Tue, 30 October 2018
Real tribute to Patel would be to place his RSS ban order under statue: Cong

Timeline  Refresh

23:18   Real tribute to Patel would be to place his RSS ban order under statue: Cong
The Congress on Tuesday said the "real tribute" to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel would be that his order banning the RSS should be placed at the foot of the 'Statue of Unity' in Gujarat.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma, at a press conference, alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party does not have any idols of its own and highlighted that Patel was from the Congress and also a former president of the party.
His remarks came a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the world's tallest statue the 'Statue of Unity' at Kevadiya in Gujarat.
The 182-metre statue of Patel will be dedicated to the nation on his birth anniversary in Narmada District of Gujarat.
"Probably Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not know that after the Bardoli Satyagraha, the Father of the Nation gave the title of Sardar to Vallabh Bhai Patel and on 4th February, 1948, Home Minister Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel had issued a hand written order banning the RSS.
"My suggestion to the prime minister is...with the help of China, you can get the statue made, install it, but real tribute to Sardar Patel would be that he should put a bronze plate or a copper plate, on which Sardar Patel's order banning the RSS is written along with the the correspondence between Sardar Patel and Guru Golwalkar, under the statue," Sharma said.
To a separate question on 2008 Malegaon blast case accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sharma said terrorism in all its forms and manifestations has to be fought and condemned.
"We have always maintained as a party that terrorism has no religion, they actually do more harm to people they claim to represent nor do they have any mandate or sanction.
 "As a rule based, rule governed society and a democracy, the due processes of law must follow and the judiciary is independent to punish and sentence anyone who is accused of the crime of committing acts of violence or terrorism in this country," he said. -- PTI
23:16   Only eco-friendly firecrackers will be permitted to be sold: Govt
Amid deteriorating air quality, the Centre said Tuesday the Supreme Court's order on firecrackers will be followed strictly in Delhi and NCR and only the sale of eco-friendly fireworks would be permitted.
However, while launching eco-friendly crackers Monday, Harsh Vardhan, the minister for environment, forest and climate change, had admitted that they would not available this Diwali.
On Tuesday, MoEF Secretary C K Mishra had convened a meeting with the chief secretary Delhi, the special commissioner, the Delhi Police, commissioners of three MCDs, district magistrates of various districts of Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad.
On the issue of firecrackers, it was decided that the directions of the Supreme Court shall be followed "strictly" in Delhi and NCR, a statement said by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said.
"Only eco-friendly fire crackers would be sold after proper authorisation has been obtained from PESO (Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation).
"Any other kind of firecrackers would not be permitted to be sold in the NCR region as per the order of the Supreme Court," the statement said.
It said the Delhi Police and the district magistrates of Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad were requested to ensure that these measures were strictly implemented in their respective areas.
Last week, the apex court ruled that people can burst firecrackers from 8 pm to 10 pm only on Diwali and other festivals and allowed manufacture and sale of just "green crackers" which have low emission of light, sound and harmful chemicals.
Mishra conveyed "serious concern" over the fact that there was "no significant improvement in the air quality despite the concerted efforts" being made by the ministry and all the stakeholders. 
He emphasised on the need for taking action which could lead to local containment of pollution and which was visible to the people.
It was also decided that a Clean Air Week would be organised from November 1 to 5 in collaboration with the Delhi government and the four major NCR cities. -- PTI
22:21   2 Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists killed in Tral; sniper rifle recovered
A Jaish-e-Mohammed module was neutralised in South Kashmir Tuesday after at least two terrorists from the outfit were killed by security forces and an M-4 carbine was recovered, which was possibly used for carrying out sniper attacks on security forces, officials said.
Two bodies were recovered after a day-long encounter that broke in Chaanketaar village of Tral in Pulwama district, they said. 
The body of one more militant was expected to be retrieved from the rubble, they said.
The intelligence inputs as well as the material seized from the encounter site showed that the terrorists belonged to JeM, they added.
While the identity of the slain terrorists was not ascertained immediately, social media was abuzz that one of those killed was the nephew of Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief of outlawed Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The security forces have also recovered M-4 Carbine rifle from the encounter site which was possibly used by the group to carry out sniper attacks on security forces, they said.
Last week, an Army jawan and a Seema Shashtra Bal personnel were killed in the sniper attacks in Tral area. -- PTI  
22:03   Mukesh Ambani's daughter Isha to marry Anand Piramal on Dec 12
Isha Ambani, daughter of Nita and Mukesh Ambani, will get married to her long-time friend and industrialist Anand Piramal on December 12.

"We are delighted to share that the marriage of Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal will take place in the residence of Shri Mukesh Ambani and Smt. Nita Ambani in Mumbai with family members and close friends on 12th December, 2018. The ceremonies will be performed in accordance with Indian traditions, customs and culture," a statement by the Ambanis and the Piramals said.

"During the weekend prior to the wedding, the Ambani and Piramal families will host their friends and family in Udaipur, where they are partnering with artisans and craftsmens to integrate local culture and traditions into the festivities," the statement added.

The couple had a lavish engagement ceremony in picturesque Lake Como, in northern Italy on the lap of Alps last month. 
21:56   Regional parties can't make someone PM without Cong support: Deve Gowda
Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda Tuesday said regional parties alone cannot make someone Prime Minister without Congress backing and expressed "complete support" for Rahul Gandhi to be made prime minister after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
In these polls, regional parties alone cannot make someone the prime minister without the support of the Congress, whose decision would be final, he said.
"In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, no regional parties in the country can make someone prime minister, leaving aside Rahul Gandhi. But Congress' decision will be the final," Gowda said.      

Speaking to reporters in Ballari, he said "I'm saying directly. My complete support is for Rahul Gandhi to be made the prime minister."
Gowda's comments comes over a week after senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said Congress has never stated "officially" that Rahul Gandhi should be the prime minister if an opposition alliance formed the next government.
He had insisted the Congress' focus was on dislodging the BJP government and bringing in a "progressive" alternative.      

