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LIVE! CBI arrests 2 UP police sub-inspectors in Unnao rape case

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May 16, 2018

23:53  CBI arrests 2 UP police sub-inspectors in Unnao rape case:  The Central Bureau of Investigation today arrested two sub-inspectors of the Uttar Pradesh Police in connection with the reported death of the father of a minor girl, who was allegedly raped by Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Kuldeep Singh Senger at Unnao, in judicial custody.

Sub Inspector Ashok Singh Bhadauriya, the then Station Officer and Sub Inspector  Kamta Prasad Singh--both of Police Station Makhi in Unnao district  have been arrested in the case, officials said.

The duo is at present under suspension.

The accused will be produced before the competent court tomorrow, they said.

The two have been arrested over allegations of criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence, the officials said.

The rape victim had alleged that she was raped by the MLA at his residence on June 4, 2017 where she had gone with a relative seeking a job.

The victim's father was booked by the police under the Arms Act on April 3 this year and put in jail on April 5.

Frustrated with the alleged inaction and coercion from powerful people, the victim attempted self immolation in front of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath's residence on April 8.

The next day, her father died in jail, with the postmortem report mentioning serious injuries on his body.   -- PTI
23:06  Ramzan from tomorrow:  Ramzan, the month of fasting in Islam, will begin from tomorrow as the moon was sighted today.

A spokesperson of Delhi's Jama Masjid said the moon was sighted tonight and fasting begins tomorrow.

Ramzan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset and join mass prayers at mosques.

Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramzan. This annual observance is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam.  -- PTI
22:37  Congress moves SC against Karnataka Guv's invite to BJP:   Congress moves Supreme Court against Karnataka Governor's invitation to Bharatiya Janata Party to form government, says PTI.

Media reports say Congress leader and senior lawyer Abhishek manu Singhvi has approached the Chief Justice of India.
22:34  Justice Karnan launches party, to contest 2019 LS polls:  Former Calcutta high court Justice C S Karnan announced today the launch of his political party and said it will contest the general elections next year with women candidates only.

His 'Anti-Corruption Dynamic Party' would contest in seats across the country including Varanasi, the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Justice Karnan said.

"My party will take part in the forthcoming (Lok Sabha) polls in 2019. We will decide on the number of seats but only women candidates will be nominated for contesting," Justice Karnan told reporters on the sidelines of a convention organised by several human rights organisations in Kolkata.

"We are approaching the Chief Election Commissioner for registration of my party," he said, adding that he wanted corruption to be removed from the country.

The Supreme Court had sentenced Justice Karnan to six-month jail on May 9 last year for contempt of court when he was a serving judge of the Calcutta high court.

He was arrested by West Bengal CID from Coimbatore on June 20.

He was the first high court judge to have retired as a fugitive on June 12.

Justice Karnan, who also served as a judge of the Madras high court, said he had been requested by the general body of his party to contest from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat in 2019.

"But I don't want to contest from Varanasi. That should also be contested by a woman candidate," he said.

Earlier, addressing the convention, Justice Karnan, a Dalit, said atrocities were being perpetrated regularly on minorities such as Dalits, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Parsis across the country.

"This stands out as most demeaning in the eyes of international community, even though we Indians boast of our country being the largest democracy in the world," he said.

He urged those belonging to upper castes to protect the interests of the minorities and Dalits, "since they are the weaker sections of the society".

"All the state machineries and the central government should protect the interests of minorities and Dalits, which is the paramount duty of the respective governments," he said.

He also demanded immediate release of "innocent social activists who are languishing in jails".

He made this statement when the speakers representing the organisers alleged that many social activists are jailed though charges against them were not proved.

The Convention was organised by Dr B R Ambedkar Sangh, South Asian Dalit Forum and Bandimukti Committee and others.  -- PTI
22:29  Congress to challenge Guv's invite to BJP in SC:  H D Kumarasway reacts to Governor's invite to BJP to form government:

"By giving 15 days time (to prove majority) the Governor is encouraging horse-trading by BJP leaders, this is unconstitutional. We will discuss the future plan," he said.

Meanwhile, media reports say the Congress is likely to move Supreme Court tonight against the governor's action.

Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi is likely to approach the apex court tonight.   -- with ANI inputs

Photograph: PTI Photo

22:03  Guv gives Yeddyurappa 15 days 'manufacture' majority: Chidambaram:  P Chidambaram's reaction after Karnataka Governor invites B S Yeddyurappa to form the government,

'Governor invites Mr Yeddyurappa to manufacture a majority in 15 days. Governor gives Mr Yeddyurappa 15 days to convert the number 104 into 111,' he tweeted.
21:50  "Tomorrow B S Yeddyurappa will be taking oath (as CM of Karnataka) alone, after proving majority cabinet will be sworn in," Murlidhar Rao, BJP.  -- ANI
21:41  Karnataka Governor's letter inviting BJP's B S Yeddyurappa to form government. -- ANI
21:36  Guv invites BSY to form govt, gives 15 days to prove majority: BJP:  The earlier tweet that was deleted by Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party has re-appeared on their Twitter handle.

