Mon, 27 June 2022
After Maha, crisis in J'khand, Rajasthan: BJP leader
23:55 'Never saw him visiting Shankaracharya': BJP on Patnaik meeting Pope
Raising questions on Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's meeting with Pope in Vatican City, senior BJP MLA Jaynarayan Mishra on Monday said he was never seen visiting Shankaracharya in Puri.
Speaking to reporters, he said he will raise the issue in the monsoon session of the assembly, which will begin on July 2.
"If he visited Italy with public money, why did he go there and what did he achieve in return? What was the necessity to meet the Pope standing in a queue? We have never seen him meeting Shankaracharya in Puri," Mishra said.
He said as the opposition party, the BJP has the right to know why Patnaik met Pope.
"What is his relation with the Pope? Pope is not head of any nation," Mishra pointed out.
"If Naveen-babu wants to make any attempt to make Odisha a Christian state, we will strongly protest such a move," he added.
BJD MLA SB Behera said though Pope was not head of any state, but he is revered more than any leader in the world.
"What is wrong in meeting Pope and getting the support of the Christian population? If this meeting creates a positive impact in the world for Odisha, the chief minister took the right decision," he said.
Patnaik, who is on an 11-day tour to Italy and Dubai, met Pope Francis in Vatican City on June 22. The chief minister presented a 'Patachitra' painting to him.
The chief minister is scheduled to return to Odisha on June 30. -- PTI
23:16 Maha guv seeks details of MVA govt orders issued from June 22-24
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has asked the state chief secretary to provide complete information of all Government Resolutions and circulars issued by the state government from June 22-24, according to a letter by his Principal Secretary Santosh Kumar, a directive coming in the middle of political crisis triggered by a revolt in the Shiv Sena.
The direction to provide information comes after the departments --- mostly controlled by ruling allies the NCP and the Congress ---- issued government orders for the release of funds worth hundreds of crores from June 22-24 for various development-related works.
The Shiv Sena, which heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, saw a rebellion in its legislative ranks on June 21 when cabinet minister Eknath Shinde landed in Surat from Mumbai and then left for Guwahati with party MLAs supporting him.
The letter states that the governor has asked for "complete background information" about the GRs, circulars", issued by the state government on June 22-24 as also the deliberations, decisions, taken by the state government on these days for being placed before him as mandated under Article 167 of the Constitution.
Article 167 deals with duties of Chief Minister in furnishing information to Governor regarding decisions of the Council of Ministers relating to administrative affairs.
In a letter to Koshyari earlier, Pravin Darekar, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council, said, "Some 160 government resolutions were issued by the MVA in the last 48 hours, which look suspicious. I request you to intervene in this matter and put a curb on it."
The Governor sought the information from the chief secretary following the letter from Darekar, a senior BJP legislator.
Between June 20 and 23, the departments issued as many as 182 GRs, while on June 17, they passed 107 such orders. These orders can be seen on the government's official website.
Technically, these are called government resolutions or GRs, which are essentially an approval order sanctioning release of funds for development-related works. -- PTI
22:35 After Maha, crisis on cards for J'khand, Rajasthan: BJP leader
As Maharashtra remains embroiled in political crisis, with several rebel MLAs of ruling Shiv Sena camping in Assam, in what seems to be a bid to topple the Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition government in the state, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Suvendu Adhikari on Monday claimed that the TMC-led dispensation in Bengal, too, will meet a similar fate, and much before its tenure ends.
Adhikari also said that the non-BJP states of Jharkhand and Rajasthan were next in line after Maharashtra, and Bengal's turn would come after that.
His remarks drew sharp reactions from the TMC, which said that the saffron camp, frustrated over its losses in assembly polls, was making desperate bids to capture power.
Adhikari, addressing a rally in Cooch Behar district, said, First, let this situation in Maharashtra be resolved. Then it will be Jharkhand and Rajasthan's turn. After that, comes West Bengal. They (TMC) will also meet the same fate (like other opposition-ruled states). This government won't last till 2026; this government will be ousted by 2024.
Hitting out at Adhikari, the leader of opposition in Bengal Assembly, TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said the BJP, which is yet to come to terms with last year's Assembly poll defeat, seems ready to go to any extent to seize power
"Despite a high-pitched poll campaign, the BJP lost miserably in the elections. Now, they want to capture power by hook or crook. His comments smack of saffron camp's frustration," he said.
In a similar vein, senior TMC MP and party's chief spokesperson Sukhendu Sekhar Ray said Adhikari's comments clearly show that the BJP steered Maharashtra into the crisis.
"The cat is now out of the bag. The comment proves how BJP is behind the political crisis in the western state. The BJP has been after every opposition-ruled state in the country. The people of this country will give them a befitting reply," he added.
Moving against rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday took away portfolios of nine ministers who have jumped ship, but the dissident MLAs approached the Supreme Court, which kept in abeyance the disqualification proceedings against them till July 11.
A week into the political crisis -- triggered when Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde, who has claimed the support of more than three dozen party MLAs, raised a banner of revolt against the Maha Vikas Aghadi government -- both sides have refused to blink and appear prepared for a long fight. -- PTI
22:33 6 airbags to be made mandatory in eight-seater vehicles: Gadkari
The government will make it mandatory for carmakers to provide a minimum of six airbags in motor vehicles that can carry up to eight passengers for enhanced safety of occupants, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.
Addressing 'Intel India's Safety Pioneers Conference 2022', Gadkari said every year, around 1.5 lakh people are killed in five lakh accidents across the country. "We have decided to make it mandatory to provide a minimum of six airbags in motor vehicles... We want to save the lives of the people," the road transport and highways minister said.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) in January said that to enhance the safety of occupants of motor vehicles against lateral impact, it has been decided to enhance safety features by amending the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (CMVR), 1989.
"A draft notification has been issued on January 14, 2022, which mandates that vehicles of category M1, manufactured after October 1, 2022, shall be fitted with two side/side torso air bags, one each for the persons occupying front row outboard seating positions, and two side curtain/tube air bags, one each for the persons occupying outboard seating positions," it had said.
An airbag is a vehicle occupant-restraint system which interferes between the driver and the vehicle's dashboard during a collision, thereby preventing serious injuries.
He added: "We need cooperation from all stakeholders (including automobile industry)."
His remarks come against the backdrop of the automobile industry raising concerns that high taxation and stricter safety and emission norms have made their products expensive.
Gadkari pointed out that all global automobile brands are available in India.
Noting that safe roads are very important, he admitted that effective implementation of the Motor Vehicles Act is a challenge.
