Tue, 05 December 2023
Revanth instructs officials ahead of swearing-in

Timeline  Refresh

23:52   RJD's Shivanand Tiwary gets 1 year in jail in defamation case; granted bail
Rashtriya Janata Dal national vice president Shivanand Tiwary was on Tuesday sentenced to one year in prison by a Patna court in a criminal defamation suit filed by Bihar minister Sanjay Kumar Jha five years ago. 

Additional chief judicial magistrate Sarika Bahaliya also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on Tiwari, a former state minister himself. 

According to Jha's counsel Madhukar Anand, "The court has also granted provisional bail to Shivanand Tiwary, and gave him 30 days to appeal against the order." 

Jha, who holds key portfolios like water resources and information and public relations in the Nitish Kumar government, had filed the petition way back in 2018 when he was a national general secretary of the JD-U. 

Jha had moved the court against Tiwary, taking exception to comments the latter had made about his close relationship with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the JD-U's supreme leader. 

Kumar has realigned with the RJD, which he had dumped in 2017, and hinted that he was now willing to pass on the mantle to his deputy Tejashwi Yadav, whose father Lalu Prasad heads the party. -- PTI
A Revanth Reddy (left) with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge/File image
A Revanth Reddy (left) with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge/File image
23:34   Revanth instructs officials ahead of swearing-in
The Congress' Telangana unit chief A Revanth Reddy, who is set to take over as chief minister on December 7, said on Tuesday that officials should be alert in view of the IMD's warnings on the impact of Cyclone Michaung on various districts of the state. 

In a post on X, Reddy said officials should take measures to see that paddy crop is not damaged and people living in low-lying areas do not face trouble. 

"Officials should be alert in view of the IMD's warnings on the impact of the cyclone on various districts in Telangana. Precautions should be taken to see that paddy is not damaged," he said in the post. 

"(The officials) should see that daily life is not troubled in agency and low-lying areas. (They should) be ready to take up the necessary relief measures," he added. 

The severe cyclonic storm Michaung made its landfall, crossing the south Andhra Pradesh coast between 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm. 

Chennai and adjoining districts in neighbouring Tamil Nadu bore the brunt of the cyclone's fury. 

The southern districts of Odisha and eastern Telangana continue to be on alert. -- PTI
23:21   EPFO commissioner arrested in MP for village sarpanch's murder
Indore's Employment Provident Fund Organisation commissioner Mukesh Rawat has been arrested from the Mumbai airport in connection with the murder of a village sarpanch in Gwalior district, the police said on Tuesday. 

Vikram Rawat, sarpanch of Banheri village, was shot dead in Gwalior's Padav area on October 9, said superintendent of police Rajesh Singh Chandel. 

The police had earlier arrested 11 persons in the case, but Rawat was absconding since the killing. 

According to the police, the EPFO commissioner had old enmity with Vikram Rawat's family which led to the murder. 

The police had also announced a reward of Rs 10,000 for Mukesh Rawat's whereabouts. 

He was arrested at the Mumbai airport on Monday and being brought to Gwalior on transit remand, the SP said. 

Rawat was booked for murder and criminal conspiracy and he is also facing another case of alleged abetment of suicide, the official added.  -- PTI
22:47   Eight held for looting Rs 18 lakh by posing as Income Tax officers
Eight persons have been arrested here for allegedly looting Rs 18 lakh from a house in Sion area of the city after claiming to be Income Tax department officers, police said on Tuesday. 

As per the complainant, a 29-year-old woman, four unidentified men visited her residence on Sunday, claiming to be IT department officers conducting a raid. 

They took cash from the house and fled, she said. CCTV footage in the nearby area showed the men using an SUV. 

The police tracked down its owner, Rajaram Mangle, who allegedly confessed to have been part of the gang and subsequently seven more persons were arrested over the last two days, a police official said. 

A bogus identity card of the Income Tax department was seized from one of the arrested men. 

A case under Indian Penal Code sections 342 (wrongful confinement), 420 (cheating), 452 (house trespass) and 468 (forgery) was registered at the Sion police station and further probe was on, the official said. -- PTI
People use a boat to shift to a safer place from a flooded area in Chennai/ANI
People use a boat to shift to a safer place from a flooded area in Chennai/ANI
22:31   TN seeks Rs 5000cr central aid for cyclone relief
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Tuesday demanded an immediate central assistance of Rs 5,000 crore to provide relief to the people and rebuild infrastructure in Chennai and nearby districts hit by incessant rains caused by cyclone Michaung. 

The demand was made by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP and Parliamentary party leader TR Baalu in Lok Sabha and Tiruchi Siva in Rajya Sabha. 

Party MP Kanimozhi drew attention to the issue at a press conference in the national capital, saying the DMK-ruled state is facing an unprecedented situation. 

"In two days, we had 33 cm of rainfall. We faced such bad rains for the first time in the last 47 years. This was worse than the rains we faced in 2015," Kanimozhi told reporters. 

Chennai is facing the brunt with many areas submerged. 

The nearby districts are also impacted and the losses are much more than Rs 4,500 crore, she said. 

"We have demanded a central assistance of Rs 5,000 crore immediately," she added. Kanimozhi said the state government has made all preparations to tackle the situation. Shelter homes and medical relief camps have been set up. 

The National Disaster Response Force is also extending help. -- PTI
Representational image
Representational image
22:11   Train coach catches fire in Bihar, no one hurt
A fire broke out inside a sleeper class coach of a train coming from Delhi on Tuesday evening, while it was on its way to the final stop at Saharsa in Bihar, though nobody was hurt in the incident, a senior official said. 

Smoke began to billow out of the coach when the Purabiya Express, originating at Anand Vihar, was crossing the outer signal of Simri Bakhtiyarpur station, about 20 km from Saharsa, said divisional railway manager of Samastipur Vinay Kumar Srivastava. 

"A railway staff at the outer signal took note and informed the station superintendent of Simri Bakhtiyarpur. By the time the train reached the station, the coach was filled with smoke and flames were rising from the floor," he said. 

"The railway personnel had come prepared for the eventuality. They asked passengers to move aside and not to panic and swiftly put off the fire," he added. 

Prima facie the fire seems to have been caused by brake binding, which takes place when somebody tries to stop a running train by pulling the chain, the DRM said. 

"An inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause," he said.
Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot (left)
Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot (left)
21:47   Pilot under watch prior to 2020 revolt: Gehlot's OSD
Outgoing Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's OSD Lokesh Sharma on Tuesday alleged that the then deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot's movements and phone were tracked and monitored by the Gehlot government in the run-up to and during the rebellion Pilot had staged in 2020. 

There was no immediate reaction from Congress leaders Gehlot and Pilot or their aides on the allegations. 

Sharma, who was denied a ticket to contest the Rajasthan assembly polls and has been criticising Gehlot for the party's defeat in the elections, also said if the incidents of September last year, when a legislature party meeting was not allowed to take place by Gehlot loyalists, had not happened and the Congress observers had carried out the agenda for which they had come, the picture in Rajasthan would have been different. 

The Congress leadership wanted to effect a leadership change and bring in Pilot as the chief minister. 

He said the differences between Gehlot and Pilot "harmed" the party's prospects. 

"When the political crisis of 2020 had come and Pilot ji had left with his 18 MLAs, then in such a situation, the government does put its machinery in to use and everyone is monitored, where do these people go, who do they meet and who do they speak with. So that is done and in that manner their monitoring was also done," Sharma alleged. 

He claimed that the monitoring was happening from before the rebellion as there was some idea that such a thing could happen. -- PTI
File image
File image
21:25   5 university students briefly detained over violence in UP's Noida
Five students of a private university in Greater Noida were briefly taken into custody by the police after a fight broke out between two sides over an argument, officials said on Tuesday. 

