Tue, 06 November 2018
Soldier injured in Pak firing hours after exchange of sweets at LoC

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23:33   Soldier injured in Pak firing hours after exchange of sweets at LoC
The Indian and the Pakistan armies exchanged sweets and festive wishes on Tuesday on the eve of Diwali along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

'On the occasion of Diwali, as a confidence building measure, sweets were exchanged between Indian Army and Pakistan Army at Poonch and Mendhar on November 6,' the Jammu-based White Knight Corps said in a tweet.

Both armies exchanged greetings and pleasantries along with the sweets, it said.

Meanwhile,  an Army jawan was injured on Tuesday in sniper fire from Pakistan's side of the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district, officials said.

The soldier was hit by a bullet fired from across the border at Kalal in Noushera sector and was immediately evacuated to hospital, they said.

The incident took place hours after armies of the neighbouring countries exchanged sweets and greetings.  -- PTI

IMAGE: Indian and Pakistani army men pose for a group photograph after exchanging sweets on the occasion of Diwali festival, in Poonch, on Tuesday.  Photograph: PTI Photo
23:01   Ready to rename Ahmedabad as Karnavati: Gujarat govt
Hours after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced the renaming of Faizabad district as Ayodhya, the Gujarat government on Tuesday said it was keen on rechristening Ahmedabad as Karnavati, if there were no legal hurdles.

Speaking to reporters in Gandhinagar, deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said the Bharatiya Janata Party government was willing to change Ahmedabad's name if it gets past the legal hurdles and receives required support.

"People are still having a feeling that Ahmedabad should be renamed as Karnavati. If we get required support to overcome the legal hurdles, we are always ready to change the name of the city," Patel told reporters when asked if the state government had a plan to rename India's only city having the 'World Heritage' tag.

Historically, the area around Ahmedabad has been inhabited since the 11th century, when it was known as Ashaval. Chaulukya ruler Karna of Anhilwara (modern Patan) had waged a successful war against the Bhil king of Ashaval and established a city called Karnavati on the banks of the Sabarmati river.

Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1411 A.D. had laid the foundation of a new walled city near Karnavati and named it Ahmedabad after the four saints in the area by the name Ahmed.

"We can think of changing the name at an appropriate time," Patel added.

Slamming the BJP government over the issue, state unit Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said the promise to rename Ahmedabad was just another 'poll gimmick' by the ruling party.

"For the BJP, issues like construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya and renaming Ahmedabad as Karnavati are the means to get votes of Hindus," said Doshi.

"BJP leaders dump such issues after coming to power. They only cheated Hindus all these years," he added.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on the eve of Diwali announced that Faizabad district would henceforth be known as Ayodhya.

"Ayodhya is a symbol of our 'aan, baan aur shaan' (honour, pride and prestige)," Adityanath said in Ayodhya. The BJP government in the northern state had already renamed Allahabad as Prayagraj.  -- PTI
22:49   Tej Pratap hasn't returned home after meeting Lalu in Ranchi: Sources
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tej Pratap Yadav, who met his father Lalu Prasad in Ranchi on Saturday regarding his decision to divorce his wife, did not return to Patna as expected but left mid-way for an unknown destination, sources close to the family said on Tuesday.

Yadav had met his father for a couple of hours at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Ranchi, where the RJD supremo is lodged in custody in connection with a fodder scam case, on Saturday and checked in at a Bodh Gaya hotel on Sunday night, local MLA Kumar Sarvjeet said.

He left the hotel Monday afternoon, saying he was going to Patna, Sarvjeet added.

"I met Yadav, along with other party leaders, over dinner on Sunday. He was looking exhausted. He bade us goodbye on Monday, saying he was returning home. I have the knowledge of his movements only till his departure from the Royal Residency hotel," the MLA told PTI over phone.

The mercurial elder son of Prasad and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi, however, was yet to reach Patna, his family sources said.

Yadav had told reporters after meeting Prasad that he stood by his decision to give divorce to his wife of six months, Aishwarya Rai.

"No person can live a stifled life," he had said.

Yadav is said to be fond of visiting places of pilgrimage like Vrindavan and Varanasi for spiritual solace and one of his grouses against his wife is that she has not been able to adjust to his way of life.

Yadav, a former Bihar health minister, had recently spent a number of days in Vrindavan, where he was reportedly seen playing a flute with a peacock feather tied to his head in the midst of a herd of cows.

Neither Aishwarya, who is the daughter of RJD MLA Chandrika Rai and granddaughter of former Bihar chief minister Daroga Prasad Rai, nor any member of her family has spoken on the matter so far.

She had tied the knot with Yadav on May 12 and the RJD leader had moved an application seeking divorce on November 2, citing incompatibility.

