5:44 pm IST

Congress, BJP in tight race in MP: CNX-Times Now

CNX – Times Now exit polls show that BJP is likely to win between 102-120 seats while the Congress is expected to win between 104-122 seats.

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5:27 pm IST

Election results to be declared on December 11

The results of the high-pitched battle in 5 states – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram – will be declared on December 11.

5:10 pm IST

Polling ends in Rajasthan

The polling has ended in Rajasthan, however,people already in the polling stations will be allowed to vote.

The state recorded 72.17% polling by 5pm.

Click here for Live updates on Rajasthan assembly elections.

4:22 pm IST

Exit poll trends as soon as polling ends in Rajasthan, Telangana

The exit poll trends will be coming in as soon as polling ends in Rajasthan, Telangana.

The polling will end at 4 pm for the 13 constituencies of Telangana, while the polling at remaining constituencies will end at 5pm (for both Telangana and Rajasthan).

Uttar Pradesh Police Team Sent To Jammu To Arrest An Army Jawan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

A Uttar Pradesh police team was sent to Jammu to arrest an Army jawan allegedly involved in the murder of a police inspector during the Bulandshahr violence, and five more people were nabbed in the case, taking the total number of arrests to nine, officials said Friday.

Sedition is one of the 17 charges in the FIR in which 27 people have been named besides 50-60 unidentified people. They were allegedly involved in the violence that led to the killing of Inspector Subodh Singh and Sumit Kumar, 20. The violence was triggered after cattle carcasses were found in nearby fields.

Jeetu alias Fauji of Mahav village is a named accused in the case, Inspector General (Crime) S K Bhagat told reporters in Lucknow when asked about his alleged involvement in the mob violence.

Jeetu’s actual name is Jeetendra Malik and he is the 11th suspect named in the first information report (FIR) lodged at Siyana police station on December 4.

According to preliminary information, he is posted in Jammu and a police team has been sent there, Bhagat said.

“We hope that he will be arrested soon,” the IG said, adding the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe the case would be able to ascertain his actual role.

Army sources in New Delhi confirmed that the police have contacted the Northern Command and they are cooperating in the probe.

The five people arrested were identified as Chandra, Rohit, Sonu, Nitin and Jitendra but their names were not mentioned in the FIR lodged for the murder of the Syana SHO, Bhagat said.

They were nabbed on the basis of video footage and eyewitness accounts, he said. Police teams were conducting raids to make more arrests, the IG said.

The IG said that the confidential report of an inquiry conducted by ADG Intelligence S B Shirodkar has been handed over to senior officials.

The cattle carcasses were found outside Mahav village strewn in the fields of former village head Rajpal Chaudhary, who too has been named in the FIR along with five more men from the village. All of them are absconding.

Sources that PTI spoke to in the village revealed that Jeetu had come to the village on leave and was “present at the site of violence” but left soon after the incident on Monday afternoon. His elder brother is also in the Army.

“Both of my sons are in the Army. They are not here, they on duty,” his mother Ratan Kaur told PTI, adding the police had raided her house around 1 am Tuesday, assaulted her daughter-in-law, vandalised the house and picked up her husband, Rajpal Singh.

The 60-year-old woman said she was away in Pipala village at the house of her elder daughter-in law as her family had suffered a bereavement recently. She said she returned home only on Wednesday Speaking to a TV news channel, she Friday said, “Jeetu is in Kargil and if any evidence like a picture or a video emerges showing he killed the policeman then I will kill him myself. I’m not so heartless, I’m equally pained by the death of the policeman and the other boy from Chingrawathi and also for what the entire village and its people are going through.” Jeetendra’s wife Priyanka, 24, also supported her mother-in-law’s claim of post midnight vandalism and assault by the police.

“I was at home with my father-in-law and my three- month-old baby when the police came to our house. They assaulted me so badly that my hand got fractured and I suffered an injury in one ear,” she told PTI over phone from a hospital in Meerut. Sumit Kumar, from Chingrawathi village, who died in the clash is among those named in the FIR which also accuses Bajrang Dal’s Bulandshahr unit convenor Yogesh Raj, local BJP worker Shikhar Agarwal among others of instigating violence.