Chidambaram had told News 18 Tamil TV channel on October 22 in Chennai that the decision on who would be the prime minister in the event of an opposition alliance winning next year's Lok Sabha poll would be taken by its constituents. 
Gowda had recently said that the country's secular parties would come together under the Congress leadership to defeat BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, dismissing suggestions that the grand alliance was losing its sheen. -- PTI
21:03   Govt has taken Naxals attack in Chhattisgarh very seriously: Rajnath
The government has taken very seriously the killing of a Doordarshan cameraperson and two policemen by Naxals in Chhattisgarh, Home Minister Rajnath Singh Tuesday said.
DD News cameraman Achyutanand Sahu, Sub Inspector Rudra Pratap and Assistant Constable Mangalu were killed in the Naxal ambush in poll-bound Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district.
"The government has taken the incident very seriously. In the attack, one cameraman of Doordarshan and two policemen were killed. It was a very unfortunate and condemnable incident. I express my deep condolences to the families of the bereaved," he told reporters in New Delhi.
Prasar Bharati said DD News had deployed a camera team for election coverage in Chhattisgarh which included cameraman Sahu, reporter Dhiraj Kumar and light assistant Mormukt Sharma.
The team came under attack by Maoists this forenoon near Dantewada. -- PTI
20:58   All women should be allowed inside Sabrimala temple: Rahul
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said all women should be allowed to enter the Sabrimala temple, noting that his view on the issue was different from that of his party's Kerala unit.
The Supreme Court last month lifted the ban on entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine of Lord Ayyappa.
"It is a very emotional issue and my personal thinking on the matter is different from my partys Kerala unit," Gandhi told a select group of journalists in Indore in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh.
"My personal view point on the issue of Sabrimala temple is that men and women are equal. All women should get permission to enter into the temple. However, my partys Kerala units view is that it is a very emotional issue for both men and women, he said.
"Therefore, my personal opinion and my party's Kerala units thinking is different on the matter. My party represents the feeling of the Keralas natives on the issue," the Congress chief said. -- PTI
20:34   China pledges RMB 150 million assistance to Nepal Army
China has pledged to provide assistance of RMB 150 million to the Nepalese Army over a period of five years for humanitarian and disaster relief equipment.
The Chinese assistance - equivalent to Nepalese Rs 2.5 billion - was announced during Nepal Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ishwor Pokhrel's visit to China.
Pokhrel returned to Kathmandu on Tuesday on conclusion of his week-long visit.
During the visit, Pokhrel and Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect. With the latest aid, China's financial support to the Nepalese Army has increased by 50 per cent.
Pokhrel held separate meetings with Chinese counterpart Wei and Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission of China Gen Xu Qiliang.
Last year, China had extended RMB 100 million for humanitarian and disaster relief equipment to Nepal's Army.
China has hiked defence assistance to the Nepalese Army in recent years.
Pokhrel also attended the eighth Beijing Xiangshan Forum from October 24-26 that witnessed participation of more than 500 representatives from 67 countries and seven organisations from around the world.
The forum was themed 'Building a new type of security partnership of equality, mutual trust and win-win cooperation'.
Formerly known as the Xiangshan Forum, it was launched for the first time in 2006 with the objective of promoting cooperation among security officials, armed forces, international organisations and experts. -- PTI 
19:59   Justice delayed is justice denied, says Adityanath on Ayodhya case
A day after the Supreme Court decided against urgent hearings in the Ram Janmahoomi-Babri Masjid case, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said justice delayed can be justice denied.
"The matter pertaining to Shri Ram Janmabhoomi is before the Supreme Court. Justice delivered timely is considered to be the best justice. Delay in justice sometimes amounts to injustice," he said Tuesday in a tweet in Hindi.
At the same time, the tweet appealed to the seers demanding early construction of a temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya to exercise patience.
He said they should be partners in all "meaningful efforts" towards evolving a solution to the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi issue.
This, he tweeted, will establish peace and amity in the country and also strengthen respect towards all constitutional bodies.
"For resolving the case promptly, it would have been better if a quick hearing of the matter was held by the court for the sake of peace and brotherhood in the country," he said in another remark to the media.
"This possibility, however, does not seem likely as of now," he said, replying to a query on the sidelines of an event here.
He said the matter is in the apex court but for peace and brotherhood and for honouring the beliefs of a large number of people, all alternatives need to be explored.
"The counsel for the Uttar Pradesh government had also appealed to the Supreme Court for a speedy trial in the matter," he said.
The apex court Monday said the course of hearings in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute will be decided in the first week of January by an appropriate bench.
This has intensified demands by the RSS and its affiliated organisation that the government should bring a law allowing construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site.
Fourteen appeals have been filed against a high court judgment that the 2.77 acres of land be partitioned equally among three parties -- the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. -- PTI
19:57   Man orders phone, gets soap; Amazon India head booked
Amazon's India head and three other persons have been booked after a customer from Uttar Pradesh's Noida claimed to have received a soap instead of a mobile phone that he had ordered from the e-commerce giant, police said Tuesday.
The case was registered at the Bisrakh police station in Greater Noida Monday, they said.
The company, however, said it takes all incidents of frauds seriously and was extending cooperation to police.
"A matter has been reported from Bisrakh police station area. The complainant said he had ordered a mobile phone through Amazon website. When he got the delivery on October 27 and opened the parcel, he found a soap instead of the phone in it," Circle Officer at Bisrakh Nishank Sharma said.
Based on a complaint from the man, an FIR has been registered against Amazon's country head Amit Agrawal, logistics firm Darshita Pvt Ltd directors Pradeep Kumar and Ravish Agrawal and delivery boy Anil, police said.
They have been booked under Indian Penal Code sections 420 (cheating and dishonesty), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 120B (party to criminal conspiracy), according to police.
Sharma said legal proceedings have been initiated in the case.
When contacted, Amazon confirmed the incident and said they have processed the refund to the complainant.
 "As India's most trusted online marketplace, we take incidents of fraud seriously. A case has been reported at the Bisrakh police station in Greater Noida. Local police have taken charge and we are extending all support or information that they need," it told PTI.
19:45   Naval ship INS Tarangini returns after 7-month long voyage
The sail training ship of Indian Navy INS Tarangini returned to its base at the Southern Naval Command here Tuesday after a seven-month long voyage, covering 15 ports in 13 countries across the world.
A grand reception was accorded at the naval base here with the Southern Naval Command Chief of Staff Rear Admiral R J Nadkarni receiving the ship at a welcoming ceremony, a Defence release said.
Captain Varun Singh, SC, Senior Officer First Training Squadron, and a number of senior officers, families of the crew and other distinguished guests also attended the event.       

The voyage named "Lokayan 18" was flagged off on April 10 from here and the ship had highlighted the diverse culture of India across 15 ports in 13 countries, the release said.
INS Tarangini sailed across the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Suez Canal, Mediterranean Sea, Strait of Gibraltar, North Atlantic Ocean, Bay of Biscay, English Channel and North Sea, right up to Norway before commencing her homeward passage.       