The minister reiterated that Indian road infrastructure will be equivalent to the USA by 2024. -- PTI
21:56 Dinkar Gupta takes charge as NIA chief
Former Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta on Monday took over as the Director General of the National Investigation Agency, an anti-terror probe agency formed after the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai, and called for "expeditious investigation" and prosecution of offences of terror that affect security of the country.
The appointment of Dinkar, a 1987-batch IPS officer from Punjab cadre, comes at a time when Pakistan's snooping agency ISI is seen making attempts of revamping terrorism in the state which has witnessed nearly 50 incidents of IED recoveries, Pro-Khalistan posters, nabbing terrorists from banned organizations like Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), besides threats to political leadership in the state as well as neighbouring Haryana.
Gupta has served as Director General of Punjab Police for more than two years, besides heading a unit where he directly supervised Punjab State Intelligence Wing, State Anti-Terrorist Squad and the Organized Crime Control Unit.
Immediately after taking over as the NIA chief, Gupta was briefed about all the important cases being handled by the agency. He held a review meeting as well, officials said.
"I shall do my best to fulfil the mandate given to the NIA for expeditious investgation and prosecution of offences relating to terrorism, a menace which affects the security and integrity of the country," Dinkar said immediately after taking over as the NIA chief.
Relieving CRPF chief Kuldiep Singh of the additional charge, Gupta has taken over as a full-time chief of the agency after more than a year. Singh had been holding the post as an additional charge since May last year after the retirement of Y C Modi.
Having a Master's degree in police administration, Gupta's experience as the DGP of Punjab for more than two years from 2019 will come handy as some terror groups have started raising their ugly head in the state.
An experienced and distinguished officer, Gupta earlier had an eight-year stint on central deputation from June 2004 to July 2012 during which he held sensitive assignments, including as the head of the Intelligence Bureau unit which looked after the security of VVIPs.
Gupta was decorated with two police gallantry medals in 1992 and 1994. He was also decorated with the Police Medal for Meritorious Services by the President and the President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service (2010).
In 1999, Gupta was awarded the British Chevening Gurukul Scholarship by the British Council at London School of Economics.
He has been a visiting professor (2000-01) at the George Washington University, Washington and American University where he was invited to design and teach a course, titled 'Governments under Siege: Understanding Terrorism and Terrorists', in January-May 2001. -- PTI
21:53 BJP delegation from Gujarat to 'inspect' Kejriwal's Delhi Model of governance
A delegation of Bharatiya Jnaata Party leaders from poll-bound Gujarat will visit the national capital to "inspect" Delhi Model of the Arvind Kejriwal government on Tuesday.
The 17-member delegation will include former ministers, Speaker of state assembly and legislators of Gujarat BJP, said Delhi BJP vice president Virendra Sachdeva.
The Aam Aadmi Party has been trying to carve a space for itself in Gujarat that goes to polls later this year. Several senior AAP leaders, including Kejriwal, had been visiting the state for meetings and roadshows in the recent months.
"The Gujarat BJP delegation, during its two-day visit, will see how a false and publicity-based Delhi Model is being propagated by Kejriwal ahead of the elections in Gujarat," Sachdeva said.
The BJP leaders from the state will witness the reality of Kejriwal's so called Delhi Model in every sector, including water and power supply, he added. -- PTI
21:42 Raut NCP's 'blue-eyed boy', to destroy Sena: Rebel MLA
Dubbing Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut a "blue-eyed boy" of the Nationalist Congress Party, rebel Sena MLA Deepak Kesarkar on Monday said when the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party government formation in Maharashtra was a mere formality in 2019, he became "active" with the blessings of a "strong NCP leader" and that he is set off to finish the saffron party.
In an open letter, Kesarkar said those who get elected because of legislators are now abusing them every day, an apparent reference to Sanjay Raut.
"We are called pigs, much disturbing abuse is coming our way, so much so that our dead bodies are now awaited," he said.
Kesarkar, the three-term legislator from Sindhdurg in Maharashtra, also asked Thackeray to reconsider his view and ally with the BJP.
He claimed the NCP and the Congress are enjoying power at the cost of the Shiv Sena and simultaneously making efforts to finish the very foundation of the party.
Kesarkar said the Sena MLAs had fiercely opposed allying with those who have opposed Hindutva, against whom late Sena chief Bal Thackeray spent his life fighting, those who tried to jail him, and those who have repeatedly insulted Veer Savarkar --- not once but again and again which continued under the Maha Vikas Aghadi government too.
"However, we followed the path told by our party leader," he said.
Talking about 2019, when the Shiv Sena and the BJP were expected to form a government in the state for a second term, Kesarkar said, "Sanjay Raut became active with the blessings of a strong NCP leader. The mandate was for the Sena-BJP alliance. We overlooked Maharashtra and people's mandate by forming an unnatural alliance with the Congress and the NCP ."
The Sena later severed ties with the BJP over the post of the chief minister and joined hands with the NCP and Congress to form a tripartite MVA government.
A large part of the letter mainly dealt with attacking Raut.
"It is unfortunate that Sanjay Raut who hasn't been elected by the people, is set off to finish our party," Kesarkar said.
He alleged that Sena is being run on Raut's advice and that too at the cost of isolating people like him (Kesarkar) who get elected multiple times.
"The NCP fires the gun from Raut's shoulders and who does the bullet hit? Not enemies of our party but loyalists like us. This is not acceptable to us," he said.
"If on the advice of Sanjay Raut, the whole party is going to bow on NCP's feet then what is left of the Shiv Sena? Should we let go of our self-esteem to please Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi?" Kesarkar asked. -- PTI
21:34 MVA leaders meet Uddhav Thackeray
Senior leaders of the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party met Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday, hours after the Supreme Court kept in abeyance the disqualification proceedings before the Assembly Deputy Speaker till July 11 and sought responses to pleas by rebel MLAs questioning the legality of notices seeking their disqualification.
"We are alliance partners. We will sit together and discuss things," state Congress chief Nana Patole told reporters outside Matoshri bungalow, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's residence in suburban Bandra, after meeting him late evening.
Congress minister and former CM Ashok Chavan also met Thackeray.
The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance of the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress in Maharashtra is battling a political crisis that unfolded last week after Sena minister Eknath Shinde went to Surat in Gujarat and from there to Guwahati in Assam with several Sena MLAs.
Both the states are ruled by the BJP.
NCP leaders Dilip Walse Patil and Jayant Patil also met Thackeray on Monday. -- PTI
20:53 Rape case filed against Sonia Gandhi's personal secretary
The Delhi Police has registered a case of rape and criminal intimidation against Congress president Sonia Gandhi's personal secretary P P Madhavan on a complaint by a 26-year-old woman, officials said on Monday.