Yadav has also been dropping hints that he is not getting along well with younger brother Tejashwi, who has emerged as the party's de facto leader in their father's absence.

Prasad, who is serving sentences in fodder scam cases, had flown in from Ranchi after obtaining parole from a court to attend Yadav's wedding, which was attended by the leaders of virtually all the political parties, including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

Setting political acrimony aside, the Bharatiya Janata Party said it wished that the young couple resolved their differences and reunited on the auspicious occasion of Deepawali.

"It is a family matter, which has to be resolved by both sides. One should refrain from making political statements on the issue. It is unfortunate for a young couple to have experienced such a discord. Best wishes to Aishwarya, who is the daughter of the society, and hopes for her happy reunion with Tej Pratap by Deepawali," state BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said.  -- PTI
21:17   Why BJP distributed sweets in Mandya despite losing
Despite losing Mandya Lok Sabha seat, the local Bharatiya Janata Party office was in a celebratory mood as this was the best ever performance of the party in the district in the Vokkaliga belt, a Janata Dal-Secular stronghold.

JD-S candidate L R Shivarame Gowda scored a spectacular victory in Mandya, defeating BJP's Siddaramaiah, apolitical green horn and former civil servant by 3,24,943 votes.

While Gowda got 5,69,347 votes, Siddaramaiah secured 2,44,404.

Enthused by the party's performance BJP workers were seen congratulating Siddaramaiah and distributing sweets.

The BJP's Karnataka state unit chief B S Yeddyurappa called the party's performance 'heartening'.

"BJP's performance of polling 2.44 lakh votes in the traditional weak region of Mandya is really heartening.

"This will enable us to strengthen the party further socially and geographically in the next coming days," he said.

The constituency has strong Vokkaliga presence, the community to which JD-S supremo and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda belongs.

During campaigning, Congress candidate had openly expressed their opposition to their party's decision to give up the seat to the JD-S, as the grand old party too has significant presence in the region.

During the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, BJP candidate B Shivalingaiah secured 86,993 votes.  -- PTI
21:13   Sitharaman to celebrate Diwali with Army troops in Arunachal
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will celebrate Diwali with Indian Army troops deployed at forward posts in  Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh, officials said on Tuesday.

She will fly over the general area and visit Anini and Andrala Omkar forward posts and meet the troops there on Wednesday, Kohima-based Defence spokesman Col Chiranjit Konwer said.

The high altitude post of Andrala Omkar is 35-40 km from the nearest road head, he said.

Sitharaman would be briefed about the defence preparedness and infrastructure improvements by the Army and would also meet and interact with the families of soldiers who died in the line of duty, the spokesman added.

Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane and other senior officials of the Army will accompany her during the entire visit.


Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani will celebrate Diwali with Border Security Force personnel at Nada Bet Border Outpost near the Indo-Pak borderin Banaskantha district on Wednesday.

Rupani would exchange sweets with BSF jawans on Diwali tomorrow, said an official press release, adding that the CM is continuing the tradition of celebrating the festival with BSF jawans.

In 2016, Rupani had visited Nada Bet to celebrate Diwali with BSF jawans.

Last year he celebrated Diwali with BSF personnel at Koteshwar in Kutch district.  -- PTI
20:32   Govt seeking Rs 3.6 lakh crore from RBI to dole out freebies: Cong
The Congress on Tuesday accused the Modi government of seeking to 'demolish' the Reserve Bank of India and said if the Centre's reported demand for Rs 3.6 lakh crore from the central bank fructifies, it would amount to 'the great Indian robbery'.

The party also said the government wanted the money to dole out freebies aheaf of the 2019 parliamentary election.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the report, alleging that he needs the amount to fix the 'mess his genius economic theories' have created.

He also urged Reserve Bank Governor Urjit Patel to 'stand up' to the prime minister and 'protect the nation'.

There was no immediate reaction on the charge made by Gandhi.

'Rs 36,00,00,00,00,000. That's how much the PM needs from the RBI to fix the mess his genius economic theories have created. Stand up to him Mr Patel. Protect the nation,' the Congress chief tweeted and also posted the media report.

He cited the media report claiming that at the heart of the RBI-government standoff was a proposal by the Finance Ministry seeking to transfer a surplus of Rs 3.6 lakh crore, more than a third of the total Rs 9.59 lakh crore reserves of the central bank, to the government.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said at a press conference that the amount was being sought to allegedly dole out 'freebies' ahead of the 2019 parliamentary election.

He said such a move would have 'profound' implications on the macro-economic stability of India.

Alleging that the NDA government was 'demolishing' the RBI, Tewari asserted that the Congress would resist all attempts to undermine the economic sovereignty of India and this 'adventurism' would not be allowed.

