Fri, 17 November 2023
Won't hesitate to beg for...: RSS chief Bhagwat

Timeline  Refresh

23:47   Bank fraud case: ED attaches assets worth over Rs 72 cr of former UP MLA, kin
The Enforcement Directorate on Friday said it has attached assets worth more than Rs 72 crore of former Uttar Pradesh MLA Vinay Shankar Tiwari and his family members as part of a money laundering probe against them linked to an alleged Rs 750-crore bank loan fraud. 

Twenty-seven immovable properties located in Lucknow, Maharajganj and Gorakhpur districts of Uttar Pradesh have been provisionally attached under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the federal agency said. 

Vinay Tiwari is the son of late former minister and strongman from Gorakhpur Hari Shankar Tiwari, and he had represented Chillupar in the Uttar Pradesh assembly after being elected on a BSP ticket. 

Vinay Tiwari had later joined the Samajwadi Party. 

The attached properties are registered in the name of Vinay Tiwari, a former MLA, and his family members and relatives, who are directors, promoters and guarantors in the accused company, Gangotri Enterprises Ltd, the Enforcement Directorate said in a statement. 

The total value of the provisionally seized assets is Rs 72.08 crore, it said. 

The ED case stems from an FIR of the Central Bureau of Investigation. -- PTI
23:25   Maratha quota: 14-year-old girl ends life in Jalna
A 14-year-old girl allegedly committed suicide in Jalna in Maharashtra reportedly seeking reservation for the Maratha community, a police official said on Friday. 

She hanged herself in a room in her house in Someshwar area on Thursday and left behind a chit in which she had purportedly written that the Maratha community must get quota and that "my words must not go waste", the official said. 

"The girl was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors declared her dead on arrival. Police came to know about the incident on Friday morning," he added. 

An accidental death report has been registered at Limbgaon police station and further probe was underway, he said. -- PTI
23:06   Won't hesitate to beg for....: RSS chief Bhagwat
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday said he would have no hesitation in begging for donations for the improvement of society and for greater good. 

Underlining the necessity of financial resources for societal progress, Bhagwat said generous donations play an important role in supporting noble causes. 

He was speaking at an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Swami Vivekanand Medical Mission in Nagpur, during which a heart hospital was also inaugurated. 

"There should be no shame in soliciting donations for the improvement of society. I will never hesitate to beg for contributions for the greater good," Bhagwat said. 

He hailed the credibility of the RSS' commitment, which he said had been tested by society over time. 

Ruing the raw deal the poor get at the hands of commercial hospitals in the country, he said there were several such facilities where those without money cannot even enter. -- PTI
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22:39   Cyclone Midhili: Rain lashes NE states; setback for Meghalaya's Cherry Blossom Festival
Governments in various northeastern states sounded alerts following heavy rain on Friday, as a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm, officials said. 

The first day of Meghalaya's Cherry Blossom Festival suffered a setback due to the bad weather, while states such as Mizoram, Tripura and Assam witnessed rainfall of varied intensity. 

Rain, accompanied by chilly winds, has been witnessed by the states since Friday morning, and the same is likely to continue on Saturday, according to the India Meteorological Department. 

Cyclone 'Midhili' will cross the Bangladesh coast on Friday night or in the early hours of November 18. The organisers of Cherry Blossom Festival in Meghalaya have announced that the first of the three-day event has been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. 

Tourism Minister Paul Lyngdoh was to inaugurate the 3rd edition of the festival at Madan Kurkalang in Ri-Bhoi district. -- PTI
22:21   Gujarat: Modi, Aus dy PM Marles to attend World Cup final match
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles will attend the World Cup cricket final between India and Australia to be played in Ahmedabad on Sunday, officials said. 

An official release said Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel held a high level meeting in Gandhinagar on Friday to oversee security and and other arrangements for the match, which will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera. 

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles will attend the match on Sunday. Chief Minister Patel reviewed security and other arrangements with top officials," the release said. 

The release said police officials informed the CM about the elaborate arrangements in place for the smooth conduct of the match, including deployment of 4,500 personnel to provide security to the ground, teams, VIPs and to take care of traffic management. 

