Thu, 23 June 2022
Sena proposes disqualification of 12 MLAs

Timeline  Refresh

23:18   Sena proposes disqualification of 12 MLAs including Shinde
Shiv Sena has requested the deputy speaker in Maharashtra assembly to disqualify the 12 rebel MLAs who did not attend the partys meeting on Wednesday.

"We've filed petition before the Deputy Speaker and demanded that the membership of 12 (MLAs) should be cancelled as they didn't attend yesterday's meeting." party MP Arvind Sawant said in Mumbai.

Sawant said that before the meeting, a notice was issued in which it was said that if they didn't attend the meeting then legal action will be taken as per the Constitution.

"Some didn't come and some gave unnecessary reasons," he said.

The 12 MLAs whose names have been proposed for disqualification are: Eknath Shinde, Prakash Surve, Tanaji Sawant, Mahesh Shinde, Abdul Sattar, Sandeep Bhumare, Bharat Gogawale, Sanjay Shirsat, Yamini Yadhav, Anil Babar, Balaji Devdas and Lata Chaudhari.
22:23   Sena's two units pledge loyalty to Uddhav
Even as uncertainty looms large over the fate of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government following the rebellion led by Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde, the Pune unit of the Sena on Thursday expressed solidarity with party president Uddhav Thackeray, who is also the chief minister of the state.

In the recently dissolved Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), there were 10 corporators belonging to the Shiv Sena, and if the party leaders are to be believed, all the former corporators, party leaders and office-bearers have pledged their support to CM Thackeray amid the ongoing political crisis.

Elections to several municipal corporations in the state are round the corner and the battle for the Pune civic body is crucial for all the parties, including Shiv Sena.

"There is no confusion in the Pune unit (about whom to support). We are Shiv Sainiks and all of us are standing strongly behind Shiv Sena supremo Uddhavji Thackeray," said Gajanan Tharkude, Shiv Sena's city unit president.

He said that although political upheavals do take place, the 'real Shiv Sainik' does not get distracted by all such things and no one from the Pune unit has gone astray in the present condition.

"In the past also, some people had left Shiv Sena. MLAs, corporators generally leave the party, but real Shiv Sainik never goes out," he said, adding that they are real workers of the party and they would remain loyal to party founder late Bal Thackeray and the Thackeray family.

In the morning, members of the Shiv Sena's Pune unit staged a protest outside MLA Tanaji Sawant's house in Pune.

Sawant, a Sena MLA from Paranda in Osmanabad, is with Shinde and is currently staying in a hotel in Guwahati with other rebel MLAs of the Sena.

Meanwhile, Sachin Bhosale, the Pimpri Chinchwad city unit president of the Sena, said all the party workers, eight former corporators and leaders from the industrial township stand united with CM Thackeray.

"Any decision taken by the party will be accepted by the Pimpri Chinchwad unit," he said.   -- PTI
21:28   Rebel MLAs will have to face Assembly: Pawar
Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar on Thursday said the fate of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra will be decided on the floor of the Legislative Assembly, and the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition will prove its majority in a trust vote.

Addressing a press conference amid the turmoil caused by the rebellion by Sena minister Eknath Shinde and several Sena MLAs, Pawar also asserted that the Bharatiya Janata Party has played a role in the crisis that has befallen the Uddhav Thackeray-led government.

"The fate of the MVA government will be decided in the Assembly, not in Guwahati (where the rebels are camping). The MVA will prove its majority on the floor of the House," Pawar said.

He was replying to a question whether the MVA has been reduced a minority as the Shinde-led rebel faction has claimed the support of 37 Shiv Sena MLAs and ten Independent legislators.

Asked about deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar's statement that he did not see the Bharatiya Janata Party's role in the rebellion within the Sena, Pawar said he did not agree with his nephew.

"Ajit Pawar may have said so because he does not know BJP leaders from outside Maharashtra. I know them. Even Eknath Shinde has said a national party has assured him of all assistance," Pawar said.

As other national parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Communist Party of India-Marxist, the Communist Party of India, the Congress and the NCP have no role to play in destabilising the MVA, Shinde was referring only to the BJP, he said.

The rebel MLAs will have to come back to Mumbai and face the Assembly, he said, adding that BJP leaders 'from Gujarat and Assam will not be coming here to guide them'.

Pawar also refuted allegations by rebel Shiv Sena MLAs that they faced difficulties in getting funds for their constituencies as the finance ministry, which is controlled by NCP's Ajit Pawar, discriminated against them, and the Sena has given up its Hindutva ideology.

"All these are excuses, some of these MLAs are facing probe by central agencies," he said.

The NCP chief also said that the rebels will have to face consequences, recalling that when Chhagan Bhujbal defected from the Shiv Sena to join Congress in the 1990s, all his supporters except one lost the assembly election.

''These rebels will face the same fate," Pawar said.

On Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut's Thursday's statement that the Sena was ready to quit the MVA if the rebels relented, Pawar said the statement was made to bring them back to Mumbai.  -- PTI
Fluctuations in Rupee vis a vis the US Dollar this week.
20:49   Security increased at Sena HQ, Matoshree; Mumbai CP meets Uddhav
Amid ongoing political turmoil in Maharashtra caused by a rebellion in the Shiv Sena, Mumbai police on Thursday beefed up security at the party headquarters Shiv Sena Bhavan and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's private residence 'Matoshree'.

City police commissioner Sanjay Pandey met CM Thackeray at Matoshree to discuss the law and order situation, said an official.

With senior Sena leader Eknath Shinde and at least 37 party MLAs rebelling against the party leadership, there is a possibility of violent reaction among Sena supporters in the city, the police official said.

As Mumbai is a Shiv Sena bastion and also the nerve centre of political developments in the state, police are taking precautions to avoid any untoward incidents on the streets, he said.