'The moment that crores of Kannadigas are awaiting is here. Sri @BSYBJP will take oath as Chief Minister of Karnataka tomorrow morning at 9.00 AM at Raj Bhavan. The movement to build our Suvarna Karnataka has started. #CMBSY,' @BJP4Karnataka tweets.

Meanwhile BJP's Basavaraj Bommai says, "The governor has invited B S Yeddyurappa to form the government, official communication has been received. The Guv gave 15 days to prove majority, oath to take place at 9 am tomorrow."
21:08  BSY will take oath tomorrow, says BJP; deletes tweet shortly:  Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party has deleted a tweet announcing its president B S Yeddyurappa's swearing-in as chief minister tomorrow.

The party had earlier tweeted, 'The moment that crores of Kannadigas are awaiting is here. Sri @BSYBJP will take oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka tomorrow morning at 9.30 am at Raj Bhavan. The movement to build our Suvarna Karnataka has begun (sic).'

Meanwhile, BJP Karnataka in-charge Prakash Javadekar flashed victory symbol on being asked if the governor has sent a letter inviting the party to form the government.  -- ANI
20:52  JUST IN: Congress MLAs arrive at Eagleton Resort near Bengaluru. -- ANI
20:48  Guv should not walk on a path that is illegal: Chidambaram:  Congress leader P Chadambaram says, "The Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular clearly establish majority yet the Governor hasn't taken a decision to invite Shri (H D) Kumaraswamy to form the government.

"We heard the Governor may have invited B S Yeddyurappa. But since it is not confirmed we are proceeding on basis that the governor has not decided to invite anyone."

"Governor holds an exalted constitutional office. He shouldn't walk on a perilous path which is illegal. He's bound by SC judgment, bound to invite leader of the alliance which is presented to him as an alliance that commands maturity of members in legislative assembly," Chidambaram said.

"What is standing in way of the Governor from extending an invitation to the leader of the alliance (H D Kumaraswamy), who clearly demonstrated that he commands the support of the majority?" says Chidambaram.

"If the governor invites anyone but Mr Kumaraswamy (to form government) he is supporting and encouraging poaching (of MLAs)," he said.  -- ANI
20:23  Yeddyurappa will take oath as CM tomorrow at 9.30: BJP MLA:  Bharatiya Janata Party MLA and spokesperson Suresh Kumar S tweets that B S Yeddyurappa will take oath as Karnataka Chief Minister tomorrow at 9.30 am at Raj Bhavan.

'BS Yeddyurappa will be sworn in as Chief Minister of the state at Raj Bhavan tomorrow at 9.30 am on Thursday,' he tweeted in Kannada.

A report from India Today says Governor Vajubhai Vala has invited Yeddyurappa to form a government. However, it has not been confirmed officially as yet.

More details awaited.