It also participated in the culminating event of the 'Three Festival Tall Ships Regatta' at Bordeaux in France and the 'Tall Ships Races Europe 2018'.
During the regatta, the ship sailed along with hundreds of other sailing vessels, of which 200 were Tall Ships like herself, besides taking part in the parade of sails, conducted at various ports.
INS Tarangini, the first sail training ship of the navy, was commissioned on November 11, 1997 and in the 21 years of its glorious service till date, the ship has sailed over 2,20,000 nautical miles across the world's oceans.
Over the years, INS Tarangini has been extensively deployed for long voyages away from her base port of Kochi, which includes one circumnavigation of the globe (2003-04) and three previous 'Lokayans' (2005, 2007 and 2015), the release added. -- PTI  
19:07   Interim CBI chief denies irregularities in investments made by his wife
Interim Central Bureau of Investigation Chief M Nageswara Rao Tuesday denied any irregularities in the investments made by his wife in a private company.  
In a signed statement, Rao, a 1986-batch IPS officer from Odisha, said all the transactions and investments made by him or his wife, Mannem Sandhya, have been given to the competent authorities, and everything has been mentioned in his annual property return filed mandatorily with the government.
Denying all reports and giving a chronological order of events, Rao said his wife had taken a loan of Rs 25 lakh from Angela Mercantile Pvt Ltd, a company which belonged to "our longtime friend Praveen Agarwal for purchase of an immoveable property in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh".
Rao's innings as interim CBI chief came to an abrupt halt after the Supreme Court had Friday last refrained him from taking an policy decision and submit in a sealed envelope about the administrative decision undertaken by him. 
He was made interim chief last week after the government intervened and sent CBI Director Alok Verma and his second-in-command Rakesh Asthana on leave toll corruption cases against them were probed.
Giving details, Rao said the property was purchased by her with her cousin Dr R K Rana Babu on September 18, 2010.
He said a year later, his wife sold some acres of land from her inherited agricultural property for an amount of Rs 30.72 lakh and two months later sold more land for an amount of Rs 27.90 lakh.
"Thus she received a total amount of Rs 58.62 lakh as sale proceeds during 2011. This along with Rs 1.38 lakh from personal savings and a total of Rs 60 lakh was sent to Angela Mercantiles Private limited in 2011, who after deducting the loan amount retained the balance of Rs 35 lakh as investment," he said.
Rao added that in July 2014, a little less than three years of the investment, the Kolkata-based company returned to her a total of Rs 41.33 lakh which included an interest of Rs 6.33 lakh. -- PTI 
18:34   Govt to sell 3% stake in Coal India via offer for sale route
The government will Wednesday sell 3 per cent stake in Coal India for Rs 266 a share through offer for sale route, which may fetch the exchequer Rs 5,000 crore, according to sources.
The government will offer an additional 6 per cent stake in case of over-subscription, sources said.
The two-day offer for sale will open tomorrow for institutional bidders. 

Retail investors, who can bid for the OFS on Thursday, will get an additional 5 per cent discount. 
If the entire 9 per cent stake in Coal India Ltd could be sold off, then it could fetch the government about Rs 15,000 crore. 
The floor price of Rs 266 a share is at a discount of nearly 4 per cent or Rs 11 a share over the closing price of CIL scrip on the NSE. 
The government had last sold 10 per cent stake in CIL through an OFS in January 2015. It had then mopped up about Rs 23,000 crore. 
The government currently holds 78.32 per cent stake in Coal India.
Shares of Coal India closed at Rs 277 apiece, down 3.62 per cent on the NSE. -- PTI 
18:22   I'm nationalist leader, not a Hinduwadi one: Rahul
Asserting that he does not need the Bharatiya Janata Party's "certificate" to visit temples, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday he understands the Hindu religion better than the saffron party does and he is a "nationalist leader" who respects every religion.
"I am not a 'Hinduwadi' leader, but a nationalist leader. I am a leader of every religion, every caste, every language and every class," he said.
A day after the BJP's barb that Gandhi was "exhibiting fancy dress Hinduism" with his temple visits in the poll-bound Madhya Pradesh and in other states earlier, the Congress leader retorted, "Are the country's temples the sole property of the BJP and the RSS? Have only Modi and Shah got the contract to visit temples?"
Interacting with select journalists in Indore, Gandhi said the BJP remains silent whenever Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the BJP president Amit Shah visit a temple wearing clothes as per that temple's tradition.
"But when Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia and I wear clothes as per the temple's tradition, it is said that we are exhibiting fancy dress Hinduism," he said.
Gandhi had started his two-day tour of Madhya Pradesh on Monday after offering prayers at Ujjain's famous Mahakaleshwar temple.
Hours after Gandhi's temple visit, BJP spokesman Sambit Patra had alleged, "... Rahul Gandhi is exhibiting fancy dress Hinduism continuously. To mislead the Hindus, he is sporting a "janeu" (sacred thread) over the shirt. We demand that 'janeudhari' Rahul Gandhi clarify to which 'gotra' (clan) does he belong to."
Gandhi said, "If I feel like going to a temple and offering prayers to God then I will definitely visit it. I don't need a certificate from the BJP. I understand Hindu religion better than the BJP does."
Replying to a question, he said he visits mosques, gurudwaras, churches and other places of worship as he respects every religion.
Describing Hinduism and Hindutva as two different concepts, he said, "Hinduism is a liberal and progressive concept that teaches love and respect for others, while there is hatred, insecurity and anger in the foundation of the BJP's idea of Hindutva."
"The BJP has ownership of Hindutva. But no one can claim sole ownership of Hinduism because it is a great concept. No one group can have a monopoly over it... We are a party which believes not in Hindutva, but in Hinduism," he said.
"When I visited temples during the Gujarat elections, the BJP went mad thinking how did I go there, although I had been to temples earlier. I had also visited Ayodhya," he said. -- PTI

Image: Congress President Rahul Gandhi offer prayers at Mahakaleshwar temple during his two-day tour to Malwa-Nimar region, in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. Photograph: PTI Photo
17:26   BJP distorting history to create rift among masses: Mamata
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday accused the BJP of trying to "distort" the country's history to create a rift among the masses on religious lines.

India's history and culture do not promote "sectarianism or bigotry", she asserted while addressing a public programme in Cooch Behar.  "Those trying to distort our secular history should know that the people of Bengal will neither encourage nor allow divisive politics," the chief minister said.

Banerjee also lashed out at the BJP-led government in Assam and the Centre for leaving out names of 40 lakh people from the 'complete draft' of the National Register of Citizens.