In the past, Mumbai had witnessed outbursts of anger by the Sena cadre when leaders like Chhagan Bhujbal or Narayan Rane quit the party.

Besides Matoshree in Bandra and Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar, security at other important locations including Mantralaya (administrative headquarters of the state government) and Raj Bhavan was also stepped up.

On Thursday, angry Shiv Sena supporters blackened a photograph of Mahim MLA Sada Sarvankar, who has joined Shinde's group in Guwahati, on a banner, scribbling 'Gaddar' (traitor) across it.

Security has also been increased at the residences and offices of rebel MLAs, and police were deployed outside all the Shiv Sena 'shakhas' (local offices).

Security of the residence of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis in Nagpur was also increased, an official said.   -- PTI
20:20   'National party' assured all help: Eknath Shinde
Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, whose rebellion against the party has pushed the three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government to the brink of collapse, said a 'national party' has termed their revolt as 'historic' and assured to provide all help to them.

A video of Shinde addressing the group of rebel Sena legislators at a Guwahati hotel was released by his office in Mumbai.

The video also showed the legislators unanimously authorising Shinde to take further decision on their behalf as their group leader.

In the video, Shinde is seen saying, "Our worries and happiness are the same. We are united and victory will be ours. There is a national party, a 'mahashakti' know they vanquished Pakistan. That party has said that we have taken a historic decision and assured to provide all help."

Shinde is currently camping with 37 rebel MLAs of the Sena and nine independents in Guwahati.

The Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress also share power in the Uddhav Thackeray-led dispensation.

A statement issued by Shinde's office said the decision to authorise him to take decision on their behalf was taken unanimously.

However, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly's Deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal has earlier approved the appointment of Ajay Choudhary as Shiv Sena group leader in the House replacing Shinde.

Meanwhile, talking to reporters in Mumbai, Ajit Pawar, when asked if the opposition BJP had a role to play in the ongoing political crisis in the state, said, "So far, no top BJP leader has been seen in the forefront."

State NCP chief Jayant Patil said the MVA continues to enjoy majority.

"The rebels haven't quit the Shiv Sena. They are sulking right now and will return," he said.  -- PTI
19:28   Senior IPS officer Dinkar Gupta appointed NIA chief
Senior Indian Police Service officer Dinkar Gupta was Thursday appointed Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), a personnel ministry order said.

Gupta is a 1987-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of Punjab cadre.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Gupta's appointment as the Director General, NIA till March 31, 2024, that is the date of his retirement, it said.

In another order, Swagat Das was appointed Special Secretary (Internal Security) in the home ministry.

Das, a 1987-batch IPS officer of the Chhattisgarh cadre, is currently Special Director in the Intelligence Bureau.

Das has been appointed to the post till November 30, 2024, that is the date of his superannuation, the order said.   -- PTI
Maharashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar
Maharashtra deputy CM Ajit Pawar
19:11   Pawar harassed Cong MLAs, ministers: Patole
Amid the deepening political turmoil in Maharashtra, state Congress president Nana Patole on Thursday accused deputy Chief Minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar of harassing Congress legislators and ministers by stalling their development funds. 

Patole's statement was in reference to some rebel Shiv Sena MLAs targeting the NCP for denying development funds to them. 

NCP and Congress are part of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government. 

Ajit Pawar is the state finance minister. 

"Ajit Pawar has harassed Congress MLAs and ministers also. We opposed this tactics saying the government was for the welfare of people. Our opposition to such tactic was not political," Patole said. 

When asked about Patole's allegation, senior NCP leader and minister Chhagan Bhujbal played down his remarks saying, "Even within parties, leaders complain against each other. So this is not anything that can be taken seriously." 

The MVA government is on the brink of collapse after Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde rebelled against the party and went to Guwahati in Assam with some rebel MLAs. -- PTI
Representational image
Representational image
18:58   2 cops among 4 hurt in Maoist attack on police camp in Chhattisgarh
Two jawans of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force and as many women labourers were injured when Maoists fired at a newly set up police camp in the state's Dantewada district, a senior official said on Thursday. 

A team of ultras fired at the police camp and its surroundings in Hiroli village where some construction work was still underway, on Wednesday night following which security personnel retaliated, the official said. 

The Maoists lobbed at least 15 barrel grenade launcher shells targeting security personnel out of which seven exploded, causing minor injuries to two CAF constables -- Salim Lakda and Kishan Suryavanshi, and two women labourers, identified as Dule Hemla and Budri Tati, he said. 

After a brief exchange of fire, the rebels escaped into the dense forest, the official said without disclosing if there was any casualties among the Maoists. 

The injured women workers were engaged in construction work in the camp, he added. 

Hemla was shifted to Dantewada district hospital where her condition was stated to be out of danger, while the three others, including the injured cops, were administered preliminary treatment at the camp and their condition was stable, the official added. 

A search operation has been launched in the area, located over 400 km away from state capital Raipur, to trace the attackers, he added. -- PTI
18:49   Modi stresses on cooperation at BRICS summit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the 14th BRICS summit on Thursday and said that member nations -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- of the grouping have a similar approach regarding the governance of the global economy. 

"BRICS members have a similar approach regarding the governance of the global economy. Our mutual cooperation can make a useful contribution to the global post-Covid recovery," PM Modi said in his virtual address. 

The 14th BRICS summit is being hosted by China in a virtual mode. 

Prime Minister Modi in his address highlighted multiple areas of cooperation between BRICS nations. 

This includes an increase in connectivity between BRICS Youth Summits, BRICS Sports, civil society organizations and think tanks. 

"There are multiple areas wherein through cooperation between BRICS nations, the citizens have benefitted. By increasing connectivity between BRICS Youth Summits, BRICS Sports, civil society organizations and think-tanks, we've strengthened our people-to-people connect," he said further. 