19:33  Indore, the cleanest, followed by Bhopal and Chandigarh: Cleanliness survey:  
Indore emerged as the cleanest city, followed by Bhopal and Chandigarh in the government's cleanliness survey.
The results of Swachh Survekshan 2018, which aims to estimate levels of cleanliness across cities in the country, were announced today by Minister of State for Housing Hardeep Singh Puri today. 
Jharkhand was adjudged the best performing state in the survey followed by Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. 
Compared to the previous surveys, this year's exercise allocated substantial weightage to the feedback from citizens based on their daily experience.
Indore was the cleanest city last year as well but that survey was conducted only for around 430 cities. This time it was  conducted for around 4,200 cities.
The names of the worst performing cities would be announced on the day the awards would be presented, Puri said. -- PTI
19:23  At MLAs' meet, senior leaders blame Siddaramaiah for Congress's defeat:  
Outgoing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah turned "emotional" at a meeting of the party's new legislators today while speaking on Congress' defeat in the assembly polls even as senior leaders blamed him for the result, party sources said.
The 69-year-old leader received flak from several senior party MLAs, who held him responsible for the Congress' performance, citing his complete authority in selection of candidates and the Lingayat issue, they said.
Meanwhile, home minister in the outgoing government Ramalinga Reddy said most of the MLAs were present at the meeting today except "three or four " who were on their way, but all were in touch".
Claiming that 117 MLAs were on their side, he said "despite this if the Governor does not invite us, we will decide how to go further...we may also parade our strength."
Party sources aware of the developments said Siddaramaiah "kind of got emotional" as he spoke during the legislature party meeting of the Congress' loss despite his government's "good developmental works".
Siddaramaiah is also said to have cited "polarisation" as one of the factors that affected the party's prospects in the May 12 election.
The sources said 73 legislators, including one independent MLA, were present at the meet.
Six MLAs who were absent were in touch with party leaders over phone, they said. -- PTI
18:57  Sugar imports from Pakistan miniscule: Commerce ministry:  
India imported just 1,908 tonnes of sugar from Pakistan since April this year, the government said today, rebutting opposition charge that large quantities of the sweetener are being shipped from the neighbouring nation.
The government also said that it would not impose any country-specific ban on sugar imports as India is signatory to the WTO pact.
"Imports have been taking place from Pakistan but it has been miniscule when compared to India's total production and exports," Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) chief Alok Vardhan Chaturvedi told reporters here.
Till May 14 of this fiscal, mere 1,908 tonnes for a value of USD 0.657 million has been imported from Pakistan, as per the DGFT, which is under the commerce ministry.
"It is difficult to say whether the quantity of sugar imported from Pakistan was duty-free at present," he said and noted that there was no cause of concern.
In the entire last fiscal, sugar imports from the neighbouring country stood at 13,110 tonnes valuing USD 4.68 million.
Asked if the government will curb sugar imports from Pakistan in view of surplus domestic output, Chaturvedi said, "So far, there are no such proposals. We cannot impose any country-wise restrictions as we are signatory to the WTO agreement."
On raising customs duty, he said the upper limit to impose import duty on sugar under the WTO is 150 per cent.
"At present, customs duty on sugar is 100 per cent. To raise it more than 100 per cent, we have to get it passed in Parliament under the Finance Act."
Sugar production of India, the world's second largest producer, is estimated at record 32 million tonnes in the 2017-18 marketing year (October-September) as against 20.3 million tonnes in the previous year. The annual domestic demand is 25 million tonnes.
The DGFT said that the country exported 1.75 million tonnes of sugar in 2017-18 and 2.4 lakh tonnes so far this fiscal.
In Maharashtra, the Congress party and the NCP have attacked the Union government, claiming that its policy of allowing the import of sugar from neighbouring Pakistan was leading to a crash in its prices in the domestic market.
The Centre has doubled import duty to 100 per cent to curb cheaper shipments. It has also asked millers to export 2 million tonnes of sugar. -- PTI 
18:38  Toll in AP boat mishap put at 12; Search on for 10 missing:  
At least 12 people died in the boat capsize in Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh with searches still on for ten other missing passengers, feared drowned, officials said today.
The state government announced an ex gratia of Rs 10 lakh each to the kin of the victims of the mishap that occurred yesterday near Manturu village in East Godavari district with bad weather considered a probable cause.
The rescue teams that toiled for hours, to first trace the sunken boat and later to pull it ashore, so far extricated 12 bodies, including that of two children, officials said. 
Efforts were still on to trace the other ten, they said.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who visited the accident spot, said human error was the main reason for it and assured that those guilty would be brought to book.     

"There was gale yesterday and the boat was also laden with cement bags and two-wheelers. That caused the mishap. We will not spare anyone responsible for the incident," he said.     

Though a warning about the inclement weather was issued at least half an hour in advance, there was no communication system in the boat to receive it, Naidu said.
He also announced a government job would be provided to an eligible person each from the families of the victims and a house would also be built for them.
The boat, with about 35-40 passengers, was on its way to Rajamahendravaram from Devipatnam when the tragedy struck.      

At least 13 persons swam to safety after the boat capsized because of strong winds, West Godavari Superintendent of Police Ravi Prakash said.
The boat which got stuck in the sand of the riverbed at a depth of at least 40 feet was pulled ashore today.
Besides the navy, personnel from the National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, Fire Services, revenue and police departments are involved in the search and rescue operations.-- PTI
18:25  Cong-JDS delegation meets Guv, submits letter signed by 117 MLAs:  
Janata Dal-Secular and Congress leaders met Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala to press their claim for government formation.

After meeting the governor Kumaraswamy said that they have submitted a list of 117 MLAs to the governor and requested him to consider their claim to form the government. 

Karnatak Congress chief Parameshwara said, "The governor assured us he would act as per Constitution, Supreme Court judgments and precedents."

"Governor has assured that he will take action as per the Constitution. We have full faith in him that he will not do injustice. We have our numbers, not not even a single member has moved out. We will not allow any such thing to happen," Congress leader DK Shivakumar said.
17:59  BJP plans to topple Puducherry govt :  The BJP has put up a good show in the Karnataka polls, and while the verdict is still awaited on whether the BJP or the JDS-Congress combine will form government, the party's election mastermind, Amit Shah, is already looking at toppling the Congress Government in Puducherry.