The incident, which was captured on mobile phone cameras and surfaced on social media, took place in the Dadri police station area on Monday and was triggered by a previous altercation between them three days ago, they said. 

According to a police official, a girl student was at the centre of the argument between the two warring groups of students. 

"On Tuesday, there was a dispute between two parties of students studying in the same university in the Dadri area over an issue that took place three days ago between Shantanu and Shivam, both residents of Delhi," a police spokesperson said. 

"There was a fight but no information regarding this was given at the Dadri police station nor was it received through any medium. On Tuesday, a fight broke out between the first party's Vedant Deda, Aryan Arora and Ojas Mishra and the second party's Nitish Bhati alias Lucky Bhati and Sushant Bhadana," the spokesperson said. 

The accused students involved in the fight from both sides were detained by the officials of the Dadri police station and they were later let off, according to the official. -- PTI
A flooded road in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh/ANI
A flooded road in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh/ANI
21:11   Cyclone Michaung: 200 paddlers stranded in Andhra
Securing her maiden Under-11 National Ranking title in Vijayawada brought joy and pain in equal measure for young Bengal paddler Sreosree Chakraborty, who is now stuck along with 300 others because of Cyclone Michaung, which has wreaked havoc on India's east coast. 

Cyclone Michaung made landfall in Bapatla, a coastal district of Andhra Pradesh, bringing heavy rainfall in Vijayawada, about 80km away, where the National Ranking TT tournament concluded on Monday. 

A Table Tennis Federation of India official told PTI on Tuesday that there are about 200 players in the age group of U-11 to U-19 stuck along with their family members. 

The Vijayawada National Ranking event was the penultimate round of the five zonal tournaments, which will conclude with the Panchkula leg scheduled from December 8. 

The players are sweating over whether they would be able to reach Panchkula (Haryana) in time for the competition, given the prevailing situation. 

"We are booked on the Tamil Nadu Express to New Delhi from where we will go to Panchkula," Sreosree's father Mrinmoy Chakraborty said from Vijayawada. 

"As of now, there's no update from the Railways. The scheduled time (of departure) here is 4am but we doubt the train will start from Chennai tonight," he said. 

The paddlers have no option but to wait and watch. Valuable ranking points are at stake in the final leg, which will help them qualify for the all-important National Championships. -- PTI
Pic courtesy, Vishnu Vishal on X
Pic courtesy, Vishnu Vishal on X
21:05   Aamir Khan among those rescued in Chennai floods
Six hours ago, when actor Vishnu Vishal posted on X, Water is entering my house and the level is rising badly in Karapakkam, little did the firemen, who responded to the call for help, knew they'll be rescuing a Bollywood superstar too in the process. 

A picture of actor Aamir Khan among the rescued posing with the Chennai Fire Service personnel in a dinghy, posted by Vishal again, took people by surprise. 

Most X users went: 'Wait, is that Aamir Khan?' 

Now, a sub-post, 'what is Aamir Khan doing in Chennai?' is doing the rounds on X with people chipping in with their own speculation. 

Some say he is there for a shoot. Some say he has relocated to Chennai as his mother is undergoing treatment in a hospital there. 

It is not clear if Khan was staying with Vishal when he was rescued. Calls to Vishal did not go through. 

According to industry insiders though, Khan is living in the same apartment complex in Karapakkam as Vishal. 

Among those rescued was also badminton player and Arjuna Awardee Jwala Gutta. 

Meanwhile, state minister for industries, T R B Rajaa, in his X post thanking Vishal's appreciation post, said he was astounded that Khan had waited his turn to be rescued, like any of our fellow citizens instead of pulling strings. Hats off to people like Thiru Khan for being sensitive to the scale of the issue at hand and patiently await their turn, he posted.

-- PTI
File image
File image
20:38   China formally accords diplomatic recognition to Taliban govt in Afghanistan
China has become the first country to confer diplomatic status to a Taliban-nominated official as Afghanistan's Ambassador to Beijing, thereby formally recognising the Taliban-run administration as a legitimate government in Kabul. 

"As a long-standing friendly neighbour of Afghanistan, China believes that Afghanistan should not be excluded from the international community," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing on Tuesday when asked whether China recognised the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. 

Earlier reports from Kabul said China has given Bilal Karimi, a Taliban nominee the status of ambassador and he has submitted his credentials to the foreign ministry in Beijing. 

China along with Pakistan and Russia maintained its embassy in Kabul after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021 following the withdrawal of American troops from the war-ravaged country. 

While maintaining close contact with the Taliban interim administration, Beijing withheld recognition, especially over global criticism of the Taliban's treatment of women and girls, excluding them from educational institutions. -- PTI
20:14   Over 41,000 UCO Bank customers received Rs 820 cr in accounts
The CBI has registered an FIR in a case in which over 41,000 UCO Bank customers received surprise credits of varied amounts in their accounts, totalling Rs 820 crore, during November 10-13 without any corresponding debits in accounts from where the transfers originated, officials said on Tuesday. 

Under an operation, which continued till Tuesday, the agency has searched 13 locations in multiple cities, including Kolkata and Mangalore, in connection with the case, they said. 

The money landed in accounts of UCO Bank customers through 8.53 lakh Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) transactions originating from 14,000 account holders of private banks in three days, the officials said. 

Surprisingly, no corresponding amount was debited from the originating bank accounts, they said. 

Several account holders withdrew the surprise credits from their accounts, the officials said. 

The countrywide transactions resulted in a CBI FIR after UCO Bank approached the central probe agency with a complaint against two support engineers working with it and other unknown persons on allegations of "suspicious" IMPS transactions amounting to approximately Rs 820 crore, they said. 

"During the searches, electronic evidence, including mobile-phones, laptops, computer systems, email archives, and debit or credit cards were recovered," the spokesperson of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said. 

Between November 10 and November 13, IMPS inward transactions from 14,000 account holders across seven private banks were directed to 41,000 UCO Bank account holders, he said. 

"It was further alleged that this intricate network involved a staggering 8,53,049 transactions, and these transactions were mistakenly posted in UCO Bank account-holders records, despite the originating banks registering failed transactions," the spokesperson said. 

He said it was also alleged that several account holders exploited this situation, illicitly withdrawing funds from UCO Bank through various banking channels, thereby benefiting wrongfully from the transaction.
20:00   NLC to deploy lignite mine pumps to de-flood Chennai
State-run NLC India on Tuesday said that it has sent high-capacity pumps used in lignite mines to pump out water from inundated areas in Chennai.

Cyclone Michaung has wreaked havoc across Chennai and its neighbouring districts, inundating the city, causing disruptions in flights and trains.         

"To supplement the efforts of Chennai Corporation, yesterday NLC India Ltd has come forward to lend a helping hand by sending 16 numbers of giant high capacity pumps which are used in NLC lignite Mines," the PSU said in a statement.

Required engineers along with technicians from all three mines of the PSU have left for Chennai with high-capacity giant motor pumps to help drain the water at the earliest in the waterlogged areas.

The cyclone has battered the city with very heavy downpour. Many streets, arterial roads and low-lying areas have become inundated with rain water. 

"The Chennai Corporation is already at full swing engaging their resources in removing the flood waters with the help of giant motor pumps," it said. 

These powerful motor pumps, being used in lignite mines, are capable of pumping out stagnant water quickly at a high rate to bring normalcy by clearing the stagnant water in the waterlogged areas. 
19:16   It's official, Revanth Reddy to be Telangana CM
Telangana Congress chief A Revanth Reddy will be the new chief minister of the state.

