Sun, 16 September 2018
Sole agenda of Mahagathbandhan is to defeat Modi: Shah

Timeline  Refresh

22:32   Sole agenda of Mahagathbandhan is to defeat Modi: Shah
BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday said the Mahagathbandhan's only agenda was to remove Prime Minister Narendra Modi from power.
Calling the grand alliance a 'dhakosla' (deception), Shah urged the voters to understand that the parties who were a part of it were not serious about tackling issues like poverty, unemployment and corruption.  
Shah said the grand alliance's ideology and objective was centered around ensuring Modi's defeat in the 2019 general elections.

"Modi Modi Modi He is a phobia for them, the Bharatiya Janata Party chief said in his address in the poll-bound state.  

Shah highlighted that the leaders of regional parties who were part of the alliance were defeated in their respective states by the BJP who went on to form the governments there.  

The BJP chief also accused the alliance of raising a hue and cry over the issue of illegal immigrants in Assam.

-- PTI
22:10   ISRO's PSLV lifts off with 2 UK satellites
A polar satellite launch vehicle has lifted off tonight from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota to put two earth observation satellites from the United Kingdom to space. 

The 33-hour countdown for the launch began at 1.08 pm on Saturday.

There is no Indian satellite on this flight. PSLV-C42 will be the first fully commercial trip of the year, breaking a five-month-long lull, for the Indian Space Research Organisation.

ISRO did not make any launch post April 12, after it put replacement navigation satellite IRNSS-1I to space on PSLV-C41. A few days after that, it recalled its GSAT-11 from the South American launch port of Kourou, weeks before it was due for launch.
22:00   Petrol, diesel prices heading towards century mark: Congress
The Congress took a dig at the BJP government Sunday over rising prices of petrol and diesel, saying they were headed towards a century and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be congratulated for it.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said during the UPA, international crude oil prices hovered around $130 per barrel and still the prices were low, but now when the crude oil prices are around half, the prices of petrol and diesel are touching an all-time high.
He also condemned the remarks made by Union minister Ramdas Athawale on petrol and diesel, saying they are "insensitive" and a "cruel joke" on the people of the country.
"The prices of petrol and diesel are fast rising and moving towards the century mark. I congratulate the prime minister for inching towards the century and wonder when the diesel price would also touch the mark," he told reporters.
He also said it seems that the meters at petrol pumps will have to be changed as there are no three digit meters installed there yet.
21:30   ISRO launch of 2 UK satellites tonight will fetch Rs 200 crore
The countdown is progressing for the 44th launch of the Indian rocket the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle at Sriharikota, India's rocket port on the coast of the Bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh. This is a special launch which hopes to place in orbit two British satellites for which India will earn upwards of Rs 200 crore.  

This is a fully commercial launch by ISRO where the whole rocket has been hired by an overseas company. India's workhorse rocket the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is on its 44th mission and a lighter version of the PSLV is being used.

No Indian satellite is being launched as this is a fully commercial launch contracted through Antrix Corporation Limited ISRO's commercial arm.

Today Sriharikota, India's rocket port is buzzing with activity as ISRO gets ready to orbit two British satellites. Describing it as a 'fully Commercial launch by ISRO' Dr S Somnath, Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, Thiruvananthapuram said 'India will earn money by this launch'.
21:13   Rahul Gandhi to kick off Congress poll campaign in MP on Monday
Congress president Rahul Gandhi will on Monday launch his party's campaign in the poll bound Madhya Pradesh, known to be a BJP bastion, from Bhopal, where posters have come up describing him as a devotee of Lord Shiva.
He will take part in a roadshow and also address party workers during his day-long visit to the state capital.

Gandhi will arrive by an aircraft at around noon on Monday. He will then embark on a 15-kilometer-long roadshow from Lalghati Chowk, located close to the airport, after seeking the blessings of more than 11 Hindu priests, state party spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said on Sunday.

Gandhi's roadshow, in which he will ride an open vehicle, will conclude at Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd's Dussehra Maidan, where he will interact with party cadres, he added.

Congress workers are arriving in Bhopal from all over the state to welcome the party chief and take part in the meeting.