The woman alleged that the accused lured her on the pretext of providing her a job and had promised marriage, they said.
A police officer said the victim was allegedly raped and threatened of dire consequences by the accused if she reported the matter.
"A complaint was received at the Uttam Nagar police station on June 25. A case under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered. We are investigating the matter," said M Harsha Vardhan, Dwarka Deputy Commissioner of Police.
He said the police were investigating the allegations levelled against a 71-year-old man who is working as a personal secretary to a senior political leader.
Though the DCP did not name the political leader, officials in the Delhi Police said the allegations were levelled against Madhavan.
The officials said the woman lives in Delhi and her husband died in 2020. The husband used to work at the Congress party office, they said, adding that he used to affix hoardings. -- PTI
20:29 AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair arrested
Journalist Mohammed Zubair, one of the founders of fact-checking website AltNews, was arrested by the Delhi Police on Monday.
He is accused of hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity, under Sections 153 and 295A of Indian Penal Code.
"Zubair was called today by special cell, Delhi for investigation in a 2020 case for which he already had a protection against arrest from High Court. However, today at around 6.45pm we were told he has been arrested in some other FIR for which no notice was given which is mandatory under law for the Sections under which he has been arrested. Nor FIR copy is being given to us despite repeated requests," Pratik Sinha, one of the founders AltNews, said on Twitter.
19:51 Uddhav planned to resign as Maha CM on June 22
Facing a revolt within his own ranks, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was ready to resign on June 22 at 5 pm after it was clear that there was "no way out" of the political crisis facing Maharashtra government but Maha Vikas Aghadi allies convinced him not to resign, sources said.
The sources said that Uddhav Thackeray was in touch with Bharatiya Janata Party leaders to find a way out of the political crisis facing the Maha Vikas Aghadi government that includes the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress apart from the Shiv Sena.
The sources said that Thackeray was scheduled to resign and then go to the memorial of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray on June 22 evening but that didn't happen.
Even Thackeray's address scheduled at 5 pm was delayed beyond 5.30 pm due to the change in plans, they added.
In his address over Facebook on June 22, Thackeray had talked about his willingness to step down if the rebel MLAs come to Mumbai and make such a demand.
Hours later Thackeray left his official residence 'Varsha' along with his family members for the family residence Matoshree.
The Chief Minister said in his address that he was willing to give his resignation to party MLAs who can take it to the Raj Bhavan.
Thackeray had also indicated his willingness to quit as party chief if there is a demand from party workers.
Noting that a section of party MLAs was gunning for his ouster, he had said instead of going to Surat, they could have conveyed their feelings to him.
Thackeray said it is a matter of shame for him if "even a single MLA" is against him.
The rebel Shiv Sena MLAs moved to Guwahati from Surat and have claimed growing support of Shiv Sena MLAs.
Shinde had claimed on Wednesday that he has the support of 46 MLAs, including six to seven Independent MLAs. Shiv Sena has 55 MLAs in the Maharashtra assembly. In the latest jolt to the Uddhav Thackeray camp, Uday Samant joined the rebel group on June 26. He is the eighth minister from Shiv Sena to join the rebel camp.
In his address, Thackeray had said "if any MLA wants me to not continue as the CM, I am ready to take all my belongings from Varsha Bungalow (official residence of the CM) to Matoshri".
"I am ready to give my resignation to the MLAs, they should come here and take my resignation to Raj Bhavan. I am ready to leave the post of Shiv Sena party head also, not on the saying of others but my workers," he had added.
Thackeray had also referred to the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance and said NCP leader Sharad Pawar and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi helped him a lot and kept their faith in him.
Thackeray said when all three parties came together in 2019, Pawar told him that he had to take the responsibility of the CM post.
"I didn't even have prior experience. But I took the responsibility. Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi helped me a lot, they kept their faith in me. But when my own people (MLAs) don't want me what I can say. If they had something against me, what was the need of saying all this in Surat, they could have come here and said this to my face," he had said.
19:43 Office of Maha MLA who backed BJP attacked
The public relations office of Independent MLA Vinod Agrawal in Maharashtra's Gondia city was attacked on Monday by a group of six to seven persons wielding sticks, a police official said.
In the incident that took place at 1:30 pm, the group broke a glass door and also engaged in a verbal duel with the guards posted at the entrance, he said.
"Agrawal was in Mumbai at the time of incident. A complaint has been lodged by his supporters at Gondia City police station. Superintendent of Police Vishwa Pansare visited the site and directed the probe," the official said.
Incidentally, Agrawal had, on June 23, just two days after Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde rebelled against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, offered a letter of support to senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis. -- PTI
19:32 BJP leaders to visit Telangana assembly seats ahead of national executive meet
Senior BJP leaders, including Union ministers, will be spending time in assembly constituencies across Telangana ahead of the party's two-day national executive meeting in the state on July 2 and 3, sources said on Monday.
Its senior leaders will be part of organisational meetings and other interactions to gather feedback as the party works to expand its outreach across the state where it believes its prospects are bright.
Party sources said details of which leaders will visit which constituencies are still being worked out but they will be visiting all 119 constituencies of the state, and their aim will also be to mobilise people for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Hyderabad on July 3.
Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar expressed confidence that his party is set to emerge as a formidable alternative to end the "corrupt and dynastic" rule of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi in the state and asserted that the executive meeting will boost its prospects further. -- PTI
19:28 Two terrorists killed in Kulgam encounter
Two terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in the Trubji area in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam, informed the officials on Monday.
"#KulgamEncounterUpdate: 01 more #terrorist killed (Total 02). #Operation going on. Further details shall follow. @JmuKmrPolice," Kashmir zone police tweeted.
An encounter broke out in the Nowpora-Kherpora, Trubji area in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam on Monday, the police said.
Further details are awaited.
Earlier in the day, Jammu and Kashmir's Doda police along with security forces arrested a terrorist and recovered one Chinese pistol, two magazines, 14 live cartridges and one mobile phone from his possession.
The terrorist has been identified as Fareed Ahmad, a resident of Koti Doda, said the police. -- ANI
19:26 Rajnath holds talks with his Malaysian counterpart on bilateral defence ties
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh interacted with his Malaysian counterpart Hishamuddin bin Hussein virtually on Monday to deepen defence cooperation between the two countries.
Singh said on Twitter, "Had a wonderful interaction with Malaysia's Senior Defence Minister, Mr Hishamuddin bin Hussein, via video conference."
He reaffirmed the strong defence relations between India and Malaysia and discussed opportunities for both countries "to further deepen our defence cooperation".