BRICS has become a platform for discussing and deliberating on issues of common concern for all developing countries. BRICS countries have regularly called for reform of the multilateral system in order to make it more representative and inclusive. -- ANI
Representational image
Representational image
18:36   First Bharat Gaurav train arrives in Nepal's Janakpur
The inaugural Bharat Gaurav train, connecting destinations associated with Ramayana Circuit in India and Nepal, arrived in Nepal's Janakpur on Thursday with 500 tourists from India.

The 14-coach train, which arrived at Janakpur Dham station, was flagged off from Delhi's Safdarjung railway station on Tuesday.

The Indian government had launched this initiative to join all the major places related to Lord Ram and Sita and develop the Ramayana Circuit.

The train operating on the Ramayana Circuit will also cover the religious destination of Janakpur (Nepal) for the first time in addition to other popular destinations such as Ayodhya, Nandigram, Sitamarhui, Varanasi, Prayagraj, Chitrakoot, Panchvati (Nasik), Hampi, Rameshwaram and Bhadrachalam. -- PTI
18:14   Party's doors are open for you: Raut to rebels
Extending an olive branch to rebel MLAs, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Thursday said the party's "doors are open" to them, and all issues can be resolved through talks. 

In a tweet in Marathi, Raut said, ''Why wander aimlessly. The doors are open and issues can be resolved amicably through talks. Let's take a decision with self-respect instead of accepting slavery." 

Earlier in the day, Raut had said the Sena can consider walking out of the Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance with the Congress and NCP if the rebels, who are camping in Guwahati, returned to Mumbai in 24 hours and discussed their issues with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. 

Rebel Sena leader Eknath Shinde is camping in Guwahati along with 37 party legislators and ten independents, which has plunged the Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra in a crisis. -- PTI
18:03   Former Miss Brazil Gleycy Correia dies following surgery complications
Gleycy Correia, the 2018 Miss United Continents has passed away at the age of 27 following surgery complications. 

According to Fox News, the beauty pageant queen died at a private clinic on Monday after being in a coma for the past two months. 

Correia had undergone surgery to remove her tonsils and days later suffered heavy bleeding and had a heart attack on April 4. 

The news of her death was confirmed by her family priest Lidiane Alves Oliviera on Instagram. 

"Gleycy underwent surgery to remove her tonsils and was soon released by the doctor," she wrote. 

Oliviera added, "5 days after the procedure, Gleycy had a haemorrhage and had to return to Unimed Costa do Sol hospital. 

Due to a haemorrhage, she had a cardio respiratory arrest, doctors were able to perform the resuscitation procedure, however, the exams showed neurological damage and she remained in a coma for 75 days. 

In the last 3 days of life, Gleycy had a kidney failure and died the last Monday." 

She also shared a statement regarding Correria's loss. 

"We are deeply saddened by this loss. She was an amazing woman and much loved by everyone," she told Fox News

"Gleycy actively participated in social projects in our local church, especially when were social projects for children. In addition, she had her own social project to reconstruct the areolas of the breasts of women affected by cancer. It won't be easy to live without her smile and shine. We're still getting used to the idea of not having her around," continued Oliviera. -- ANI
17:30   National Herald case: ED asks Sonia Gandhi to depose late July
The Enforcement Directorate has asked Congress president Sonia Gandhi to record her statement with the agency sometime in late July after it accepted her plea to postpone her deposition in a money-laundering case linked to the National Herald newspaper, officials said on Thursday. 

 She was issued a second summons for June 23 by the agency but the 75-year-old Congress leader could not keep the date as she "has been strictly advised to rest at home following her hospitalisation on account of Covid and lung infection".

 Sources said the federal agency has postponed her questioning in the case for about four weeks and she has now been asked to depose sometime in the last week of July. 

 Gandhi was first issued the notice for an appearance on June 8 but after she reported positive for COVID-19, the summons for June 23 was issued.
17:25   AIIMS director Randeep Guleria gets another 3-months extension
The tenure of AIIMS New Delhi director Dr Randeep Guleria has been extended by another three months, according to an office memorandum issued by the premier hospital on Thursday. 

 Dr Guleria was appointed as the director for a term of five years on March 28, 2017. Before his tenure was to end on March 24, it was extended by three months till June 24.

"The President, AIIMS, New Delhi is pleased to further extend his tenure as Director, AIIMS, New Delhi w.e.f. 25.06.2022 by three months or by the time new Director is appointed, whichever is earlier. Other terms and conditions of his appointment would be in accordance with the Rules of the Institute," the fresh memorandum said. 

 The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by the prime minister met on June 20 seeking a wider panel of names for the post of director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here.
17:18   Send rebels to Bengal, will give them good hospitality: Mamata
NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal on the political situation in Maharashtra. The NCP is a partner in the MVA alliance with the Shiv Sena and the Congress: "If some people want to go out, then they'll somehow find reason to do that. Even in governments run by a single party, there can be internal tussles, here there are three different parties. There could be differences, that doesn't mean government should be destabilised. 
"We are in the Sharad Pawar-led MVA and are with CM Uddhav Thackeray. If at all we are not in power, we know how to fight while being in opposition."

Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal CM and TMC chief: "We want justice for Uddhav Thackeray. Today (BJP) you're in power and using money, muscle, mafia power. But one day you have to go. Someone can break your party too. This is wrong and I dont support it.
"Instead of Assam, sent them (rebel MLAs) to Bengal. We'll give them good hospitality... After Maharashtra, they will topple other governments also. We want justice for people, Constitution."
Mallikarjuna Kharge
Mallikarjuna Kharge
17:01   Cong upset with Raut's 'Sena exiting MVA' remark
MVA partners Congress and NCP unhappy with Sanjay Raut's 'Sena exiting MVA' remark and held a meeting at the Sahyadri guest house in the matter. 

NCP leader Jayant Patil said they would not comment on the remark. However, he added, "Shiv Sena may have thought of something and said it. We will speak to them. They have not said anything to us directly. We won't comment on it yet."