"We are expecting more than one lakh Congress cadres in the state capital," a police officer said.

-- PTI
20:58   London Mayor calls for second Brexit referendum
London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Sunday called for a second Brexit referendum as he criticised the  Conservative party-led UK government's increasingly "chaotic approach" to the negotiations with the 28-member European Union.
The Pakistani-origin Opposition Labour Party leader said the fresh vote should offer voters the choice of staying in the EU against any deal the UK government manages to strike or against a "no-deal" Brexit, if an agreement cannot be reached. 
Writing in the 'Observer' newspaper, Khan warned that with the UK due to leave the EU in six months, by March 2019, it now faced either a "bad deal" or "no deal".
"Both these scenarios are a million miles away from what was promised during the EU referendum campaign," Khan said, claiming that independent analysis had forecast 500,000 fewer jobs across Britain by 2030 if a Brexit deal is not reached.
"I've become increasingly alarmed as the chaotic approach to the negotiations has become mired in confusion and deadlock, leading us down a path that could be hugely damaging not only to London, but the whole country," he said.

The former Labour Party MP from Tooting in south London warned that the whole Brexit debate had become more about former foreign secretary Boris Johnson's "political ambitions" than what was good for the UK.

"The need for another public vote on Brexit was never inevitable, or something I ever thought I'd have to call for," he said.

"But the reality is that the abject failure of the government and the huge risk we now face of either a bad deal or a 'no deal' Brexit means that giving people a fresh say on our future is now the right, and only, approach left for the good of our country," Khan added.

According to a series of recent opinion polls, the chances of the vote being overturned in favour of Remain has been gaining ground as the Brexit negotiations between the UK and EU fail to reach a decisive phase.

-- PTI
20:32   Don't want to be a politician, scared of it: Aamir Khan
He maybe vocal about social issues like water conservation, but superstar Aamir Khan said Sunday he has no plans to join politics. 
The 53-year-old Bollywood actor said he is "scared" of the idea and believes he can be a better influence through his films. 

"I don't want to be a politician. I am not meant for that. I am a communicator. I am not interested in politics... I am also scared of politics. Who isn't?
"So, I stay away. I am a creative person. Politics is not my thing. I want to entertain people. I feel I will be able to do more as a creative person than as a politician," Aamir said. 

-- PTI
20:00   Not controlling price rise will prove costly for Modi govt: Ramdev
Yoga guru Ramdev cautioned that price rise across the country, if not controlled soon, may prove costly for the Modi government in the next general elections.
Ramdev also said he would not campaign for the BJP in the 2019 elections, unlike in 2014 when he actively worked in favour of  Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Many laud the policies of the Modi government, but some need correction now....Price rise is an big issue and Modi ji will have to take corrective measures soon, failing which 'mehngai ki aag to Modi Sarkar ko bahut mehngi padegi' (the fire of rising prices will prove costly for the Modi government," he said at the "NDTV Yuva" conclave.

He said PM will have to initiate steps to bring down prices including that of petrol and diesel prices soon.

Ramdev  sidestepped a question on whether he still had faith in Modi which he had reposed in 2014.

He said he was a centrist and was neither a rightist nor a leftist and that no one should needle him as he has adopted "Maun Yoga" (silence) on many crucial issues.
Ramdev also said he was a strong nationalist.

Asked if he would campaign for the BJP this time, Ramdev shot back, "Why would I? I will not campaign for them."

"I have withdrawn politically. I am with all the parties and I am independent," he said.

-- PTI
19:45   Trump 'ikely' to announce new China tariffs as early as Monday, says source
US President Donald Trump is likely to announce new tariffs on about $200 billion on Chinese imports as early as Monday, a senior administration official told Reuters.

The tariff level will probably be about 10 per cent, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting people familiar with the matter. This is below the 25 per cent the administration said it was considering for this possible round of tariffs.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The upcoming tariffs will be on a list of items that included $200 billion worth of internet technology products and other electronics, printed circuit boards and consumer goods including Chinese seafood, furniture and lighting products, tires, chemicals, plastics, bicycles and car seats for babies. It was unclear if the administration will exempt any of the products that were on the list, which was announced in July.
19:05   BJP to apply 'T20' formula for 2019 Lok Sabha polls
The Bharatiya Janata Party will apply the "T20 formula" to ensure victory in the 2019 general elections, a senior party leader said.