According to the FIR, the suspects were booked on the charges of mischief by fire or explosive substance, murder, attempt to murder, sedition, rioting, voluntary assault on public servant to obstruct them from performing their duty and endangering life or personal safety of others.

They have also been booked for destroying public property, among others. PTI SAB/KIS SMI AAR

First Published: Dec 07, 2018 20:36 IST

After 43 days in Odisha prison, Abhijit Iyer-Mitra walks free

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

(I AM NOT A LEGAL EXPERT ON  INDIA’S LEGAL AFFAIRS BUT DOES NOT THIS TYPE OF A CASE DAMAGE INDIA’S CLAIM OF BEING A DEMOCRACY?)(oldpoet56)

After 43 days in Odisha prison, Abhijit Iyer-Mitra walks free

Iyer-Mitra, who was behind bars since October 23 over his tweets on 12th century Jagannath temple and 13th century Sun temple since September this year, was granted bail by Orissa High Court on Wednesday after the Odisha Government decided not to accord sanction of his prosecution and withdraw all cases against him.

INDIA Updated: Dec 07, 2018 01:26 IST

Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Bhubaneswar
Delhi-based defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra on Thursday walked out of jail free after a court in Konark granted him bail on a personal bond of Rs 20,000 and an assurance that he won’t make any “distasteful remarks” in future. (ANI)

Forty three days after his arrest over allegedly insulting Odia sentiments and tradition in his tweets, Delhi-based defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra on Thursday walked out of jail free after a court in Konark granted him bail on a personal bond of Rs 20,000 and an assurance that he won’t make any “distasteful remarks” in future.

Iyer-Mitra, who was behind bars since October 23 over his tweets on 12th century Jagannath temple and 13th century Sun temple since September this year, was granted bail by Orissa High Court on Wednesday after the Odisha Government decided not to accord sanction of his prosecution and withdraw all cases against him. Iyer-Mitra was hospitalised on Sunday following acute pain in his stomach.

Soon after his release, Abhijit will head to Chennai to meet his mother VS Chandralekha, Tamil Nadu’s first Woman collector and a close associate of Subramanian Swamy.

The withdrawal of the cases came after he petitioned to the Odisha chief secretary seeking withdrawal of sanction to prosecute him under Section 196 of the CrPC in the 2 cases citing lack of intent or malice. “In addition to my apology to the Odisha assembly, I have unreservedly and unconditionally apologized for my words and actions that may have unintentionally hurt the sentiments of the people of Odisha, the Chief Minister and any others,” he wrote. Last month, the Assembly pardoned him after he begged apology.

In September this year, Iyer-Mitra landed in a doghouse after he flew in a chopper with former BJD MP Baijayant Jay Panda over waters of Chilika lake. He became a collateral victim of fight between the CM and his bete noire Baijayant Panda, when he went to the Sun temple at Konark in Puri district and posted a video blog on Twitter in which he said the temple was a humple(a slang for sex). An FIR was lodged at Konark police station, but Iyer-Mitra managed to secure bail from a metropolitan court in Delhi in September.

However, his ordeal began when he passed some offensive remarks against MLAs of the State leading to breach of privilege motion. He landed in further trouble when a second FIR was lodged against him by a one Manoranjan Swain of Bhubaneswar over an year-old tweet of him ridiculing Odisha and Jagannath temple. In a tweet dated November 16, 2017, he wrote “Odisha was discovered by Bengali explorers, who called it “OriShala!!! And it was named Orissa”.

Iyer-Mitra was arrested and sent to judicial custody after being booked under sections 294, 295-A, 506, 500, 153-A of IPC and 67 IT Act on Sept 20 for allegedly making offensive remarks that could cause communal disturbances. Soon after he landed in jail, he stopped eating.

Though his arrest was condemned by several intellectuals as well as Amnesty India, the government did not move till his health deteriorated on Sunday leading to his hospitalisation.

First Published: Dec 06, 2018 22:40 IST

Telangana assembly elections 2018: Can KCR take on Congress-TDP math?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Telangana assembly elections 2018: Can KCR take on Congress-TDP math?

With over 28 million eligible voters, Telangana will go to the polls on Friday.