By July, the BJP president is likely to visit Congress-ruled Puducherry for two days during which he is expected to work out a strategy to topple the V Narayanaswamy government.

For the past six months, it is the Congress government which has stalled the entry of three BJP MLAs to the the Puducherry state assembly. If these three MLAs cast their vote the State Government headed by V Narayanaswamy will be toppled.

To assist Narendra Modi's vision of a Congress-free India Shah got in touch with N Rangaswami, former Chief Minister of Puducherry and asked him to focus on brining down the Congress Government in Puducherry which is skating on thin ice.

Shah and Rangaswami had a secret meeting last week in
New Delhi and also in Bengaluru, a source present during the meeting said.

If the Congress is forced to exit Puducherry, only one Congress government in Punjab survives.

Before the 2019 elections, the BJP aims at choking
Congress funding.

Interestingly, the Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah was source of finance for the Congress. 
17:32  PM wants Gowdas decimated: Sources :   The hold that the Gowdas have over Karnataka, despite not being in power, is a threat for the BJP. The party is now doing all it can to ensure that the 38 MLAs of the JDS do not form government in Karnataka, which will decimate the Gowda family much like the Mannargudi family or mafia, as it were, of Tamil Nadu.

Mannargudi mafia is a term to describe the clique which consists of Sasikala Natarajan's immediate relatives that had a supreme influence on the first term of J Jayalalithaa as CM of Tamil Nadu.

Sources say that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to end Deve Gowda and his son Kumaraswamy's influence in the Vokkaliga community. Modi has given a two month deadline within which there has to be a complete eclipse of the Gowda family.  
17:13   Bengaluru: HD Kumaraswamy led the delegation to Raj Bhawan to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala.

The JDS has reached Raj Bhavan, with the Congress expected shortly.
16:50  The bus carrying Congress MLAs to Raj Bhavan.  
16:46  Security operations to stop in J-K during Ramzan: MHA:   In a major decision, the Centre today asked security forces not to launch operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan. The decision has been taken to help the peace loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment, a home ministry spokesperson said.

The security forces, however, reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people, the ministry said. 

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has informed Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti of the central government's decision.

"It is important to isolate the forces that bring a bad name to Islam by resorting to mindless violence and terror," the spokesperson said.  The government expects everyone to cooperate in this initiative and help the Muslim brothers and sisters to observe Ramzan peacefully and without any difficulties, the spokesperson said.

The holy moth of Ramzan is likely to start tomorrow or Friday depending on the sighting of moon. -- PTI
16:19  Cong-JDS to meet governor at 5 pm:  Congress MLAs being taken in a bus to meet Governor Vajubhai Vala. They are taking a list of the signatures of all the MLAs who have extended support. The JDS has also said that the Karnataka governor has called them for a meeting at 5 pm today.

Earlier today, Congress party's Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the party has been seeking an appointment with the governor since noon so they can handover two letters -- one of the Congress legislative party and the other of the JDS legislative. "We haven't received any message from the governor so far. We are waiting eagerly.  Stealing of MLAs shouldn't be allowed. No governor can go against the Constitution. We can't tell you whom we'll approach. At this juncture we've complete faith in the governor that he'll go by the Constitution and not party politics."

Reports also say that if the Congress-JD(S) are not invited by the Governor then the MLAs will sit on a 'dharna' outside Raj Bhawan from tomorrow. MPs may also join them.
15:25  Omar Abdullah says it best @OmarAbdullah Is there anyone (OK, except diehard BJP card holders) who disagrees with my assertion that had the BJP been teaming up with the JD(S) to keep the Congress out the Governor would have sworn in a government last night itself?
15:00  JDS, Cong MLAs sign up, meeting with guv this evening :  Signatures of JDS and Congress MLAs are being taken in support of HD Kumaraswamy. The document will be submitted to the governor later today.

G Parameshwara, Congress on 12 Congress MLAs not present in the legislative meeting at Karnataka Party Congress Committee office in Bengaluru: "All the MLAs are intact. Some of the MLAs came late because they came in a special flight from Bidar."

Retired Supreme Court Judge N Santosh Hegde said today that Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala should convene the Assembly quickly to settle the issue of majority as any delay would give elbow room for political parties to indulge in horse-trading.

"No party has got any majority and the happenings thereafter... I am not very happy because many unconstitutional methods are being tried to cobble up majority," the former Solicitor General of India told PTI.

"So, sooner the Governor calls the House and call upon the people to prove the majority, better it is," the former Karnataka Lokayukta said.