The T20 here, differs from the one popular in cricketing parlance as the party has set a target for every worker to visit at least 20 houses in their area and publicise the Narendra Modi-led government's achievements while having tea.

As the party targets to secure another term, it has asked its workers to promote the government's achievements to each and every house through "Har Booth, Das Youth" (roughly translated as 'each booth ten youth'), NaMo app contact initiative, and booth 'toli', apart from the T20 formula.

The BJP has asked its MPs, MLAs, local and booth-level workers to spread awareness among people in their respective area about the government's schemes.

"The party workers have been asked to visit every village in their area and have tea at at least 20 houses there," a senior BJP leader said. 
18:26   Rajnath Singh visits AIIMS to inquire about Parrikar's health
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday visited AIIMS to inquire about the health of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer.

Also spoke to the doctors who are supervising his treatment. I pray for his good health and quick recovery, Rajnath Singh tweeted.

Parrikar, 62, was on Saturday admitted at the All India Institute for Medical Sciences for treatment and examination. He has been in and out of hospitals in the US, Mumbai and Goa since February.
17:49   Theresa May 'irritated' by speculation over her future as British PM
Theresa May on Sunday revealed her irritation at the constant speculation over her future as British prime minister as her Conservative party MPs continue to be divided over the direction the Brexit negotiations should take.

In a BBC interview to mark the six-month to the March 2019 deadline for Britain's formal exit from the European Union, May said the debate should focus on the UK's future rather than her own political career.

"I get a little bit irritated but this debate is not about my future. This debate is about the future of the people of the UK and the future of the United Kingdom. That's what I'm focused on and that's what we should all be focused on," she said.
"It's ensuring that we get that good deal from the European Union which is good for people in the UK, wherever they live in the UK, that's what's important for us," said the British PM, who remains at the heart of a Tory party split over her leadership.

Her comments come days after her party MPs opposed to her Brexit plan met to discuss how and when they could force her to stand down. 
17:28   CBI chargesheet against Mallya likely in a month, bank officials may be included
Many senior bank officials who had dealt with loans given to liquor baron Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher Airlines may be named as accused in a CBI chargesheet which is likely to be filed within a month, sources said.
This would be first charge sheet in the case pertaining to loans of over Rs 6000 crore given to Kingfisher by a consortium of 17 banks led by State Bank of India which alone had an exposure of Rs 1600 crore.

The agency has already filed a chargesheet against Mallya last year in connection with a separate case related to Rs 900 crore pending loan given by IDBI bank in which senior officials of the bank were allegedly involved.

The CBI had registered two cases against Mallya related to the IDBI loans in 2015 and consortium loan in 2016.

Refusing to give names of the officials, the sources said the first phase of probe into loans given by a consortium of banks is almost complete and the chargesheet may be filed within a month while keeping the investigation open.

Both serving and retired senior officials of the banks including the State Bank of India who had handled Kingfisher Airlines loans may be named as accused in the charge sheet as the agency has gathered enough evidence against them on misuse of official position, they said. 

The top brass of erstwhile Kingfisher airlines including Mallya, its CFO A Raghunathan and other former senior executives will also be named as accused in the case, they said. 

They said the agency is also looking into the role of finance ministry officials who could have influenced the decision of the bankers but their role is still be evaluated.

-- PTI
17:00   Modi to pay 2-day visit to Varanasi from Monday
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit his parliamentary constituency Varanasi on Monday, according to his office.
He will reach Varanasi for a two-day visit on Monday afternoon.
The prime minister will visit Narur village, where he will interact with children of a primary school, aided by non-profit organisation "Room to Read".
Later, he will interact with students of Kashi Vidyapeeth and children assisted by them on the premises of Diesel Locomotive Works.

