Tue, 09 August 2022
Bengal polls in 2024, TMC will lose: Suvendu

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Ambadas Danve/Twitter
Ambadas Danve/Twitter
23:36   Thackeray loyalist Danve named Leader of Opposition in Maha Council
Shiv Sena MLC Ambadas Danve, a member of the party faction led by Uddhav Thackeray, was on Tuesday appointed the Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council. 

The appointment of Danve, a member of the Legislative Council since 2019, takes effect immediately, according to an official notification. 

The move comes a day after Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray wrote to the chairman of the Legislative Council nominating Danve as the Leader of the Opposition, a Cabinet-rank post, in the Upper House of the state legislature. 

This is a rare case where the chief minister (Eknath Shinde) and the LoP in the Council belong to the same party (the Sena), though they are from different factions of the outfit. 

Last month, a delegation of Shiv Sena MLCs comprising Manisha Kayande, Sachin Ahir, Ambadas Danve, Vilas Potnis and Sunil Shinde met Neelam Gorhe, the deputy Chairperson of the Council, and submitted a letter regarding the Leader of the Opposition and the chief whip. 

Gorhe said the Legislative Council had received a letter that the Leader of Opposition should be from the Shiv Sena as the party has numbers on its side in the Upper House. 

"The Shiv Sena in the Maharashtra Legislative Council has been recognised as the party in the Opposition to the Government in Maharashtra Legislative Council. Accordingly, Ambadas Eknathrao Danve, MLC, is recognised as Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council with effect from 9th August, 2022," said a notification signed by Rajendra Bhagwat, principal secretary, Legislative Council. -- PTI
23:19   Bengal polls in 2024, TMC will lose: Suvendu
The Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal will "cease to exist" by December, and assembly elections will be held in the state along with the Lok Sabha polls in 2024, leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari claimed on Tuesday. 

Speaking to reporters in Tamluk in Purba Medinipur district, Adhikari said the stage is being set for the removal of the TMC government from the state. 

"Wait for a few months, this government will cease to be in power in West Bengal. Mark my words, by December this year, TMC will not be in power in West Bengal. The assembly poll and parliamentary elections will be held simultaneously in 2024 in West Bengal," the BJP leader claimed. 

Over the last few months, Adhikari has repeatedly claimed that there would be a Maharashtra-like situation in the opposition-ruled states of Jharkhand, Rajasthan and West Bengal. 

His comments drew sharp reactions from the TMC, which accused the BJP of engineering the rebellion in Shiv Sena and toppling the Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra.

"If he can foresee things, why couldn't he predict and stop the recent political happenings in Bihar? It seems that out of frustration in politics, he has started practising astrology," state minister Chandrima Bhattacharya of the TMC said. 

"Any such attempts by the BJP to topple the state government in West Bengal would be given a befitting reply," she said. -- PTI
22:50   Nervous about 'Laal Singh Chaddha' release, haven't slept for 48 hours: Aamir Khan
Superstar Aamir Khan on Tuesday said he is having sleepless nights ahead of the release of his much-anticipated film Laal Singh Chaddha

An official Hindi remake of the Tom Hanks-led 1994 Hollywood classic Forrest Gump, the film is scheduled to be released theatrically worldwide on Thursday. 

Khan, whose last big screen outing Thugs of Hindostan had a dull run at the box office in 2018, said his brain is in "overdrive" mode. 

"I'm really nervous about the release. I have not slept for 48 hours... My brain is in overdrive. I play chess online, read books to keep myself busy. I guess I can only sleep after 11th August. I believe both Advait Chandan (director) and I will sleep like a log post the release of the film," the 57-year-old actor said at an event here celebrating 25 years of PVR Cinemas. 

Written by Atul Kulkarni, Laal Singh Chaddha also features Kareena Kapoor Khan, Naga Chaitanya and Mona Singh in pivotal roles. 

During the event, Khan reiterated his appeal to the audience to come to the theatres to watch the movie as it is a product of years of hardwork of a lot of people. 

"If I have hurt anybody with any actions of mine, I'm sad about it. I don't want to hurt anyone. I think if some people don't want to watch my film, I will respect that. But I would like as many people as possible to watch the film. We have put in a lot of hardwork. Filmmaking is a team effort. It's not just me," the actor said in response to a question about boycott calls against the movie on social media. -- PTI
22:25   BJP to launch stir against Nitish's 'betrayal'
The BJP on Tuesday fumed at yet another volte face by its old ally, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, accusing him of being a "habitual betrayer" who was pushing Bihar into the abyss of lawlessness and corruption by entering into a fresh alliance with the RJD. 

In a statement issued after core committee meeting at the state headquarters, the party announced that it will stage massive protests (mahadharnas) against the "betrayal' by the JD-U leader across all districts on Wednesday which will be followed by agitations at the block level a day later. 

Reacting furiously to the development, senior leader Sushil Kumar Modi, who had served as Kumar's deputy for more than a decade and is considered as his most trusted man in the BJP, accused the former boss of telling "blatant lie'. 

"It is a blatant lie that BJP had made RCP Singh a minister without the consent of Nitish ji. Another lie is that the BJP was trying to split the JD-U. He was looking for an excuse to break ties. The BJP will return to power with a thumping majority in 2024," Modi tweeted. 

Notably, Kumar had cited a "unanimous sentiment' in his JD-U as the reason behind making the sudden move. 

His party's ties with the BJP, though dating back to the 1990s, barring a four years hiatus that began with his first breaking away in 2013, have been chequered. 