Senior Congress leaders including HK Patil, Balasaheb Thorat, Nana Patole and Ashok Chavan were at the meeting. 

Senior Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge holds a presser.

"BJP and the Centre fully responsible for destabilising a stable govt in Maharashtra to form their own govt in the state. They're also doing this for Presidential polls. I want to say that we all (Cong, NCP, Shiv Sena) will strengthen Maha Vikas Aghadi.

"My party will stand with Maha Vikas Aghadi and we want to work together. The present Maharashtra govt is doing developmental work in the state. BJP trying to destabilise the Maharashtra govt. They did the same in the past too in Karnataka, MP, Goa," Kharge said.

 Earlier today, Raut said, "MLAs should not communicate from Guwahati, they should come back to Mumbai and discuss all this with CM. We are ready to consider exiting out of MVA if this is the will of all MLAs, but for that, they have to come here and discuss it with the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray".
NCP leader Jayant Patil
NCP leader Jayant Patil
16:18   Sena free to form alliance with anyone: Cong
Sanjay Raut's statement that the Shiv Sena is ready to exit the MVA seems to have taken the partners -- NCP and Congress -- by surprise, with both parties holding meetings with their leaders. 

The statement from the Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole: "We're with them (Shiv Sena) to stop BJP from coming to power. This game is happening due to ED... Congress is ready for floor test. We're with MVA & will remain. If they(Shiv Sena) want to form an alliance with anyone, we don't have a problem.

The statement from NCP leader Jayant Patil: Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi is a government established for the development and welfare of Maharashtra. We will stand firmly with Uddhavji Thackeray till the end.

 CM Uddhav Thackeray had on Wednesday offered to quit the top post amid the rebellion by Eknath Shinde and later also vacated his official residence in south Mumbai before moving to his family home in suburban Bandra.
15:59   Shinde drops pic of smiling, 'abducted' MLA
The Eknath Shinde faction refuses to backdown. 

After allegations from Shiv Sena MLA Nitin Deshmukh that he was forcibly taken to Surat, Shinde's camp releases earlier pictures of Nitin Deshmukh with other rebel MLAs. Deshmukh (in pink) is seen here posing with other rebels in front of an aircraft. The rebels were taken from Surat to Guwahati by a chartered flight.  

What MLA Nitin Deshmukh said: "We were forcibly taken to Surat. I tried to run away but was caught by Surat police. Despite having no complications, doctors told me that I had a heart attack. 300-350 police personnel were keeping an eye on us. MLA Prakash Abitkar tried to get away from them but he could not. We got to know about the conspiracy against the MVA govt as soon as we reached Surat."
15:51   Patience and time... says Sena MP
Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi shares this picture of two MLAs who were felicitated after returning from Guwahati. "Felicitated our two MLAs Kailash Patilji and Nitin Deshmukhji who returned from Guwahati, Assam. Many more to return.. patience & time," she tweets.

Read our 15:29 post for what the MLAs say happened to them. 
Nana Patole with Sharad Pawar. File pic
Nana Patole with Sharad Pawar. File pic
15:33   Cong calls meet after Sena's 'ready to exit MVA'
Congress calls a meeting of its leaders at the Sahyadri guest house in Mumbai at 4pm, today. This comes after Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut's statement saying the Sena was mulling exiting MVA, if all party MLAs want it. 
Senior Congress leaders including HK Patil, Balasaheb Thorat, Nana Patole and Ashok Chavan to attend meeting.
15:29   Tried to run away but was caught by Guj police: Sena MLA
Shiv Sena MLA Nitin Deshmukh on his 'escape' from the lair of the rebel MLAs. "We were forcibly taken to Surat, I tried to run away but was caught by Surat police. Despite having no complications, doctors told me that I had a heart attack. 300-350 police personnel were keeping an eye on us.
"Before me, MLA Prakash Abitkar tried to get away from them but he could not. We got to know about the conspiracy against the MVA govt as soon as we reached Surat's hotel."

Deshmukh, who arrived at Guwahati early yesterday morning in a chartered aircraft from Surat, did not accompany Maharashtra's rebel minister Eknath Shinde and other MLAs to a Guwahati hotel where his colleagues were lodged.

After remaining at Guwahati's Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi international airport for a few hours, Deshmukh, along with five Shiv Sena activists, left for Nagpur in another chartered aircraft.

15:22   Shiv Sena gives 24-hour deadline to rebel MLAs
Amid a rebellion by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde, party MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday said the Sena is ready to quit the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra if the group of rebel legislators camping in Assam returns to Mumbai in 24 hours and discusses the issue with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. 

 Shinde is currently camping with 37 rebel MLAs of the Sena and nine independents in Guwahati, which has plunged the party-led state government into a crisis. 

The NCP and Congress also share power in the Uddhav Thackeray-led dispensation. 

 "You say you are real Shiv Sainiks and will not quit the party. We are ready to consider your demand provided you come back to Mumbai in 24 hours and discuss the issue with CM Uddhav Thackeray. Your demand will be considered positively. Don't write letters on Twitter and WhatsApp," Raut said.

"The rebels who are out of Mumbai have raised the issue of Hindutva. If all these MLAs feel that Shiv Sena should walk out of the MVA, show guts to come back to Mumbai. You say you have issues only with the government and also say that you are true Shiv Sainiks...Your demand will be considered. But come and talk with Uddhav Thackeray," he added. 

 CM Thackeray had on Wednesday offered to quit the top post amid the rebellion by Shinde and later also vacated his official residence in south Mumbai before moving to his family home in suburban Bandra. PTI
Droupadi Murmu meets PM Modi
Droupadi Murmu meets PM Modi
15:20   The many firsts of Droupadi Murmu
When elected on July 18 -- which is almost a certainty, given the NDA's numbers in the electoral college -- Droupadi Murmu will be the first President born after Independence. Archana Masih/ lists  Presidential nuggets over the years. Read it here
NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu
NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu
15:14   J&K Assembly to miss presidential polls for 2nd time in history
As India elects its next president on July 18, the Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will not be a part of the exercise for the second time in the history of the election to the top constitutional post. 