On Tuesday, Modi will inaugurate or lay the foundation of various development projects, cumulatively worth more than Rs 500 crore, according to a statement by the prime minister's office. The event will be held at the amphitheatre of Banaras Hindu University.
Among the projects to be inaugurated by Modi are Integrated Power Development Scheme for Puraani Kashi and an Atal Incubation Centre at BHU.
Among the projects for which the foundation stones will be laid is the Regional Ophthalmology Centre at BHU. The prime minister will also address a gathering, the statement said. 

-- PTI
16:26   "Honourable agreement" reached with BJP on seat sharing: Nitish Kumar
A couple of weeks after his party expressed unhappiness with the BJP's proposed formula for seat sharing in Bihar for the 2019 general elections, Janata Dal-United chief Nitish Kumar today said an "honourable agreement" had been reached with the BJP.

"Honourable agreement has been reached with the BJP on seat sharing. A formal announcement will be made later," the Bihar chief minister said in Patna today.

According to the BJP's first draft of the plan, that was reported last month, it would have contested in 20 of the 40 seats in Bihar; the party along with allies holds 31 seats. 12 seats would have gone to the JD-U, six to Ram Vilas Paswan and two to Upendra Kushwaha.  

The JD-U had at the time said the plan was neither fair nor "honourable".

"Even BJP knows it is not acceptable," a JD-U leader had said and added that ideally, there should be equitable distribution between the two parties. Each should get 17 seats, and Ram Vilas Paswan, the leader said, should get the remaining six.

In 2014, the BJP had won 22 seats and the NDA 31. The JD-U, fresh from a break-up with the  BJP after a 17-year alliance, won only two seats. While Nitish Kumar went on to partner with the Congress and Lalu Yadav's party and won the state elections in 2015, he was back in the BJP fold barely 20 months later.
15:58   SIT makes first arrest in Haryana topper gangrape case
The Special Investigation Team probing the gang rape of a CBSE topper in Haryanas Rewari made its first arrest in the case on Sunday but the three main accused continued to evade the police four days after the crime.

The arrested person has been identified as Dindayal of Kanina where the victim was dropped off after she was assaulted.

The person arrested is the owner of the tube well where the accused took the victim and allegedly raped her, Police spokesperson Naresh Kumar said.

The other three accused named by the victim are still at large.

Haryana Police on Saturday released the photographs of the three accused, including that of a soldier, and announced Rs 1 lakh reward for information on the accused.

The soldier named Pankaj who is posted in Rajasthan was the main accused, state DGP B S Sandhu said. The other accused are Manish and Nishu.

The three allegedly abducted, drugged and gang-raped the 19-year-old Rewari girl when she was on her way to a coaching centre at Kanina in Mahendragarh district on September 12.
15:35   Chidambaram takes dig at BJP over rising petrol prices
Taking a dig at the BJP's claim that the Centre was looking at ways to arrest the hike in fuel prices, Congress leader P Chidambaram Sunday said the ruling party might have found a way to get "free" crude oil. 
In a series of tweets, the former finance minister also attacked the Narendra Modi government for allegedly failing to curb the flow of black money in the economy.

While the Union government has asserted that it will not cut fuel prices, the Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah has claimed that the "Centre will soon arrest fuel prices", said Chidambaram in a tweet.
"BJP must have found a crude oil source that will supply crude oil free!," he quipped.

Shah had on Saturday blamed international developments for the rising petrol and diesel prices and dipping rupee value. 

-- PTI
15:14   Bagree Market fire: Mayor says authorities didn't install safety measures
The massive fire at Bagree Market near Burrabazar area - the city's commercial hub- could have been averted had building owners installed adequate fire safety measures, Mayor Sovon Chatterjee said.
However, some traders said the multi-storey market had fire alarm systems on every floor.

Despite warnings, the market authorities did not install adequate fire safety equipment in the building, the mayor, who also holds the Fire Services portfolio, told reporters.

"I visited the building on several occasions and held meetings with  market authorities, asking them to take steps to ensure the safety of the building. Last month, too, a meeting was held in this regard. A water tank on top of the market did not have proper pipelines to take care of eventualities," he said.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has formed a committee to review the status of commercial buildings across the city.