"The facts which are emerging in the public space, the government wants the RBI to part with Rs 3.6 lakh crore out of Rs 9.59 lakh crore which constitutes the cash reserve of the RBI...," he alleged.

The RBI has been resisting this very strongly, Tewari said, adding the demand by the government was 'unprecedented'.

"If this were to fructify, this would tantamount to the great Indian robbery," the former Union minister said.

"This is going to have profound implications on the macro-economic stability of India...this is one of the fundamentals of the Indian economy that the RBI has enough liquidity available in order to meet any contingency.

"And today the NDA/BJP government wants to demolish that confidence (of investors) and demolish the Reserve Bank of India in the process," he said.

Talking about the government's intentions, Tewari alleged the reasons for such a move can be found in the economic data put out by the Ministry of Finance showing fiscal deficit and the current account deficit were mounting on a daily basis.

"So, in order to bridge that fiscal deficit, the government has started eyeing the money which is lying with the RBI.

"And what is even more disturbing is that they perhaps want to use the money in order to give out freebies before the 2019 elections," he said.

Tewari said the government must learn from Argentina where the transfer of $6.6 billion from the central bank to the treasury sparked off the worst constitutional crisis.

Argentina is before the IMF for a $50-billion bailout, he said.      

Talking about the reported proposal by the finance ministry seeking to transfer a surplus of Rs 3.6 lakh crore to the government, Tewari said it was an extremely 'serious, sensitive and delicate' issue which will have very serious implications for the economic sovereignty of India.      

While Gandhi has accused the government of 'destroying' institutions with its alleged strong arm tactics, the differences between the Modi government and the RBI came out in public domain after a deputy governor raised concerns about the central bank's autonomy and warned that if the government did not respect the central bank's independence, it would sooner or later incur the wrath of financial markets.  -- PTI
20:01   VHP plans nationwide campaign for a bill on Ram temple
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad will hold public meetings in all Lok Sabha constituencies and ask MPs to support the passage of a bill in Parliament for the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, as its working president Alok Kumar expressed confidence on Tuesday that the Centre will bring a legislation in the winter session.

The VHP, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh affiliate, is seeking to build a tempo in favour of the temple's construction with a series of nationwide programmes which, he hoped, will generate enough pressure in the present atmosphere on parties like the Congress to not oppose the bill.

Referring to the Congress's 'janeu dhari' (one who wears sacred thread) president Rahul Gnadhi's temple visits, he wondered how his party will oppose the construction of Ram temple.

Kumar told PTI that his organisation was confident that the Narendra Modi government will bring such a bill in Parliament's winter session, saying it is a dispensation of 'Ram bhakt' (devotees of Ram).

With Lok Sabha elections less than six months away, political observers believe that the RSS -- whose chief Mohan Bhagwat's demand for a law has generated a storm of support, including from many Union ministers -- and the BJP will use the key Hindutva plank to build a narrative in its favour.

Though neither the government nor the BJP has made their stand clear on the demand of Hindutva groups for a law to pave the way for the temple's construction, ministers and other party leaders have been speaking in its favour.

The momentum generated by the debate will suit it politically, the BJP believes, more so as Hindutva credentials of Modi as well as its president Amit Shah are seen to be impeccable.

This is a government of 'Ram bhakt' (devotees of Ram) and its members have been their companions in the struggle to build the temple, Kumar said, adding that they had no doubt about its intention.

"We are looking forward to the government bringing a bill in the winter session," he said.

VHP delegations led by saints will also meet governors of states to urge them to convey to the Centre about the 'popular' wish to construct the temple.

The organisation will hold a public meeting in all 543 Lok Sabha constituencies by December 15, he said, and will meet the respective member of Parliament.  -- PTI
19:21   Karnataka win shows secular alliance can defeat BJP: Congress
Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) combine victory in Karnataka bypolls indicates that the alliance with secular parties can defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party, senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said on Tuesday in remarks that are viewed as endorsement of his party's bid to lead a front of such parties.

The JD(S)-Congress coalition candidates Tuesday won both the assembly constituencies and two of the three Lok Sabha seats in the bitterly fought by-polls held in the southern state last Saturday.

Buoyed by the development, Chavan said he had addressed two to three meetings in Jamkhindi assembly constituency--one of the two segments where bypolls were held--along with Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and Mallikarjun Kharge.

"The situation was good. The Congress victory in the BJP stronghold of North Karnataka belt is very significant. Similarly, the money power of Reddy brothers in Ballari Lok Sabha seat did not work and the Congress won with a huge margin," said the former Union minister.

Chavan said the BJP's ploy to polarise voters on communal lines failed in Karnataka.

"Today's victory proves that the alliance of the smaller, secular and regional parties with the Congress can defeat the BJP," he said.