Announcing the decision at the party headquarters here on Tuesday, All India Congress Committee general secretary K C Venugopal said the swearing-in will take place on December 7 in Hyderabad.

"After considering the report of observers and after discussion with senior leaders, the Congress president has decided to go with Revanth Reddy as the leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in Telangana," he said. 

Revanth Reddy was the frontrunner for the top post in the state after the party staged a stupendous victory in assembly elections by winning 64 seats in Telangana, upstaging the Bharat Rashtra Samiti.

Venugopal said the Congress Legislature Party in Telangana had unanimously decided to authorise the Congress president to take a decision to appoint the CLP leader in its meeting earlier.

He said the party had appointed four observers including Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, Deepa Dasmunshi, Ajoy Kumar and K J George, besides AICC general secretary in-charge Manikrao Thakre. 

Shivakumar and Thakre were present as Venugopal announced the party high command's decision on Telangana.

He did not answer queries on how many ministers would be sworn in and whether there would be any deputy chief ministers.  -- PTI
Uttam Kumar Reddy
Uttam Kumar Reddy
18:57   Ex-Telangana Cong chief says he is in CM race
Former Telangana Congress president and MLA-elect N Uttam Kumar Reddy on Tuesday said is in the race for the chief minister's post.

Speaking to reporters in Delhi, Reddy said he is well qualified for the job being a seven-time MLA and a staunch loyalist of the Congress party besides having a good track record of having served in the armed forces.

"I worked in the Indian armed forces before joining politics. I have a good track record. I hope that they will examine my name also (for the CM post). I was also PCC president and also minister in the United Andhra Pradesh," he said when asked if he was in the race for the CM post.

He, however, said he will abide by the decision of the party's senior leadership.

A meeting of the newly-elected Congress MLAs in Telangana on Monday resolved to authorise Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge to appoint the leader of the Congress Legislature Party.

The party sources said the top leadership has zeroed in on the PCC chief Revnath Reddy for the top post of the state.  -- PTI
18:14   INDIA meet deferred to third week of December?
A meeting of the top leaders of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) has reportedly been deferred to the third week of December after some of them expressed their inability to attend it due to their preoccupations.

Another meeting convened by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge at his residence in New Delhi on Wednesday with the floor leaders of the INDIA constituents in Parliament will, however, go ahead according to its schedule to formulate the opposition strategy for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The decision was taken as some leaders of the bloc, including Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav, said they will not be able to attend Wednesday's meeting.

Gurdeep Sappal, Congress Working Committee (CWC) member and coordinator of the Congress president's office, said on X: 'A coordination meeting of parliamentary party leaders of INDIA alliance will be held at 6 pm on December 6 at the residence of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge.'

'Thereafter meeting of party presidents/heads of the INDIA alliance will be scheduled in third week of December at a date convenient to all,' Sappal, who is also a member of the Campaign Committee of the INDIA, said.

Sources said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is unwell while his Tamil Nadu counterpart, M K Stalin, is unable to attend Wednesday's meet due to a cyclone that has hit the southern state.

Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, is busy with a family wedding, the sources said.

They said the three leaders had requested the Congress chief to postpone the meeting.

"But the INDIA bloc meeting is on. It will be attended by the floor leaders of the parties at 6 pm on Wednesday at the 10, Rajaji Marg residence of the Congress president," a source said.

Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi said the meeting has not been postponed as some chief ministers were unable to attend it.

She said the meeting will take place on December 6 and coordination and seat sharing will be discussed among the leaders.

Subsequently, the top leadership of various opposition parties will endorse the same during their meeting later in December, Chaturvedi added.

Rubbishing speculation that the recent Assembly poll results have created fissures within the INDIA bloc, Congress leader Naseer Hussain said the election outcome would have no bearing on the opposition unity and its alliance is intact.

SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said Akhilesh Yadav has no plans to attend the meeting on Wednesday.   -- PTI
17:58   'Sonia won't make me PM': Pranab had told daughter
"No, she will not make me the PM," was Dr Pranab Mukherjee's cryptic response in a reference to Sonia Gandhi when he was asked by his daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee about his chances of becoming the prime minister in 2004.

Sharmistha recalls her father's reply after Sonia Gandhi's decision to withdraw from the prime ministerial race in her upcoming book In Pranab, My Father: A Daughter Remembers.

In the book, the former Congress spokesperson who quit politics in 2021 provides a glimpse into the illustrious life of her father, where she also says that he did not have any rancour against Sonia Gandhi for not making him the prime minister, and definitely not against the man chosen -- Dr Manmohan Singh.

Through her father's diary entries, personal stories narrated to her and her own research, Sharmistha uncovers new, hitherto unknown facets of his political life -- his unfulfilled ambition of becoming India's prime minister arising out of his inability to emerge as the 'number one person' to earn Sonia Gandhi's trust, the personality cult around the Nehru-Gandhi family and Rahul Gandhi's lack of charisma and political understanding among other things, according to the book's publishers Rupa Publications.

Dr Mukherjee served as India's finance minister and subsequently became minister for External Affairs, Defence, Finance and Commerce. He was India's 13th president (2012 to 2017). He died on August 31, 2020 at the age of 84.

As the president of the single largest party Congress to win the Lok Sabha elections in 2004, Sonia Gandhi was tipped to be the prime minister and had the full support of the coalition partners. But she renounced her claim to be the prime minister - a decision that took the nation, including her own party colleagues and coalition partners, by surprise.

In the chapter titled The PM India Never Had, Sharmistha also writes: 'Following Sonia's decision to withdraw from the prime ministerial race, there was intense speculation within the media and political spheres.

'The names of Dr Manmohan Singh and Pranab were being discussed as the top contenders for the position. I did not have the chance to meet Baba for a couple of days as he was terribly busy, but I spoke to him over the phone. I asked him excitedly if he was going to become the PM. His response was blunt, 'No, she will not make me the PM. It'll be Manmohan Singh.' He added, 'But she should announce it fast. This uncertainty is not good for the country'.'

The author goes on to add that if her father harboured any disappointment about not being named the prime minister, it did not reflect in his diaries. He told a journalist that he did not have any expectation from Sonia Gandhi to make him the prime minister.

'If there's no expectation, there's no disappointment as well,' the book, which will be launched on Mukherjee's birth anniversary on December 11, says.

'It is generally believed that Pranab had a chance to become the PM earlier in 1984 as well, after Indira Gandhi's assassination, and not just in 2004,' it adds.

Sharmistha says that people often asked her whether her father actually harboured the ambition to become the prime minister and she posed this question to him during the UPA-I era.

'His response was emphatic. He said, 'Of course, I would like to be the prime minister. Any politician worth his salt has this ambition. But just because I want it does not necessarily mean I am going to get it,' she writes.

She then drew her own conclusions: 'Pranab Mukherjee definitely had the desire to be the PM, but he also came to terms with the fact that he was not going to become one.'

Sharmistha says Mukherjee's diary entries from those days contain very sketchy details, perhaps indicating a lack of time owing to a busy and hectic schedule filled with meetings and consultations with various stakeholders. 

On 17 May 2004, he wrote, 'Sonia Gandhi decides to withdraw from Prime Ministerial candidature. BJP's vicious campaign. Myself, Manmohan, Arjun, Ahmed Patel and Ghulam Nabi were called. We are stunned.'

On 18 May, he wrote, 'Sonia Gandhi sticks to her decision. Countrywide agitation. Allies are also shocked. CPP meeting emotionally surcharged. Appeal to her to reconsider. Work up to 1 am.'

'On 19 May, almost with a sigh of relief, he wrote, 'Issues resolved. Manmohan Singh becomes PM designate. Manmohan and Soniaji met President and the President was pleased to give mandate to form the government to Manmohan Singh',' the book says.