However, in the recent past the two parties squabbled on a whole range of issues though the tipping point, according to JD-U sources, came with alleged attempts of RCP Singh, a former national president who has for some time come to be seen as 'BJP's man', to split the party. -- PTI
22:02   Assam-Meghalaya to hold border talks after Aug 15: Conrad
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said his government will hold talks with Assam to resolve the remaining six areas of dispute at the inter-state border after August 15. 

Speaking to reporters, Sangma said he met Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma in New Delhi on the sidelines of the Niti Aayog meeting last weekend and held a detailed discussion on the issue. 

"We decided that we will be having the first meeting for the phase-II after Independence Day," he said, after meeting a delegation of the Synjuk Ki Rangbah Shnong Border Area Raid Nongtung, a conglomeration of traditional village chiefs. 

"The exact date has to be finalised but we will be meeting in Guwahati," Sangma said. 

Regional committees will be formed by the two states to take the process forward for the second phase of the border talks, he said. 

The delegation sought the intervention of the chief minister to ensure 18 of 34 villages under Raid Nongtung in disputed block-II be retained in Meghalaya. 

"That is the reason why we have moved forward in six of the twelve areas in the first phase. We have signed the Memorandum of Understanding after detailed consultations and the people's will is what has led to the resolution of the first six locations," Sangma said. 

Expressing confidence that the two states will also find a solution for the remaining six locations, the chief minister said it will take time. 

"We have to move forward and we have to allow the process to continue. We have to consult and engage with all the stakeholders that are involved," he said. -- PTI
21:43   Only Nitish, Tejashwi will be sworn-in tomorrow
The swearing in of Nitish Kumar and Tejashwi Yadav as chief minister and deputy CM respectively will take place at 2 pm on Wednesday, highly placed sources said in Patna. 

It will be a simple ceremony and held inside the Raj Bhavan. 

More ministers will be inducted into the cabinet at a later stage, sources in Kumar's JD-U and Yadav's RJD said. 

Kumar, who dumped the BJP-led NDA earlier in the day, will be taking oath as the CM for the eighth time. 

He will be heading a coalition of seven parties which is also supported by an Independent.
20:56   Lalu's daughters taunt BJP with celebratory tweets
As Chief Minister Nitish Kumar severed ties with ally Bharatiya Janata Party on a day filled with high drama, two of Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Yadav's daughters put out amusing and sarcastic tweets, with one signalling a change of guard in Bihar and another describing the state as synonymous with legendary Chanakya. 

Rohini Acharya even shared a video of a Bhojpuri singer featuring his catchy number Lalu Bina Chalu Bihar Na Hoi in one of her tweets with a caption: Rajtilak ki karo tayyari, aa rahe hain laltendhari

Lanten is the party symbol of RJD, which was the principal opposition in the Bihar assembly. 

The NDA-led government in the state was formed after the 2020 Bihar polls. 

The mercurial Kumar handed over his resignation as NDA chief minister to Governor Phagu Chauhan and then after being elected leader of the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) staked claim for the top job in the state once again. 

Acharya shared a poster hailing her father as a "kingmaker". 

In another tweet, she wrote: Boya ped babool ka, aam kaehan se hoi and alleged that the "hunger for power" will make BJP sink from across the country one day. 

She also mocked the saffron party, in a tweet in Hindi which said: "People in BJP had told us to change DP, we Laluvadis changed the government only." 

Raj Lakshmi Yadav, youngest daughter of Lalu Yadav also took to Twitter to share old images of her father, one showing him with his children. 

In a tweet in Hindi, she said, "Shankhanad! Pehle di Pankh, ab denge udaan. Chanakaya matlab Bihar, Bihari matlab Chanakya. Farzi Chanakayagiri Bihar ke bahar chalaiega. Bole Bihar - Tejashwi Bhav: Sarkar" and tagged Tejashwi. -- PTI
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20:42   12 injured after 'tazia' touches power line during Muharram procession in UP
Twelve people were injured after a tazia came in contact with a power line during a Muharram procession in Gonda on Tuesday, the police said. 

No one was seriously injured in the incident, they said. 

Circle officer, Colonelganj, Munna Upadhyay said when a Muharram procession reached Rajeshwari Devi Mahavidyalaya in the Katra Bazar police station area, the tazia touched an overhead power line, resulting in injuries to 12 people. 

All the injured were immediately rushed to the local community health centre. 

They were discharged after first-aid, he said. 

Later, the tazia was taken to its destination by others who were part of the procession, Upadhyay said. -- PTI
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Representational image
20:20   Mumbai logs 479 new Covid cases, no deaths; active tally crosses 3,000
Mumbai on Tuesday reported 479 fresh coronavirus cases but no fatalities, while the active tally crossed the 3,000 mark, the city civic body said. 

This is the seventh day in a row when the city added more than 400 cases. 

A day before, the metropolis logged 407 infections and a single COVID-19 fatality. 

The overall tally of cases stands at 11,28,433 as of Tuesday and the death toll at 19,660, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation bulletin said. 

Of the 479 new cases, only 30 patients were symptomatic while the rest 449 were asymptomatic, it said. 

The city has been witnessing a steady rise in the daily COVID-19 cases for the past few days. 

The tally of active cases in the city surged past the 3,000-mark to reach 3,127. A day before Mumbai had 2,977 such cases. 

A total of 6,580 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours in the city, taking the number of samples examined for detection of coronavirus so far to 1,79,04,139. 

Mumbai's tally of recoveries rose to 11,05,646 with more 329 patients discharged from hospitals, the bulletin said. 