Echoing Chavan, the Nationalist Congress Party on Tuesday said the coalition victory would 'strengthen' the process to unite the forces in the Opposition.

"The coming together of the Congress and JD-S has resulted in a big victory for them. It has showed how limited the influence of the BJP is. This victory will encourage and strengthen the process to unite the forces in the Opposition.

"The results show people are against the BJP, it is just that the Opposition has to show unity. Plus, the BJP has won one seat with small margin," said Maharashtra NCP president Jayant Patil.

State NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik attributed the Karnataka win to the 'Opposition unity'.

"The BJP wins whenever there is a division of votes,which did not happen in Karnataka by-polls," he said.  -- PTI
19:05   Sirisena suffers reversal in his parliament majority claim
In a setback to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, a deputy minister of his United People's Freedom Alliance government resigned on Tuesday and backed ousted prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in the ongoing political crisis.

President Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Wickremesinghe on October 26 and replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa, a controversial former president, and suspended parliamentary proceedings until November 16.

Manusha Nanayakkara, who was in Sirisena/Rajapaksa original list of 96 MPs, said in a letter to Sirisena Tuesday that in his opinion Wickremesinghe was still the legitimate prime minister as accepted by the parliamentary speaker Karu Jayasuriya.

He resigned as the deputy minister of Labour and Foreign Employment to leave the Sirisena camp and join Wickremesinghe. He was sworn in as the deputy minister only on November 1.

In a video message, Nanayakkara said that he does not approve of the arbitrary political appointments that have taken place and will support the struggle to protect and uphold democracy.

Nanayakkara's defection came hours after Sirisena announced publicly that people should not doubt his majority -- 113 in the 225-member legislature.

Legislators have been switching sides ever since the island nation was plunged into a political and constitutional crisis with Sirisena's move to sack Wickremesinghe last month.

Rajapaksa had been bolstered by at least 9 defections from Wickremesinghe's United National Party and Tamil National Alliance.        Since the crisis broke out there have been media reports that MPs were offered up to 500 million rupees to switch sides.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya on Monday slammed Sirisena's 'unconstitutional and undemocratic' actions to sack Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and suspend Parliament, saying he will not recognise Rajapaksa as the new premier unless he wins a floor test.

He asked the president to reconvene the parliament for a floor test and end the ongoing political crisis.

Sirisena's side charged that Jayasuriya, a UNP senior, was backing his party leader Wickremesinghe by compromising the neutral position of speaker of parliament.  -- PTI
17:44   UP's Faizabad renamed Sri Ayodhya: Yogi
UP's Faizabad district to be known as Sri Ayodhya, announces UP CM Yogi Adityanath. "Ayodhya hamari aan baan shaan ka prateek hai, Ayodhya ki pehchan Bhagwan Ram se hai. Aaj se is janpad (Faizabad) ka naam bhi Ayodhya hoga. No power can do injustice to Ayodhya. The PM has done so much for the development of Ayodhya," he said announcing that a new medical college will be built in Ayodhya and will be named after Raja Dashtrath. A new airport will also be named after Ram.

17:36   Sensex, Nifty end flat ahead of Muhurat Trading on Wednesday
Ahead of the Muhurat Trading along with the festivities of Diwali, the markets on Tuesday ended on a flattish note, with the Nifty holding 10,500-mark.

During the close, Sensex closed up 40.99 points at 34991.91, while the Nifty ended higher by 6.00 points at 10530.00.

Among sectors, which did not perform well were, automobiles, banks, consumption and PSU banks looked attractive. -- PTI
17:29   Karnataka win shows secular alliance can defeat BJP: Congress
Congress-JD(S) combine victory in Karnataka bypolls indicates that the alliance with secular parties can defeat the BJP, senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said Tuesday in remarks that are viewed as endorsement of his party's bid to lead a front of such parties.

The JD(S)-Congress coalition candidates Tuesday won both the assembly constituencies and two of the three Lok Sabha seats in the bitterly fought by-polls held in the southern state last Saturday. Buoyed by the development, Chavan said he had addressed two to three meetings in Jamkhindi assembly constituency--one of the two segments where bypolls were held--along with Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and Mallikarjun Kharge.

"The situation was good. The Congress victory in the BJP stronghold of North Karnataka belt is very significant. Similarly, the money power of Reddy brothers in Ballari Lok Sabha seat did not work and the Congress won with a huge margin," said the former Union minister.

Chavan said the BJP's ploy to polarise voters on communal lines failed in Karnataka.

File pic: Congress party's DK Shivakumar with HD Kumaraswamy.
17:12   Goal to win all 28 LS seats: Kumaraswamy after by-poll victory
Karnataka Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy on Tuesday said that the victory of Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S) alliance in the by-elections was the first step towards winning all 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2019 general elections.