"In Assam, they (BJP) are trying to drive out 40 lakh people, including Bengalis, by omitting their names from the NRC draft. "There had been reports of suicides by people who found their names missing from the draft. I wonder what will their counterpart (BJP Bengal unit) here will have to say about this" she asked.

Drawing parallels between the NRC exercise and exodus of Bihari migrants from Gujarat, Banerjee said both the BJP-ruled states are trying to divide people on the basis of caste, creed, race and religion.

"While they are driving away Bengalis in Assam, they are also ousting Biharis from Gujarat.The Constitution of our country teaches us to treat everybody equally. We cannot differentiate between people on the basis of caste, creed and religion," she said.

The rape of a 14-month-old girl in Gujarat's Sabarkantha district on September 28 and the subsequent arrest of a labourer from Bihar for the crime led to sporadic incidents of violence against Hindi-speaking people in the western state. More than 60,000 Hindi-speaking migrant labourers have fled the state. -- PTI
17:08   Sensex slips over 150 pts; financial, energy stocks drag
The BSE Sensex Tuesday fell over 176 points on emergence of heavy selloffs mainly in financial and energy sector stocks as caution prevailed among market participants in view of mixed quarterly earnings and upcoming trade tariff talks between the US and China.

The 30-share benchmark index fell 176.27 points, or 0.52 per cent, to close at 33,891.13; while the broader NSE Nifty lost 52.45 points, or 0.51 per cent, to end at 10,198.40. Markets globally are keenly awaiting the US response next month how it goes with tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports.

Besides, mixed corporate earnings so far did not help in sustaining last session's positivity on the domestic bourses. The benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty Monday rose over 718 points and 220 points, respectively.

Global markets continue to witness mixed activity with a negative bias and volatility remains high as the market struggle to find its bottom and define further course. -- PTI
16:59   Trump says he wants to end birthright citizenship
President Donald Trump says he wants to order the end of the constitutional right to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorized immigrants born in the United States. The president's comments to "Axios on HBO" come amid a renewed push for hardline immigration policies before the midterm elections.

Trump believes focusing on immigration will energize his supporters and help Republicans keep control of Congress. Revoking birthright citizenship would spark a court fight over the president's unilateral ability to change an amendment to the Constitution. The 14th Amendment guarantees that right for children born in the US.
16:57   Humans chomped on chocolate 5300 years ago: Study
Humans have been enjoying chocolate far longer than previously thought, according to a study which found that cacao was grown for food 5,300 years ago at an ancient settlement in the highlands of southeastern Ecuador. Archaeological evidence of cacao's use, dating back to 3,900 years ago, previously planted the idea that the cacao tree -- from which chocolate is made -- was first domesticated in Central America, according to the study published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

However, genetic evidence shows that the highest diversity of the cacao tree and related species is actually found in equatorial South America -- where cacao is important to contemporary Indigenous groups. Researchers, including those from the University of British Columbia in Canada, searched for evidence of the plant at an archaeological site in the region. -- PTI
16:47   Trumps next move: Ending birthright citizenship
United States President Donald Trump intends to sign an executive order putting an end to citizenship for babies of non-citizens and unauthorised immigrants born on US soil.   

Trump said this in an exclusive interview for Axios on HBO, a new 4-part series premiering this weekend on HBO.   

The US president has run the idea of ending birthright citizenship by his counsel and plans to proceed with the highly controversial move, which certainly will face legal challenges, reports.   

'It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don't,' Trump says in the interview.   

'We're the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States ... with all of those benefits. It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous. And it has to end. It's in the process. It'll happen ... with an executive order,' has quoted Trump as saying.
16:19   Chouhan's son files criminal defamation suit against Rahul
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's son Kartikey filed a criminal defamation suit on Tuesday against Rahul Gandhi in a local court, accusing the Congress leader of intentionally making a false allegation about his name being in Panama Papers of alleged tax evaders.   

Gandhi, who had made these comments during an election rally in Jhabua on Monday, sought to clarify his remarks saying he had got "confused" and the Madhya Pradesh chief minister's son had no link to the Panama Papers case.   

In the suit filed in the special court of additional district judge Suresh Singh through his lawyer Shirish Shrivastava, Kartikey Chouhan has alleged that Gandhi intentionally gave the statement to defame him.   

The criminal defamation case was filed under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Under these sections, a person guilty of criminal defamation can be sent to jail for two years.   

The court has posted the matter for November 3 when Kartikey's statement will be recorded.    

The Panama papers refer to 11.5 million leaked documents published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in 2016 with details of offshore entities set up by a Panama-based legal firm. The list included several Indian individuals and entities, many of whom are facing investigation.  
16:13   I will come out innocent: Sadhvi
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, on framing of charges against her in 2008 Malegaon blasts case: Earlier,the NIA had given me a clean chit. Now, charges have been framed against me. This was a conspiracy by the Congress but I am confident that I'll come out innocent as the truth always wins.

Image: Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur at the Special Court in Mumbai today.
Pic: Vaihayasi Pande Daniel
16:12   Kumar, middleman remanded to 14-day judicial custody in bribery case involving CBI Spl Dir
A Delhi court Tuesday remanded CBI DSP Devender Kumar and middleman Manoj Prasad, arrested in connection with bribery allegations involving the agency's Special Director Rakesh Asthana, to 14-day judicial custody.
A special CBI court sent them to jail after the agency said both the accused were not required for further custodial interrogation.
Both the accused were produced before special CBI Judge Santosh Snehi Mann who will hear the bail application of Kumar tomorrow.
During the hearing, Kumar, who was produced after the expiry of his seven-day custodial interrogation, told the court the agency was tampering with and fabricating evidence in case against him.
He submitted that a case of theft and extortion should be lodged against CBI officials probing case.
The court asked CBI to file its reply to Kumar's application which will be heard Wednesday.
In his bail application, moved by advocate Rahul Tyagi, Kumar termed his custody "illegal" and urged the court to set him free.
Two alleged middlemen -- Manoj Prasad and Somesh Prasad -- have also been named as accused in the case.
The FIR in the current case was lodged on the basis of a written complaint from businessman Satish Sana on October 15. It was alleged that Kumar, being the IO in the case against meat exporter Moin Qureshi, was repeatedly calling the complainant to the CBI office to harass him and compel him to pay a bribe of Rs 5 crore for getting a clean chit in the case.
The complaint had also said that a part of the bribe was paid by Sana.