The recovery rate is 98 per cent. 

The overall growth rate of COVID-19 improved to 0.038 per cent for the period between August 2 and August 8, while the overall growth rate of cases is 1,857 days. -- PTI
20:14   Nitish Kumar to take oath as CM tomorrow at 4 pm
The Janata Dal-United-Rashtriya Janata Dal led 'Mahagathbandhan' (Grand Alliance) government in Bihar, to be led by Nitish Kumar, will take oath at 4 pm tomorrow.

The governor, who accepted Kumar's resignation submitted earlier in the day, has requested him to continue as the caretaker CM, the Chief Minister's Office said.

Details soon.
19:57   BJP destroys its allies, see Maharashtra: Tejashwi
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav on Tuesday said that recent political history indicates that Bharatiya Janata Party destroys parties with whom it forms alliances. 

"We did see that happening in Punjab and Maharashtra," he added. 

While addressing a joint presser with new ally Nitish Kumar, Yadav said, "Across the Hindi heartland, BJP does not have any alliance partner. History shows that the BJP destroys the parties with whom it forms alliances. We did see that happening in Punjab and Maharashtra." 

Yadav was accompanied by JD-U leader and caretaker Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who broke his alliance with the BJP and entered into a tie-up with RJD and some other parties. 

"Today all parties and members of the Bihar legislative assembly except the BJP have accepted Nitish Kumar as their leader," Yadav added. 

"JP Nadda said they will end regional parties. BJP knows only to intimidate and buy people. All of us wanted the BJP's agenda shouldn't be implemented in Bihar, we all know Laluji stopped the 'Rath' of Advaniji, and we won't relent at any cost," said Yadav. -- ANI
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Representational image
19:49   No parade on Independence Day in Odisha due to Covid situation
The Odisha government has decided to celebrate Independence Day in a subdued manner without a ceremonial parade anywhere in the state because of the prevailing COVID-19 situation. 

There will be no parade and general public participation will be discouraged during the Independence Day celebrations, an official notification said. 

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, the government of Odisha discouraged large gatherings along with several other preventive measures to contain the spread of the disease like previous years, the notice said. 

The venue of the state-level Independence Day celebrations has been shifted from Mahatma Gandhi Marg in Bhubaneswar to IDCO Exhibition Ground, Unit-3, in the capital city. 

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will be the chief guest at the Independence Day function. 

Though there will be no parade, the customary guard of honour will be presented by three contingents of OSAP, ODRAF, and BSF battalions. 

The Police Band would also participate in the function. 

The contingents participating in the function will be tested for COVID-19 and would be required to maintain adequate social distancing at the venue. 

The officers deployed near the flag post would also be tested for COVID-19 and wear face masks and gloves during the function. -- PTI
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19:18   Nepal bars entry of Indian tourists after 4 Indians test Covid positive
Nepal has stopped the entry of people coming from India into the country after four Indian tourists tested positive for COVID-19 and were sent back, amid a sharp surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the Himalayan nation. 

The four Indian tourists had entered Nepal via the Jhulaghat border point in the Baitadi district in Western Nepal. 

Bipin Lekhak, information officer at the health office in Baitadi, said the four Indian nationals tested positive for COVID-19 and were told to return to India. 

"We have also ramped up COVID-19 testing on Indians," said Lekhak. Many Nepali citizens who returned from India have tested positive for COVID-19, he said, adding that the officials have halted the entry of Indian tourists into Nepal due to a spike in infections. 

Baitadi district is at high risk as it shares a border with neighboring India. 

Currently, there are 31 active cases of coronavirus in Baitadi where not even a single case had been reported until three weeks ago. 

India's tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 4,41,74,650 after 12,751 new coronavirus infections were reported in a day, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Tuesday. -- PTI 
19:12   BJP throws 'Paltu Ram' jibe at Nitish
The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday accused Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of "insulting and betraying" people's mandate while blaming his prime ministerial ambition for the Janata Dal-Uniteds decision to walk out of the National Democratic Alliance and joining hands with the Rashtriya Janata Party-led opposition.
BJP leaders noted that he had snapped ties with the RJD in 2017 over allegations of corruption against its leader Tejashwi Yadav and asked how he will justify the alliance with the party again.
They also threw the jibe "Paltu Ram" (one who keeps changing sides), first used by Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav for Kumar, at the Janata Dal-United leader and rejected claims that their party was undermining him.
RCP Singh, once a close aide of Kumar and now out of favour, also accused the chief minister of betraying the mandate of the 2020 assembly polls in the favour of the BJP-led NDA.
BJP leader Union minister Giriraj Singh said the BJP had acknowledged him as a chief ministerial candidate first in 1996 when it was a much bigger party.
The BJP accepted him as chief minister again after the 2020 assembly polls even though its tally was bigger than the JD-U's, several BJP leaders noted.
He is making all kinds of excuses about his so-called problems with the BJP, Singh said, adding that as the chief minister Kumar had no reason to be upset.
He had prime ministerial ambition in 2013 and found a reason to separate with the BJP, and the same desire has gotten hold of him again, Singh said and mocked him as "Paltu Ram", noting that Tejashwi Yadav had used the term for him in 2017.
State BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal accused the chief minister of "betraying" the mandate of the 2020 assembly polls for which he will be "punished" by the people of Bihar. He has betrayed the BJP as well, he told reporters in Patna.
Former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said if the BJP was troubling the JD-U, as claimed by the regional party, then Kumar should have spoken about this in 2020. He got votes in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is insulting people's mandate to enjoy power, he added.
"He used to talk about corruption. Has it ended now," he asked.
Bihar BJP MP Vivek Thakur described Kumar's decision to part ways with the BJP as "good riddance" and asserted that the most deprived sections of society in the state have faith in Modi and wanted his party to get out of the alliance with the JD-U.
A web series "Paltu Ram in part one, part two and part three" should be made on Kumar, Thakur said in a swipe at him and added that he nursed prime ministerial ambitions.
18:41   Gave governor list of 164 MLAs with us: Nitish
Soon after meeting the Bihar governor on Tuesday evening for the second time in the day, former chief minister Nitish Kumar addressed the media. 