 There have been precedents of legislative assemblies of states not being part of the presidential polls on account of their dissolution, the first such instance being of Gujarat in 1974. 

The assemblies of Assam, Nagaland and Jammu and Kashmir too could not participate in subsequent elections on account of dissolution. In the present case, the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir is yet to be constituted after the erstwhile state was bifurcated into the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in 2019. 

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act provides for a Legislative Assembly for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, but the election is yet to be held due to various reasons. -- PTI
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray
15:05   Sena ready to leave MVA if rebels return: Raut
"Shiv Sena ready to walk out of MVA govt in Maharashtra, but party rebels should return to Mumbai (from Guwahati) in 24 hours," says Sena MP Sanjay Raut.

Eknath Shinde, leading a revolt against Uddhav Thackeray, has claimed the backing of over 40 MLAs but this has been challenged by party leader Sanjay Raut, who said at least half of them were "in touch" to come back.
15:02   Delhi bypolls: Covid patients allowed to vote in last one hour in full PPE kits
Voters in Rajinder Nagar assembly constituency who are suffering from Covid-19 have been identified and they will be allowed to vote in the ongoing bypoll during the last one hour of the scheduled polling time, albeit after wearing full PPE kits, a senior official said on Thursday. 

 Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said ambulances have been arranged for ferrying them to polling booths and medical facilities would also be kept on standby in case any such voter needs help. 

 "This is the first election in Delhi after the outbreak of the pandemic. The district administration has identified voters who are suffering from Covid-19, and they shall be brought to the booths and they can vote after wearing full PPE kits. All our staff are also trained and sensitised and they would also be in PPE kits once the Covid patients start coming to booths," he told reporters in response to a question.

 However, all regular voters would be first asked to vacate the polling booths at the end of their designated time, and then voters who are suffering from COVID-19 infection can vote, he said. 

 On violations of the model code of conduct, he said 24 FIRs have been filed so far, 13 against the AAP, nine against the BJP, one against the Congress, and one against another entity. 

 Also, 188 challans have been issued by traffic police authorities for misuse of vehicles like bearing unauthorised posters, banners, and displaying other poll material, Singh said. Out of these, 123 are against the AAP, 49 against the BJP, and 16 against others, the CEO told reporters.
Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA has been credited with handling the pandemic remarkably well
Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA has been credited with handling the pandemic remarkably well
14:40   21 MLAs in Guwahati in touch with us: Raut
Hope floats for those who want Uddhav Thackeray and the MVA to govern Maharashtra.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut tells reports that Uddhav Thackeray will return to Varsha Bungalow very soon. "21 MLAs in Guwahati have contacted us and when they return to Mumbai, they will be with us," said Raut. 

Varsha, is the chief minister of Maharashtra's official residence. 

In high drama last night, Thackeray left his official residence along with his family members after he expressed his readiness to step down if rebel MLAs returned to Mumbai and made such a demand.

The Thackerays are now at their family home, Matoshree. 
14:24   Droupadi Murmu reaches Delhi
Union Ministers Arjun Munda, Arjun Ram Meghwal and Dr. Virendra Kumar and BJP leader Manoj Tiwari meet NDA's Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu in  Delhi. She will file her nomination tomorrow.
14:05   Shinde drops new video with 42 rebel MLAs
In a fresh video from Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati, rebel Maharashtra MLAs, including Eknath Shinde, - sit together and raise slogans of "Shinde sa'ab tum aage badho, hum tumhare saath hain." 42 rebel MLAs from Maharashtra -- 35 from Shiv Sena and 7 Independent MLAs -- are seen together.

Back in Maharashtra, Eknath Shinde's removal as Sena group leader in the Maharashtra Assembly is termed as valid by the Deputy Speaker.
Uddhav Thackeray offers prayers at the bust of Shivaji Maharaj
Uddhav Thackeray offers prayers at the bust of Shivaji Maharaj
13:21   Uddhav never met Sena MLAs, says rebel's letter
Rebel Shiv Sena MLA's letter shared by dissident Eknath Shinde:
"Despite having a Shiv Sena CM in the state, the party MLAs didn't get an opportunity to visit Varsha Bungalow (CM's residence). People around the CM used to decide if we can meet him or not. We felt we were insulted.

"While we weren't able to meet the CM, people from our 'real opposition' -- the Congress and the NCP used to get opportunities to meet him and even funds were given to them related to work in their constituencies.

"When Hindutva and Ram Mandir are crucial issues for the party, then why did the party stop us from visiting Ayodhya? MLAs were called and were stopped from going to Ayodhya during Aaditya Thackeray's visit to Ayodhya," the letter says. 

Three more Shiv Sena MLAs have joined the rebel group of MLAs led by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde in Guwahati on Thursday morning further deepening the political instability in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.
They reached the Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati, where other MLAs are campaigning. Last night four more MLAs joined Shinde in Guwahati. With this, seven more MLAs have joined the rebel group in the last 24 hours.

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray
13:00   Govt on dialysis doesn't last long: Naqvi on Maha
Dummy cars and a government on dialysis do not last long, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Thursday while taking potshots at the political crisis in Maharashtra where the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government is fighting for its survival. 

Naqvi was talking to reporters after voting in the Rampur Lok Sabha by-election. 

 Responding to a question on what would happen in Maharashtra, he recited a couplet from the famous "Mughal-e-Azam" song, "Jab raat hai aisi matwali to subah ka alam kya hoga." 

 "Dummy cars and a government on dialysis do not last long," the BJP leader said. 