The defence ministry's statement said that during the meeting, Singh highlighted the areas in which the Indian defence industry could assist Malaysia. Singh suggested a visit of senior officers from Malaysia to India to get a first-hand experience of the facilities and products of Indian defence industry, it noted.
Hussein expressed the need for inducting women personnel in peace keeping missions, according to the statement.
"Both sides agreed to engage each other on this issue. It was also agreed to upgrade capability for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations," it said.
The next Malaysia India Defence Cooperation Meeting is scheduled to be held in July 2022, and it was decided to use this platform for a deeper engagement in defence, the statement added. -- PTI
18:47 All set for resumption of Amarnath Yatra after 3-year suspension
Shri Amarnath Shrine Board is pulling out all the stops to ensure smooth pilgrimage, scheduled to begin on June 30, to the holy cave shrine housing the naturally formed ice-lingam in south Kashmir Himalayas.
Jammu and Kashmir administration is also augmenting the efforts of the Shrine Board by providing fool proof security cover along both the Pahalgam and Baltal routes to the holy cave, a senior official said.
While the board is making arrangements for the pilgrims intending to undertake the pilgrimage, it has also made a provision of online darshan for those who cannot physically undertake the yatra.
"For the devotees who can not come for the Yatra, they can avail facility of online darshan, pooja, havan and prasad," an official of the SASB said.
At Baltal base camp, a 70-bed fully-equipped DRDO hospital had been set up for quality healthcare services to the pilgrims.
The hospital, funded by ministry of health and family welfare, will have X-ray and ultrasound facilities, general and oxygenated wards, OPD, ICU, pharmacy and a laboratory.
The health department of the Union territory also has made special arrangements for providing healthcare facilities to the pilgrims.
They have stationed 109 Basic Life Support ambulances and 26 Advance Life Support critical care ambulances have at 55 locations en route Baltal and Chandanwari routes from Qazigund for the pilgrims.
During a recent visit to the twin base camps, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said this year special focus is on cleanliness and the board aims for a "Swachh Amarnath Yatra". -- PTI
18:27 Protest at Jantar Mantar against arrest of Setalvad; Cong leaders take part
A group of students, teachers, activists and civil society members staged a protest at Jantar Mantar here on Monday against the arrest of Teesta Setalvad by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad, calling it a "pre-planned conspiracy" and an attempt to "silence" other activists.
Senior Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Ajay Maken also joined the protest.
Around 300 protesters gathered at Jantar Mantar and raised slogans demanding the release of Setalvad and former IPS officers RB Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt, who have been accused of "criminal conspiracy, forgery and placing false evidence in court to frame innocent people" in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Congress leader Maken said his party stood by the trio and demanded their release at the earliest.
Activist Shabnam Hashmi told PTI, "We think it's a pre-planned conspiracy because there is no way that the Supreme Court comes out with a judgment on June 25 and the same day an FIR was lodged and Teesta was arrested.... We strongly condemn it."
Hashmi said the arrest was an attempt by the government to "silence' and "frighten' other activists in the country.
"We know that they're giving a signal to all the activists who have been raising their voice. This is an attempt to silence and frighten them but this country is not going to be frightened," she said. -- PTI
18:20 Victory of Balasaheb, Dighe: Shinde on SC order
Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde on Monday said that the Supreme Court order is the victory of Bal Thackeray and Anand Dighe.
Shortly after the apex court verdict, Shinde tweeted, "This is the victory of the Hindutva emperor Balasaheb Thackeray's Hindutva and the thoughts of Dharmaveer Anand Dighe Saheb ..!"
In a relief to rebel Shiv Sena lawmakers, the Supreme Court Monday kept in abeyance the disqualification proceedings before the deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra assembly till July 11 and sought responses to pleas by rebel MLAs questioning the legality of notices seeking their disqualification.
The top court, however, refused to pass any interim order on the plea of the Maharashtra government that there should not be any floor test in the Assembly and said they can always approach it in case of illegality.
17:41 Sachin Pilot reacts to Rahul's 'patience' remark
Rajasthan Congress leader Sachin Pilot in Tonk talks reacts to Rahul Gandhi's 'patience' remark.
"A few days back, at an event in Delhi, Rahul Gandhi had praised my patience level. If a leader like Rahul Gandhi is appreciating my patience level then I think no one should unnecessarily get disturbed by his statement and take it in a right spirit.
"Earlier also, CM Ashok Gehlot had said many things about me like 'Nakara', 'Nikamma '. I don't take his statements otherwise as he is experienced, senior and a father figure... Right now my focus is to bring back our govt in the state."
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhis quote of former deputy CM of Rajasthan Sachin Pilots patience had sparked a new round of rumours of possible dissent in the party.
Rahuls quote came last week at the Congress headquarters in Delhi when he was addressing Congress workers and leaders after his return from the ED office.
Rahul Gandhi said "ED officers asked me on the last day that you answered all the questions, where does this patience come from? I said - I can't tell.
Do you know, where did the patience come from? I am working in the Congress party since 2004. Every Congress leader understands this. Look, Sachin Pilot Ji is sitting. Siddaramaiah is sitting, Randeep is sitting, and everyone is sitting patiently. This is our party, it does not let us get tired."
Sachin Pilot was stripped of the deputy CM post after the rebellion of July 2020.
17:13 These are the Chinese ships US should worry about
China made a big statement about its naval ambitions with the recent launch of its third and most advanced aircraft carrier. The Fujian -- by far China's biggest, most modern and most powerful aircraft carrier to date -- is the 80,000-ton jewel in the crown of a military expansion that has seen Beijing grow its navy into the world's largest. Read the report here.
The big gainers today
16:47 Stocks extend winning run to 3rd day
Benchmark stock indices rose for a third straight day on Monday on buying in IT, banking and FMCG shares triggered by gains in global equities following easing inflation concerns. The 30-share BSE Sensex jumped 433.30 points or 0.82 per cent to settle at 53,161.28. During the day, it rallied 781.52 points or 1.48 per cent to 53,509.50.
Modi shares a laugh with the US President and the Canadian PM
16:45 German Chancellor welcomes Modi at G7 Summit
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G7 Summit where the leaders of the world's seven richest countries will discuss various important global issues, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, food security and counter-terrorism.
Prime Minister Modi, who is in Germany on a two-day visit from Sunday for the summit of the G7, was received by Scholz upon his arrival at Schloss Elmau, the picturesque venue of the summit in southern Germany.
Working together for Progress towards an equitable world'. German Chancellor @Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz welcomes PM @narendramodi to the @G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau, External Affairs Minister spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.