"I came here to meet the governor and gave in my resignation. There are seven parties including 164 MLAs along with Independents in the Mahagathbandhan," Nitish Kumar said at a joint presser he addressed along with the RJD's Tejashwi Yadav after meeting the governor.

"We have submitted a list of 164 MLAs to the governor and staked our claim to form the new government. He will let us know when oath-taking can take place," Nitish Kumar said. 

RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who too spoke to the media, said, "Across the Hindi heartland the BJP does not have any alliance partner. History tells us that the BJP destroys the parties with whom it forms an alliance. We did see that happening in Punjab and Maharashtra."
18:22   Nitish Kumar is opportunistic: BJP leader
Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Union minister Ashwini Choubey on Tuesday accused outgoing chief minister Nitish Kumar of being "opportunistic" and said those "betraying" Bihar want to create obstacles in its development.
He made the remarks at the airport here while heading to Patna to take part in a BJP core group meeting this evening to take stock of the evolving political situation in the wake up of a break-up with ally Janata Dal-United.
"The BJP does not suppress anyone, does not betray anyone. Those people betraying Bihar want to create obstacles in its development. The development of Bihar has been a priority for us from Atal Bihari Vajpayee government to the Modi government," Choubey told a TV channel.
"Despite having lesser seats, we made him (Kumar) chief minister. He has deceived the people twice. He is suffering from arrogance," the BJP leader said.
Asked about Kumar's immenent tie-up with the Rashtriya Janata  Dal, Choubey said, "Vinaash kaal vipreet buddhi" (when doom approaches, one loses wisdom).
"Where is the talk of zero tolerance on corruption. He is opportunistic, he keeps looking for opportunities. This is my personal opinion," Choubey added.
Nitish met Governor Phagu Chauhan and tendered his resignation as chief minister of the NDA government in Bihar on Tuesday.
He said the decision to sever ties with the NDA was taken by his party, the JD-U.
Kumar is expected to form a fresh government, armed with the support of the entire opposition, including the RJD and the Left parties. -- PTI  
Nitish Kumar
Nitish Kumar
17:55   Nitish stakes claim as Mahagathbandhan's CM
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday resigned as NDA's chief minister only to stake claim to form a new government after being declared, unanimously, the leader of the opposition Grand Alliance. 

Kumar tendered his resignation to Governor Phagu Chauhan, after a meeting of MPs and MLAs of his JD-U where ally BJP was accused of backstabbing. 

After the JD-U meeting, Kumar drove to Raj Bhavan to tender his resignation from where he returned to his residence, stopping for a while to talk to the large posse of journalists waiting.

Shortly afterwards, Kumar drove to the residence of former chief minister Rabri Devi, just across the street, where all leaders of the Grand Alliance, comprising RJD, Congress and the Left, had gathered. 

Kumar, who was accompanied by JD-U national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan, spent nearly half an hour at Rabri Devi's residence. 

He returned along with Leader of the Opposition and his former deputy Tejashwi Yadav, who was armed with a letter of support to Kumar.

About 15 minutes later, Kumar met the governor again to stake claim for forming a new government, this time accompanied by Yadav and senior colleagues in the JD-U besides former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi whose four MLA-strong Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) has expressed unconditional support to the new formation.
17:36   Nitish insulted people's mandate again: Chirag Paswan
Chirag Paswan on Tuesday slammed outgoing Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for insulting the people's mandate for the second time and demanded the imposition of President's Rule in the state followed by fresh elections.   

The Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader also came out in support of the Bharatiya Janata Party amid the political turmoil in Bihar and said the saffron party had accepted everything that Kumar wanted as chief minister and even compromised on its own policies.  

"Nitish Kumar has once again insulted the people's mandate. He has lost his credibility... Is it a joke? At one time you go with somebody and the other time with someone else," Chirag Paswan told reporters in Delhi.  

"I request the governor to recommend the imposition of President's Rule in the state. Elections should be held for a fresh mandate," he added.    

Asked about his own role going forward, he said, "I have not yet taken any decision on this." -- PTI
Jitan Ram Manjhi
Jitan Ram Manjhi
17:33   Manjhi joins Nitish, BJP has 1 Bihar ally left
Another Bharatiya Janata Party ally the Hindustani Awam Morcha has announced its support to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's move to end the alliance with the saffron party and join hands with the Mahagathbandhan of Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress and Left parties to form the next government in Bihar. 

The  HAM has 4 MLAs in the state assembly. 

Former chief minister and HAM supremo Jitan Ram Manjhi said that it was decided in the meeting of his party MLAs to support Kumar.   

"I had said earlier that HAM will remain with Kumar and will support his decision. This was formally decided today after Kumar ended ties with the BJP."  

With HAM extending its support to Kumar, he now enjoys the support of 164 MLAs in the Bihar assembly of 243 members.   