"Calling (B S) Yeddyurappa, you have an example of ... find basis from S R Bommai case where the Supreme Court has held the vote of confidence should be held only on the floor of Legislative Assembly and not outside, and single largest party should be called upon to prove majority," he said.
14:50  BJP does not do horse trading: Javadekar :  Prakash Javadekar, Karnataka BJP In-charge on HD Kumaraswamy's horse-trading allegations. Kumaraswamy had said that the BJP was offering Rs 100 crore for each MLA. 

"They are leveling baseless charges against BJP. Poaching and horse trading is not done by BJP; Congress is famous for it. Their own MLAs are not happy with their alliance. Rs 100 crore figure is not only imaginary but it is what Congress-JDS do politics through. We are going by rules, we have submitted our claim to the governor and are confident of forming the govt."
14:41  Chief Secy assault: Police to question Kejriwal:  The police on May 18 will question Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in connection with the Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash alleged assault case.

Earlier this year, Aam Aadmi Party MLAs Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal were questioned in the regard. Both Khan and Jarwal were arrested on February 21 for allegedly mishandling Anshu Prakash during a party meeting conducted at the residence of Kejriwal.

The MLAs were later sent to 14-day judicial custody, which was further extended by 14 days. Later both the leaders were granted by the Delhi High Court. -- PTI
14:36  Congress spokesperson Divya Spandana/Ramya @divyaspandana Who is this businessman from Gujarat bankrolling BJP's bid to buy MLA's in Karnataka? What deal has the BJP struck with him? Will public sector banks have to pick up the tab for BJP's corruption? Will our temporary FM @PiyushGoyal respond?
14:06  Congress set to move SC if guv invites BJP:   The Congress may approach the Supreme Court if Governor Vajubhai Vala invites the BJP to form the next government in Karnataka, reports NDTV. The Congress charge will be led Abhishek Manu Sanghvi and the party will approach the court tonight itself if the governor extends his invite to the BJP.

BJP's chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa met Vala today and said the governor had assured that a decision would be made "after seeing all possibilities".

The BJP has 104 seats, eight short of majority in the 224-seat assembly, but claims they will cobble together the required 112.

JD(S) chief HD Kumaraswamy said the BJP tried to poach on his partymen, offering them Rs 100 crore each. The Congress and ally JD(S) plan to meet the Governor later today.
13:46  Have told BJP not to call me, claims Cong MLA:   TD Rajegowda, Congress MLA on being asked if BJP had approached him: "They (BJP) keep on calling but we don't bother about it. I have clearly asked them not to call me. I am a committed Congress person. They have been doing this from long time. This is their job."
13:23  6 BJP leaders in touch with us: Cong leader :  Amid claims of MLAs being swoon by opponents in Karnataka, Congress Party leader MB Patil claimed that six Bharatiya Janata Party leaders were in touch with his party.

"We are all together. All this (Congress and JD (S) leaders changing sides) is false news. In fact, there are six BJP people who are in touch with us," Patil told media in Bengaluru.

Meanwhile, Congress MLA NA Harris accused the BJP of doing "bad politics", and added that the grand old party would not stoop down to that level.

"We have to protect the verdict of the people. They (BJP) are doing bad politics. We don't have to stoop down to their level. We are 118 in number; we don't want anyone," he said, adding that he was not called to any resort, against reports stating otherwise.

Two JD(S) MLAs, namely Raja Venkatappa Nayaka and Venkata Rao Nadagouda, are missing from the meeting, while just 66 out of the 78 MLAs attended the legislative meeting at the Karnataka Party Congress Committee office.
12:58  BJP offering JDS MLAs Rs 100 cr each: Kumaraswamy:   Update: "JD(S) MLAs are being offered Rs 100 crore each. Where is this black money coming from? They are supposedly the servers of poor people and they are offering money today. Where are the income tax officials?: Kumaraswamy.

He said the Congress-JD(S) combine had a "clear majority" with the support of 116 MLAs. "Without the numbers, how can they (BJP) form the government?" he asked. Kumaraswamy said he was not out to grab power. As the state Assembly polls gave a fractured verdict, the JD(S) and Congress have come together and petitioned Governor Vajubhai Vala to allow the combine to form its government.

"BJP's Ashwamedha Yatra started in the north, the horses have been stopped in Karnataka. This verdict is to stop the Ashwamedha Yatra. Forget 'Operation Kamal' being successful, there are people who are ready to leave BJP & come with us. If you try to poach one from ours, we'll do the same & take double from you. I'm also telling the governor to not take any decision which encourages horse-trading."