"Based on reports filed by the KMC, we haul up building owners. The review is carried out every year," Chatterjee explained.

The fire department had in the past recommended steps to authorities, but no such measures were taken, he claimed.

"The market authorities kept insisting that we extend the deadline for installing fire fighting equipment. The tragedy could have been averted if they took action on time," he maintained.

Asked if he would take action against defaulters, the mayor replied in the affirmative.

-- PTI
14:42   'Construction of Ram temple will begin before 2019 elections'
Former Bharatiya Janata Party MP and Ram Janambhoomi Nyas president Ram Vilas Vedanti on Sunday claimed that the construction of Ram temple will begin before the 2019 general elections.

"BJP has resolved to build the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The construction of Ram Mandir will begin before the election of 2019 takes place," Vedanti said.

As per reports, BJP president Amit Shah while addressing a rally in Hyderabad in July, apparently said that the Ram temple would be built before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The party later, however, denied of Shah having said so.

On June 25, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said that the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya would be done "when Lord Ram will shower his blessings on Ayodhya".

-- ANI
14:14   United Left Alliance sweeps JNUSU elections
United Left Alliance sweeps JNU election; N Sai Balaji elected as pPresident, Sarika Chaudhary as vice president, Aejaz Ahmed Rather as general secretary and Amutha Jayadeep as joint secretary.

There was high drama on Saturday as counting was suspended for close to 14 hours after the ABVP staged protests claiming it was not informed about the start of the counting process.
The counting, which was suspended at 4 am, resumed at 6.30 pm after two teachers from the Grievance Redressal Cell were appointed as observers for the exercise, officials said.

The voter turnout in the keenly contested JNUSU election on Friday was 67.8 per cent, believed to be the highest in six years. Over 5,000 students cast their votes.
13:54   Same group behind killings of Dabholkar, Kalburgi, Gauri Lankesh; members linked to Sanatan Sanstha: Police
The same group of right-wing activists is behind the killings of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar, MM Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh, a senior police official said quoting investigation reports.

However, the probe agencies have not been able to establish the groups link with the killing of rationalist and communist leader Govind Pansare, he said.

During the investigation, it came to light that a gang of like-minded people was involved in the killings of Dabholkar, Lankesh and Kalburgi. Almost all members of this gang have links with the Sanatan Sanstha and its offshoot Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, the official said Saturday.

Dabholkar, Kalburgi and Lankesh were assassinated by members of this gang because they were raising their voice against the Hindu religion, he claimed.

The probe so far indicates that those arrested in connection with the seizure of huge cache of explosives from Nallasopara in Palghar district have direct links with the killings of Dabholkar, Kalburgi and Lankesh, he said.

Meanwhile, efforts are on to nab those behind Pansares killing, the official said.

While Dabholkar was shot dead in Pune in August 2013, Pansare was shot at on February 16, 2015 in Kolhapur and succumbed to his injuries on February 20.

Lankesh was killed at her house in Bengaluru in September last year while Kalburgi was shot dead at the entrance of his house in Karnatakas Dharwad district on August 30, 2015.
13:19   'Not his Bua': Mayawati attacks Bhim Army chief, sets alliance terms for Cong, SP
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Sunday targeted Bhim Army president Chandrashekar Azad 'Ravan', who was released from Saharanpur jail on Friday. 

In a clear indication to Chandrashekhar, Mayawati said: For the past few days, a man who was recently released from jail is trying to call me Bua. I can never have a relation with these sort of people."

Chandrashekar was booked under the National Security Act by the UP government and spent 15months in jail for his alleged role in the violence that broke out in Shabbirpur village in May 2017. 

The BSP supremo added that she is not averse to joining a grand alliance against the BJP, but will agree only if her party is allocated a respectable share of seats in states where it is currently a minor player. 

"We are not against having an alliance in the upcoming polls. But it will happen only if we are given a respectable number of seats. Otherwise, we will go alone," Mayawati said.