Sharmistha mentions that though at that time, her father didn't write anything more, on December 31, while recounting major events of the year, he wrote, 'Most surprising was the amazing sacrifice of Sonia Gandhi by refusing to accept the Prime Ministership of the country despite pressure from within the party and outside. Her decision saved the country from a bitter confrontation between BJP and Congress.'

She also writes that her father felt Sonia Gandhi was 'intelligent, hardworking and keen to learn. Once he told me that unlike many political leaders, her biggest strength was that she knew and recognised her weaknesses and was willing to work hard to overcome them. She knew that she lacked political experience but worked hard to understand the complexities of Indian politics and society'.

One of the early references in his diaries about Rahul Gandhi was on January 29, 2009, in the context of a CWC meeting that had discussions on strategies for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections that year as one of the agendas, the book says. After that, there are few references in his diaries of Rahul Gandhi visiting him at his residence.

'Pranab described him as 'very courteous' and 'full of questions', which he took as a sign of Rahul's desire to learn. But he felt that Rahul was 'yet to mature politically'. Rahul continued to meet Pranab at Rashtrapati Bhavan, though not very frequently. Pranab advised him to join the Cabinet and gain some first-hand experience in governance. Rahul obviously did not heed the advice, as we all know,' the book says.

'During one of these visits on 25 March 2013, Pranab noted, 'He has interest in diverse range of subjects but moves very quickly from one subject to another. I don't know how much he listened and absorbed',' it adds.  -- PTI
DNV Senthilkumar
DNV Senthilkumar
17:24   DMK MP calls north 'gaumutra states', sparks row
A DMK MP sparked a controversy in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday by describing Hindi heartland states as "gaumutra states", and said the BJP can win elections only there and not in south India. 

Participating in a debate in the Lower House on two bills related to Jammu and Kashmir, D N V Senthilkumar said people of this country should think that the power of the BJP is only winning elections "in the heartland states of Hindi and what we generally called as gaumutra states". 

The comments come against the backdrop of some referring to the recent assembly election results as a 'North-South divide' after the BJP trounced the Congress in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and the Congress won in Telangana. 

Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Senthilkumar said, "You (BJP) cannot come to South India. You see all the results of what happens in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka ... we are very strong over there." 

He went on to say, "We will not be surprised if you have an option of converting all these states into Union territories so that you can come into indirect power because you can never dream of setting foot over there and taking control of all the southern states."
17:00   Cyclone: NDRF ready with 12 teams in landfall area
NDRF personnel deployed on Bapatla coast in Andhra Pradesh as Cyclone Michuang makes landfall.  "We have deployed 12 teams, which are ready for rescue operations," says Zahid Khan, Commandant NDRF. 

 India Meteorological Department said on Tuesday that the landfall process of the severe cyclonic storm 'Michaung', which began earlier in the day near Bapatla on the Andhra Pradesh coast is likely to be complete in the next 2 hours. 

 According to the IMD, the severe cyclonic storm Michaung has moved northwards with a speed of 10 kilometres per hour during the past 6 hours and is now crossing the coast with a windspeed of 90-100 kilometres per hour, gusting to 110 kilometres per hour. The landfall process will complete in the next 2 hours. the Met department added.
KBK Infographics
KBK Infographics
16:40   Terrific Tuesday: Sensex breaches 69k-mark
Benchmark stock indices Sensex and Nifty settled at new peaks on Tuesday, rallying for the sixth straight session amid massive buying in power and utility sector shares. 

 The 30-share BSE Sensex jumped 431.02 points, or 0.63 per cent, to close at a new record high of 69,296.14.

 The broader index Nifty also climbed 168.50 points, or 0.81 per cent to hit its lifetime high of 20,855.30. 

 The market capitalisation of BSE-listed firms surged by more than Rs 2.5 lakh crore to cross Rs 350 lakh crore on Tuesday. 

 Analysts said the positive sentiment was fuelled by unabated inflow of foreign funds on the back of robust sentiment built up over favourable macroeconomic data in the previous week and the results of assembly polls of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh that raised expectations of longer political stability in the country. 

 Also, investors are expecting the Reserve Bank to maintain the status quo on the interest rate in its bi-monthly monetary policy decision to be announced on Friday, they said.

 Among major Sensex movers, Power Grid rose the most by 4.46 per cent, NTPC by 3.89 per cent, SBI by 2.31 per cent and ICICI Bank by 2.28 per cent. Other gainers included Mahindra & Mahindra, Titan and Maruti. On the other hand, Hindustan Unilever, HCL Tech, Bajaj Finance remained laggards with losses of up to 1.49 per cent.
16:18   1 flag, 1 PM, 1 Constitution: Shah lectures LS
Union Home Minister Amit Shah Tuesday asserted that the concept of "one flag, one prime minister, one constitution" was not a political slogan and the BJP firmly believes in the principle and finally implemented it with regard to Jammu and Kashmir. 

 Responding to a remark by TMC's Saugata Roy in the Lok Sabha that "ek nishan, ek pradhan, ek samvidhan (one flag, one head, one constitution)" was a "political slogan", Shah wondered as to how can a country have two prime ministers, two constitutions and two flags. 

 He said Roy's remarks were "objectionable". 

 While responding to a remark from the opposition benches, Shah said, "Whosoever did it was wrong. Narendra Modi has corrected it. Your approval or disagreement does not matter. The entire country wanted it."

 This comment was made in an apparent reference to the abrogation of provisions of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. He went on to state that "one symbol, one head, one constitution" was not an election slogan. 

"We had been saying since 1950 that a country should have one PM, one flag and one constitution and two will not do and we have done it." 

 Soon after Roy ended his speech on the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said while the TMC leader mentioned Syama Prasad Mukherjee, he should have also recalled his sacrifice. 

 Roy said he had taught in a college named after Mukherjee and "ek nishan, ek pradhan, ek samvidhan" was his slogan and it was a "political slogan". Shah then rose to hit back at the TMC member. -- PTI
A flooded underpass in Chennai
A flooded underpass in Chennai
16:00   TN sets up 61000 relief camps, 11L food pkts given
A dozen people lost their lives in various rain-related incidents in and around the city while personnel on fishing boats and farm tractors were engaged in rescuing stranded people on Tuesday. 

The city and adjoining districts faced relentless rains on Monday as the severe cyclonic storm Michaung loomed over the north coastal areas of Tamil Nadu. 

 Eleven others, who sustained injuries in rain-related incidents, were receiving treatment in various hospitals, officials said. Several District Disaster Response Teams (DDRT) were formed to carry out relief work in all rain-affected areas across the city.

 In Muthialpet locality in the city's outskirts, 54 families were rescued, and a woman who had just given birth was relocated to a safer place from Saligramam in the city. 

 More than 250 people from low-lying areas found refuge at a school camp in Kotturpuram. Additionally, 22 passengers stranded after their local bus got stuck in rainwater, were transferred to a relief camp set up at the Middle School in Pallavaram. 

 Since Tuesday morning, most parts of Chennai experienced a respite from rains, allowing officials to focus on rescue and relief operations in affected areas. 

 During a press conference at the Chennai Corporation headquarters on Tuesday morning, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin stated that relief measures were being undertaken on a war footing. Stalin mentioned that across the nine affected districts, including Chennai, a total of 61,666 relief camps were established. 

Approximately 11 lakh food packets and one lakh milk packets have been distributed so far, he said. The Chennai Corporation has brought in 5000 workers from other districts for flood mitigation works in the city. 