Before the start of the summit, Prime Minister Modi shook hands with US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as the leaders assembled for a group photo.
During the summit, Modi will exchange views with the leaders of the bloc and its partners on issues such as energy, food security, counter-terrorism, environment and democracy.
Police bandobast outside Sena Bhawan, Mumbai. Pic: Sahil Salvi
16:40 Timeline of the Maharashtra political drama today
*Supreme Court grants relief to rebel Shiv Sena MLAs; says no decision be taken on their disqualification till July 11.
*ED summons Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut; he dubs it as conspiracy, says won't be able to appear before agency on June 28.
*Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray strips nine rebel ministers camping in Guwahati of their portfolios.
*Supporters of minister Rajendra Patil-Yadravkar, who is camping with the Eknath Shinde-led group in Guwahati, and Sena workers confront each other in Kolhapur; cops intervene to avert clash.
*Manipur Shiv Sena chief stopped from meeting rebel MLAs in Guwahati hotel.
*Shiv Sena says it is now evident that BJP is pulling the strings in the ongoing political drama in Maharashtra.
16:27 Aaditya: Traitors can never win
Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray speaks to the media on the Maha drama.
"We are confident of winning. We have all the love with us. Those who betray don't win. Those who run away don't win," Thackeray said.
On Maharashtra Minister Uday Samant joining Eknath Shinde faction at Guwahati: "It is his decision. But he will come before us someday, he will have to look us in the eye someday. Let's see."
"This is not politics, this has now become a circus. Those who ran away from here and are calling themselves rebels, if they wanted to rebel, they should've done it here. They should've resigned and contested election. The 2nd floor test would be when they sit before me, look me in the eye and say what did we do wrong."
16:10 Ajit Pawar tests Covid positive
NCP leader and Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar tests positive for Covid-19. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray also tested positive for Covid last week.
BJP Youth National Secretary Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga had filed an online complaint against the CM at Malabar Hill Police Station in Mumbai for violating Covid-19 rules and meeting people last week.
Media camped outside the Radisson Blu hotel
15:47 Manipur Sena chief stopped from meeting rebel MLAs
Security arrangements were on Monday tightened in the luxury hotel near Guwahati where rebel Maharashtra MLAs led by Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde are camping as advocates, senior police and government officials were seen entering there.
President of the Shiv Sena in neighbouring Manipur, M Tombi Singh, came to meet the rebel legislators but he was not allowed.
He said he wanted to tell them not to create a division in the party. Singh claimed that he had "some contacts with Mumbai" before coming to the hotel.
Though the entry to the hotel has been restricted since June 22, when the MLAs reached Guwahati from Surat, a proper register is being maintained from Monday morning to note who is coming and who is going out.
The police have been asking the names of all before opening the gates. Their names and vehicle numbers have been written in the register.
Even each hotel staff was asked about their identities before allowing to go inside.
"We are maintaining the register from today. We don't know why it has been started suddenly. We are doing what we have been told," a police official told PTI in front of the Radisson Blu hotel.
Special Director General of Police (Law and Order) Gyanendra Pratap Singh has been inside the hotel since morning, while Guwahati Police Joint Commissioner Partha Sarathi Mahanta reached there around noon. Several other IPS officers have also been making rounds since morning.
Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) Chief Executive Officer Gyanendra Tripathi came to the hotel, while a car carrying a board mentioning the chief engineer of the Water Resource Department also entered the campus.
Their vehicles left the hotel after around two hours. It is not known why these officers came to the hotel. Windows of the vehicles were either covered with curtains or the occupants were wearing face masks, making it difficult to recognise them.
A batch of people also came in cars carrying boards saying "Lawyer, Gauhati High Court" were also spotted entering the hotel. Shiv Sena's Manipur unit President M Tombi Singh, along with another person, came to meet the rebels from the Western state but they were stopped at the gate.
"I have come here to talk to Eknath Shinde and tell him that Shiv Sena should remain as one party. We want the political crisis to end soon," Singh told reporters in front of the closed gate of the hotel. All the Shiv Sainiks are united under the leadership of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya, he claimed.
To a question, the Manipur leader said: "I want to tell him to do a 'ghar wapsi'. The Shiv Sena should not become two different parties." Though general people have been barred from entering the hotel for a week, senior police officials, ministers, MLAs and leaders of the ruling BJP have been visiting the hotel daily. Besid
Eknath Shinde and his MLAs
15:29 Team Shinde gets 2 weeks to file reply in SC
Just in: Supreme Court, in an interim direction, allows Shiv Sena rebel Eknath Shinde and his MLAs to file a reply to the disqualification notice issued to them by Deputy Speaker by July 11th, 5.30 pm.
Earlier, the Maharashtra Deputy Speaker had granted them time to file a reply by today.
On the request of providing security to 39 MLAs alleging threat, SC records statement of standing counsel of Maharashtra govt that adequate steps have already been taken and the state government will further ensure that no harm is caused to the life, liberty, or property of the MLAs.
15:25 MVA firmly with Thackeray: Chavan
Closing ranks with beleaguered Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan on Monday said the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) was strongly with the Shiv Sena "whether in the government or the opposition."
Chavan, a former Maharashtra Chief Minister, said the political crisis in Maharashtra was being orchestrated by the BJP from the national capital with the misuse of central investigative agencies.
Chavan said the MVA comprising Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress was united whether in government or the opposition. The senior Congress leader refrained from making any further comments contending that the matter was before the Supreme Court.
He was interacting with reporters in Parliament premises after Yashwant Sinha filed his nomination papers as the common opposition candidate for the presidential election.
Chavan's remarks came a day after NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had expressed confidence that the rebel Shiv Sena MLAs could change their stand after reaching Mumbai from Guwahati.
The NCP chief had said the MVA partners have complete faith in the leadership of Thackeray and will continue to support him till the end.
" Our policy is clear that we have formed a coalition government and we will support it fully. We will support Uddhav Thackeray till the end. Our commitment is towards a Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray," Pawar had told reporters on Sunday.
Pawar said the Shiv Sena cadre will never digest a different view taken by 40-50 leaders and will stand by Thackeray. The Shiv Sena I know will never digest any rebellion. Shiv Sainiks have immense strength and have built the organisation through a lot of efforts. This will have no impact on the organisation. Uddhav Thakceray will emerge victorious, Pawar said.
15:19 Won't appear before ED tomorrow: Raut
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut says he will not appear before the Enforcement Directorate tomorrow. "I'll not appear before ED tomorrow. I will seek time from ED, but will definitely go.
"I knew ED is going to summon me, I won't kneel down. No matter what the rebel MLAs do, I'll not go to Guwahati. I'm Balasaheb's Shiv Sainik and I'll stay with my party."