The RJD with 79 MLAs is a single largest party followed by the BJP (77) and the JD-U with 45. The Congress has 19 MLAs and Left parties have 16 MLAs. 

Now the BJP in Bihar is left with only one ally, the Lok JanShakti Party of Union minister Pashupati Kumar Paras.   

-- MI Khan in Patna
17:23   Kangana Ranaut is down with dengue
Actor Kangana Ranaut has been diagnosed with dengue. 

Despite being ill, the Queen star is busy working on her film Emergency

An Instagram post from the official handle of her production house Manikarnika Films revealed that Kangana has been working despite being unwell. 

In the post, it is mentioned that Kangana has a "low white blood cell count and is suffering from high fever." 

The message read, "When you are down with dengue, alarmingly low white blood cell count and high fever and yet you land at work, it's not passion it's madness...our chief @kanganaranaut is such an inspiration." 

Kangana shared the post on her Instagram handle and thanked her team. 

She wrote, "Thank you team @manikarnikafilms, body gets ill not the spirit...thanks for the kind words."
17:04   MPs, MLAs wanted to end ties with NDA: Nitish
Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said that all party MPs and MLAs are in consensus that they should leave the BJP-led NDA alliance. 

After submitting his resignation to the Bihar governor, Kumar spoke to media-persons and said, "All MPs and MLAs reached a consensus that we should leave the NDA. Soon after, I resigned as Bihar CM." 

"All the meetings with the MPs, MLAs and MLCs of both the houses were held today. Everyone's wish was that we should leave NDA. So as everyone wished, we accepted the same and submitted the resignation from the post of the chief minister in the NDA government," he added. 

After tendering his resignation, Nitish Kumar left Raj Bhavan and arrived at the residence of RJD leader Rabri Devi in Patna to meet her Tejashwi Yadav. 

Earlier on Tuesday, Kumar resigned, breaking his alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
16:42   Let's forget 2017: Nitish tells Tejashwi
Nitish Kumar meets Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders Tejashwi Yadav and Rabri Devi.

As per an RJD source, Nitish told Tejashwi, 'Let us forget what happened in 2017 and begin a new chapter'.  -- ANI
16:29   Nitish reaches Rabri Devi's residence
After tendering his resignation, Nitish Kumar arrives at the residence of Rabri Devi in Patna. -- ANI
16:09   Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar CM
Nitish Kumar resigns as Chief Minister of Bihar hours after breaking his alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

"All JD-U MPs and MLAs are at a consensus that we should leave the NDA," Nitish said after submitting his resignation to Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan.  -- ANI
15:55   Nitish reaches Raj Bhavan to meet Guv
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar reaches Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Phagu Chauhan amid slogans of 'zindabad' by workers of Janata Dal-United and Rashtriya Janata Dal.

15:22   3 MLAs facing controversies in Maha cabinet
Three of the 18 ministers sworn in on Tuesday during the Maharashtra cabinet expansion have been mired in controversies.

Newly inducted minister Sanjay Rathod, who also served as a minister in the previous Uddhav Thackeray-led state government, had resigned last year after he was linked to a woman's death in Pune.

When Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde rebelled against the party leadership in June this year, Rathod joined his camp.

Chief Minister Shinde on Tuesday said police had given a clean chit to Rathod, hence he was inducted into the state cabinet.

However, state Bharatiya Janata Party vice president Chitra Wagh it was unfortunate that Rathod was inducted into the cabinet when he was allegedly responsible for a woman's death.

"Even if he is made a cabinet minister, I will continue my fight against him. I have faith in the judiciary. We will fight and win," she said.

Another newly inducted minister and rebel Sena MLA Sattar was at the centre of a row on Monday when the names of his three daughters and a son appeared in the list of the 7,880 candidates who were disqualified and banned in connection with the alleged rigging of the Teachers' Eligibility Test (TET) 2019-20.

Sattar was previously in the Congress and joined the Shiv Sena before the 2019 Assembly elections.

He also joined the Shinde camp in June following the rebellion.

On the TET controversy, Sattar on Monday alleged it was a political conspiracy and questioned the timing of the list on the eve of the Maharashtra cabinet expansion.

Another newly inducted minister and BJP leader Vijaykumar Gavit was five years back found guilty of corruption and irregularities in the tribal development department led by him between 2004 and 2009.

Gavit was in the Nationalist Congress Party during 2004-09 and had served as a minister in the then Congress-NCP government.

He later joined the BJP and won the Assembly elections in 2014 and 2019.  -- PTI
14:38   Massive demonstrations erupt in Iraq against Chinese Oil company
Iraq's law enforcement forces fired live bullets to disperse a demonstration near the headquarters of a Chinese oil company in the southern governorate of Maysan on Sunday.

A local media quoted eyewitnesses who told that the demonstrators clashed with the security forces in the Al Kahla district, southeast Maysan.

"The security forces used live bullets, tear gas, and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators who gathered at the front gates of PetroChina headquarters," an eyewitness said.

"Some demonstrators sustained varying injuries in the clashes. Many have been arrested as well," the eyewitness continued.

"The demonstrators demanded sparing some water for the marches of the district and improving the services and infrastructure," another eyewitness said.

Earlier today, Shafaq News Agency quoted a source who said that Petro China might decamp from Iraq if the demonstrations near its sites in the southern governorate of Maysan continue to jeopardise the safety of its employees.

The source who is familiar with the matter revealed that the company said it might relocate to another governorate or leave the country if the demonstrators continue to hamper the company's security and the safety of its workers.