-- PTI
15:53   Humanity has wiped out 60% of animals since 1970: Report
The huge loss is a tragedy in itself but also threatens the survival of civilisation, say the world's leading scientists. Read the report here.
15:50   Maoists warn govt
A poster from the BKP (Maoist) organisation warning the government to end attacks by police on villages, false cases against the people, and atrocities against women.
15:44   I fell into a pit and saw grenades exploding: Naxal massacre survivor
Dheeraj Kumar, DD correspondent who survived today's Dantewada Naxal attack tells PTI of the incident: "Cameraman Achyutananda Sahu was in a separate car 50 metres  ahead when he was fired upon. As shots were fired at me, I fell into a pit and for 45 minutes witnessed many rounds of bullets being fired and grenades exploding nearby."

The incident took place at around 11 am in a forest area near Nilawaya village, around 450 kms from Raipur. Deputy Inspector General (anti-naxal operations) Sundarraj P said the maoists ambushed a squad of local police which was carrying out patrolling on motor cycles from Sameli camp towards Nilawaya on Tuesday morning, he said.

A three-member team of Doordarshan was travelling for election-related news coverage at the same time and was caught in the cross-fire, he said.

In the attack, Sub Inspector Rudra Pratap Singh, Assistant Constable Mangalu and DD News Cameraman Achyutananda Sahu were killed, Sundarraj said.

Sahu had come from New Delhi for the election coverage, he said. Other two members of the DD team, including a journalist, were safe, the officer said.

Constable Vishnu Netam and Assistant Constable Rakesh Kaushal sustained injuries in the gunfight, he added. The injured have been admitted to Dantewada district hospital, he said, adding that if required, they would be airlifted to Raipur for further medication.
15:29   Terror charges against Purohit, Sadhvi, 5 others in Malegaon blast case
A special court in Tuesday framed charges against Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and five others under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and sections of the IPC in the September 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case.

Judge Vinod Padalkar, presiding over the special National Investigation Agency court, framed charges against the accused persons. Under the UAPA, the accused have been charged with being part of a terrorist act, and under IPC they have been charged with criminal conspiracy and murder.

Framing of charges is a process after which the trial in a criminal case starts. Apart from Purohit and Sadhvi, the other accused are Major (Retd) Ramesh Upadhyay, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Sameer Kulkarni.

All the accused were present in the court when the judge read out the charges against them. Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a town about 200 km from here in North Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008. -- PTI
15:06   Hindutva ideologue appointed JNU honorary visiting professor
BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta and Indian-American computer scientist Subhash Kak have also been given positions at the institution. Read more
Chhattisgarh Police personnel Rudrapratap, who lost his life today in the Dantewada Naxal attack. He is one of two security personnel and a DD cameraman who were killed. 
14:41   Katju on #MeToo
Markandey Katju @mkatju I think this MeToo business has gone 2far. If I compliment a woman by saying shes good looking,or recite Urdu couplet in praise of her looks, am I sexually harassing her ?I may admire a beautiful garden from distance without trespassing onto it,or smell a rose without plucking it.

Katju is a former Chairman, Press Council of India and has also served as a Judge at the Supreme Court.
14:36   Malegaon blast case: Terror charges against Lt Col Purohit
Just in: Special NIA court frames terror charges against Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and others in 2008 Malegaon blast case. All seven accused have been charged for terror conspiracy, murder and other related offences. All accused pleaded not guilty after framing of charges. Next date of hearing in the case is 2nd November.
14:32   Govt begins framing guidelines to handle complaints against CVC
The central government has started the process of framing guidelines to handle grievances or complaints against the Central Vigilance Commissioner, the Personnel Ministry has said.

There are no guidelines in place to handle complaints against the CVC, the ministry said in response to an RTI query. The Personnel Ministry's assertion comes amid a raging controversy in the Central Bureau of Investigation involving its Director Alok Kumar and Special Director Rakesh Asthana.

The two warring officers, who have alleged each other of impropriety, have been sent on leave by the Centre.

On Friday, the Supreme Court asked the Central Vigilance Commission, that exercises superintendence over the CBI in corruption matters, to complete within two weeks its inquiry into allegations against Verma.

"It is informed that as no guidelines to handle complaints against Central Vigilance Commissioner were in place, a process for framing guidelines to handle grievances/complaints against Central Vigilance Commissioner has been initiated,' the ministry said. It added that "suitable action' will be taken on complaints once such guidelines are in existence.

The ministry was responding to an RTI application filed by whistle-blower bureaucrat Sanjiv Chaturvedi. Chaturvedi had sought copies of correspondences from the Personnel Ministry related to a plea filed by him on July 15 last year with the president's secretariat. The president's office forwarded it to the Personnel Ministry on July 27. The plea was filed by Chaturvedi invoking Section 6 of the CVC Act that empowers the president to refer cases of allegation of misconduct against the CVC for enquiry by Supreme Court.

The secretariat had forwarded the application to the Personnel Ministry for necessary action. Chaturvedi had alleged that the CVC closed cases of corruption involving senior functionaries in Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). Chaturvedi, who has sought probe against Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary, had sent documents, running into almost 1,000 pages, in support of his claim to the office of the president.  -- PTI
13:53   DD cameraman killed was Achyutananda Sahu
Supriya Sahu, Director General, Doordarshan, tweets: "Terribly sad news about the killing of Doordarshan Cameraperson Shri Achyutananda Sahu and CRPF Jawans in the Naxal attack at Dantewada. Our hearts go out to the families of our brave cameraperson Shri Achyutananda Sahu and CRPF Jawans who laid down their lives in the line of duty. Salute and respect from Doordarshan family."

Image: DD cameraman Achyutananda Sahu. Pic courtesy: @DG_Doordarshan
13:10   Doordarshan cameraman killed in Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh
A cameraman from national broadcaster Doordarshan has been killed in an attack by Naxals in Dantewada's Aranpur area in Chhattisgarh. Two security personnel have also lost their lives in the attack. The details of how they were killed are awaited.

Just last week, four soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed after Maoists blew up their anti-landmine vehicle in Bijapur district, Two other CRPF jawans were injured in the improvised explosive device or IED blast.

The Doordarshan crew was in Chhattisgarh to cover the elections. The first phase of the elections will be held in 18 constituencies in the eight Naxal-affected districts - Bastar, Kanker, Sukma, Bijapur, Dantewada, Narayanpur, Kondagaon and Rajnandgaon.

Naxals had recently put up posters in parts of Bastar region calling for boycott of the polls.