INDIA Updated: Dec 07, 2018 07:22 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Telangana,Telangana assembly elections 2018,Telangana Polls
Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao(HT Photo)

With over 28 million eligible voters, Telangana will go to the polls on Friday. It has a complex polity — the incumbent Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the Maha Kootami led by the Congress, which includes the Telugu Desam Party, Communist Party of India, and the Telangana Jana Samiti, and two other important forces, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Here are the six variables likely to shape the outcome of the elections .


KCR
: This election revolves around the personality of caretaker chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR). He led the political movement for Telangana and was rewarded for it in 2014. Since then, two things have happened. One, he has consolidated political power in himself and his family; become distant from the electorate; and is seen to have amassed wealth. Two, he has launched a slew of tremendously popular and innovative welfare schemes, ranging from monetary farm assistance to promises of housing. He is also seen to have provided electricity. Which version of KCR prevails for voters will matter.


The electoral arithmetic
: The Maha Kootami has an electoral advantage if you go by sheer numbers . If the TRS had 34% vote share in 2014, the Congress and TDP combined vote share is 38%. In many constituencies, the votes of both parties exceed that of the TRS. Will older TDP loyalists vote for Congress and will Congress supporters transfer their votes to TDP or other allies? Will arithmetic prevail or will voter choices change?


The Muslim vote
: Muslims constitute 12% of the population. They exercise influence in close to two dozen constituencies. In the Muslim-dominated pockets of Hyderabad, the AIMIM, or Majlis as it is called, is popular and it has decided to back the TRS. So any win for the Majlis boosts the TRS, especially if it is a hung assembly. But outside Hyderabad, the mood is mixed. While a section of Muslims cheer KCR’s schemes like Shaadi Mubarak (allowances for women for weddings), there is a substantial section that criticises him for not delivering on the promise of 12% reservation for the minority community. They also have loyalties to Congress and believe party president Rahul Gandhi’s assertion that the TRS has a deal with the BJP.

Click here for live updates on Telangana assembly election 2018


Subnationalism
: Telangana is India’s newest state. It has come into being after a long struggle against Andhra Pradesh. The emotive factor has now subsided. But the TDP’s active participation in the politics of the state changes things. Telangana has a big ‘settler’ population, those originally from Andhra. Will they back the TDP? Or will they follow the lead of other Andhra parties like the YSR Congress party which have decided to stay neutral and, in effect, back the TRS? More critically, the TRS has now used the TDP’s presence to allege outsider interference and claim there is a conspiracy by Andhra Pradesh to regain control of Telangana. Will this put off the locals?


Jobs or welfare:
 The Congress has made a sharp campaign pitch against the TRS for not creating jobs. It has promised over 100,000 jobs in a year; it has also committed to over ₹3000 as unemployment allowance. The TRS rebuts the claims and points to its governance record on welfare. Across constituencies, among younger people in particular, the desire for jobs, particularly government jobs, and the belief that the government has not delivered on this aspect is deep. How much will it hurt the incumbent?


Local anti-incumbency:
 The biggest challenge for the TRS is the fact that its local legislators appear to be unpopular. It had 63 seats in the 2014 polls but managed to engineer enough defections to increase its strength to 90. Most of the former MLAs are re-contesting. Will this local anti incumbency hurt the TRS or will KCR’s personality eventually offset this resentment?

In sum, the election is about governance, identities and subnationalism. It’s about personalities. It’s about local and micro factors. Voters today will determine what matters to them most.

First Published: Dec 07, 2018 07:08 IST

UP village on edge after clash over alleged cow slaughter that left two, including cop, dead

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

UP village on edge after clash over alleged cow slaughter that left two, including cop, dead

Villagers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they fear the police may do “anything” to avenge Subodh Kumar Singh’s killing.

INDIA Updated: Dec 04, 2018 09:51 IST

S Raju
S Raju
Hindustan Times, Syana (Bulanshahr)
cow slaughter,Bulandshahr,Subodh Kumar Singh
Fearing police action, men from the two villages involved in the clash fled after the killing of inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and Chingrawthi resident Sumit, 21, in the violence. (HT Photo)

Chingrawathi and Mahaw villages in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district wore a deserted look on Monday hours after a police inspector and a local resident were killed when protests over alleged cow slaughter in the area turned violent.

Bhartiya Kisan Union’s district in-charge, Tejvir Singh, said the men from the two villages fled after the killing of inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and Chingrawthi resident Sumit, 21, in the violence. He said they left fearing police raids. “We are in contact with women through mobile phones and keeping an eye on police activities,” said Tejvir Singh, who is a Chingrawthi resident.