"If the Chinese company leaves the country, Iraq will lose 500 thousand barrels a day," the source said, adding 'more than 5000 Iraqis will also lose their jobs'.

"Locals from the al-Kahla area demand the company provide them with potable water and electricity. However, this is not within the mandate or capabilities," the source continued.

"It also resolutely rejected offering more job grades," the source added.

PetroChina is one of the major oil and gas producers and distributors in China, engaged in a wide range of activities related to oil, gas and new energy, and sustainably provides energy and oil products for economic and social development.  -- ANI
14:01   Nitish to be Mahagathbandhan CM, Tejashwi dy CM?
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will meet Governor Phagu Chauhan at 4 pm on Tuesday, armed with letters of support from the Mahagathbandhan comprising the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress, according to highly placed sources.

In the new government that is expected to be sworn in after that, sources say that while Nitish Kumar will continue as chief minister, the RJD's Tejashwi Yadav will be the deputy CM, the sources said.

In November 2015, Nitish had been the Mahagathbandhan's CM while Tejashwi was the deputy CM -- before pulling the plug on it in 2017 and joining hands with the BJP and remained CM.  -- M I Khan reports from Patna
13:47   Amid upheaval, Bihar Speaker tests Covid positive; recovers in a day
A day after he tested positive for COVID-19, Bihar assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha said his test reports have come out negative, amid a brewing political storm in the state, where he will play a key role in determining the legitimacy of any new formulation.

Sinha, a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA, ebulliently announced on Twitter that his test reports on Monday were negative.

A day earlier, he had tested positive.

Many took to the micro-blogging site to express astonishment at the speed with which the Speaker was declared Covid negative, and the fact that the health portfolio is also held by BJP's Mangal Pandey.

On Monday night, members of the Ethics Committee of the assembly, headed by another BJP leader Ram Narayan Mandal, met Sinha and submitted a report.

While Mandal declined to divulge details, citing confidentiality, sources in the party said the report was about an incident of March last year when opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal MLAs had held the Speaker hostage inside his chair and police was called in.

The sources said the report indicts about 18 MLAs, whose names were not known.

Vidhan Sabha secretariat officials said that in such cases, a notice is issued to the MLAs concerned upon the advice of the Speaker, who may decide further action, and even order disqualification, based on how satisfactory or otherwise he deems their reply.

The RJD has 79 MLAs in the assembly, which has an effective strength of 242.

It is the single largest party and disqualification of its MLAs will reduce its ability to steer a political upheaval.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United, which may or may not pull the plug on the alliance, has 44 legislators, and enjoys the support of one Independent MLA Sumit Singh, who is also a minister and four members of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha.   -- PTI
13:03   BJP ministers in Nitish govt to resign today
M I Khan reports from Patna

Amid speculations of a major political change in Bihar, the sprawling headquarters of state Bharatiya Janata Party wore a deserted look as the party is expecting a setback.

There is no trace of party leaders and workers inside the hi-tech party office on the busy Veerchand Patel Marg in the heart of Patna. Even supporters of the party are not seen inside or outside the main iron gate today.

"Few leaders and workers have turned up here since Monday. But the situation changed on Tuesday morning, even the usual crowd is absent from the party office. It is an indication that Nitish Kumar is likely to dump the BJP and party leaders and workers are expecting a major setback," said a tea seller outside the BJP headquarters.

A rickshaw puller waiting under a tree said there is no activity inside or outside the party office today. There is an atmosphere of gloom.

"Hardly any party workers visited the office yesterday. But today, no one is here except those party members who manage the place."

A shopkeeper selling Khadi clothes near the BJP office said, "Party leaders and workers used to gather here since early morning till late evening. But all this is missing since Monday."

Instead of meeting at the party headquarters, some BJP leaders met at Deputy Chief Minister Tarkishore Prasad's residence and discussed the political environment in the state.

On Monday, some party leaders rushed to Delhi to meet the national leadership to discuss the political equations in Bihar.

As per unconfirmed reports, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had telephoned Nitish Kumar on Monday night and spoke to him for about six minutes.

It was not clear what they talked about, but it appears that Shah failed in his attempt to convince Nitish to continue with the National Democratic Alliance and his recent assurance that Nitish will be CM till 2025 did not work.

Not far away from the BJP office, the offices of the Janata Dal-United and the Rashtriya Janata Dal are crowded with party leaders and workers. They appeared upbeat with possible fresh tie up of the JD-U and the RJD in Bihar.

Leaders and workers of both parties are in a mood of celebration and planning to distribute sweets soon.

On the other hand, BJP leaders including state president Sanjay Jaiswal, spokespersons, party MLAs and MPs are totally silent over the rising political heat. Most of them are reticent.

"We will speak when the time comes. We prefer to wait and watch as of now," a senior BJP leader said.

However, sources within the BJP told that BJP ministers in the Nitish-led government may resign today.

"As it is clear and reports are coming now that the JD-U has decided to end ties with the BJP, only a formal announcement is left to be made. Nitish will visit Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor and the opposition alliance of the RJD, the Congress and the Left parties will announce their support to him. The BJP has to get out of the government," the source said.

According to RJD sources, the opposition Mahagathbandhan has given a letter of support to Nitish Kumar. It will be formally announced soon.

Meanwhile, the JD-U held a meeting of party MPs and MLAs at the official residence of Nitish Kumar and the RJD too held a meeting of its MLAs at former CM Rabri Devis official residence.