On being asked if he had met BJP Karnataka in-charge Prakash Javadekar. Kumaraswamy asked, "Who is Javadekar? Who is that gentleman?"
12:40  BJP offering Rs 100 cr to JDS MLAs:  HD Kumaraswamy chosen as legislative party leader in a meeting of the JD(S) MLAs in Bengaluru. Addressing a presser now, he says the JDS will stay with the Congress and there was no question of supporting the BJP. He said the BJP was desperate to stay in power, it is trying hard to divide us. "They have 104 people, they need another 8 MLAs. BSY doesn't have the numbers, but the result did not make us happy. We thought the BJP would not cross 80 seats," Kumaraswamy said after being chosen head of the JDS legislative party. Kumaraswamy said the BJP was offering Rs 100 crore to their MLAs.

-- BS Yeddyurappa after meeting the Guv: The party has chosen me. I have given the letter to the Governor and  he will call me, that is what I am hoping. He told me that he will take an appropriate decision. I'll inform you after I receive letter from Governor.
12:32  We have support of some Congress and JD(S) MLAs: BJP's Eshwarappa:  Senior Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party leader KS Eshwarappa on Wednesday said that their party is in touch with some Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs as they hope to stitch together a majority to form the government in the state.

"Many JD (S) and Congress MLAs are angry with the Congress and JDs coming together to form government, they will come with BJP. We have support of some Congress and JD(S) MLAs," Eshwarappa said.

Talking to ANI, Eshwarappa said, "There is no doubt we will form govt, 100 percent we'll do that. Wait and watch. Results came out only yesterday. It has been only a day. See what can happen in Karnataka in a day."

Eshwarappa bagged the Shivamogga seat with a tremendous margin in the Karnataka Assembly elections.He secured 1,04,027 votes, defeating Congress' K.B. Prasanna Kumar by a margin of 46,107.

Meanwhile, BJP's Basavaraj Bommai said that the party wasn't approaching any individuals as of now, but added that politics is the art of possibility."Political scenario will unfold in next 2-3 days. It depends on development in political parties. As of now, we aren't approaching any individuals but politics is art of possibility," Bommai told reporters.
12:06  '2019 is a game wide open':  The Congress may not have emerged as the single largest party in the Karnataka election, but takes solace in the fact that its vote share was higher than that of the Bharatiya Janata Party."We couldn't convince our voters to choose us over the JD-S. And that is where we perhaps lost out some seats," Congress National Spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi tells's Syed Firdaus Ashraf. Do read
12:01  1 independent MLA gives written support to BJP:   One of the two independent MLAs in Karnataka has given his written support to Yeddyurappa. The state's Congress Party leaders have alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to "poach" their MLAs in an attempt to establish majority to form the government in Karnataka.

"They (BJP) are poaching our MLAs, and we know that. Every day, there is a lot of pressure. But it not so easy, as two parties have the necessary numbers. However, we are taking all necessary steps," Congress leader DK Shivakumar told ANI.

On being asked whether Congress MLAs in Karnataka would be shifted elsewhere, Shivakumar claimed that a plan has been chalked out to safeguard the former.

Echoing a similar stance, another Congress leader, Ramalinga Reddy, also claimed that the BJP was "trying hard" to get his party MLAs on their side. -- ANI
11:31  Three JDS MLAs with links to Reddy brothers missing:  JD(S) MLAs Raja Venkatappa Nayaka and Venkata Rao Nadagouda are missing from the JD(S) legislative party meeting which is going on in a hotel in Bengaluru. Both the MLAs have links to the Reddy brothers.

Five members of the core group of Reddy brothers, who were given tickets by the BJP, lost the elections while three won.

File image: Karunakara Reddy and Janardhana Reddy
11:04  Yeddyurappa leaves for Raj Bhavan :  BS Yeddyurappa has left for the Raj Bhavan to meet the governor, his second meeting in less than 12 hours.

The BJP legislators meeting is over. BJP's Sadananda Gowda, said they were the single largest party and should form government. "You have seen how Congress & JD(S) were fighting, six months back. Now, they want to come together & make government!" he said. 
10:57  JDS legislative party meeting begins:  JD(S) legislative party meeting begins in Bengaluru. The party's CM candidate HD Kumaraswamy said his party has already decided to go with the Congress. "That's the reason we called the Janata Dal (Secular) Legislature Party meeting. There is no question of taking any other decision."

However reports say that three Congress MLAs are missing and the JDS has confirmed that the BJP has reached out to its MPs.

The numbers are: BJP: 104, Cong: 78, JDS: 38, Others: 2

The Congress says the two independent MLAs are with them, which makes their numbers stand at 118. But with the three Congress MLAs missing, presumably poached by the BJP, that's down to 115. The BJP just needs three more MLAs over to their side to form government.