Representational Image: CRPF men patrol a Naxal-held area in Chhattisgarh.
12:58   SC allows south India to burst firecrackers for 2 hours in the morning
The Supreme Court Tuesday modified its order fixing a slot of 8 pm to 10 pm for bursting firecrackers on Diwali and said the timing will be changed in places like Tamil Nadu and Puducherry but not exceed two hours a day.

A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan also observed that the direction for permitting the use of green crackers was meant for the Delhi-NCR region and was not pan India. The apex court was hearing several applications filed by the Tamil government and firecracker manufacturers seeking modification and clarification of its October 23 order.

On Monday, the Tamil Nadu government urged the apex court to allow firecrackers to be burst on Diwali morning in accordance with religious practices in the state, besides the already permitted 8 pm to 10 pm period.

The counsel appearing for firecracker manufacturers told the court that it was not possible to come up with green crackers this Diwali since there was no set composition for manufacturing them.
Update: A Doordarshan cameraman has been killed in an attack by Naxals in Dantewada's Aranpur. 
12:46   Complainant against Rakesh Asthana to get security
The Supreme Court Tuesday directed the Hyderabad Police to provide adequate security to businessman Satish Sana, complainant in the alleged bribery case against CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices U U Lalit and K M Joseph refused to stay the CBI summons against him and also rejected his plea for recording of his statement in presence of retired former Supreme Court judge A K Patnaik. Sana, on whose complaint an FIR was registered against the CBI Special Director, had moved the apex court on Monday seeking police protection and a stay on the notice issued by the agency summoning him for interrogation.

The CBI had booked Asthana on October 15 on the basis of a complaint from Sana, facing probe in a 2017 case involving meat exporter Moin Qureshi, claiming that the special director had allegedly helped him to get a clean chit from the probe agency.

Besides seeking a stay on CBI's summons against him, Sana in his petition had expressed fear for his life and sought police protection during the pendency of the inquiry against Asthana, who along side CBI Director Alok Verma has been divested of duties and sent on leave by the Central government.

The businessman, in his plea, had referred to the apex court's October 26 order on the petition of the CBI Director by which the Central Vigilance Commission was asked to conclude inquiry against Verma within two weeks under the supervision of former apex court judge Justice A K Patnaik.

He had said that the CBI moved "in haste" to issue notice to him under Section 160 of the CrPC (Code Of Criminal Procedure) to attend the proceedings on October 29 before the probe agency and said that the same be recorded before Justice Patnaik.  -- PTI
12:32   Fire in Bandra slum
Level-3 fire breaks out in a slum at Lalmati, opposite the Bandra fire station on Nagardas Road. Nine fire tenders at the spot. Details awaited.
12:31   Naxals attack DD crew in Chhattisgarh
Doordarshan crew attacked by Naxals in Dantewada's Aranpur. More details awaited.
12:30   Want Rahul to apologise: MP CM
MP CM Shivraj Chauhan on Rahul Gandhi's remark that his son was named in the Panama papers: "If a junior leader made these allegations then it would be different, but Congress President levelling such allegations is unfortunate.Will file defamation case.Will consider if he apologizes."
12:15   Indian couple dies falling 800 feet in California's Yosemite National Park
In a tragic incident, an Indian couple died after falling 800 feet in an area with steep terrain in California's Yosemite National Park this week, according to a media report.

Vishnu Viswanath, 29, and Meenakshi Moorthy, 30, fell to their deaths from Taft Point in Yosemite National Park. They were identified Monday as a married couple from India living in the United States, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The report said that the couple had recently moved from New York after Viswanath took a job as a systems engineer at Cisco, based in San Jose. Together, they chronicled their adventures of travelling around the world in a blog called 'Holidays and HappilyEverAfters'.

Rangers recovered their bodies on the steep terrain Thursday below Taft Point, a popular tourist spot that offers spectacular views of the Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls, and El Capitan.

Visitors had spotted the bodies a day earlier. Park spokesman Jamie Richards was quoted as saying in the report that "We still do not know what caused them to fall. We're trying to understand what happened. We may never know, (but) from everything we see, this was a tragic fall." Richards said that so far 10 people have died in the park this year, and six of those park visitors fell to their deaths.

Investigators were looking into how the couple fell or what had occurred when the accident happened at the famous spot which is a favourite place for tourists from around the world to take scenic and memorable photos.

On the cover of Viswanath's Facebook page is a picture of the two of them smiling on the edge of a cliff at the Grand Canyon. In a Facebook post, College of Engineering, Chengannur said the two were its alumni and added that it deeply mourns their "accidental demise". -- PTI
11:59   Former B'desh PM Zia's jail term doubled to 10 years
In a stunning decision, a Bangladeshi court on Tuesday doubled former prime minister Khaleda Zia's jail term from five to 10 years in a corruption case. The decision came a day after she was sentenced to seven years in prison in another graft case.

A High Court bench announced the verdict after accepting the Anti-Corruption Commission's review petition to increase Zia's imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case, The Daily Star reported.

"This verdict means that Khaleda Zia will not be able to contest in the upcoming election," ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told reporters.

A Dhaka court sentenced Zia to five years in jail in the orphanage corruption case on February 8. Her son Tarique Rahman and four others were sentenced to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment. Zia has been imprisoned at the former central jail since then. On October 6, she was taken to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University hospital, where she is currently receiving treatment.

The verdict is crucial as it came ahead of the parliamentary elections in December. Zia's party had boycotted the 2014 elections. -- PTI
11:28   IL&FS crisis: Normalcy to return to system in couple of weeks, says SBI Chief
In wake of the IL&FS crisis, efforts are underway by the Indian government, RBI as well as SBI to try and stabilise the system "very quickly', and things are likely to return to normal in a couple of weeks, SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar said in New York today.

Kumar said that the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) was a "unique institution' operating in the infrastructure financing and construction space.