BJP governments in states and in the Centre are trying to hide their failures by diversionary tactics. They have not fulfilled their election promises. They are trying to use Atal ji's death for political gains, she was quoted as saying. 
13:12   BJP central leaders to take stock of situation in Goa, Cong keeps a watch
Central observers of the BJP are expected to arrive in Goa Sunday to take stock of the political situation, even as the opposition Congress says it is watching the developments and will explore the possibility of forming government in the state. 

The coastal state, currently ruled by the BJP-led government, is witnessing hectic political activity as Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who has been ailing since sometime, has been admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.

BJP's central observers B L Santhosh and Ram Lal are likely to arrive in Goa Sunday afternoon to take stock of the political situation and initiate a discussion with party leaders and alliance partners for a possible merger.

The Parrikar-led government is ruling the state with the support of the Goa Forward Party, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Independents.

"The central observers will meet BJP legislators and office-bearers followed by a meeting with the GFP, MGP and Independents," a senior BJP leader said.

The BJP currently has 14 legislators in the 40-member assembly while the GFP, the MGP and Independents have three each.

The Congress has 16 MLAs while the Nationalist Congress Party has one legislator.

Meanwhile, the Congress said it was watching the developments and may explore the possibility of forming government in Goa but "not by compromising the state's interest".

-- PTI
JUST IN: Jammu-Kashmir Panchayat polls will be held in 9 phases. Date of polls will be Nov 17, Nov 20, Nov 24, Nov 27, Nov 29, Dec 1, Dec 4, Dec 8 & Dec 11. Counting will take place on the day of polling. Votes will be cast using ballot paper. 
12:22   Don't send cheques, give justice: Rewari gang-rape victim's mother
The mother of the victim of alleged gang rape case of Rewari has claimed that she was offered Rs 2 lakh compensation cheque from the government. 

However, she has refused to accept it and demanded justice for her daughter.

The cheque given to the victim's family is claimed to have been signed by "chief judicial magistrate-cum-secretary district legal services authority Narnaul."

"A cheque of Rs 2 lakh has been given to the father of a girl who was gang-raped. This has been offered to us while no accused has been arrested yet. Few people from the government came to us and gave this cheque to my husband. She (the victim) is already in depression and now they are giving her money. Instead of doing justice, they have given us cheque. We were hopeful that we will get justice. We want justice, not your cheque. I am giving this back," the victim's mother said.

She further alleged that the doctors in the hospital are "not allowing" her to meet her daughter.

A 19-year-old woman was abducted and gang-raped after being drugged on Wednesday in Haryana's Narnaul area.

In the FIR registered at Kanina, police have identified three accused, Pankaj, Manish and Nishu, whose pictures they released late on Saturday.

-- ANI
11:52   Left leading on all central panel posts in JNU
The United Left is leading in all four central panel posts in the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union polls, counting for which is underway.
According to the election committee, after counting 3,281 out of 5185 votes, N Sai Balaji, presidential candidate of the Left is leading with 1,350 votes. Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad candidate Lalit Pandey was at the second position with 605 votes followed by Thallapalli Praveen from Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association.
In the other central panel posts of vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary, the United Left is ahead of its rivals. 
There was high drama on Saturday as counting was suspended for close to 14 hours after the ABVP staged protests claiming it was not informed about the start of the counting process.

The counting, which was suspended at 4 am, resumed at 6.30 pm after two teachers from the Grievance Redressal Cell were appointed as observers for the exercise, officials said.

-- PTI
11:23   Tech Mahindra fires officer who harassed gay man
In the perhaps the first case dealing with workplace homophobia and discrimination since the Supreme Court de-criminalised consensual sex with same-sex partners by reading down Section 377, an employee accused of discrimination against a gay man was fired by the company. 

Tech Mahindra announced on their Twitter account: @gauravpramanik, arising out of an investigation carried out in the matter, the concerned employee has been separated from the employment of the company with immediate effect. At Tech Mahindra, we believe in diversity & inclusion & condemn discrimination of any kind in the workplace.

In a letter, Gaurav Pramanik had alleged that his diversity officer Richa Gautam called him effeminate and alleged that it affected his work. The incident took place in 2015.