These workers used farm tractors and fishing boats in flooded areas such as Periamet and other parts of north Chennai for rescue operations and distributing relief materials. -- PTI
15:47   BJP MPs mock Oppn for blaming EVMs for poll rout
As some opposition leaders have raised questions on EVMs after Assembly poll results were announced in five states, BJP leaders mocked them on Tuesday, saying they are looking for excuses to hide their own shortcomings. 

 As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged victorious in three Hindi heartland states -- Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh -- in the recent round of Assembly polls, several opposition leaders raised questions over electronic voting machines, even as some said they had faith in the EVMs. 

 Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh slammed the opposition and said they blame EVMs whenever they fail to win elections. 

 "There is nothing new. The opposition, whoever it may be, when they win, they are fine with the EVMs, but when they lose, they blame it on the EVMs," he said. Another BJP leader, S P Singh Baghel, said, "With these EVMs, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won elections in Delhi thrice and in Punjab once, the Samajwadi Party (SP) got an absolute majority (in Uttar Pradesh) in 2012, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) got an absolute majority (in Uttar Pradesh) in 2007 and the Congress won Telangana." 

 He used an idiom -- "Naach na jane angan tedha (a bad workman blames his tools)" -- to explain the situation. Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) MP Chirag Paswan said the opposition is being repetitive. 

 "There is nothing new, but if you are raising questions in three states, also question the Telangana victory. This is a done-to-death formula. It is repetitive. Why do you go for campaigning if you think the EVMs are manipulated? You do selective criticism in states where you have lost elections. You need to accept and understand your loss," he said. 

 Senior BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said EVMs have been around for a long time. "EVMs have been there for the last 18-19 years. They (opposition) do not raise these questions when they win elections. Do they not trust people? I think after repeated defeats, it is ridiculous that the opposition still raises this," he said. 

 Actor and BJP MP Ravi Kishan said, "It was known that they would blame the EVMs. Their brains have stopped working. Their corruption and appeasement have been rejected by people, so they are saying such immature things," he said.

 "The country has rejected the opposition. In the future, the BJP will win every election," he asserted. Actor-turned-politician Dinesh Lal Yadav Nirahua said, "The opposition will keep crying over EVMs and (Prime Minister Narendra) Modiji will come back with 400 (Lok Sabha) seats next year." 

 Several opposition leaders said the doubts over the EVMs have been growing. Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Saugata Roy said there are concerns that should be addressed. "Our party has not taken a decision on this but there are, obviously, questions. Many opposition parties have raised the question that EVMs can be manipulated by telephone. Also, an Israeli technology has come into question in this matter. The government has taken a pro-Israel stand in the recent conflict (between Israel and Hamas). This needs to be looked into thoroughly," Roy said. 

 "The results in several states were very surprising and led to the doubt about EVM functioning," he added. BSP MP Danish Ali said he has always been against EVMs.
15:04   Kolkata is India's safest city, 2nd safest is...
Kolkata emerged as the safest city in India for the third consecutive year, recording the least number of cognisable offences per lakh population among metropolises, a report published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) said. 

 The eastern metropolis, which reported 86.5 cases of cognisable offences per lakh people in 2022, was followed by Pune (280.7) and Hyderabad (299.2), the NCRB data stated. 

 Cognisable crimes are those for which cases are registered under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and SLL (Special and Local Laws). According to the NCRB report, Kolkata had registered 103.4 cases of cognisable crimes per lakh people in 2021, which dropped to 86.5 this year. In 2020, the count was 129.5. 

 In 2021, Pune and Hyderabad had reported 256.8 and 259.9 cognisable offences per lakh population, respectively. The rankings were issued after comparison among 19 cities with over 20 lakh population.

 Kolkata, however, recorded an increase in crimes against women as the number of cases rose from 1,783 in 2021 to 1,890 in 2022, the report stated. The crime rate against women in Kolkata was at 27.1 per lakh population, greater than Coimbatore's 12.9 and Chennai's 17.1.
15:02   Maharashtra has the most riots in India
Maharashtra has recorded as many as 8,218 cases of rioting in 2022, the highest in the country for the year, the latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has revealed.

 The NCRB, which functions under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, released the report 'Crime in India 2022' on Monday. As per this report, Maharashtra ranked second (after Uttar Pradesh) in the registration of criminal cases under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

 The data also showed that the state stood third in cases of murder (at 2,295) after Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in 2022, and ranked fourth in rape cases (at 2,904) after Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. As per the report, Maharashtra registered a total of 3,74,038 criminal cases (under the IPC sections) in 2022 as compared to 3,67,218 in 2021 and 3,94,017 in 2020. Uttar Pradesh recorded as many as 4,01,787 cases in 2022, which is the highest in the country for the year. 

There was a significant rise in the number of rioting cases in Maharashtra last year, which took the state to the top position in this category. These cases were registered under IPC sections 147 to 151 (pertaining to rioting and unlawful assembly), it said. Maharashtra recorded a total of 8,218 rioting cases, in which 9,558 persons were victims, the data showed.

 Twenty-eight of these rioting cases were linked to communal and religious issues, 75 cases to political issues and 25 others to caste-related conflicts. Bihar ranked second with 4,736 cases of rioting and is followed by Uttar Pradesh with 4,478 such cases, the report said. Maharashtra registered 2,295 cases of murder, in which 2,365 persons were named as victims last year, it said. 

 The state ranked third in the list after Uttar Pradesh, which recorded 3,491 murder cases and Bihar that saw 2,930 such cases, it added. Maharashtra ranked fourth in rape cases after Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The state recorded 2,904 incidents of rape in 2022, whereas Rajasthan was at the top position with 5,399 cases in this category, the NCRB report said, adding that Uttar Pradesh ranked second with 3,690 cases and Madhya Pradesh third with 3,029 cases.

 There were 5,209 cases of assault on women under section 354 of the IPC (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) in Maharashtra in 2022, whereas 2,946 incidents of sexual harassment were recorded under section 354(A), the report said, adding that among the cases of sexual harassment, 46 were reported as harassment at work office premises. PTI
14:59   Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena shot dead
Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena chief Sukhdev Singh Gogamedia shot dead by unidentified assailants, two injured: Jaipur police commissioner.
14:50   Revanth Reddy to take oath as T'gana CM on Dec 7
Revanth Reddy is all set to be the new Chief Minister of Telangana. He is likely to take oath on December 7 and a few ministers will also be taking oath along with him. A unanimous decision was taken in the CLP meet in Hyderabad and the final decision to appoint the CM was left to the party high command, says ANI quoting sources.  

 The 56-year-old Congress leader is known among fellow politicians, partymen and people for his never-say-die attitude.

A fierce critic of BRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, Reddy, the Telangana Congress chief, is often the target of virulent political attacks by the BRS and the AIMIM.

The BRS leaders attack him for changing parties, with regard to the 2015 'cash for vote' case in which he was arrested and for allegedly being the "agent of" TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu.
14:32   'Politics can't be a part time job'
"Madhya Pradesh has become a BJP state. It is the laboratory of the BJP since the formation of the state. The party has strong roots and this 2023 victory has strengthened those roots further," says Professor Yatindra Singh Sisodia, Director, Madhya Pradesh Institute of Social Science Research, Ujjain.

"The Congress has to revisit its politics in the third decade of the 21st century. They are still doing the politics of the 1980s and 1990s which is not working," Professor Sisodia tells's Archana Masih.

14:30   I am NOT a CM contender: Shivraj Chouhan
After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged victorious with a thumping majority in Madhya Pradesh in the recent assembly polls, many senior party leaders eyeing for the post of the chief minister. 

Amid this, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that he has never been a contender for the Chief Minister before nor is he one now.