It is an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, holding assets as well as its finances - it was a 3-in-1, Kumar said, adding that whether it is banks or non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), if they are in infrastructure financing, they have faced trouble in India. "Infrastructure, particularly the BOT (build'"operate'"transfer) model, has caused a lot of problem even to the banks. We ourselves have suffered in the financing of infrastructure,' Kumar said during an interactive session at the 9th 'New India Lecture' organised at the Indian Consulate under the aegis of Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty. -- PTI
11:22   The BJP is turning faith into a corrosive force
The ruling party's leaders seem eager to use faith as a tool to subvert the institutions that form the base of a democracy.  Read more
11:07   Until three years ago, Dassault paid Suhel Seth Rs 1.4 crore per annum
Suhel Seth told The Indian Express that his assignment with Dassault Aviation as head of Counselage India was for "brand building of the mother brand'.  Read the report here.
11:05   'Confused' Rahul says MP CM not named in Panama papers
In a huge embarrassment for the Congress party and the possible alliance of non-BJP parties ahead of the general elections, the party president Rahul Gandhi admitted to being confused while levelling corruption charges against MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Rahul Gandhi said today, "BJP mein itna brashtachaar hai ki main kal confuse ho gaya tha. Madhya Pradesh ke CM ne Panama nahi kiya unhone to e-tendering aur Vyapam scam kiye hain. The BJP has so many corruption charges against it, that I was confused yesterday. The CM of Madhya Pradesh is not involved in the Panama scam, he is involved in the Vyapam scam."

Rahul Gandhi had said in his earlier remark that the MP CM's son was named in the Panama papers. Gandhi is likely to face a defamation suit for his comments as the campaign for the November state election grows bitter.

Chouhan accused the Congress president of making "patently false allegations" linked to the Vyapam recruitment scam and the Panama Papers against him and his family.

At a public meeting on Monday, Rahul Gandhi repeated his allegations against the Chief Minister, accusing him of presiding over "rampant corruption".

Without taking names, Gandhi used Shivraj Singh Chouhan's nickname to target him: "Udhar Chowkidar, Idhar Mamaji. Mamaji ke jo bete hai, Panama Papers me unka naam nikalta hai. (On one side, you have the watchman, on the other side you have 'mamaji'. The name of the son of 'mamaji' figured in Panama Papers)," Gandhi said.

The BJP instantly rubbished the charges."Probably, Rahul, after visiting Mahakal Temple in Ujjain and after having 'prasad', got influenced by it and levelled these baseless allegations," said the party's Kailash Vijaywargiya.

State BJP spokesman Rajnish Agrawal also mocked Gandhi and said: "As president of the Congress party, he (Rahul Gandhi) is committing a crime morally and legally. The party leadership will decide what action needed to be taken in the matter."
That's the house of plastic the woman lives in. 
10:30   The plastic woman of Mayurbhanj
While the government spends Rs 2,989 crore on its vanity project, the Sardar Patel statue , the money could have been better spent on poverty alleviation.  The government doesn't even have to look far.

In Odisha's Mayurbhanj, Jyoshna Mukhi has been living in a polythene roof hut along with her family for more than 30 years. She says many sarpanches and ward councillors have visited them during their tenure and assured a permanent house, but the promises were never fulfilled. 
10:00   2019 polls: UP ministers, BJP leaders discuss strategy for polls
Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday held a party meeting to discuss its strategy for the upcoming polls.

According to sources, Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Ministers and senior party leader were present at the meeting.

Also present at the meeting were state president of the party, Mahendra Nath Pandey, Deputy Chief Ministers, Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Prasad Maurya.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was not present at the meeting. Sources said that in the meeting, responsibilities for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections were decided. -- ANI
09:32   Kerala woman names activist Rahul Easwar in #MeToo
Activist Rahul Easwar, who was arrested and then granted bail for his allegedly provocative remarks on the Sabarimala row, has been named in the #MeToo movement. 

Easwar has denied any wrongdoing and said the allegations by the woman from Thiruvananthapuram were linked to the Sabarimala issue.

The woman, who has not revealed her identity, alleged that Easwar forced himself on her multiple times in early 2000s, when she had just taken her Class 12 board exams. A close friend, with whom she had shared the matter on WhatsApp, had put it up on her Facebook.

The victim alleged that Easwar misbehaved with her and tried to touch and kiss her when she went to his residence.

The woman said she befriended Easwar and was invited by him to his house saying his mother also would be there. However, on reaching the premises, she realised they were alone and that was when he allegedly tried to misbehave with her.

"I didn't know how to respond in the beginning as I felt trapped in the house. But then I moved away and said no. He backed off. Then again he tried it multiple times until I overcame my fear and forced myself to leave," according to the Facebook post.

"I want to say this today, as I see him everywhere now and these memories came rushing back on how he used to be. I strongly doubt his beliefs and words. Is he sincere and means all that he is saying now? In that case his actions were opposite to that back in those days," according to the post.

In a Facebook video on Monday, he said though he respected the #MeToo movement, such "fake allegations" would destroy its credibility.

Easwar claimed the allegation was a mere attack from people opposed to his ideology and meant for "political manipulation", and added "I dismiss it".

-- With inputs from PTI
09:06   Rahul Gandhi mixes up Mizoram with Manipur, BJP calls him ignorant
Both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress constantly use social media as a platform to attack each other. And if one makes a mistake, the other one makes sure to highlight it prominently. A similar incident happened on Monday (October 29) when Congress president Rahul Gandhi made a faux pas by getting the name of a state wrong.

Sharing a news about a Sainik School, that opened its gates to girl students fifty years after its inception, Rahul mistook Mizoram for Manipur. "Given the chance, there is nothing a girl cannot do. These girls at the Sainik School in Manipur are proof of this. My best wishes to these brave, inspiring children. You are the future of India. You make us all proud," Rahul wrote on Facebook.

The Sainik School in question is however in Mizoram, not in Manipur.

Rahul, however, rectified the post.

BJP IT head Amit Malviya was quick to use this opportunity to call out Rahul's oversight. "Rahul Gandhi shares an article on Mizoram and writes Manipur. It is this ignorance about the Northeast that is so problematic!" Malviya wrote on Twitter with a screenshot of Rahul's Facebook post.

"Rahul Gandhi go and write this a hundred times, 'Mizoram and Manipur are two different states in the Northeast of India and I will remember that for the rest of my term as president of the Congress party!" Malviya said in a tweet.
08:31   Sardar Patel would cry if he saw destruction done: Villagers to PM Modi
The headmen of 22 villages situated near the Sardar Sarovar Dam Monday wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that villagers would not welcome him at the inauguration of the Statue of Unity on October 31.

Local tribal leaders have also announced a boycott of the function citing destruction of natural resources due to the memorial.

The Statue of Unity, a memorial to Sardar Patel, is situated on an islet and, at 182 metres, is touted as the world's tallest statue.

"These forests, rivers, waterfalls, land and agriculture supported us for generations. We survived on them. But, everything is being destroyed now and celebrations are also planned. Don't you think its akin to celebrating someone's death? We feel so," the letter, having common content and signed by sarpanchas of 22 villages, stated.