Addressing a press conference following the alliance's victory in two out of three Lok Sabha and two state assembly constituencies, Kumaraswamy said, "We have already decided to contest Lok Sabha polls together, but there is no question of us getting carried away by this. Our intention is to win all 28 seats in the Lok Sabha polls and to give the people as many programmes as possible by achieving that goal. This is not an empty promise just because we have won today. This (victory) reflects the confidence people have on us. This win is not making us arrogant."

The chief minister underlined that although the Bharatiya Janata Party won the Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency, the moral victory was theirs. "BJP might have won in Shimoga but the moral victory is ours. Our candidate was abroad when we decided to select him. But he has done exceedingly well. Even in Jamakhandi and Ramanagara, our candidates have won. I would like to thank the people of the state for this," Kumaraswamy said.

He also lauded workers of both parties for their work during the elections, adding that the victory was a reply to the BJP, who termed the Congress-JD(S) alliance as an 'Apavitra Maitri' (unholy alliance).

"In this election, Congress leaders Siddaramaiah, Parameshwara, Shivakumar, Kagodu Thimappa, Dinesh Gundu Rao have worked very hard. I want to personally congratulate all the workers of both parties for this. Our victory in four seats and very narrow loss in one, despite BJP allegations that this was an unholy alliance, is a reply to the BJP," Kumaraswamy said. -- PTI
16:59   Cong-JD(S) used money, muscle power to win bypolls: Yeddyurappa
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday accused the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular of using money and muscle power to win the bypolls in Karnataka, but said it would introspect the outcome and strengthen the party before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

"The truth of the matter is that money and liquor had a bigger role in this election. Congress and JD-S won the election using money and power," BJP state unit president B S Yeddyurappa said.

The BJP won the Shivamogga Lok Sabha seat but lost Ballari to the Congress, which also bagged the Jamkhandi assembly segment.

Congress' coalition partner JD-S won the Mandya Lok Sabha constituency and in Ramanagar, from where Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's wife Anitha was elected.

Yeddyurappa claimed that the by-election results once again proved that the Congress and the JD-S were experts in hatching conspiracies.

"We are not keeping quiet after the defeat. We have lost only the Ballari Lok Sabha seat. We will introspect our performance so that we win the 2019 elections.

"There is no doubt that we will win 22 to 23 Lok Sabha seats. I will soon tour Karnataka," he said.  -- PTI
15:53   62 Naxals surrender in Chhattisgarh, Rajnath terms it 'huge achievement'
Sixty-two "hardcore Naxals" surrendered before security forces in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday, police in the poll-bound state said, a development Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh described as a "huge achievement".

Of the 62 Naxals, 55 surrendered with their arms and ammunition in Narayanpur district, Inspector General of Police (Bastar) Vivekanand Sinha told PTI.

The home minister said the success of the government's surrender policy was pushing Naxal cadres to shun the path of violence. "...I congratulate the State Chief Minister @drramansingh the DGP and the police force for this huge achievement," he tweeted soon after the surrender.

Polling for the 90-seat Chhattisgarh Assembly is scheduled to be held in two phases - on November 12 for 18 seats and on November 20 for 72 constituencies. Most of the constituencies in the first phase fall in the state's Bastar region. -- PTI
15:21   PM Modi to visit Kedarnath on Diwali
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will Wednesday visit Kedarnath on the occasion of Diwali to offer prayers at the Himalayan shrine and review Kedarpuri reconstruction projects. The prime minister will arrive at around 9.45 am, Chief Secretary Utpal Kumar Singh said, adding that after offering prayers at the temple, Modi will inspect the reconstruction projects underway at Kedarpuri. He will also be shown a video at the guest house within the temple premises to apprise him about the progress of the projects at the township, Singh said further.

The foundation stone of Kedarpuri reconstruction projects was laid by Modi during his visit to the temple last year. Snowfall in the higher reaches of the mountains of Uttarakhand has enhanced the beauty of the temple and its surroundings.

All preparations have been made in view of the prime minister's visit with the road from the helipad to the temple totally cleared of snow, Singh said.

Several new features including a meditation cave 400 metres above Kedarnath will greet Modi during his visit this time. Built at a secluded spot 400 metres above the shrine, the cave will be shown to the prime minister from a distance as he is not scheduled to go there, Rudraprayag District Magistrate Mangesh Ghildiyal said.  -- PTI

File picture of PM Modi at Kedarnath.
15:01   Bombay HC refuses urgent hearing of Pahlaj Nihalani's plea against CBFC
The Bombay High Court's vacation bench on Tuesday refused to urgently hear Pahlaj Nihalani's plea against Central Board of Film Certification's suggestion of approximately 20 cuts in his upcoming production 'Rangeela Raja'.