The CM instructed officials to ensure common people do not suffer due to VIP movement and asked them to provide proper information about closed roads and diversions to people in advance, the release said. 

The CM also asked the officials to increase the frequency of metro trains running towards Motera station (near the stadium) for the convenience of fans, who are expected to reach the city from different parts of the country and abroad as well. -- PTI
Haryana CM ML Khattar
Haryana CM ML Khattar
22:00   HC quashes Haryana law on 75pc jobs for locals
In a setback to the Haryana government, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday quashed a state government law that provided 75 per cent reservation in private sector jobs to the residents of the state. 

The verdict was pronounced by Justices G S Sandhawalia and Harpreet Kaur Jeewan. 

Senior advocate Akshay Bhan, one of the counsels for the petitioners, said the bench quashed the complete act. 

He said the petitioners argued that the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020 violated Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution. 

"...we are of the considered opinion that the writ petitions are liable to be allowed and The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Act, 2020 is held to be unconstitutional and violative of Part III of the Constitution of India and is accordingly held ultravires and the same is ineffective from the date it came into force," according to the court order. 

The court had admitted multiple petitions against the implementation of the act that provided 75 per cent reservation in jobs in the private sector to candidates from the state. 

It came into effect from January 15, 2022. 

It covered jobs offering a maximum gross monthly salary or wages upto Rs 30,000.
Cyrus Poonawalla (left)
Cyrus Poonawalla (left)
21:41   Serum Institute MD Cyrus Poonawalla suffers cardiac arrest; stable after angioplasty
Cyrus S Poonawalla, the managing director of the Serum Institute of India, suffered a mild cardiac arrest on Thursday and has been admitted to a hospital in Maharashtra's Pune. 

According to the advisor of Ruby Hall Clinic, Poonawala is now stable after he underwent an angioplasty. 

"He was admitted at Ruby Hall on November 17 early morning. Poonawalla underwent an angioplasty under the supervision of Dr Purvez Grant, Dr Makle, and Dr Abhijeet Khardekar and is recovering fast," Daruwala said. 

Dr Poonawalla is in good health, she added. -- PTI
21:24   BJP chooses ex-deputy CM Ashoka as Leader of Opposition in K'taka assembly
The BJP on Friday chose former deputy chief minister R Ashoka as the leader of opposition in the Karnataka Assembly. 

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, BJP national general secretary Dushyant Kumar Gautam, BJP state unit president BY Vijayendra, and former chief ministers BS Yediyurappa and Basavaraj Bommai were among those present at the legislature party meeting, where Ashoka was picked as its leader. 

Ashoka, a seven-time BJP MLA, was the deputy chief minister in the BJP government from July 2012 to May 2013. 

The senior BJP leader had the opportunity to work with five chief ministers as a cabinet member. 

As a minister, he had held various portfolios such as home, revenue, municipal administration, transport and health and family welfare. 

Ashoka is a prominent Vokkaliga face in the party, which is one of the dominant communities in Karnataka, especially spread in the southern parts of Karnataka such as Bengaluru, Chikkaballapura, Mysuru, Mandya, Chamarajanagar, Ramanagara, Kolar, Tumakuru and Chikkamagaluru. -- PTI
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21:15   UP, Bihar oust Kerala as key Gulf workforce suppliers
Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have begun replacing Kerala, which was a significant contributor of blue-collar workforce, from India to the Gulf Cooperation Council region, a report said on Friday. 

Over the last decade, there was a notable shift in migration patterns with Kerala witnessing 90 per cent drop in workforce going to the Middle East nations, according to a report by blue-collar worker placement platform Huntr. 

However, this void left by Kerala was filled by Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which are emerging as the top two contributors to the Gulf migration landscape, said the report. 

The top five labour-sending states include UP, Bihar, Kerala, West Bengal, and Tamil Nadu, while the preferred destinations remained Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman, it added. 

According to the report, there has been a 50 per cent increase in the migration of blue-collar workers from India to the GCC in the first seven months of 2023. The report by Huntr is based on data on its platform. 