"In the meeting, all JD-U MLAs and MPs have authorised Nitish Kumar to take any decision," a JD-U leader said.
12:59   Veteran Marathi actor Pradeep Patwardhan passes away
Veteran Marathi actor Pradeep Patwardhan, known for his performance in films such as Chashme Bahaddar, Ek Shodh and Mee Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy, died on Tuesday morning following a heart attack, actor Vijay Patkar confirmed. 

Patwardhan, 65, breathed his last at his residence in Girgaum in southern Mumbai. 

"He passed away due to a heart attack today around 7-8 am at his residence in Girgaum. He had some severe health issues but that was five years ago. 

"He was actively working in the industry. It is shocking and disheartening news," Patkar, who worked with Patwardhan in Lavu ka Laath and Chashme Bahaddar, told PTI. 

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde mourned Patwardhan's demise and said Marathi cinema had lost a "great artist" today. 

"Pradeep Patwardhan, the evergreen actor who ruled the hearts of the audience with his graceful acting in Marathi cinema, passed away tragically. With his departure, the Marathi art world has lost a great artist," the chief minister wrote in Marathi on Twitter. 

Nationalist Congress Party leader Supriya Sule offered condolences to the actor's family and fans on social media. 

"Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of veteran Marathi actor Pradeep Patwardhan. Heartfelt condolences. My thoughts and prayers with his family members, fans and followers," she said. 

Renuka Shahane tweeted, "Om Shanti Pradeep Patwardhan Heartfelt Tribute." 

According to Patkar, Patwardhan's last rites will be held at a crematorium in Girgaum around 3 pm. 

Patwardhan is survived by his wife and a son.
12:00   Nitish seeks appointment to meet Bihar Guv
Bihar political update: Janata Dal-United seeks an appointment from Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan, ANI reports quoting sources.

More details awaited.

11:50   18 MLAs made ministers in Maharashtra
The much-awaited expansion of the Maharashtra cabinet took place on Tuesday with a total of 18 MLAs -- nine each from the Bharatiya Janata Party and from the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena faction sworn-in as ministers in a grand ceremony in Mumbai's Raj Bhavan.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of office to 18 MLAs as ministers.

The cabinet expansion comes over 40 days after Chief Minister Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were sworn in after a rebellion led by the former toppled the Udhav Thackeray led Maha Vikas Aghadi-government in the state.

The BJP MLAs set to get cabinet berths include Chandrakant Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Girish Mahajan, Suresh Khade, Radha Krishna Vikhe Patil, Ravindra Chavhan, Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Vijaykumar Gavit and Atul Save.

Leaders from Shiv Sena inducted include Dada Bhuse, Shambhuraje Desai, Sandeepan Bhumre, Uday Samant, Tanaji Sawant, Abdul Sattar, Deepak Kesarkar, Gulabrao Patil and Sanjay Rathod.

MLAs of the Eknath Shinde camp arrived at Sahyadri Guest House in Mumbai on Tuesday morning to attend a meeting.

On June 30, Shinde took oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister and Devendra Fadnavis his deputy.

Later, Devendra Fadnavis and Eknath Shinde met with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and staked claim to power.

On June 28, Devendra Fadnavis met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and asked him for a floor test.

The next day, Uddhav Thackeray offered his resignation to the Governor as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

On August 6, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had said no ministerial-level powers have been given to the secretaries except in quasi-judicial matters.

The Opposition in the state had accused the chief minister of functioning as a two-member cabinet and having designed the decision-making powers to the bureaucrats.

He said these constituencies included those held by Shiv Sena leaders who have now joined Team Shinde.  -- ANI
11:41   Absconding Noida politician Shrikant Tyagi held
Abconding politician Shrikant Tyagi has been arrested near Noida in Uttar Pradesh, ANI reported quoting police sources.

In a recent viral video, Tyagi was seen assaulting and abusing a woman at Grand Omaxe in Noida's Sector 93 and was on a run ever since.

The UP government on Monday used a bulldozer to raze illegal construction outside the ground floor apartment of Tyagi at the housing society in Noida.

Until he went underground Friday night, Tyagi claimed he was associated with the Bharatiya Janata Party, even as the ruling party denied any links with him.  -- ANI/PTI

IMAGE: Noida Authority had carried out demolition of illegal construction by Shrikant Tyagi at the Grand Omaxe society, on Monday, August 8, 2022. Photograph: PTI Photo
11:09   Here's the list of new Maharashtra ministers
The list of 18 MLAs of who will take oath as Maharashtra ministers today.
10:35   Ahead of expansion, Shinde meets MLAs of his camp
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday morning met Shiv Sena legislators backing him, ahead of the expansion of his two-member ministry.

The meeting took place at the Sahyadri guest house in south Mumbai.

Shinde is backed by 40 of the 55 Shiv Sena MLAs.

Shinde was sworn-in as the chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party's Devendra Fadnavis took oath as deputy CM on June 30.

The swearing-in ceremony of new ministers will be held at Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai at 11 am on Tuesday, an official said.

Altogether 18 ministers will be sworn in, a former minister told PTI on condition of anonymity.

They will include nine each from the Shinde group and BJP, he added.

This would take the strength of the Maharashtra ministry to 20, less than half the maximum allowed strength of 43.

The next round of expansion would take place later, he said.  -- PTI
09:59   TMC MLA's house ransacked over cash for posts
The house of Trinamool Congress MLA Idris Ali in West Bengal's Murshidabad district has been vandalised by his party's workers who have accused him of taking money for allotting posts in its local organisation.

Claiming that the allegation was baseless, Ali asserted that some local TMC leaders were trying to place people with dubious backgrounds into the party's block-level organisation.