CM Chouhan made the remark while speaking to ANI on Tuesday and he also extended gratitude to the public of the state for a clear mandate to the party.

"I have never been a contender for the Chief Minister post, nor am I today. As a worker, I will always do whatever work the party gives me with my full dedication, capacity and honesty. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is our leader and I always felt proud and happy working with him," CM Chouhan said.

The BJP leader also claimed that he considered himself fortunate to get the opportunity to work with PM Modi.

"I consider myself fortunate that PM Modi is our leader and I have got the opportunity to work with him. Under the leadership of PM Modi, a glorious, prosperous and powerful India is being built and we are the tools for building such an India. I have full faith that under the leadership of PM Modi, India will lead the world. As a worker, I have always dedicated myself to fulfilling this mission," Chouhan said.

He further said that he was grateful to the people of Madhya Pradesh for their love and support in the assembly elections 2023.

"I am deeply grateful to the people of Madhya Pradesh that we have received their immense love and blessings in the assembly elections 2023. We have received unprecedented public support. Being a family member, we will continue to work for them. I am a party worker, and have tried to complete the work given to me by the party with complete honesty and integrity to the best of my ability," he added. -- ANI
14:17   TMC, JMM, SP can't attend, INDIA meet postponed
Amid reports of difference cropping up between various parties in the INDIA bloc, the alliance has decided to reschedule the meeting of party heads to the third week of December. 

Earlier Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge had called a meeting of the INDIA bloc leaders for Wednesday. This however was met with lukewarm response by several of the front leaders. 

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee claimed that she would go ahead with her state programs as she was not aware of the meeting call. "I don't know, I have no information so I kept a programme in North Bengal...If we had the information, we wouldn't have scheduled those programmes. We would have definitely gone (for the meeting), but we have not received any information," the TMC chief said on Monday. 

 According to Congress sources, several key opposition leaders will not be able to attend the meeting that was earlier scheduled on Wednesday. 

 Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin will not be able to come to Delhi as several areas of the state have been badly hit by Cyclone Mandous. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will not be able to make it to the national capital owing to his illness.

 Similarly, West Bengal Mamata Banerjee would have given it a miss owing to a wedding in her family. 

 Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren had informed Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge of his inability to make it for a meeting on Wednesday. "I will be busy here. I spoke to Kharge Ji yesterday, maybe a representative from our side will go" Hemant Soren told reportes in Ranchi. 

 However, a coordination meeting of Parliamentary leaders of the INDIA bloc will be held at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge residence on Wednesday.
13:50   Cyclone landfall process begins, 110 kmph winds
Severe cyclonic storm Michaung's landfall is currently underway with the eye of the cyclone situated near Bapatla in south Andhra Pradesh coast, said an official on Tuesday. 

The weather system over the west-central Bay of Bengal, running along and off the south Andhra Pradesh coast is moving nearly northwards, parallel and close to the south Andhra Pradesh coast and is expected to complete crossing in the next two hours, the official said.

 Cyclone 'Michaung' landfall process close to the South Andhra Pradesh Coast has started and is likely to continue for the next 3 hours, the Indian Meteorological Department said on Tuesday.

"The system is likely to move nearly northwards and cross the south Andhra Pradesh coast close to Bapatla during the next 2 hours as a severe Cyclonic Storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 90-100 kmph gusting to 110. The landfall process is continuing and likely to continue for the next 3 hours," the IMD forecasted.

 The Amaravati Meteorological Centre noted that the intensity of gales near the centre of the severe cyclonic storm is 90-100 km per hour and gusting up to 110 kmph.
Israeli soldiers fire into Gaza. Amir Cohen/Reuters
Israeli soldiers fire into Gaza. Amir Cohen/Reuters
13:00   63 journalists in Gaza killed in Israeli strikes
The Committee to Protect Journalists put out their latest death toll update on Monday. The group began recording journalist deaths in 1992 -- they say this war has led to their deadliest month on record, reports the BBC.

As of December 4, at least 63 journalists and media workers were confirmed dead: 56 Palestinian, 4 Israeli, and 3 Lebanese11 journalists were reported injured3 journalists were reported missing19 journalists were reported arrested.

Multiple assaults, threats, cyberattacks, censorship, and killings of family members.

These killings are among the more than 16,000 killed since the war began on October 7 -- with more than 15,800 Palestinian deaths in Gaza and the West Bank, and 1,200 deaths in Israel.

The deadliest day of the war for journalists was the first day, October 7, with six journalists killed; the second-deadliest day was November 18, when five were killed.
12:35   Akhilesh to skip INDIA bloc meet tomorrow
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav has no plans to attend the INDIA bloc meeting scheduled in Delhi on December 6, Samajwadi Party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said on Tuesday. 

 When asked if the decision was taken after the declaration of assembly poll results in four states, the spokesperson said there was no information about the meeting earlier. 

 "The Samajwadi party national president has no plans to attend the meeting of the INDIA bloc tomorrow. Prof. Ram Gopal Yadav or any other leader authorised by the national president will go for the meeting," Chaudhary told PTI. 

 Leaders of the opposition INDIA bloc are set to meet at the residence of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge in Delhi on December 6 to formulate a strategy for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. 

 After the announcement of the results of the recent assembly elections in four states, the SP chief on Monday said he was not disappointed and expressed hope that results will be different in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

 He had, however, stressed that opposition parties will have to make a lot of preparations to fight against a "big party" like the BJP.

 "The fight is big. To fight a big party like the BJP, we will have to make a lot of preparations. We have to be under strict discipline and have to fight the strategy with which they (BJP) are getting the majority. I hope the results will be different in the Lok Sabha polls," Yadav had told reporters in Varanasi.
12:32   House explodes after suspect fires flare gun at cops in US
A massive explosion was reported at a house in Arlington in the US after a suspect fired a flare gun inside a house at police personnel who were executing a search warrant, police said.

 According to Arlington County Police Department, the fire department is working to extinguish the blaze. Arlington County police put out the alert just after 8:15 pm Monday (local time). 

It said that the incident occurred in the 800 block of N Burlington Street in the Bluemont neighborhood. The County Police Department said that it is investigating a suspect who has discharged a flare gun from his residence and police advised people to avoid the area.

12:22   For Rahul Gandhi and Congress, it's time to confront questions
The outcome of the 'transformation people cannot even imagine' was that the Congress got zero seats for the first time in history with a bare 9.7 per cent of the votes two years later in 2015, writes Sanjay K Jha. Read the column here. 
12:16   Chennai floods: IndiGo says 550 flights cancelled
IndiGo says 550 flights have been cancelled after Chennai airport shut down due to torrential rain and flooding. 

Rains have stopped, and water has receded in the Chennai airport area and there is no water stagnation in the runways or taxiways, officials said adding that a lot of slush and filth was being cleared out. 

Airport officials said that priority is given for departures to clear the stranded passengers at the airport. There are 21 aircraft on ground and around 1500 passengers inside the Terminals at Chennai Airport, officials said, adding that an adequate quantity of food is available in the airport outlets. 

Cyclone Michaung wreaked havoc in Chennai and adjoining districts on Monday leading to shutting down of air services to and from the city's airport.
An underpass in Chennai which is battling floodwaters
An underpass in Chennai which is battling floodwaters
11:47   Michaung: 9000 people evacuated from AP coast
About 9,450 people were evacuated to safety as severe cyclonic storm Michaung is expected to make landfall close to Bapatla in south Andhra Pradesh coast within the next four hours. 

 According to IMD, during landfall, Michaung is expected to bring gales with speeds of 90 100 km per hour, gusting up to 110 kmph. 