Villagers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they fear the police may do “anything” to avenge Subodh Kumar Singh’s killing.

Tejvir Singh said the villagers were apprehensive that the police would not even allow them to bring Sumit’s body to his village for last rites. Sumit’s body had been sent to Meerut for post-mortem.

Tejvir Singh warned anything can happen if the police dared to misbehave with women in the absence of men.

He said the two villages, which have a population of over 5,500 of mostly farmers, are considered peaceful and blamed the alleged cow slaughter at Mahaw for the violence.

Subodh Kumar Singh’s driver, Ram Ashrey, claimed the mob that attacked the police had firearms and when they fired, a bullet pierced the inspector’s left brow.

The driver and other policemen tried to take him to a hospital, but the mob surrounded them and compelled them to flee, leaving the injured inspector behind in the police vehicle, he said.

Balraj Singh Dunger, a Bajrang Dal functionary, told HT that he had directed his local leaders to submit a report about the incident. He said that the inspector seemed to have died of shock after sustaining bullet injuries.

Also read: Mob torches truck in J&K’s Kathua alleging cattle smuggling

In Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh government ordered separate probes into the violence and rushed additional police forces to Bulandshahr fearing an escalation of violence amid the presence of lakhs of Muslims for a religious gathering.

Additional director general (intelligence) S B Shiradkar has been asked to file a report into the violence to the state government within two days. Inspector general of police (Meerut) led Special Investigation Team and a magistrate will probe the violence separately.

Officials said 11 companies of Rapid Action Force and Provincial Armed Constabulary had been rushed to Bulandshahr as a precautionary measure.

Around 15 lakh Muslims had assembled in Bulandshahr for a three-day Islamic congregation – Tablighi Ijtema – on Saturday. Officials said the event concluded on Monday and around six to nine lakh participants have since left the area. But until Monday evening, around five to seven lakh participants were still in the city. Officials said the police were “extra cautious” in view of the large Muslim presence.

Officials said 10 vehicles were attacked and five policemen were also injured in the violence that lasted for around two hours.

“At around 11.30 am, the villagers recovered cow carcasses. The locals dumped the carcasses on a tractor trolley and blocked the Bulandshahr-Garh highway under the Syana police station,” additional director general (law and order), Anand Kumar, told journalists in Lucknow. He said the attackers were from Nai Bash along with Mahaw and Chingarwathi.

Anand Kumar said inspector Subodh Kumar Singh reached the spot along with other police personnel and pacified villagers. “Initially, the issue was resolved and villagers were pacified on the assurance of a thorough probe,” he said.

The violence erupted when the police tried to clear the highway. “Initially, there was heavy brick-throwing. When police resorted to cane charge, the villagers opened fire from country-made guns. In order to control the situation, the police fired in the air to disperse the mob.”

First Published: Dec 04, 2018 07:18 IST

Massive fire in Mumbai’s Aarey forest near Infinity IT Park doused

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Massive fire in Mumbai’s Aarey forest near Infinity IT Park doused

According to Mumbai fire brigade, the fire, which was confined to trees and dry leaves, spread across an area of about 3-4 kilometers. Although, there were no reported casualties, a heavy damage to the forest is being feared.

INDIA Updated: Dec 04, 2018 08:49 IST

Steffy Thevar
Steffy Thevar
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Mumbai fire,fire at Aarey forest,sanjay gandhi national park
A major fire erupted in the Aarey forest near Goregaon suburb of north-west Mumbai on Monday evenin(Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)

A major fire erupted in the Aarey forest near Goregaon suburb of north-west Mumbai on Monday evening. The fire broke out behind Infinity IT Park at General AK Vaidya Marg, Dindoshi.

No casualties were reported till late evening.

The fire, which broke out at around 6:21 pm escalated to level three by 8:05 pm. According to Mumbai fire brigade, the fire, which was confined to trees and dry leaves, spread across an area of about 3-4 kilometers. Although, there were no reported casualties, a heavy damage to the forest is being feared.