The former CBFC chairman will now mention his plea before the court again on November 12.Nihalani has claimed that the cuts suggested for his film were completely illogical and meaningless.

"There is no vulgarity, no double meaning dialogues. Still I've been asked to delete a massive number of dialogues and scenes," he had told ANI on Monday.

The producer had also alleged that the censor body did not give a timely review to his upcoming production, while multi-starrer 'Thugs Of Hindostan' was given preference by the film body as chairman Prasoon Joshi is friends with Aamir Khan.

"My film was reviewed 40 days after applying. I was going to release my film on November 8. Thugs of Hindostan had applied 20 days after me. However, Prasoon Joshi who is good friends with Aamir Khan so he gave preference to his movie before my film," said Nihalani.

He had also stated that the CBFC did not follow the set guidelines for reviewing a film within 21 days of the makers approaching the board.

With 'Rangeela Raja', Nihalani is reuniting with Bollywood actor Govinda after 25 years. They have earlier worked together in films including 'Ilzaam', 'Shola Aur Shabnam' and 'Aankhen'.

Govinda's comeback film, 'Rangeela Raja' also stars Shakti Kapoor, Digangana Suryavanshi, Mishika Chourasia, and Anupama Agnihotri. It is scheduled to hit the big screens on November 16.

As the former censor board chairman, Nihalani had faced flak for objecting to the word 'intercourse' in the promo of Anushka Sharma and Shah Rukh Khan starrer 'Jab Harry Met Sejal' and also for refusing to clear the women-centric film 'Lipstick Under My Burkha'. -- ANI
14:53   Bhima Koregaon case: Three accused sent to jail for 14 days
Sudha Bhardwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves, all three accused in Bhima Koregaon violence case have been sent to judicial custody for 14 days by Pune Sessions Court. One of the accused, Arun Ferreira, alleged in court that he was beaten up during custodial interrogation. He said on 4th Nov during interrogation he was slapped about 8-10 times by police officials and that on 5th November he was taken to hospital as well. They had been arrested by the Pune City police on August 28 in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case, for their alleged links with the banned CPI-Maoist.

Image: Vernon Gonsalves with his wife and son immediately before he was arrested in August.
Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy says the BJP is offering around Rs 25 to 30 crore to some Congress and JD(S) MLAs but they will never be able to poach them.
14:17   Win will not make us arrogant: Kumaraswamy
HD Kumaraswamy holds a press conference on emphatic endorsement of the alliance in the Karnataka.  The Congress-JD(S) alliance won 4 out of 5 seats in the Karnataka bypolls: Bellary, Mandya, Ramanagaram and Jamkhandi went to the alliance, while BJP won the Shimoga Lok Sabha seat.

"This elections was the first step. There are 28 LS seats, we'll work with Congress to win all of them, that is our goal. This is not an empty boast just because we have won today. This is the confidence of people in us. This win is not making us arrogant."

ON Tipu Sultan centenary celebrations: "I never said do or don't celebrate Tipu Jayanti. All I had said was there are many communities in the country, people want to celebrate Jayantis of their leaders. If they (BJP) don't like to be part of the celebrations, there is no need to participate."
13:45   Results reflect disenchatment of people: Cong on K'taka
Karnataka Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao claimed the results reflected the disenchantment of people with the BJP. "Look at the's clear that people are fed up with the BJP. This anti-people, anti-farmer, anti-women government at the Centre must go.

"All forces need to come together to take on the BJP. BJP will be wiped out of Karnataka in 2019 (Lok Sabha polls). If it is wiped out in Karnataka, it will be wiped out in the entire south India," he said. 
13:42   Cong-JD-S wins Karnataka, sets the tone for 2019
IN what could be a harbinger for the 2019 general elections, a coalition of the Congress and the JD-S in Karnataka emerged victorious in a four seats out of five in the bypolls. In fact, the Congress win in a BJP constituency of Ballari, is a huge push for the alliance.

Ramanagara and Mandya went to the JD-S, while Jamkhandi and Ballari went to the Congress. BY Raghavendra was the facesaver for the BJP with a win in the Shimoga parliamentary seat with a margin of 52148 votes.

JD(S) leader & Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy congratulated the  Congress leaders in the state and at the Centre. "I also congratulate JDS state leaders and workers who worked towards this win. BJP calls JDS-Congress coalition 'Apavitra Maitri', today that contention has been nullified."
12:22   Winners, losers in the Karnataka bypolls
Ramanagara (Assembly seat)
Anita Kumaraswamy (winner) of JD-S versus BJP's L Chandrashekhar

Jamkhandi (Assembly seat)
Congress's Anand Nyamagowda (winner) versus BJP's Kulkarni Shrikant Subrao

Shivamogga (Lok Sabha seat)
Former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa's son B Y Raghavendra (leads) versus ex-chief minister S Bangarappa's son Madhu Bangarappa of the JD-S. Janata Parivar veteran and former chief minister J H Patel's son Mahima J Patel is also in the fray as a JD-U candidate.