15:12 SC issues notices to Team Thackeray, Dy Speaker
Supreme Court issues notice to Deputy Speaker, Secretary of Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly, Centre and others on pleas filed by rebel MLAs against the disqualification notice issued by the Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal against Eknath Shinde and 15 other rebel legislators.
Court also issues notice to Shiv Sena leaders Ajay Chaudhary, Sunil Prabhu and asks them to file a reply within five days. Supreme Court lists the plea for hearing on July 11th.
15:02 Why didn't you move HC, SC asks rebel MLAs
The Supreme Court Monday commenced hearing on the pleas of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, led by minister Eknath Shinde, against the disqualification notice issued by the deputy speaker to them and asked why they did not move the Bombay High Court in the matter.
A vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and J B Pardiwala was told by senior advocate N K Kaul, who appeared for the rebel MLAs, that the Uddhav Thackeray group is in the minority of the legislative party and has been subverting the state machinery.
Kaul said that atmosphere is not conducive for these MLAs in Mumbai as they have been threatened.
He cited the apex court verdict in the Nabam Rebia case of Arunachal Pradesh and said the deputy speaker is not competent to proceed with the disqualification of MLAs when a plea for his own removal is pending. Kaul said 39 MLAs are together against the minority group.
Maharashtra Shiv Sena MLA and minister Eknath Shinde have moved the apex court against the disqualification notice issued by the deputy speaker to him and 15 other rebel legislators, calling the action "illegal and unconstitutional" and seeking a stay on it. Shinde and a sizable number of MLAs rebelled against the leadership of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on June 21 and are currently in Guwahati in Assam. PTI
Shiv Sena firefighter and MP Sanjay Raut
14:36 Not in touch with Shinde, says Raut's brother
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut's brother, Sunil Raut, on Monday dismissed claims that he was in touch with rebel Eknath Shinde, stating that he was a staunch Shiv Sainik and will continue to work for the party till his last breath.
Sunil Raut is a two-time MLA from Mumbai's Vikhroli in Maharashtra.
On Sunday, there were media reports that the rebel Eknath Shinde camp had contacted Sunil Raut and the latter might head towards Guwahati where the rebels has been putting up in hotel since Wednesday.
When asked about the speculation, Sunil Raut said: "Why will I go to Guwahati? I would rather go to Goa to see its natural beauty. Will I go to Guwahati to see the faces of those traitors? I am a Shiv Sainik, and I will work for the party till my last breath."
He further exuded confidence that Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will surely win. "Narayan Rane and Raj Thackeray can say all that they want to say. Uddhav Thackeray will surely win. I was in Shiv Sena and I will remain in this party," he added.
13:57 Won't take Guwahati route: Raut on ED summons
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut dubs ED summons as 'conspiracy'. Raut says he will not take the Guwahati route where rebel Sena MLAs are camping. Raut's brother Sunil, says the summons are an attempt to scare him.
"I just got to know that the ED has sent me a notice. Major developments are taking place in Maharashtra. We all are Shiv Sainiks of (Sena founder) Balasaheb. This is a conspiracy. Even if I am beheaded, I will not take the Guwahati route," Raut said in a tweet in Marathi and tagged BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis.
The Rajya Sabha member also dared the ED to arrest him.
Reports say one of the primary reasons Eknath Shinde and his group of merry men have rebelled against Uddhav Thackeray is that they do not want to be under the scanner of government agencies like Income Tax, ED or CBI.
The Rajya Sabha MP has been asked to depose before the ED at its office in south Mumbai on June 28 and record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said.
In November 2014, the CBI had also questioned former Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sarma in the Saradha scam. In August 2015, Sarma joined the BJP, and since then, the probe against him has not moved.
13:43 Uddhav reassigns portfolios of rebel ministers
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray reshuffles the departments of ministers so that the issues of public interest are not neglected or ignored, his office says. Accordingly here's who got what.
Urban Development, Public Works Dept (Public Undertaking) of Eknath Shinde reassigned to Subhash Desai.
Water supply and Sanitation Dept of Gulabrao Patil given to Anil Parab. Agriculture Dept of Dadaji Bhuse given to Sandipanrao Bhumre.
Higher and Technical Education Department of Uday Samant reassigned to Aaditya Thackeray.
13:25 Uddhav takes away portfolios of rebel ministers
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has handed over portfolios of nine rebel ministers, who are currently camping in Guwahati, to other ministers.
The portfolios of the rebel ministers were being handed over to other ministers for ease of administration, an official statement said.
Nine Maharashtra ministers have so far joined the rebel camp led by Eknath Shinde.
The Sena now has four cabinet ministers, including CM Uddhav Thackeray, Aaditya Thackeray, Anil Parab, and Subhash Desai. Barring Aaditya Thackeray, the rest three are MLCs.
In the tripartite Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by the Sena, the Uddhav Thackeray-led party had 10 Cabinet-rank ministers before the rebellion and four Ministers of State (MoS), including two from the Sena quota. All the four MoS have joined the rebel camp in Guwahati. PTI
13:04 ED summons Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut
And so it begins. The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on June 28 in connection with the Patra Chawl land scam case.
Opposition parties have maintained that the Centre has been using agencies like the CBI, ED and Income Tax Department, to crack down against opposition parties. Summons are issued in old cases, raids and searches are conducted and arrests made and new FIRs are registered based on inputs.
The development comes as the Shiv Sena party battles rebellion from a group of its MLAs, putting a question mark on the future of Maharashtra's Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
The ED in April provisionally attached assets worth more than Rs 11.15 crore of Raut's wife Varsha Raut and two of his associates as part of this investigation.
13:03 Eknath Shinde's supporters gather outside Thane home
Supporters of rebel Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shinde gather outside his residence in Thane.
Shrikant Shinde, Shiv Sena MP and son of Eknath Shinde, says, "It is not a rebellion but what the people of Maharashtra want. What does he (Sanjay Raut) mean by "bringing bodies from Guwahati"? This is not the culture of Maharashtra. He should threaten other people but not us."
Shrikant Shinde, Shiv Sena MP and son of Eknath Shinde, says, "It is not a rebellion but what the people of Maharashtra want. What does he (Sanjay Raut) mean by "bringing bodies from Guwahati"? This is not the culture of Maharashtra. He should threaten other people but not us."
Can Uddhav Thackeray win this war?
12:39 MVA has lost majority in House: Shinde's PIL in SC
Eknath Shinde in his petition filed in Supreme court says, "Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance has lost the majority in the house as 38 of the members of the Shiv Sena Legislature Party have withdrawn their support thus bringing it below the majority in the house."