10:44  BJP likely to meet K'taka governor tomorrow:  BS Yeddyurappa, the BJP's CM candidate says that during the legislature party meeting which will be held shortly, the leader, will be elected. "From there we will go to Raj Bhavan immediately. We will stake claim to form the govt. Most probably we will ask the governor to give us time tomorrow," Yeddyurappa said.

Union minister Prakash Javadekar, one of the three observers sent by the Centre to the Karnataka said the people want a BJP govt and the party would ensure it happens. "Anyone can create unnatural tensions, but people of Karnataka are with us. After the meeting, we will take necessary steps. This attempt made by Congress to make a backdoor entry is not appreciated," Javadekar said.

Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and JP Nadda are the other two observers for the Karnataka.

Image: Prakash Javadekar and JP Nadda address the press this morning. Pic: ANI
10:37  Andhra boat capsize: Joint rescue effort being conducted :  Following the capsize of a boat in the Godavari river on Tuesday, a joint-effort by the National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response Force, Fire Service and Police officials is underway to recover the boat and bodies of the deceased.

According to an official statement, the State Emergency Operation Centre working under the supervision of the Sub-Collector of East Godavari district's Rampachodavaram, all rescue teams were on the spot and working on the operation.

The statement also mentioned that so far, at least 20 families had contacted Government officials with reports of missing cases. It is noteworthy that 17 people had been rescued so far, while others are still missing.

According to police, the boat sailed from Devipatnam to reach Kondamodalu at 3.30 pm on Tuesday. When the boat was 10 minutes away from the banks, heavy rain and high-velocity winds started during which the small vessel lost its balance and capsized. -- ANI
10:36  Sensex plunges 245 pts on political uncertainty, global cues:  The BSE benchmark Sensex tumbled over 245 points in early session today amid uncertainty over government formation in Karnataka and sustained foreign fund outflows.

The 30-share index was trading lower by 245.23 points, or 0.69 per cent, at 35,298.71.

Yesterday, the gauge had soared more than 400 points intra-day after the BJP emerged as the single largest party in Karnataka. However, it gave up all gains to end modestly lower after the Congress unexpectedly stitched up a post-poll alliance with the JD(S) and staked claim to form the government. Sectoral indices led by bankex, PSU, oil and gas and healthcare were trading in the red, down by up to 1.90 per cent. The NSE Nifty fell 72.85 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 10,729. -- PTI
10:16  BJP legislative party meeting begins shortly:  Bengaluru: Observers for Karnataka, Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan (not in picture), JP Nadda and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar arrived at the BJP office for the legislative party meeting. Meeting to begin shortly.
09:55  JD(S) legislative party to meet begin shortly:  In Bengaluru, JD(S) MLAs wait for the legislative party meeting to begin shortly.

With Karnataka throwing up a fractured verdict, both the BJP and the JD(S)-Congress combine have staked claim to form government.

The Congress and JD(S) now fear horse trading by the BJP.

JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy said the party is taking care to make sure its MLAs are not poached. JD(S) leader Saravana said, "I don't know what they (BJP) are offering but they are trying to call our people, but they are not responding. We are all together, no one can touch our party. Our party MLAs are loyal to the party." 

Outgoing Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah stated outright that the BJP may try to poach its MLAs.

Ghulam Nabi Azad of the Congress who was part of the entourage which met the governor at the Raj Bhavan, said JD(S) has faith in its MLAs. "Nobody is going to go away. Let BJP try, whatever they want to," Azad said.  

All eyes are now set on Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, who will take the crucial decision-- whom to call first to form the government in the state.

It is solely up to Governor Vala to take this major decision to whether call the single largest party i.e. BJP or the coalition party to stalk its claims to form the next government in Karnataka.
09:31  Madhya Pradesh: Mandatory for students to answer roll call with 'Jai Hind' :  Madhya Pradesh government has announced that from now onwards, it is mandatory for the school students in the state to answer their roll-call with "Jai Hind".

The education department stated that this step will instill a sense of patriotism among the students, read an official statement.

Earlier in November 2017, Madhya Pradesh School Education Minister Vijay Shah said now students would answer to roll-calls by saying "Jai Hind" instead of "yes sir" and "yes ma'am".

He had said that the step would be enforced in all 1.22 lakh government schools, and an advisory in this regard would also be issued to all private schools. - ANI

Representational image
09:25  BJP leader says party in touch with Cong, JD-S MLAs:  
BJP leader K S Eshwarappa says his party is in touch with "some" Congress and JD-S MLAs as the saffron party hopes to stitch together a majority.

The Janata Dal-Secular is scheduled to hold its Legislature Party meeting where all its newly-elected MLAs will be present at Le Meridien Hotel in Bengaluru. 