"We all villagers want to tell you with extreme grief that we will not welcome you on October 31. Even if you come here like an unwanted guest, you are not welcome here," it added.

They alleged that people's hard-earned money is being wasted on projects like Statue of Unity though several villages of the area are still deprived of basic facilities like schools, hospitals and drinking water.

"If Sardar Patel could see the mass destruction of natural resources and injustice done to us, he would cry. When we are raising our issues, we are persecuted by police. Why you are not ready to listen to our plight?" the letter said.

Earlier this month, tribal activists had announced that people living in 72 villages near the dam will join the protest on October 31 by not cooking food.

-- PTI
08:10   'It's a boy': Sania, Shoaib welcome #BabyMirzaMalik
Tennis star Sania Mirza and Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik are blessed with a  baby boy. The "excited" father confirmed the news on Twitter.

Excited to announce: It's a boy, and my girl is doing great and keeping strong as usual #Alhumdulilah. Thank you for the wishes and Duas, we are humbled. #BabyMirzaMalik, he wrote.

In an Instagram post, filmmaker Farah Khan wrote, "Finally!! Best news in a long time!! Congratulations @mirzasaniar@realshoaibmalik @anammirzaaa@imranmirza58 n of course the nani n daadi God bless our lil angel"

Sania, who has put her career on hold to welcome her first child, is aiming to be back on the court for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Image: Farah Khan's Instagram post congratulating the couple on the good news. Photograph courtesy: @farahkhankunder/Instagram
08:07   Trump unable to attend Republic Day parade due to scheduling constraints: WH
US President Donald Trump is unable to participate as Chief Guest of India's Republic Day celebrations next year due to scheduling constraints, the White House has said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited President Trump for a bilateral visit to India during their talks in Washington last year.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders had, in July, said that Trump has received an invitation to visit India, but no decision has been taken yet.

"President Trump was honoured by Prime Minister Modi's invitation for him to be Chief Guest of India's Republic Day on January 26, 2019 but is unable to participate due to scheduling constraints," a White House spokesperson said, when asked about Trump's decision on Modi's invitation. 
It is said that the annual State of the Union address to both Houses of the US Congress by Trump is likely to be around the time India will celebrate its Republic Day. The SOTU is normally delivered in the last week of January or first week of February.
The spokesperson said that the US President and Modi enjoy a strong personal rapport and Trump is committed to deepening the India-US relationship.
"The President enjoys a strong personal rapport with Prime Minister Modi developed through two meetings and several phone calls and remains committed to deepening the US-India strategic partnership," the spokesperson said.
"The President very much looks forward to meeting Prime Minister Modi again at the earliest opportunity," the White House spokesperson said.
Modi and Trump are scheduled to attend the G-20 Summit in Argentina on November 30 and December 1. It is possible that the two leaders might meet and discuss bilateral relationship there.

Every year, India invites world leaders to attend its Republic Day celebrations.
The heads of state and government who have attended the Republic Day celebrations include Nicolas Sarkozy, Vladimir Putin, Nelson Mandela, John Major, Mohammed Khatami and Jacques Chirac. 

-- PTI
07:50   Trump unable to attend Republic Day parade due to scheduling constraints: WH
US President Donald Trump is unable to participate as Chief Guest of India's Republic Day celebrations next year due to scheduling constraints, the White House has said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited President Trump for a bilateral visit to India during their talks in Washington last year.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders had, in July, said that Trump has received an invitation to visit India, but no decision has been taken yet.

"President Trump was honoured by Prime Minister Modi's invitation for him to be Chief Guest of India's Republic Day on January 26, 2019 but is unable to participate due to scheduling constraints," a White House spokesperson said, when asked about Trump's decision on Modi's invitation. 
It is said that the annual State of the Union address to both Houses of the US Congress by Trump is likely to be around the time India will celebrate its Republic Day. The SOTU is normally delivered in the last week of January or first week of February.
The spokesperson said that the US President and Modi enjoy a strong personal rapport and Trump is committed to deepening the India-US relationship.
"The President enjoys a strong personal rapport with Prime Minister Modi developed through two meetings and several phone calls and remains committed to deepening the US-India strategic partnership," the spokesperson said.
"The President very much looks forward to meeting Prime Minister Modi again at the earliest opportunity," the White House spokesperson said.
Modi and Trump are scheduled to attend the G-20 Summit in Argentina on November 30 and December 1. It is possible that the two leaders might meet and discuss bilateral relationship there.

Every year, India invites world leaders to attend its Republic Day celebrations.
The heads of state and government who have attended the Republic Day celebrations include Nicolas Sarkozy, Vladimir Putin, Nelson Mandela, John Major, Mohammed Khatami and Jacques Chirac. 

-- PTI
00:15   AAP, BJP indulge in blame game over rising air pollution in Delhi
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government and the Aam Aadmi Party dispensation Monday indulged in a blame game over the rising air pollution in the national capital and accused each other of not taking effective steps to curb it.
 Delhi's air quality continued to remain in the very poor category Monday as a thick haze engulfed the city, which was battling alarming levels of pollution.
An overall Air Quality Index of 367 was recorded which falls in the very poor category, according to data of pollution watchdog CPCB.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal blamed the Centre, and the governments of Haryana and Punjab Monday for the severe air pollution in Delhi, alleging they were not ready to do anything despite the efforts by the Aam Aadmi Party government.
"The pollution was in control in Delhi throughout the year, but this time (winters) every year, Delhi has to face severe pollution due to the governments at the Centre, BJP-led Haryana and Congress-led Punjab," he tweeted in Hindi.
"Despite our all-out efforts, they are not ready to do anything. Farmers of these two states are also fed up with their governments," he said.
 Responding to Kejriwal's charges, Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan alleged the AAP dispensation had "failed" to undertake basic measures to curb pollution.
He said Kejriwal "cannot absolve himself of responsibility" by targeting the Centre and the state governments.
Vardhan said the Centre had undertaken a series of measures like the Graded Response Action Plan for Delhi and the national capital region and setting up of air purifiers.
"This is your responsibility. We have been tracking farm fires with the help of satellites and compared to previous years, it has been consistently going down. It is wrong to blame Haryana, Punjab and the central governments. Your work is being done by the Centre," Vardhan claimed.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari asked the party-ruled municipal corporations to step in to tackle the rising air pollution in the city, alleging the AAP government had "failed" to take effective measures.
In a letter to mayors and commissioners of the South, North and the East Delhi Municipal Corporations, which are ruled by the BJP, Tiwari requested them to ban all construction activities in the national capital with immediate effect. -- PTI