The report further revealed that the demographic profile of Indian migrants to Dubai in 2023 reveals a workforce primarily concentrated in the 20-40 age group, indicative of individuals in their prime working years. -- PTI
CM Ibrahim
CM Ibrahim
20:51   Senior JD-S leader CM Ibrahim suspended for anti-party activities
Senior Janata Dal-Secular leader CM Ibrahim was on Friday suspended by the outfit's president HD Deve Gowda for "anti-party activities". 

Gowda had replaced Ibrahim as the party state president on October 19 and appointed his son HD Kumaraswamy in his place. 

Ibrahim had raised a banner of revolt against the JD-S decision to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. 

A former Union minister, Ibrahim claimed that his faction is the original JD-S for being secular and that being the state president he can take a decision about the outfit in Karnataka. 

He had appealed to Deve Gowda to reconsider the decision on the tie-up with the BJP, claiming that many party leaders have quit the outfit in the neighbouring states following the move. 

This Rediff interview by CM Ibrahim was the reason why he was sacked as JD-S Karnataka president.
20:29   Muizzu takes office as the new Maldivian president
Mohamed Muizzu took oath as the eighth President of the Maldives on Friday at a ceremony attended by a multitude of foreign dignitaries, including India's Union Minister Kiren Rijiju. 

The eighth President of the Republic (of Maldives) Mohammed Muizzu was sworn in as President today, local media said. 

Chief Justice Muthasim Adnan administered the oath of office to Muizzu, 45. 

At the ceremony, Hussain Mohamed Latheef also took oath as the vice president of the Maldives. 

Apart from Rijiju, the ceremony was well attended by several leaders from South Asia, diplomats, and even some former presidents from all over the world. 

The ceremony was attended by former president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of the outgoing administration. Muizzu, a close associate of former Maldives President Abdulla Yameen who forged close ties with China during his Presidency from 2013 to 2018, defeated India-friendly incumbent Solih in the presidential runoff held in September. -- PTI
20:26   EC suspends T'gana official for accompanying minister
The Election Commission of India on Friday ordered the suspension of a top official of Telangana Tourism Development Corporation and removal of another official from his post, for allegedly accompanying minister Srinivas Goud in Tirupati during the latter's visit. 

In a communication to the Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj, the EC placed Boinapally Manohar Rao, TSTDC managing director, under suspension and removed his officer on special duty Y Satyanarayana after it found that both the officials were allegedly seen accompanying the minister in Tirupati on October 15 and 16. 

Satyanarayana, a retired deputy collector, was re-employed by the state government. 

The Model Code of Conduct came into force in Telangana from October 9. 

Srinivas Goud is contesting from Mahabubnagar assembly constituency in the November 30 polls on a BRS ticket. -- PTI
19:57   Rupee edges 4 paise lower at 83.27 against US dollar
The rupee declined by 4 paise to 83.27 (provisional) against the US dollar on Friday as a firm greenback in the overseas markets and losses in domestic equities weighed on investor sentiment. 

Fresh FII inflows and crude oil prices trading near four-month lows helped the rupee restrict losses, forex dealers said. 

At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened flat at 83.23 against the US currency following overnight losses in crude oil prices. 

The local unit moved in a tight range of 83.23 to 83.28 in the day trade. 

The currency finally closed lower by 4 paise at 83.27 against the dollar. 

It closed at 83.23 against the greenback on Thursday. -- PTI
File image/SPG online
File image/SPG online
19:49   Senior IPS officer Alok Sharma appointed new SPG chief
Senior IPS officer Alok Sharma was on Friday appointed director of the Special Protection Group, which is entrusted with the task of providing security to the prime minister. 

Sharma, a 1991-batch Indian Police Service officer, is currently working as additional director general in the SPG. 

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved his appointment as the SPG director from the date of assumption of charge of the post and until further orders, an order issued by the personnel ministry said. 

The vacancy was necessitated following the demise of SPG chief Arun Kumar Sinha on September 6. 

Sinha was a 1987-batch Kerala cadre IPS officer. He was 61. 

The SPG provides proximate armed security cover to the prime minister. -- PTI
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19:32   MP polls: Voting ends at 6 pm; those still in queue will be allowed to vote
Voting for 230 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh ended at 6 pm on Friday, though those persons still in queue would be allowed to exercise their franchise, an official said. 