Government formation in Karnataka is a tricky affair now with the Karnataka assembly election results 2018 throwing up a hung assembly, giving 104 seats to the BJP, 78 seats to the Congress and 37 seats to the JD-S.

Meanwhile, Congress MLA from Kushtagi Amaregouda Linganagouda Patil Bayyapur alleges that he was offered a ministry by the BJP in lieu of support and claims to have rejected the offer.
08:49  West Bengal panchayat elections: Re-polling to be held in 568 booths:  
As violence was reported in a number of places during panchayat polls in West Bengal, which was held on May 14, re-polling will be held in 568 booths across various districts today. 

This development came after a number of candidates who were contesting the panchayat polls met State Election Commission, demanding re-polling in their booths.

The panchayat elections in West Bengal saw huge-scale clashes on Monday between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Trinamool Congress workers, resulting in the death of at least 12 people.

Taking note of the incident, the ministry of home affairs also sought a report from the state government regarding incidents of violence during the elections in the state.

The voting took place for 621 zilla parishads, over 6,000 panchayat samitis, and nearly 31 thousand gram panchayats.

The counting of votes will be held on May 17.

-- ANI
08:33  Varanasi flyover collapse: 4 officials suspended:  
After 18 people lost their lives and several others are feared trapped after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed near a railway station in Varanasi on Tuesday, four officials -- Chief Project Manager HC Tiwari, Project Manager KR Sudan, Assistant Engineer Rajesh Singh & engineer Lal Chand -- have been suspended with immediate effect.

An official of the UP State Bridge Corporation said that the body was set to pace up the work in order to complete the flyover by October. The piece of the flyover which fell was laid two months ago and interlocking work was being done, said K R Sudan, an official of UP State Bridge Corporation. 

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced compensation of Rs 500,000 for kin of those killed in the incident, Rs 200,000 for those who have been injured. CM Adityanath has also set up a three-member committee to probe flyover collapse. 
08:17  Pradhan, JP Nadda appointed as BJP observers in Karnataka:  
Union Minister for Oil and Petroleum Dharmendra Pradhan and Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda will attend a party meeting in Karnataka on Wednesday as Bharatiya Janata Party's observers.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at 11 am on Wednesday to discuss the state assembly election results announced a day before.

The BJP which managed to gain a hold on 104 seats has emerged as the single largest party but has failed to cross the half-way mark of 112 in the 224-member assembly.

On the other hand, Congress and Janata Dal-Secular, with 78 and 38 seats respectively, are staking claim to form a government in the state.

On Tuesday, outgoing Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah even said JD-S leader HD Kumaraswamy, son of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, will be the next chief minister.

Further, Bharatiya Janata Party chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa said he is going to meet the state's governor to request him to allow his party to form the government.

All eyes are now set on Karnataka's Governor Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala. As per the constitutional provision, the single-largest party is invited to form the government in the case of a fractured mandate.

-- ANI
07:53  JD-S to hold meeting of new MLAs at 5-star hotel; Cong meeting at 8:30 am:  
The Janata Dal-Secular is scheduled to hold its Legislature Party meeting where all its newly-elected MLAs will be present at Le Meridien Hotel in Bengaluru. 

Government formation in Karnataka is a tricky affair now with the Karnataka assembly election results throwing up a hung assembly, giving 104 seats to the Bharatiya Janata Party, 78 seats to the Congress and 37 seats to the JD-S. 

The Congress has dramatically backed the JD-S for chief ministership and both parties are likely to parade their MLAs before Governor Vajubhai Vala this morning. 

The Congress is likely to hold a meeting before that at 8:30 am. 

The BJP, too, has staked claim to form the Karnataka government, but is nine seats short of the majority mark. All eyes are now on who the Governor will invite first to form the government in Karnataka.
00:13  Karnataka: BJP legislature party to meet today:  The Bharatiya Janata Party that has emerged as the single largest party in Karnataka, where assembly polls has thrown up a hung verdict, has called a meeting of its newly-elected legislature party today.

The meeting under the presidentship of its state unit chief B S Yeddyurappa is likely to elect him as the new leader of the BJP legislature party, party sources said.

Much before the polls, BJP had announced Yeddyurappa as its chief ministerial candidate.

With the magic figure of 113 seats to form the government elusive for the BJP, Congress and JD-S leaders met governor Vajubhai Vala and staked claim to form JD-S-led government in Karnataka.

Yeddyurappa also met the governor and staked claim to form the government.

The governor is said to have told both delegations that he will take a decision once he receives communication from the election commission about the poll results.

Meanwhile, the Congress legislature party is also meeting today, party sources said.  -- PTI

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