Mandya (Lok Sabha seat)
JD-S's Shivarame Gowda (winner) versus Dr Siddaramaiah of the BJP.

Ballari  (Lok Sabha seat)
V S Ugrappa of the Congress (winner) was pitted against senior BJP leader Sriramulu's sister J Shantha.
11:31   Cong celebrates Bellary win
Karnataka: Congress workers celebrate outside the counting station in Bellary. Congress' candidate VS Ugrappa won the parliamentary seat. 
11:28   Cong-JDS win four out of five bypolls in Karnataka
JDS wins Mandya and Ramanagaram, Congress wins Bellary and Jamkhandi. In Shivamoga, BS Yeddyurappa's son is in the lead.

That's four out of five seats for the Congress-JD(S) combine.
Harini Calamur @calamur Just a reminder Abhijit Iyer Mitra is in prison on Diwali. for cracking a joke. let that sink in. 15 days of lock up for cracking a joke.
Karnataka bypolls:

BJP's BY Raghavendra leads by 32563 votes in Shimoga, INC's VS Ugrappa leads by 151060 votes in Bellary and JD's LR Shivaramegowda leads by 76952 votes in Mandya.
10:41   Leads and wins in Karnataka
Karnataka bypolls:

Here's how the wind blows:

Ballari: The Congress is leading. V S Ugrappa leads by 84,257 over BJP's J Shantha

Mandya: Coalition partner Janata Dal (Secular) is leading. JD(S)' Shivarame Gowda leads over BJP's Siddaramaiah.

Ramanagara and Jamkhandi
: The JD(S)-Congress coalition leading.

Two wins already for the Cong-JD-S coalition government in Ramanagaram and Jamkhandi.
10:32   K'taka bypolls: Kumaraswamy's wife wins, Yeddy's son leads
JDS's Anitha Kumaraswamy, the chief minister's wife, has won over BJP's L Chandrashekhar in Ramanagaram assembly seat.

Congress's Anand Siddu Nyamagouda wins over BJP's Kulkarni Shrikant Subrao in the Jamkhandi assembly seat.

BJP's BY Raghavendra leads over JDS's S Madhubangarappa in Shimoga parliamentary seat.

Congress's VS Ugrappa leads over BJP's J Shantha by 45808 votes in Bellary parliamentary seat. 

JD-S leading by 1,09,066 votes over BJP in Mandya parliamentary seat.

Image: Anitha Kumaraswamy with her husband Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy.
10:02   Thick smog in Delhi before Diwali, pollution over 20 times safe limit
The residents of Delhi woke up to a thick blanket of smog this morning amid warnings by weather officials of falling air quality in the national capital. 

The levels of the pollutant PM2.5 was at a "hazardous" 644 or over 20 times the safe limit prescribed by the WHO at south Delhi's Okhla, according to data from the Delhi Pollution Control Board. PM2.5 are fine particles that can penetrate the lungs and cause respiratory diseases.

Visibility on the roads was low this morning, as against Sunday when air quality significantly improved due to increased wind speed and control measures implemented by the government.
09:45   2 Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists killed in encounter in J-K
Two Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists, including an army deserter, were on Tuesday killed in an encounter with security forces in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Safanagri area of Zainapora of south Kashmir in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday after receiving credible inputs about the presence of terrorists in the area, a police spokesperson said.

He said as the search operation was going on, the hiding terrorists fired on the search party of the forces. 

The spokesperson said the forces retaliated the fire, leading to an encounter in which two terrorists were killed.

The slain ultras have been identified as Mohammad Idrees Sultan alias Chota Abrar, a resident of Safanagri Shopian and Amir Hussain Rather alias Abu Sobaan, a resident of Awneera Shopian. 

The spokesperson said Sultan was a deserter from the Indian Army and had joined the terrorist ranks in April this year.

"No collateral damage took place during the operation," he said.

Incriminating materials, including arms and ammunition, were seized from the site of the encounter, he said.

-- PTI
09:13   Probably no meeting with Vladimir Putin in Paris: Trump
US President Donald Trump said that he is "not sure" of having a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Paris, where the two leaders are scheduled to attend World War I commemorations later this week.

However, they would be meeting at G-20 summit in Argentina which is scheduled for November 30 and December 1, he said, adding there are possibilities of other meetings soon.

To a question on a meeting between him and the Russian president, Trump said, "We haven't set anything up yet. We don't know if that is going to be the right place. I'm going to be in Paris for other reasons."

Earlier it was reported that he and Putin would meet in Paris later this week. 