"Some local TMC leaders ransacked my car and the ground floor of my house. The allegation of financial transactions in lieu of allotting party posts is baseless and politically motivated to malign me," he said.

"Some local leaders are involved in such dealings and are trying to ensure entry of such people in the block-level organisation," Ali, a former Lok Sabha MP, told a news channel.

A huge police contingent was deputed in the Bhagobangola area following the vandalism.

A local TMC leader alleged that Ali was sidelining party old-timers over the last few years.

"He hardly understands local political equations and is trying to thrust his arbitrary decisions on everyone," he said.

TMC's district chairman Abu Taher Khan said he would look into the complaints.  -- PTI
09:17   Yogi Adityanath receives bomb threat, probe on
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath received a bomb threat, informed officials on Monday.

The death threat was received as a message on the police control room's helpline WhatsApp on August 2.

The threat immediately caused a stir as officials geared up immediately.

The message, which was received on August 2 on the police control room's helpline WhatsApp, threatened to bomb the chief minister within three days.

The operation commander of the helpline filed a case with the police.

A search is underway to identify and arrest the sender.

A case has been registered at Sushant Golf City Police Station.

Further investigations are underway.   -- ANI
09:13   Trump says FBI conducting search of Mar-a-Lago estate
Former US President Donald Trump on Monday said the Federal Bureau of Investigation was conducting a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate and their agents had broken open his safe, asserting that such an assault would only take place in broken, third-world countries.

The 45th US President released a lengthy statement, where he declared his Florida home was under siege.

'These are dark times for our nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before,' Trump said in a statement.

'After working and cooperating with the relevant government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,' he said.

The US Justice Department is investigating whether Trump had taken classified records to his Florida residence after he left the White House in 2020.

'They even broke into my safe! What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee? Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States,' the former President said.

The FBI raid comes at a time when Trump was preparing to launch his 2024 US presidential bid.

It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponisation of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don't want me to run for President in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections, Trump said.

Trump, 76, alleged that such an assault could only take place in broken, third-world countries.

Sadly, America has now become one of those countries, corrupt at a level not seen before, he said.

'Demanding that the lawlessness, political persecution and witch-hunt must be exposed and stopped. It is political targeting at the highest level!' he said.

'I will continue to fight for the Great American People!' he added.

Trump is facing another investigation for allegedly helping incite the mob on January 6, 2021, with a web of lies about the 2020 US presidential election being marred by widespread voter fraud.

Trump is the only US President to have never held political office prior to his presidency.  -- PTI
08:40   First round of Maharashtra cabinet expansion today
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will expand his two-member ministry on Tuesday, 41 days after he took oath as the CM.

On June 30, Shinde was sworn in as the chief minister and Devendra Fadnavis took oath as deputy CM.

Shinde told reporters in Nanded on Monday that the ministry expansion is slated for Tuesday.

The ceremony will be held at the Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai at 11 am, an aide of Shinde told PTI on condition of anonymity.

The next round of expansion would take place later, he added.

Shinde, who emerged as a surprise choice for the top post after managing to take a major chunk of Shiv Sena MLAs with him following the rebellion in June, will have a difficult task to accommodate all of them in the ministry, sources said.

From the Shinde group, names of Bharat Gogawale and Shambhuraj Desai are doing the rounds.

From the Bharatiya Janata Party, state party chief Chandrakant Patil, Sudhir Mungantiwar, Girish Mahajan, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Suresh Khade and Atul Save are likely to be inducted, party sources said.

The CM has made seven visits to New Delhi in the last one month, and with every visit there was talk that the ministry expansion was round the corner.

Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Ajit Pawar said Shinde had promised a ministerial berth to every MLA who joined him.

"Now Shinde is unable to fulfil his promise, hence the delay in cabinet expansion. The chief minister should disclose reasons for the delay,"  Pawar said.   -- PTI
01:52   Ex-MVA ministers likely to be part of Shinde cabinet
The rebel MLAs of Shiv Sena who had served as ministers in the erstwhile Uddhav Thackeray-led government are likely to be inducted into the Eknath Shinde-led cabinet on Tuesday.
Names of former ministers Uday Samant, Sandipan Bhumre, Dada Bhuse, Gulabrao Patil, and Shambhuraj Desai are doing the rounds as the probables from the rebel camp as the much-awaited expansion of the cabinet is finally happening on Tuesday, almost 40 days after Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the chief minister and deputy chief minister, respectively. 
Omprakash Kadu of the Prahar Janshakti Paksha, a former minister, who had supported Shinde during the rebellion could also find a place in the new cabinet. 
The MLAs in the Shinde faction said they will meet at the state government's Sahyadri Guest House on Tuesday morning. The oath-taking ceremony is slated to be held at 11 AM at the Raj Bhavan.
We have not received any communication from the chief minister so far. We will get more clarity on it in tomorrow's meeting, said a rebel MLA who was a member of the Thackeray cabinet. 
Of the 55 MLAs of Shiv Sena, 40 have aligned with Shinde. The revolt led to the collapse of the Thackeray-led government in June. 
Shinde was sworn in as the CM on June 30 along with Fadnavis, who took oath as the Deputy CM. 
A dozen ministers will take oath at Tuesday's ceremony at Raj Bhavan in south Mumbai at 11 AM, a close aide of Shinde had said. 
The chief minister told reporters in Nanded on Monday evening that the names of MLAs who will take oath as ministers will be finalised by Monday night or on Tuesday.