 The future of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in Maharashtra is in jeopardy after a section of Shiv Sena legislators rebelled. -- PTI

12:54   Sena should decide who should be CM: NCP
NCP leader Jayanti Patil on the political crisis in Maharashtra. "I don't think that to form government in one state, you can show your strength in another state. He (rebel Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde) has to come here (Maharashtra) to show his MLAs to Governor. Thereafter, governor will take the necessary decision.
"If the government stays we will be in power, if government goes we will sit in Opposition.
"The chief ministerial post was given to Shiv Sena, so it's their internal decision whom they want to give it to."

An emotional Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday offered to quit as Maharashtra Chief Minister and extended an olive branch to rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led by Eknath Shinde, saying he will be happy if a Shiv Sainik succeeds him.

Thackeray said he was ready to step down if the rebel leader and MLAs supporting him, all camping in Guwahati in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Assam, declare that they don't want him to continue as CM.

Tamil Magan Hussain elected as the AIADMK Presidium Chairman
Tamil Magan Hussain elected as the AIADMK Presidium Chairman
12:50   Panneerselvam walks out of AIADMK meet after being bowled out by EPS camp
AIADMK Coordinator O Panneerselvam on Thursday walked out of the party's General Council meeting in Chennai after it stuck to the single leadership demand and favoured his rival and party Joint Coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS). 

 As EPS was honoured with a decorated crown, a sword and sceptre by supporters amid chants favouring him, OPS along with his supporters including Deputy Secretary R Vaithilingam moved out of the hall and left the premises. 

The GC meet, that witnessed chaotic scenes was over within 40 minutes after it started. B Valarmathi, a senior office-bearer and a former Minister sung a song from party founder M G Ramachandran's movie and said, 'a leader will emerge' apparently hailing EPS. 

The GC meet, which stuck to the one and only demand of making EPS the supreme party leader, turned out to be a full show of strength of the Palaniswami camp with OPS followers heavily outnumbered. 

 OPS, as Panneerselvam is known, was seated close to EPS on the dais when the GC burst into the single leadership chorus. The party announced that the GC would again meet on July 11. PTI
Jayant Patil
Jayant Patil
12:28   NCP meeting at 5 pm today
MVA partner NCP, on the political instability in the state: 
"At 5 pm today, I have invited all our MLAs for a meeting to brief them on the ongoing developments," says NCP's Jayant Patil.
"Our MPs, organisation chief (Sharad Pawar) will be there too. We had a meeting at the residence of Sharad Pawar. Assessment of incidents in the last 3-4 days was done. 
"Pawar sahib told us that we should do everything that needs to be done to ensure that the Govt remains. We will stand with Uddhav Thackeray, with this Govt," Patil said. 
12:20   MLAs are political entrepreneurs. Maharashtra is just the latest example
Your MLA is not on your side. Electoral victories are political equivalent of a start-up loan, writes Vir Sanghvi. Read the column here.
Aaditya Thackeray flashes the victory sign after reaching Matoshree last night
Aaditya Thackeray flashes the victory sign after reaching Matoshree last night
12:17   Sena leaders arrive at Matoshree to meet CM
Shiv Sena leaders arrive at the Thackeray family residence, Matoshree, to meet CM Uddhav Thackeray.

Last night, Thackeray greeted hundreds of Shiv Sena supporters gathered outside his residence. 

The chief minister left his official residence 'Varsha' along with his family members yesterday after he expressed his readiness to step down if rebel MLAs returned to Mumbai and made such a demand.

Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray along with his mother Rashmi Thackeray and brother Tejas Thackeray followed Uddhav Thackeray in a car as left the official residence. 

Luggage was also seen being moved out of the chief minister's official residence. 
12:13   Bypolls voter turnout
Till 9 am, 24.92% voter turnout recorded in Atmakur (Andhra Pradesh)
34.26% in Agartala (Tripura)
35.43% in Town Bardowali (Tripura)
33.50% in Surma (Tripura) 
29.14% in Jubarajnagar (Tripura) 
29.13% in Mandar (Jharkhand) 
14.85% in Rajinder Nagar (Delhi)
AIADMK General Council meeting
AIADMK General Council meeting
12:10   AIADMK meet throws weight behind EPS, sticks to single leader demand
The AIADMK General Council meeting in Chennai on Thursday rejected all the 23 proposed resolutions and announced that the one and only demand of GC members is to bring in a system of a single leadership for the party, favouring Joint Coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami. 

 As soon as the meet commenced amid chaotic scenes of sloganeering, the process of passage of already decided resolutions were taken up.

 The first of them was proposed by Coordinator O Panneerselvam and seconded by Palaniswami, who addressed the former as 'brother' in his brief remarks. Soon, senior leader C Ve Shanmugam who was recently elected to the Rajya Sabha announced that all resolutions "are rejected by the General Council."

 Deputy Secretary K P Munusamy said all the GC members have rejected all the 23 proposed resolutions. "Their one and only demand is for a single leadership." When such a resolution favouring a single leadership (favouring EPS) is taken up and passed, all other resolutions would be adopted as and when the GC is convened in future, he added. PTI
Aaditya Thackeray leaves for Matoshree last night
Aaditya Thackeray leaves for Matoshree last night
11:50   Uddhav will not hold any meeting today: Raut
Maharashtra update: Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut says CM Uddhav Thackeray will not hold any meeting today. Some MLAs are going to Varsha Bungalow for official work. Nitin Deshmukh (who returned to Nagpur from Surat yesterday and alleged abduction attempts) will hold a press conference.

 Uddhav Thackeray left his official residence along with members of his family amid slogans of "Uddhav tum aage badho, hum tumhare saath hain" from his supporters. 

 Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray along with his mother Rashmi Thackeray and brother Tejas Thackeray followed Uddhav Thackeray in a car as left the official residence. 