Activist Zoru Bhathena said, “Although there might be no human casualties but there might be a huge green cover loss. Also, it is likely that there may be many animals and birds stuck in the forest fire. The cause also needs to get investigated as it may be an attempt to encroach the land by later claiming it to be a barren land.”

Ten fire engines, seven jumbo tankers and three quick response vehicles have been pressed into action to battle the fire.

Fire officials on ground are also using green branches to douse the fire. After the fire started to spread to the other side of the forest, the disaster control room intimated the nearby police stations to evacuate adivasis and cattles, if any, present in the area. The disaster control room officials, however, confirmed that no one was stuck in the fire.

First Published: Dec 03, 2018 21:45 IST

India’s Defense Minister to chart course for India-US tri-service military exercise

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Nirmala Sitharaman to chart course for India-US tri-service military exercise

During her visit, Sitharaman will also be charting out the course for the first ever India-US tri-service military exercise in Bay of Bengal in May-June, 2019.

INDIA Updated: Dec 03, 2018 07:23 IST

Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nirmala Sitharaman,US Indo-Pacific Command,Hawaii
Nirmala Sitharaman will be visiting the US Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii to review military-to-military relations and chart out the course for the first ever India-US tri-service military exercise in Bay of Bengal in May-June, 2019. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Days after the apex Japan-India-America (JAI) trilateral meeting on Indo-Pacific on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be visiting the US Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii to review military-to-military relations and chart the course for the first ever India-US tri-service military exercise off in Bay of Bengal in May-June, 2019. Defence minister Sitharaman left for Washington on Saturday night.

According to Indian and US diplomats familiar with the agenda of her visit, Sitharaman will be meeting her US counterpart James Mattis on December 3 to follow-up on the trilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Donald Trump and Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe and prepare grounds for sharing of information in the Indo-Pacific theatre through the secure COMCASA network. India recently signed a deal allowing it to become part of this network. With Japan, the US, Australia, and India all flying the P-8I anti-submarine surveillance aircraft, the Indo-Pacific theatre has become transparent for the QUAD grouping (of which these four countries are part) also as military information can now be exchanged through the secure network. This new network will be put to test during the tri-service amphibious exercise off the Indian seaboard next summer with all elements of Indo-Pacific command participating with their respective Indian military elements.

Senior government officials told Hindustan Times that Sitharaman will be interacting with key defence officials, thinkers and strategists on the west coast where she will be meeting a select group at Stanford university with former US National Security Advisor H R McMaster being the host. US Defence Secretary Mattis is also part of this network. She will also be visiting the highly rated Defence Innovation Unit (DIUx) in California in a bid to link Indian defence startups with this unit which aims to explore synergies between innovative US private sector firms and the Pentagon on latest technologies.

This will be largely funded by venture capital with Indian government providing the seed money. The main idea behind visiting DIUx is to understand the potential of constant technological upgrades achieved through research by private sector.

Sitharaman will be hosted by Admiral Phillip S Davidson, the top commander of all US armed forces in Indo-Pacific at Hawaii on December 6. The Minister’s visit to Hawaii is to recognize the American

effort to redefine and expand the strategic region in consultation with India. Simply put, the new definition gives India bigger play in the military affairs of the region with Japan and Australia being the other ends of the strategic grouping. The minister will also review the military to military exercises planned in future and discuss the strategic environment in the region with China in the focus.

During her meeting with Secretary Mattis at Pentagon, Sitharaman will also be exploring the acquisition of high-end military technologies for India such as the Predator-B hunter killer drone and reviewing the joint working groups on aircraft carriers and aircraft engines.

First Published: Dec 03, 2018 07:20 IST

Congress which questioned existence of Lord Ram now talking about Hinduism?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Congress which once questioned existence of Lord Ram now talking about Hinduism, says Smriti Irani

Referring to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on prime minister Narendra Modi that he did not understand the foundation of Hinduism, Smriti Irani said that it was strange that the party which had once raised question on Lord Ram’s existence was talking about Hindu and Hinduism.

INDIA Updated: Dec 02, 2018 22:20 IST

Union minister Smriti Irani hit out at the Congress saying the party which had once questioned the existence of Lord Ram was now talking about Hinduism.(PTI)

Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Smriti Irani on Sunday hit out at the Congress saying the party which had once questioned the existence of Lord Ram was now talking about Hinduism.