The Supreme Court is to hear today the plea moved by Eknath Shinde against the disqualification notices issued by the Deputy Speaker against rebel Maharashtra MLAs.
The Shinde camp has challenged the rejection of the no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Narahari Zirwal. The rebels have sought directions to Zirwal to not take any action on the disqualification plea, which was filed by the Shiv Sena last week, till the matter of his removal is decided.
12:13 Yashwant Sinha files his nomination for Prez polls
Opposition's Presidential polls candidate Yashwant Sinha files his nomination at the Parliament in Delhi.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, NC chief Farooq Abdullah and others present with him.
12:00 PIL against Shinde for causing 'turmoil' in Maha
A Public Interest Litigation was filed in the Bombay High Court on Monday against Eknath Shinde, who is leading the group of rebel Shiv Sena MLAs from Maharashtra, for causing a "political turmoil" in the state and instigating an internal disorder in the state government.
The PIL sought appropriate action against the rebel leaders for the "omission of duties and moral wrongs committed, leading to disrespect towards the public rights and good governance".
The litigation, filed by seven citizens of Maharashtra, also sought a direction to the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state to submit a detailed plan of assurance, detailing the process of governance in the absence of several of its ministers.
The plea, filed through advocates Asim Sarode and Ajinkya Udane, further sought the court to direct the rebel leaders to return to the state and resume their duties, and claimed the rebel MLAs were disregarding the oath taken by them under the Constitution.
The petition was mentioned on Monday before a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik for urgent hearing.
The bench said it would assign a date (for hearing). Citizens' public rights are getting ignored due to the current political turmoil that is taking place in the State of Maharashtra.
"It is causing public nuisance to the citizens as the ministers are neglecting their duties, the PIL said. Instead of working for the community, the respondents (Shinde and other rebel MLAs) are aiming at securing personal gains by instigating an internal disorder within the governance of the State," it added.
Canada PM Justin Trudeau with UK PM Boris Johnson
11:36 Zelenskyy to address G7 leaders today
Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be addressing the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) on Monday (local time) to press Western nations for accelerated sanctions on Russia.
President Joe Biden and fellow world leaders huddled in the Bavarian Alps, will hear Monday from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as they mull the next phase of his country's grinding war with Russia, reported CNN.
The conflict has been at the centre of the Group of 7 summit being held inside a century-old mountainside castle in Germany's Bavaria region.
Leaders have decided on new steps to isolate Russia's economy, including a ban on new imports of Russian gold, and are pledging support for Zelenskyy as his country suffers setbacks in the east.
Moreover, President Biden announced that the group will impose new import bans on Russian gold as a punishment for Moscow's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, reported The Hill.US said that the G7 nations will ban the import of Russian gold with the aim of tightening sanctions screws on Moscow.
As the leaders of the world's wealthiest nations gathered in the Bavarian Alps on the sidelines of the G7 Summit, President Joe Biden said, "Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia."
Earlier as well, Biden tweeted, "The United States has imposed unprecedented costs on Putin to deny him the revenue he needs to fund his war against Ukraine. Together, the G7 will announce that we will ban the import of Russian gold, a major export that rakes in tens of billions of dollars for Russia."
Notably, these measures were initially flagged by the United Kingdom. However, a senior US administration representative who spoke on condition of anonymity told reporters that the G7 would make an official announcement on the gold import ban on Tuesday.
A White House readout of Biden's meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz indicated Ukraine was a main topic of conversation.
"The leaders underlined their commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as their continued provision of military, economic, humanitarian, and diplomatic support to help Ukraine defend its democracy against Russian aggression," the White House readout said.
"The leaders also discussed efforts to alleviate the impacts of Russia's war in Ukraine on global food and energy security," added the release.
"Here at this meeting of the G7, as well as at NATO, we will continue to do, collectively, everything we can to make sure that the Ukrainians have what they need in their hands to repel the Russian aggression," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an exclusive interview with CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.
There are other important topics on the agenda, including a new effort to counter China's infrastructure investments in the developing world that have extended Beijing's influence across the globe, reported CNN.
The rising cost of energy, fears of global food shortages and the certain inevitability that war fatigue will set in have lent urgency to the discussions about where the conflict goes next.
Meeting his host, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, on Sunday, Biden sought to underscore the importance of sticking together.
11:24 Alia Bhatt pregnant
Alia Bhatt is pregnant!
The actress who is married to Ranbir Kapoor announced the pregnancy on Instagram. She wrote, "Our baby .. coming soon," and shared a picture of her on a hospital bed smiling at the image of the sonography. The image was masked with a big red heart. Ranbir Kapoor is seen with his back to the camera by her bed.
Alia's mother, Soni Razdan, replied to the Insta post saying, "Congratulations Mama and Papa lion (three heart emojis)."
Ranbir and Alia were married in April at their house, Vastu, in the presence of family and a few close friends. They will be seen sharing screen space for the first time in Ayan Mukerji's Brahmastra.
More on this in a bit.
11:01 Sikh shot dead while sitting in parked car in US
A 31-year-old Indian-origin man was shot dead while sitting in a parked SUV down the street from his home in New York, according to media reports, days after an Indian national was killed after sustaining an apparent gunshot wound to his head in Maryland.
Satnam Singh was found sitting in the car at around 3:46 pm on Saturday in the South Ozone Park section of Queens with gunshot wounds in his neck and torso, the New York Post newspaper reported quoting New York Police Department as saying.
Singh was sitting in the black Jeep Wrangler Sahara borrowed from a friend when a gunman approached and started shooting, New York Daily News reported. Singh was rushed from the scene to Jamaica Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.
Although police said the gunman approached Singh on foot, neighbours said the shots came from a silver-coloured sedan with a black trunk as it passed the Jeep.
"(Singh) was walking up 129th St. going to the car and the other car with the perp in it came up, said neighbour Joan Cappellani. [It] made a U-turn, came back and then Pow! Pow! Pow!' and then went down 129th St," she said. The shooting was caught on her home's security cameras, which NYPD personnel are reviewing," she said.
Detectives were trying to determine if the gunman was aiming at Singh or was hoping to kill the SUV's owner and was unaware who was inside. No arrests have been made. This comes days after Indian national Sai Charan from Telangana was found injured with an apparent gunshot wound inside his SUV in Baltimore, Maryland.
Shiv Sainiks beat a picture of Eknath Shinde with slippers
10:11 Eknath Shinde calls strategy meeting at 2 pm
Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde calls a meeting at 2 pm at the Guwahati hotel they are staying at to discuss further strategy.