"But we'll be meeting at the G-20 and probably will have meetings after that. Probably plenty of meetings. Getting along with Russia, China, and all of them would be a good thing. I've said it for a long time," he told reporters at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington on Monday before leaving on a campaign trail for the mid-term polls.

"So, we'll have plenty of meetings, but I'm not sure we'll have a meeting in Paris. Probably not," Trump said.

-- PTI
08:38   Cameraman injured in protests at Sabarimala over reports of woman's entry
A video journalist was injured after protesting devotees targeted media persons at Sabarimala Tuesday morning. Hundreds of protesters gathered at Sannidhanam or the inner courtyard after a woman devotee, suspected to be in the menstrual age, tried to enter the temple.

The police have confirmed that the devotee is 52-year-old Lalitha, from Thrissur, who had come to the temple with her son. The two were escorted to the temple by the police. "I am not afraid, I want darshan of Lord Ayyappa," Lalitha told reporters.

The Sabarimala shrine opened yesterday for the second time in three weeks for a two-day special puja amid unprecedented security over fear of protests by those opposing the Supreme Court's order allowing women of all age groups into the temple.

No woman in the age group of 10-50 years have yet been able to visit Sabarimala temple since the top court's order on September 28. 

The temple town has virtually turned into a fortress with hundreds of police personnel, including armed commandos, deployed in large numbers. Surveillance cameras and mobile phone jammers were also installed.
08:12   North Korea's Kim Jong-un likely to visit Russia this month
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is likely to pay a visit to Russia this month, South Korea's top diplomat said on Monday.

Woo Yoon-keun, the South Korean ambassador to Russia, said that although North Korea and Russia may not have reached an agreement on Kim's visit, the trip could happen by this month " in consideration of several circumstances", Yonhap News Agency reported.

"Russia has asked for Kim's visit within this year and expects it to happen. But North Korea seems to be weighing the time and place while looking into the agenda and possible agreement with Russia," Woo said.

In May, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had delivered a letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Kim in Pyongyang inviting the latter to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok or pay a separate visit to Russia.

Recently, officials from both the countries made trips to North Korea and Russia, leading to speculations that Kim is planning to embark on a visit to Russia in November or December and meet Putin.

Earlier, the Russian government had confirmed that the two leaders will have a summit this year. 

-- ANI
07:53   Congress-JD-S coalition in Karnataka faces litmus test in bypolls
The results for three Lok Sabha and two assembly constituencies in Karnataka that Saturday went to the bypolls, seen as a prestigious popularity test for the ruling Congress-JDS coalition, will be declared today.
An estimated 67 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the bypolls for five constituencies.
A total of 31 candidates were in the fray from all the five constituencies, though the contest is mainly between the Congress-JDS combine and the BJP.

The bypoll results will determine the fate of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's wife Anita Kumaraswamy, state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa's son B Y Raghavendra and former Chief Minister S Bangarappa's son Madhu Bangarappa and others.
Among the interesting things that one needs to watch out for is to what extent BJP would be able to make inroads into the JD-S bastion of Mandya and the Congress stronghold of Jamkhandi.
Of similar interest would be to what extent the Congress will be able to regain its significance in its erstwhile party stronghold of Ballari, the seat earlier won by its top leader Sonia Gandhi.
The outcome of the bypolls is expected to have a bearing on the equations between the Congress and JD-S for the 2019 polls and also be a factor in determining the respective bargaining power of the two parties.
The bypolls were seen as significant as the coalition partners contested together, terming it as a "prelude" to the May 2019 general elections and called for a similar "grand secular alliance" against the BJP at the national level.

-- PTI
00:30   Nihalani moves HC against censor cuts in his forthcoming film
Former censor board chief and filmmaker Pankaj Nihalani moved the Bombay high court on Monday against a Central Board of Film Certification order directing 20 cuts in his soon-to-release production venture, Rangeela Raja.

Nihalani, in his petition, said the suggestion of the CBFC was unjustified and uncalled for as he firmly believed that the film was not vulgar in any manner.

The filmmaker also hit out at the present head of the CBFC, Prasoon Joshi, and said he was 'politically motivated'.

He further alleged that when a film was submitted for certification, the screening committee of the board took about 21 days to decide.

However, in this case, it took 40 days.

On November 2, the committee passed an order, asking for various cuts to be made in the film.

The petition is likely to come up for hearing on Tuesday before a vacation bench of the high court.

Nihalani's tenure as CBFC chief was marred with controversies as various flmmakers had accused him of asking for arbitrary cuts in their films, leading to him being replaced by Joshi.

With Rangeela Raja, Nihalani re-unites with actor Govinda after 25 years.

They have earlier worked together in films like Ilzaam, Shola Aur Shabnam and Aankhen.  -- PTI