He alleged she asked an officer who was weeping if he was gay, and exhibited Islamophobia calling Muslims a global pain.

He told a news organisation that he left the organisation for the constant humiliation he faced for his sexuality.

IT company Tech Mahindra had said Tuesday it would conduct a thorough probe after a former employee, just days after the Supreme Court decriminalising homosexuality, alleged harassment and discrimination by his then team manager in 2015.

Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra said the company is investigating the matter and "will ascertain the facts and see that the outcome is fair and just".

He assured that the group celebrates diversity at workplace and "fairness and dignity" of an individual are enshrined in core value of the company.
11:15   Don't come to govt with a begging bowl: Javadekar to schools
Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar has advised the schools to ask for financial assistance from their alumni instead of approaching the government for help.

While speaking at an event organised in Pune by the Jnana Prabhodini School, the HRD Minister said that there are some schools which keep on approaching the government with a 'begging bowl seeking help' rather than asking their alumni for it.

Praising the contribution made by the alumni of the Jnana Prabodhini School for the maintenance and development of the institution, the HRD Minister said that the school had set a good example for other institutes as well.

"Aise school bhi chalte hain. Nahi to har baar sarkar ke paas katora lekar jaenge aur baat karenge ki hamein madad chahiye. Arey madad to aapke ghar mein padi hai. Aapke jo purv chatra hain unki bhi zimmedari banti hai (Scholls can be run this way too. Otherwise there are some schools who approach the government every time with a begging bowl and seek help. Help is at your doorstep. Your alumni have a responsibility to help)," he said.

He further said, "Worldwide, who runs educational institutes? Alumni. Those who once studied there became successful later give it back to them. It has been a trend in Jnana Prabodhini. I was told that alumni here do as much as they can for the school."

Javadekar also asked alumni to get associated with their schools or colleges in an endeavour to contribute for its betterment.

"It is the responsibility of former students to get associated with their schools or colleges and contribute for its betterment. It is also important for a school or college to develop that kind of attitude in its students, which will be helpful for future," he added.  -- ANI
10:13   Prashant Kishor likely to join JD-U today
Election strategist Prashant Kishor is likely to be inducted in the Janata Dal-United by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today, a report by NDTV said.

Meanwhile, Kishor, who joined Twitter in February this year, tweeted for the first time today, hinting his entry into electoral politics.

'Excited to start my new journey from Bihar!' he tweeted.

Replying to queries about possibility of Kishor joining his party today, JD-U leader K C Tyagi told ANI, "Let us wait for the official announcement. He has expressed his willingness, we will welcome him in the party."
09:34   I'm a minister, not affected by fuel prices: Athawale
When asked if the hike in the fuel prices affected him, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale confessed that he is unfazed by the hike, as he is a minister.

Referring to the allowances he gets, Athawale, who was in Jaipur said, "I am not suffering from rising fuel prices as I am a minister. I may suffer if I lose my ministerial post."

Acknowledging that people are suffering due to the hike in fuel prices, the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment further said, "It's understandable that people are suffering from rising fuel prices and it's the duty of the government to reduce them."

Athawale, who heads the Republican Party of India, assured that the Centre is working on the matter.

"The price of fuel can be reduced if the states cut the tax on it. The Centre is seriously working on the issue," he said.

The central government has been facing flak from various quarters over a continuous hike in fuel prices.  -- ANI
08:59   Massive fire at Kolkata's Bagree Market, no casualty so far
A massive fire broke out in a multi-storey building early on Sunday in the central part of Kolkata's congested Bagree Market on Canning street, a senior official of the fire department said. 

No casualty has been reported so far, he said. 35 tenders have been pressed into service to douse the fire. 

"As the area is very congested, we are finding it difficult to work. We are using hydraulic ladder and gas cutters to cut through the grills of the gates and small windows to enter the building," the senior official said.

The fire broke out on the ground floor of the building and spread to other floors, he said.

"Even after five hours, we are finding it difficult to contain the fire," he added.

Traffic restrictions have been imposed in the area due to the fire.  -- PTI