Shinde is also moving the Supreme Court against the Shiv Sena's move to disqualify him and 15 other MLAs.
The Eknath Shinde camp has also challenged the rejection of the no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Narahari Zirwal. The rebels have sought directions to Zirwal to not take any action on the disqualification plea, which was filed by the Shiv Sena last week, till the matter of his removal is decided.
09:59 G7 leaders mock Putin over bare-chested pic
The leaders of the Group of Seven on Sunday (local time) mocked Russian President Vladimir Putin over his shirtless, bare-chested horse-riding picture.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau could be heard on a video joking about their impending photoshoot, reported The Hill.
"Jackets on? Jackets off? Shall we take our clothes off?" British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked other leaders sitting around a table.
"We all have to show that we're tougher than Putin."
"We're going to get the bare-chested horseback riding display," Trudeau quipped, referencing a widely shared photo of Putin.
"There you go! There you go! We've got to show them our pecs!" Johnson responded.
Putin has often appeared shirtless in images disseminated by the Kremlin. Putin's predilection for going shirtless doing outdoor activities is part of his carefully crafted strongman image. The Russian president is also an accomplished Taekwondo practitioner, reported The Hill.
The G7 leaders, Johnson and Trudeau joked about Putin during the first day of the three-day G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps, reported The Hill.
Russia was kicked out of what was previously called the G8 in 2014 following its initial invasion of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.
The current G7 nations include the US, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, France, and Japan. -- ANI
09:49 India records 17,073 new Covid cases
India logged 17,073 new coronavirus infections, raising its tally to 4,34,07,046, while the active cases have increased to 94,420, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday.
The death toll has climbed to 5,25,020 with 21 fresh fatalities, data updated at 8 am by the ministry stated. The active cases comprise 0.22 per cent of the total infections.
The national COVID-19 recovery rate was 98.57 per cent, the ministry said. An increase of 1,844 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 case count in a span of 24 hours, the data stated.
The daily positivity rate was recorded at 5.62 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 3.39 per cent, it said.
Shiv Sena rebels at a Guwahati hotel.
09:20 Eknath Shinde speaks to Raj Thackeray
As the political turmoil in Maharashtra continues to unfold, rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shide spoke to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray about the recent political situation in the state, confirmed MNS leader on Monday.
The MNS leader further said that Shinde spoke to Raj Thackeray over the phone twice and also enquired about his health.
"Rebel Shiv Sena MLA Eknath Shide spoke to MNS chief Raj Thackeray over the phone twice. Shinde spoke to Thackeray about the recent political situation in Maharashtra and enquired about his health," an MNS leader confirmed. -- ANI
08:59 Rebelled against Shiv Sena's support to those with Dawood links: Shinde
Launching a fresh attack on Shiv Sena leadership, dissident leader Eknath Shinde on Sunday wondered how could Bal Thackeray's party support the people having a direct connection with Dawood Ibrahim who was responsible for killing innocent Mumbaikars by triggering bomb blasts.
He said the banner of revolt was raised by him and other MLAs to protest against such support and he doesn't care for his life in the bid to save Bal Thackeray's Shiv Sena.
Shinde's tweets on Sunday night are an apparent reference to Nationalist Congress Party minister Nawab Malik who is in jail in connection with a money laundering case allegedly involving relatives of Dawood Ibrahim.
The tweets are also seen as a reply to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut who had termed Shinde and other rebel MLAs 'bodies without souls' which will be sent to the morgue.
'How can Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sena support those who have a direct connection with Dawood who killed innocent Mumbaikars by carrying out Mumbai bomb blasts? We are taking this step to oppose this; Don't care if this step leads us to the brink of death,' Shinde tweeted in Marathi.
In another tweet, the senior Shiv Sena leader said they will consider themselves fortunate if they die while saving Shiv Sena and the ideology of Bal Thackeray.
Shinde had tagged his tweets to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut's Twitter handle.
Earlier in the day, Raut had termed Shinde and other rebel MLAs as 'bodies without souls' which will be sent to the morgue.
'We have learnt a lesson on whom to trust....These are the bodies whose souls have died. Their mind is dead....40 bodies will come from Assam and will be sent directly to the morgue for postmortem,' Raut had said in an apparent reference to the number of MLAs camping in Guwahati with Shinde while addressing Sena cadres. -- PTI
08:26 Maha Guv calls for Central security forces
Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has written to Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla requesting that the adequate provision of Central security forces be made and kept ready if needed, and alleged that police remained a 'mute spectator' while offices and homes of some dissident MLAs were vandalised.
Koshyari had asked Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) Rajnish Seth to provide adequate police protection to the families and homes of rebel MLAs, a police official said on Sunday.
In his letter dated June 25, Koshyari said he had received a representation from 38 Shiv Sena MLAs, two members of the Prahar Janshakti Party and seven Independent MLAs stating that the police security of their families had been 'illegally and unlawfully withdrawn'.
'They have also raised serious concerns about the safety of their homes and families in the context of provocative and threatening statements being made by certain political leaders,' Koshyari wrote to Bhalla.
The governor said he had already issued directions to the state police to provide adequate police protection to the MLAs and their families on an immediate basis.
'Despite this, offices and homes of some MLAs have been vandalized with police being a mute spectator.
'It is accordingly requested that adequate provision of Central security forces be made and kept ready, in case required to address the situation,' he added.
A bulk of Shiv Sena MLAs are camping in Guwahati under the leadership of senior party minister Eknath Shinde demanding the exit of the Sena from the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and raising other issues, a development that has threatened the survival of the state government.
Earlier on Sunday, the Governor was discharged from a hospital in Mumbai after recovering from COVID-19, authorities said.
A day earlier, rebel leader Eknath Shinde had accused the MVA government of withdrawing security from the residences of 38 party rebels, including himself, and their families, and dubbed the action as 'political vendetta', although Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil denied any such move.
In a similarly worded letter to the DGP, the Governor said, 'I, therefore, direct you (DGP) to provide adequate police protection to the MLAs, their families and homes on an immediate basis. I may be apprised of the action taken in this regard.'
Notably, the Centre on Sunday extended Y-plus security cover of Central Reserve Police Force commandos to at least 15 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs, officials said.
Shiv Sena cadres have been staging protests in various parts of the state since Saturday in view of the rebellion by Shinde and other MLAs.
On Saturday, they burnt effigies of some MLAs, tore banners in various cities, and also ransacked the office of an MLA in Pune. -- PTI
IMAGE: Shiv Sena supporters stage a bike rally to protest against the rebel party MLAs outside the Saamana office, in Mumbai on Sunday. Photograph: ANI Photo