The weather system over the west-central Bay of Bengal, running along and off the south Andhra Pradesh coast, is likely to move nearly northwards, parallel and close to the south Andhra Pradesh coast, Met Department said. As of 8.30 am on Tuesday, the weather system had moved at a speed of 12 Kmph over the past six hours, positioning itself near latitude 15.2 degrees north and longitude 80.25 degrees east. 

 According to the latest bulletin from the IMD, the weather system situated 40 km northeast of Kavali, 80 km north to northeast of Nellore, 80 km south to southwest of Bapatla, and 140 km south to southwest of Machilipatnam. -- PTI
11:36   Look who's outside Parliament house today...
On the Ethics Committee report, TMC MP Mahua Moitra says, "I don't know whether they will place it or not."
11:32   India is set to become 3rd largest economy by...
India will become the world's third largest economy by 2030, S&P Global Ratings said on Tuesday as it forecast the nation's GDP growth reaching 7 per cent in 2026-27 fiscal year. 

 In its Global Credit Outlook 2024, S&P saw a 6.4 per cent GDP growth in the fiscal year through March 2024 (2023-24) as compared to 7.2 per cent in the previous financial year. The growth rate will remain at 6.4 per cent in the next fiscal (2024-25) before climbing to 6.9 per cent in the next and 7 per cent in 2026-27, the rating agency said. 

"We see India reaching 7 per cent in 2026-27 fiscal. India is set to become the third-largest economy by 2030, and we expect it will be the fastest growing major economy in the next three years," S&P said. India currently is the fifth largest economy in the world behind the US, China, Germany and Japan. "A paramount test will be whether India can become the next big global manufacturing hub, an immense opportunity. Developing a strong logistics framework will be key in transforming India from a services-dominated economy into a manufacturing-dominant one," it said.

Unlocking the labour market potential will largely depend upon upskilling workers and increasing female participation in the workforce. 

 "Success in these two areas will enable India to realize its demographic dividend," it said. 

 S&P said a booming domestic digital market could also fuel expansion in India's high-growth startup ecosystem during the next decade, especially in financial and consumer technology. In the automotive sector, India is poised for growth, building on infrastructure, investment, and innovation, it added. PTI
11:22   INDIA bloc strategises ahead of Parl Day 2
Ahead of the second day of the winter session, the meeting of INDIA bloc Parliamentary leaders was held at the office of the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge. 

 The meeting was called by Congress president, Mallikarjun Kharge. Several leaders including AAP MP Raghav Chadha whose suspension was revoked in the Rajya Sabha, Congress MP Pramod Tiwari, TMC MP Derek O'Brien, LoP in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Jairam Ramesh are present in the meeting. 

 Meanwhile, Congress MP Manish Tewari on Tuesday gave an Adjournment Motion Notice in the Lok Sabha and demanded a discussion on the death penalty for eight former Indian Navy personnel in Qatar.

 "Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta, and Sailor Ragesh, were sentenced by the Qatari court on October 26, 2023. I have been constantly raising this matter since August 2022 both inside and outside the House but the response of the Government has been - NO RESPONSE for -14 months," Tewari said in his notice. 

 The Central government is set to move the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in the Lok Sabha later on Tuesday for consideration and passage.
10:58   Investor wealth rises by Rs 2.4L cr this morning
Equity investors became richer by Rs 2.4 lakh crore as key benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty scaled new peaks in morning trade on Tuesday, amid persistent foreign fund inflows. 

 Analysts said foreign institutional investors have reversed their selling strategy and have been consistent buyers during the last seven days. 

This momentum is a reflection of institutional confidence in the Indian market, they said. 

 The 30-share BSE Sensex jumped 169.94 points, or 0.25 per cent, to a new peak of 69,035.06 in early trade. The broader index Nifty also climbed 52.60 points, or 0.25 per cent, to hit its all-time high of 20,739.40. Following the rally, the market capitalisation of BSE-listed firms jumped by Rs 2.4 lakh crore to Rs 345.88 lakh crore in morning deals on Tuesday, from Rs 343.48 lakh crore on Monday. 

 Among the Sensex firms, Adani Enterprises and Adani Ports sustained their gaining momentum and traded higher by 4.40 per cent and 4.37 per cent, respectively. BPCL, Axis Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra and SBI were the other major gainers. 

 As many as 20 stocks of the 30-share benchmark were trading in the positive territory. Among Nifty stocks, 29 shares registered gains. In six trading sessions, investors' wealth has gone up by Rs 17.16 lakh crore. 

 In the broader market, the BSE midcap gauge jumped 0.54 per cent and smallcap index climbed 0.50 per cent. The combined market valuation of all listed companies on the BSE reached the USD 4 trillion-milestone for the first time ever on November 29. 

 The market capitalisation of listed companies on the NSE has surpassed the USD 4 trillion (Rs 334.72 trillion) mark for the first time ever on Friday. -- PTI
A waterlogged Chennai airport
A waterlogged Chennai airport
10:27   Chennai airport operational but runway muddy
Chennai Airport has resumed operations after being temporarily shut down due to heavy rains that caused flooding and waterlogging on the runways, said an airport official.

The airport will be open for both arrivals and departures from 0900 hours IST onwards.

According to a statement released by the airport authorities, the rains have stopped, and the water has receded. However, there is a lot of slush and filth on the runways and taxiways, which is being cleared by four Civilian Firearms Teams (CFTs) and additional manpower.

The Chennai Team has confirmed that all CNS and ATM facilities are functioning normally, and the NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) will be withdrawn shortly. Airlines and other stakeholders have been informed about the resumption of operations and have been asked to plan their flights accordingly.

Air Traffic Management (ATM) will prioritize departures to clear the backlog of stranded passengers at the airport. There are currently 21 aircraft on the ground and around 1500 passengers in the terminals. The F&B Concessionaire has ensured that adequate food is available at all outlets. -- ANI
10:11   Congress to decide Telangana CM today: Kharge
Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge says, "We will decide Telangana today (CM face of the state)."

The Congress on Sunday won 64 assembly seats to form government in the Bharat Rashtra Samiti-dominated Telangana, with the southern solace coming in the midst of a saffron sweep of the Hindi heartland where the Bharatiya Janata Party wrested two states from the grand old party and retained one.

Anumula Revanth Reddy, who led the Congress' charge, finds himself on the brink of a potential chief ministership. 
File pic. Amit Shah in Parliament
File pic. Amit Shah in Parliament
09:53   Shah to move two important Bills on J-K today
The Bill to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act 2004 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019 is likely to be moved by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.  

The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act provides for reservation in appointment in state government posts, and admission to professional institutions, for certain reserved categories. 

The Bill provides for reservation in professional institutions for economically weaker sections. 

The Act is proposed to be amended with a view to provide representation to "Kashmiri Migrants", "Displaced Persons from Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir" and Scheduled Tribes in the Legislative Assembly of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir so as to preserve their political rights as well as for their overall social and economic development'
09:34   Cyclone Michaung: Eight dead in Chennai
Michaung Cyclone: Eight deaths reported in Chennai Police limits. 

Cyclone Michaung continues to wreak havoc in Tamil Nadu with Chennai city facing massive waterlogging triggered due to heavy rain in the state while the Koovam River rages as water from nearby lakes is released into it. 

 The bridge in the Nerkundram area is surrounded by water overflowing from the Koovam River. 

 Cyclone Michaung is likely to make landfall today on the southern coast of Andhra Pradesh between Nellore and Machilipatnam. As the cyclone moving away from Tamil Nadu, people were seen walking on the water-logged roads to buy essential things.
09:25   Rajya Sabha likely to discuss economic situation today
The Rajya Sabha is likely to discuss the current economic situation on Tuesday, sources said. 
A notice given by Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien for a short-duration discussion on the current economic situation has been accepted by the Rajya Sabha. 