Luggage was also seen being moved out of the chief minister's official residence. The political crisis facing the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra deepened on Wednesday after rebel party MLAs claimed support of 46 MLAs. Congress and NCP are partners of Shiv Sena in the alliance government. 
11:46   Mandaviya to chair meeting with experts on rising Covid cases
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will on Thursday chair a high-level review meeting with the core team of experts over increasing cases of Covid-19 in the country, official sources said. 

 India has been witnessing an increase in coronavirus infections over the last couple of weeks. 

 As on date, ten states -- Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal and Gujarat -- have over 1,000 active cases. 

 India saw a single-day rise of 13,313 new coronavirus infections, taking the infection tally to 4,33,44,958, while the active cases have increased to 83,990, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Thursday. The death toll has climbed to 5,24,941 with 38 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.
11:41   What a Disturbing New Film Reveals About Modis India
'The Kashmir Files' depicts the decades-old exodus of Hindus from the Muslim-majority region. For nationalists, it's perfect propaganda. Read the interview with Vivek Agnihotri in the New Yorker. 
11:35   TMC protests outside rebel MLAs' hotel in Guwahati
TMC leaders and workers protesting outside Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati are being detained by police.
 A worker says, "Around 20 lakh people in Assam are suffering due to the flood. But CM is busy toppling Maharashtra Govt." 

Rebel Maharashtra MLAs are staying at the hotel. The Eknath Shinde faction met former MoS Home and Shiv Sena leader Deepak Kesarkar this morning.

And over 55 lakh people have been affected due to the Assam floods. 
11:32   Sena MP Krupal Tumane denies he's with Shinde
Shiv Sena MP Krupal Tumane on Thursday denied reports of joining the rebel faction led by Eknath Shinde, and asserted that he was with the Sena. Tumane, the Lok Sabha member from Ramtek in Nagpur, said "patience is the need of the hour". 

Maharashtra cabinet minister Shinde, who is camping in Assam's Guwahati city with rebel Sena MLAs, on Wednesday claimed the claimed the support of 46 legislators, including some Independents. 

On Thursday morning, three more Shiv Sena MLAs left for Guwahati from Mumbai, according to an associate of Shinde. The Shiv Sena currently has 55 MLAs in the Assembly. 

 Tumane in a statement on Thursday said, "Nobody has contacted me, nor I have supported anyone. I am with the Shiv Sena only. Some information is being spread about me, which is absolutely incorrect. Keeping patience is the need of the hour." 

 On Wednesday, Eknath Shinde gave a letter to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly's deputy speaker, signed by 35 Sena MLAs, replacing Sunil Prabhu with Bharat Gogavale as the chief whip of the Shiv Sena legislature party.
Eknath Shinde with his MLAs in Guwahati
Eknath Shinde with his MLAs in Guwahati
11:01   Also under ED pressure, but loyal to Uddhav: Raut
Uddhav Thackeray loyalist, Sanjay Raut plays at heartstrings. "He who leaves the party under ED pressure is not a true Balasaheb Bhakt. We're true Balasaheb Bhakts.. Even we are under ED pressure but will continue to stand with Uddhav Thackeray. When floor test happens everyone will see who's positive and who is negative," Sanjay Raut said. 

"I won't talk about any camp, I will talk about my party. Our party is strong even to this day. About 20 MLAs are in touch with us. When they come to Mumbai, you will get to know under what circumstances or pressure these MLAs left us," Raut said.

Tally of MLAs with Eknath Shinde: A total of 42 Maharashtra MLAs are present with Eknath Shinde at Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati, Assam. This includes 34 MLAs from Shiv Sena and 8 Independent MLAs.

After reaching Guwahati on Wednesday, Shinde has claimed the support of 46 legislators, including some Independents.

He had given a letter to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly's deputy speaker, signed by 35 Sena MLAs, replacing Sunil Prabhu with Bharat Gogavale as the chief whip of the Shiv Sena legislature party.

Shinde has maintained that while the NCP and the Congress were growing stronger in the MVA alliance, the Shiv Sena, which heads the governing bloc, and its workers were getting systematically weakened.
File pic
File pic
10:39   Sharad Pawar holds meeting NCP head honchos
Maharashtra: A meeting is underway between NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, state Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil, ministers Jayant Patil and Jitendra Awhad and party leader Sunil Tatkare. The meeting is taking place at the residence of the NCP chief.
10:34   Bypolls across several states have begun
Bypolls are being held in: Rajinder Nagar in Delhi, four Tripura assembly seats, Sangrur in Punjab, Atmakur in Andhra Pradesh, Mandar in Jharkhand and Azamgarh, Rampur in Uttar Pradesh.
10:25   Sanjay Gandhi was generations ahead of his time: Varun
BJP MP Varun Gandhi pays homage to his father: "Today, I pay tribute to my father Late Shri Sanjay Gandhi on his 42nd death anniversary. A man generations ahead of his time, who worked towards a strong and self-reliant India, with both the vision to see what lay ahead and also the courage to act on it."
10:21   Thane Sainiks support Shinde
Posters put up in support of Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde in Thane, his constituency. 
10:06   Floods in Assam, but BJP busy toppling govts: Cong
Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi on the floods in Assam and the political crisis in Maharashtra. "If there's a crisis, it's that of floods. BJP has gone blind for power. There're floods in Assam, PM should visit the state, announce special package but he's busy toppling Maharashtra govt, or in Gujarat elections...Only power is everything for BJP," Gogoi said. 

The flood situation in Assam remained grim on Wednesday as 12 more people were killed and 55 lakh people affected across 32 districts with the rising Brahmaputra and Barak rivers inundating new areas.
09:54   Active Covid-19 cases rise to 83,990
India logged 13,313 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 4,33,44,958, while the active cases rose to 83,990, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday. 

 The death toll climbed to 5,24,941 with 38 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated. The active cases comprise 0.19 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.60 per cent, the ministry said. An increase of 2,303 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. 