Referring to Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on prime minister Narendra Modi that he did not understand the foundation of Hinduism, Irani said that it was strange that the party which had once raised question on Lord Ram’s existence was talking about Hindu and Hinduism.

“Where was the Hindu in Rahul Gandhi when Congress had submitted an affidavit that Lord Ram does not exist?..,” she asked.

In September 2007, the then UPA government withdrew from the Supreme Court its two affidavits, including a controversial one filed by the ASI claiming there was no historical or scientific evidence to establish existence of Lord Ram and Rama Setu as a man-made bridge. The then government had backtracked after the ASI affidavit triggered a massive controversy.

Read: Owaisi will have to flee like the Nizam if BJP wins, says Adityanath

When questioned on Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan and his remarks on chief minister Captain Amrinder Singh, Smriti Irani said that Congress president needed to answer on it.

“Why does a Congress minister insult chief minister of his state? Rahul Gandhi should answer it. Why does a Congress leader love Pakistan more than India, Congress should think about it,” she said.

She also questioned the “silence” of Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Navjot Sidhu’s Pakistan visit.

“Pakistan foreign minister said Pakistan could throw a ‘googly’ at India due to action of this (Sidhu) Congress leader. But, Rahul Gandhi is quiet on the issue..,” she said.

Also Read: Congress leaders offer prayers in temples when polls near, but for BJP they are cultural issues, says Rajnath Singh

Earlier in the day, home minister Rajnath Singh in reply to a question in Jaipur said Congress was talking about Hinduism which it has avoided discussing till now.

“Hinduism should not be connected with any sect, caste and religion. It is a way of living life and it is a human religion. What will they talk about Hindu and Hinduism? They have called Lord Ram a fictional character in the affidavit submitted in Supreme Court in Ram Setu case in 2007,” he said.

First Published: Dec 02, 2018 22:13 IST

US consulate in Mexico attacked hours before Mike Pence, Ivanka Trump’s visit

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

US consulate in Mexico attacked hours before Mike Pence, Ivanka Trump’s visit

The attack occurred just before Pence and President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka flew into Mexico City on Saturday morning at the head of a high-level US delegation attending the inauguration of Mexico’s new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

WORLD Updated: Dec 02, 2018 08:34 IST

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Guadalaraja (Mexico)
US consulate,Mexico,Guadalaraja
The US consulate in Mexico’s second city, Guadalajara, was attacked with explosives.(AP)

The US consulate in Mexico’s second city, Guadalajara, was attacked with explosives hours before a visit to the country by Vice President Mike Pence and first daughter Ivanka Trump, authorities said Saturday.

The explosion late Friday night damaged a wall but caused no injuries, they said.

“The investigation has been handed over to federal authorities, who will give information on developments in due time,” the prosecutor’s office for the western state of Jalisco, where Guadalajara is located, said on Twitter.

The attack occurred just before Pence and President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka flew into Mexico City on Saturday morning at the head of a high-level US delegation attending the inauguration of Mexico’s new president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Prosecution sources said a person threw an explosive device at the building and ran away. The suspect was caught on film by security cameras but evaded authorities, despite the heavy security presence at the building.

Grenade fragments were found at the scene, according to investigation sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The blast left a 40-centimeter hole in an exterior wall.

In a video posted online in recent days, purportedly by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, the powerful drug trafficking organization had threatened to attack the consulate.

The cartel, one of the largest and most violent in Mexico, is a top target for US anti-drug operations.

First Published: Dec 02, 2018 07:14 IST

India: Thousands Of Farmers March On Parliament Today Demanding Fair Prices

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

With photos, skulls and placards, thousands of farmers march to Parliament today

Thousands of farmers at Ramlila Ground walked to Sansad Marg in the morning. Farmers want demands to be discussed in the Winter session of the Parliament.

DELHI Updated: Nov 30, 2018 13:52 IST

Gulam Jeelani and Dhamini Ratnam
Gulam Jeelani and Dhamini Ratnam
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Farmers march in Delhi,Farmers march today,Delhi news
The demands of the farmers is passing of two bills seeking ‘freedom from indebtedness’ and the ‘right to guaranteed remunerative minimum support price (MSP)’, which were introduced in the Lok Sabha in August this year.(HT Photo/ Sanchit Khanna)

Ashwini’s father, D Ramesh, a cotton farmer, had committed suicide in 2003. Twelve years later, P Chandrayi, Ramiah’s father — also a cotton farmer —killed himself in 2015. Both the farmers died for the same reason—their inability to pay debts.