The discussion on 'bolstering the economy to boost equitable growth' is scheduled to be held from 2 pm on Tuesday.

The Winter Session of Parliament started on Monday and will conclude on December 22. -- PTI 
There was heavy rainfall in Chennai yesterday
There was heavy rainfall in Chennai yesterday
09:24   Cyclone Michaung to make landfall in Andhra today
The severe cyclonic storm 'Michaung' is likely to make landfall today on the southern coast of Andhra Pradesh between Nellore and Machilipatnam, and moderate rainfall with gusty winds is being experienced in Bapatla district. 

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said "Severe Cyclonic Storm "MICHAUNG" over West central Bay  of Bengal off south Andhra Pradesh and adjoining north Tamil Nadu coasts moved northwards with a speed of 07 kmph during past 6 hours and lay centred at 0530 hours IST of today, the 5th December 2023 over West central Bay of Bengal off south Andhra Pradesh coast near Latitude14.9degN and Longitude 80.2degE, about 20 km east of Kavali, 50 km north-northeast of Nellore, 200 km north of Chennai, 110 km south-southwest of Bapatla and 170km south-southwest of Machilipatnam."

 It further said that Cyclone 'Michaung' is likely to cross south Andhra Pradesh during the forenoon of December 5 with a maximum wind speed of 90-100 Kmph. 

 "As the system is nearly moving northwards close to the coast, some parts of the wall cloud region lie overland. The system is likely to move nearly northwards parallel and close to the south Andhra Pradesh coast and cross the south Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Machilipatnam, close to Bapatla during the forenoon of 5th December as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 90-100 kmph gusting to 110 kmph," the IMD added.
09:15   IMD forecast offers some respite for Chennai
North coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are expected to experience light to moderate rainfall in most places and isolated heavy rainfall on Tuesday morning, decreasing thereafter, according to the latest IMD bulletin.
The forecast of reduced rainfall intensity comes as a relief after Cyclone Michaung wreaked havoc across Chennai and adjoining districts, causing flooding and disrupting normal life on Monday.

Residents in some parts of Chennai reported no rain since early hours on Tuesday and mentioned that power services had been restored in those areas. However, train services to and from the city remain suspended.

The latest bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) states that coastal Andhra Pradesh will also continue to receive light to moderate rainfall at most places. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected at a few places with extremely heavy falls at isolated places over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam on Tuesday. Additionally, exceptionally heavy rainfall at one or two places is likely over north coastal and adjoining south coastal Andhra Pradesh on Dec 5.

As per the latest IMD bulletin, the Severe Cyclonic Storm Michaung (pronounced as Mig-jaum) over Westcentral Bay of Bengal off south Andhra Pradesh and adjoining north Tamil Nadu coasts moved north-northwestwards with a speed of 07 kmph during the past 06 hours. 

At 0230 hours IST on Tuesday, it was centered 20 km north-northeast of Nellore, 170 km north of Chennai, 150 km south of Bapatla, and 210 km south-southwest of Machilipatnam.

The bulletin noted that as the system is nearly moving northwards close to the coast, some parts of the wall cloud region lie over land.

The cyclone is likely to move nearly northwards parallel and close to the south Andhra Pradesh coast and cross the south Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Machilipatnam, close to Bapatla during the forenoon of Tuesday as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 90-100 kmph, gusting to 110 kmph, the bulletin added. -- PTI
08:51   India's 1st girls school, run by Phule, razed
A month after court orders, the Pune Municipal Corporation in the early hours of Tuesday razed the dilapidated structure of Bhide Wada, where social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and his wife Savitribai Phule started the first school for girls in 1848.
The civic body plans to build a national memorial dedicated to the social reformer couple at the site, officials said. However, local people and traders had refused to vacate the place and moved court.

The Bombay high court and the Supreme Court recently cleared the way for the PMC to build the national memorial at the site and ordered shop owners and tenants at the dilapidated structure to vacate the premises.

"The structure is being brought down and we will proceed further for the national memorial project-related work at the site," an official of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) said.

A large police force was deployed in the area as the civic body moved to raze the structure. It was completely demolished sometime after midnight.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 1) Sandip Singh Gill said since the PMC did not get possession of the property despite issuing notices to the tenants and shop owners, it had written to the police for personnel to be deployed during the action.

Bhide Wada is located in the Budhwar Peth area of Pune. -- PTI
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01:15   25 members of Meitei extremist group NRFM join UNLF
Around 25 members of Meitei extremist group National Revolutionary Front Manipur have joined the United National Liberation Front, which signed a peace agreement with the Centre last week. 

According to an official statement, the development is likely to give a momentum to the Centre's efforts to restore peace and normalcy in ethnic strife-torn Manipur. 

Following the signing of the peace agreement between the UNLF and the governments in Manipur and at the Centre on November 29, around 25 members of the NRFM, led by Major Boicha (vice-chief of the army staff of the outfit), with 25 weapons, joined the UNLF on December 2, the statement said. 

With this, most of the outfit's members have taken a step towards abjuring the path of violence. 

The NRFM (previously the United Revolutionary Front) was formed on September 11, 2011 by the members of three factions of the KCP, an underground Meitei outfit. 

Its senior leaders operated from bases in a neighbouring country and were involved in violence and extortion in various parts of the Imphal valley. 

The development is likely to encourage other underground Meitei outfits to join the peace process and pursue their demands in a democratic manner, besides giving a boost to the Narendra Modi government's vision of an "insurgency-free and prosperous northeast", the statement said. -- PTI
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00:48   One-third of cases registered against foreigners in Himachal in 2022 related to NDPS Act
One-third of the total cases registered against foreigners in Himachal Pradesh in 2022 are related to Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, according to the latest National Records Crime Bureau data. 

About 100 cases have been registered against foreigners under various crimes in the state in 2022 out of which 35 cases (one-third) have been registered under the NDPS Act, the NCRB's report on Crime in India 2022 stated. 

According to the report, foreigners were booked in 100 cases under relevant sections for committing various crimes which included 35 under NDPS, eight for theft, four each for murder and hurt, three for sexual assault and two each for attempt to murder and kidnapping. 

The state ranks fourth in the country after Karnataka (105), Delhi (80), Maharashtra (38) as far as involvement of foreigners in NDPS Act cases is concerned. 

A total of 29,333 foreigners had visited the state in 2022, as per the tourist statistics of the Tourism Department. 

Malana and Parvati valley areas in the suburbs of Manali in Kullu district are considered notorious for cannabis cultivation and a large number of tourists visit Manali every year, social activist Rohit said. 

Besides cannabis, opium, cough syrups and tablets, chemical drugs have also made inroads into Himachal and the latest entry is 'chitta'. -- PTI
MP Congress chief Kamal Nath/ANI
MP Congress chief Kamal Nath/ANI
00:42   Kamal Nath to meet Kharge, may quit as MP chief
Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath is likely to meet party president Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday and may tender his resignation from the post following the party's debacle in the assembly elections, sources said. 

Winning 163 seats, the BJP got two-thirds majority in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh assembly, while the Congress bagged 66 seats. 

The polls were held last month and votes counted on Sunday. 

Nath is likely to meet Kharge on Tuesday and could be asked to resign as party state unit chief, the sources said on Monday and added that the Congress leadership is also upset over Nath's remarks against many leaders of the INDIA bloc, including Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and JD-U supremo Nitish Kumar, over seat sharing. 

While the Samajwadi Party was asking for only four to six seats, the JD-U only one seat in Madhya Pradesh, to which Nath did not agree and peeved the leaders of the opposition INDIA bloc, formed to take on the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. -- PTI