 The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.03 per cent and the weekly positivity rate at 2.81 per cent, according to the ministry 

 The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 4,27,36,027, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.21 per cent. According to the ministry, 196.62 crore doses of Covid vaccine have been administered in the country so far under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive. -- PTI
09:50   India's latest communication satellite GSAT-24 successfully launched
The GSAT-24 satellite, built by ISRO for NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), was successfully launched by French company Arianespace from Kourou in French Guiana (South America) on Thursday.
GSAT-24 is a 24-Ku band communication satellite weighing 4180 kg with pan-India coverage for meeting DTH application needs.
It was the first "demand driven" communication satellite mission undertaken by NSIL post space sector reforms.
NSIL, a Government of India company under the Department of Space, has leased the entire satellite capacity to Tata Play.
GSAT-24 was launched on-board Ariane-V VA257 flight from the Guiana Space Centre, Europe's spaceport in Kourou. -- PTI
09:44   10 dead, 7 injured as pickup van rams into tree in UP
A pickup van carrying 17 pilgrims from Haridwar rammed into a tree in Gajraula area here Thursday morning, killing 10 people and injuring seven others, police said.  
The accident took place after the driver lost control of the vehicle, they said. 
The injured passengers were rushed to a hospital, police said. 
Police is yet to identify the deceased. 
09:38   Man thrashed while bathing with wife in Suryu river
A man was thrashed by a group of people in an apparent instance of moral policing when he was bathing with his wife in the Saryu river in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, officials said on Wednesday.
Police have begun an investigation after a purported video of the incident went viral.
A police officer said the exact date of the incident was yet to be ascertained even though some people claimed it had happened at Ram ki Paudi ghat on Tuesday.
The officer said they had not received any complaint regarding it yet.
"However, we are investigating the matter and trying to find the couple and the miscreants who attacked them," the officer said.
Senior Superintendent of Police Shailesh Pandey said, "The matter is being probed." -- PTI 
09:37   Remembering Sanjay Gandhi
BJP MPs Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi pay tribute to Sanjay Gandhi on his death anniversary today.
09:02   3 more Sena MLAs reach Assam to join Shinde faction
Three more Shiv Sena's rebel MLAs have reached Radisson Blu Hotel in Guwahati amid political instability in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra

A group of rebel Maharashtra MLAs, led by Eknath Shinde, was flown to Guwahati on Wednesday morning.

They were taken to Surat from Mumbai on Tuesday and in the early hours of Wednesday, they were shifted to Guwahati.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar
08:19   US Congresswoman introduces anti-India resolution
Continuing with her anti-India tirade, Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has introduced a resolution that calls United States Secretary of State to designate India as a country of particular concern for alleged violation of religious freedom.
Co-sponsored by Congresswoman Rashida Talib and Congresswoman Juan Vargas, the resolution urges the Biden Administration to implement the recommendations of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom which has called for designating India as a country of particular concern for three consecutive years.
Introduced in the House of Representative on Tuesday, the resolution has been sent to the House Foreign Affairs Committee for necessary action.
A resolution like this is very unlikely to see the light of the day, given the vindictive approach being adopted by Congresswoman Omar. She has openly sided with Pakistani officials on the issue of India.
Omar, who visited Pakistan in last April and met top Pak leaders including the former Prime Minister Imran Khan and travelled to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, is yet to disclose the nature including the funding for the visit.
India had condemned the US Congresswoman's visit to the PoK, saying her travel to the region violated the country's sovereignty and it reflected her "narrow-minded" politics.
"If such a politician wishes to practice her narrow-minded politics at home, that may be her business. But violating our territorial integrity and sovereignty in its pursuit makes it ours. This visit is condemnable," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said.
During several Congressional hearings related to India, Omar has repeatedly shown her bias against India.
The news about the resolution was first reported, in advance, by a senior official from Imran Khan's party, which also slammed a senior State Department official.
Omar's resolution condemns alleged human rights violations and violations of international religious freedom in India, including those "targeting" Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, Adivasis, and other religious and cultural minorities. It expressed grave concern about the "worsening treatment" of religious minorities in India. -- PTI
01:09   Amul MD injured in road accident in Gujarat, stable
RS Sodhi, managing director of India's leading dairy cooperative GCMMF, which markets its products under Amul brand, sustained minor injuries in a road accident near Anand town in Gujarat on Wednesday night and was admitted to a hospital, the police said.          

The car in which he was travelling turned turtle after hitting a divider on Anand-Bakrol road at around 9 pm, said deputy superintendent of police B D Jadeja.        

"Due to some unknown reasons, the car driver lost control over the vehicle, which led to the accident. The driver as well as Sodhi were immediately taken to a nearby hospital by the locals. Both are out of danger as they sustained minor injuries," he said.        

The Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd, having its headquarter in Anand town, sells its products under the brand name Amul. Sodhi has been serving as its MD since 2010. -- PTI
00:39   ED quizzes Maha min Parab for over 6 hrs on Day 2
The Enforcement Directorate questioned Maharashtra Transport Minister Anil Parab for more than six hours on Wednesday, the second consecutive day of his questioning, in connection with a money laundering case against him. 

Parab reached the ED office located in south Mumbai around 3.45 pm for his questioning in the money laundering probe linked to the alleged violation of coastal regulation zone provisions in the construction of Sai resort in Dapoli beach area of Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district, an official said. 

After the questioning, the minister left the central agency office around 10.30 pm, he said, adding that he has been asked to appear on Thursday as well. Parab was questioned by the central agency for more than 10 hours on Tuesday. 

He was summoned on Wednesday morning, but citing the political developments in the state, he had sought more time to appear before it. Parab, 57, is a three-time member of the Maharashtra Legislative Council and holds transport and parliamentary affairs portfolios. 

The ED had raided his premises and those allegedly linked to him in May, after registering a fresh case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against him and others. 

However, the Shiv Sena leader denied any wrongdoing. -- PTI