With many things in common among them, the two girls from Warangal district of Telangana held the photo frames of their late fathers in their hands as they marched inside Ramlila Maidan with a group of farmers on Thursday to take part in the ‘Kisan Mukti March’ — a two-day farmers’ protest to demand a three-week special session of the Parliament to discuss the agrarian crisis.

“We had taken a few acres of land on lease and we grew cotton on it. There was no profit and my father couldn’t pay back the landlord. He couldn’t bear the burden and killed self,” said Ashwini, who works as a labourer, in broken mix of Hindi and English.

Thousands of farmers, like Ashwini and Ramiah, both 20, from across the country are marching towards Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan to participate in a peaceful, yet emphatic, protest march on Thursday, a week after their counterparts staged a similar march in Maharashtra’s Mumbai.

Read live updates here

Many farmer leaders will address the gathering at the street next to iconic Jantar Mantar, once the site for dissent in central Delhi. Representatives from political parties will also give speeches in support of the two-day “Kisan Mukti March” demanding a 21-day special session of Parliament to discuss agrarian crisis.

Among leaders expected to attend include Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Loktantrik Janata Dal’s Sharad Yadav, to name a few.

Read: Joint House session, loan waiver and MSP on protesters’ wish list

The farmers, in groups representing different organisations, started walking from five different locations entering the National Capital to be part of the march to press for their demands. Enroute, the marching farmers were provided with food and water by volunteers of different farmer organisations.

Ramabai, 45, who left home in Kolhapur, Maharashtra on Monday, reached Delhi on Thursday morning. She donned a red T-shirt of All India Kisan Sabha before joining the march at Shri Bala Sahib Gurudwara.

“There are 10 people in my house and the prices of rice, wheat and dal have shot up. It’s difficult to sustain the household,” said Ramabai, who works in the field of her landowner.

Organised under the banner of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), an umbrella body of about 200 farmer organisations from across the country, the march moved towards Parliament for a rally on Friday morning after halting for the night at Ramlila Ground.

Among the groups, a farmers’ delegation from southwest Delhi’s Bijwasan on Thursday was led by Yogendra Yadav, the president of Swaraj India and one of the working group members of AIKSCC. Yadav termed the protest as ‘one of the biggest marches’ of farmers in recent times. The biggest congregation, however, was of over a thousand farmers who walked from Sarai Kale Khan under AIKSCC’s banner reaching the ground at around 3.30pm.

A group of farmers from Tamil Nadu also arrived carrying skulls and bones to symbolise the suicides of their colleagues. The group threatened to go naked if they are not allowed to march to the Parliament on Friday.

“We are expecting a gathering of 35,000-40,000 people to march towards Parliament Street on Friday morning,” said Vijoo Krishnan, member of one of the many AIKSCC-affiliated bodies. In the night, food was served to the farmers at Ramlila Ground, where a cultural programme was also organised. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is expected to reach the venue on Friday.

Kiran Jangaiah, a 38-year-old farmer from Ranga Reddy district in Telangana, said, “I wanted to represent people like me in court so that our voices don’t get drowned.” The lake that used to sustain his farm, he added, has gone dry. To make ends meet, his mother Poshamma, works as a farm hand in other farms. Nearly 95 per cent of his district lies in the drought-hit Krishna river basin, which has been experiencing a severe drought.

The demands of the farmers is passing of two bills seeking ‘freedom from indebtedness’ and the ‘right to guaranteed remunerative minimum support price (MSP)’, which were introduced in the Lok Sabha in August this year. In 2004, the National Commission for Farmers headed by MS Swaminathan submitted five reports, which contain a draft of recommendations that safeguarded the interest of farmers. The formation of national and state disaster relief commissions that can declare a region or a crop as distress-affected, and provide necessary relief, is also a demand.

“The politicians are only interested in mandir and masjids. Our mandirs are our livestock and our crops,” said Rakesh Chaudhary, a farmer leader from Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district. “The new season of sugarcane farming has started and we are yet to get prices of previous crop,” he added.

First Published: Nov 30, 2018 07:16 IST