A total of 2,533 candidates are in the fray, among them heavyweights like Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Congress' state unit president Kamal Nath, as well as several Union ministers and Lok Sabha MPs. 

"Though voting ended at 6pm, it will continue for some more time for people who are still in queue," the official said. 

Polling was held from 7 am to 6 pm in all assembly segments except in Baihar, Lanjhi and Paraswada seats in Balaghat district, 55 booths in Mandla district's Bichhiya and Mandla seats and 40 polling stations in Dindori district, all of which are Naxalite affected. 

The voting time in these booths was between 7am to 3pm, the official said. -- PTI
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19:24   Friday prayers not allowed at Srinagar's Jamia Masjid for sixth consecutive week
Anjuman Auqaf, the management body of the Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta in Srinagar, said the Jammu and Kashmir administration did not allow the Friday prayers for the sixth consecutive week. 

"The administration's decision to disallow Friday prayers at the valley's largest place of worship '" the historic Central Jama Masjid Srinagar -- for the sixth consecutive Friday and placing Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir Dr Moulvi Muhammad Umar Farooq under continued house detention is incomprehensible and greatly disturbing," the Anjuman said in a statement. 

It said the grand mosque is being repeatedly targeted on the pretext of the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel. 

It also criticised the authorities for detaining Mirwaiz-e-Kashmir. -- PTI
19:16   Actor-politician Vijayashanthi rejoins Congress ahead of Telangana polls
Ahead of the Telangana assembly polls, former MP and veteran actor Vijayashanthi who resigned from the BJP, rejoined the Congress party on Friday in the presence of AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge, party sources said. 

Kharge offered her a tricolour scarf and formally invited her to join the party. 

The former BRS MP who left the Congress and joined the saffron party in 2020 was not active in BJP's programmes in the recent times. 

The actor-turned-politician began her political career in 2009 and was elected from Medak Lok Sabha seat on BRS (then TRS) ticket. 

Later, due to differences with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, she joined the Congress and unsuccessfully contested from the same constituency. -- PTI
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18:55   Maoist blast kills ITBP jawan on Chh'garh poll duty
A jawan of the Indo Tibetan Border Police was killed in a blast triggered by Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Gariaband district where polling for the second phase of assembly elections took place on Friday, the police said. 

The incident took place near Bade Gobra village under Mainpur police station area when a polling team escorted by security personnel was returning after the voting was over, a senior police official said. 

Polling across 70 constituencies in the state was held from 8 am to 5 pm. But in nine polling booths in the Maoist-affected Bindranawagarh constituency in Gariaband district, voting was held from 7 am to 3 pm for security reasons. 

Bade Gobra was among these nine booths in Bindranawagarh which borders on neighbouring Odisha. 

As election officials escorted by security personnel were returning to Mainpur after the polling ended, Maoists triggered a blast that killed head constable Joginder Singh of the ITBP on the spot, said the police official. -- PTI
MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan
MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan
18:30   MP records 71 pc voting, Chhattisgarh 67 pc till 5 pm
The Election Commission (EC) said on Friday that the tentative voter turnout till 5 pm was 67.34 per cent in Chhattisgarh and 71.11 per cent in Madhya Pradesh. 

The voting percentage is likely to "go upwards" when reports from all the polling stations, including those in the interiors, are obtained, the poll panel said. 

Voters reaching the polling stations till the end of the polling hours are allowed to exercise their franchise, the EC noted, adding that the final figures will be known by Saturday after a scrutiny of the polling-related documents. 

A total of 70 assembly seats in Chhattisgarh went to polls in the second phase on Friday, while elections were held in all the 230 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh.
18:27   Punjab police ASI shot dead in Amritsar
A Punjab police assistant sub-inspector was shot dead by some unidentified assailants on Friday. 

The police said the body of ASI Saroop Singh was found at Khankot village with a bullet injury mark on his head. 

Singh left his home on Thursday night with some official documents for Nawa-Pind Police Station where he was posted. 

A passerby informed police after he noticed his body on Friday morning, said police. 

According to preliminary investigation, Singh died of a single gunshot to the head. 

Superintendent of police Jugraj Singh said the police have got some vital clues about the case, adding that further investigation is underway. 

The ASI's family members denied that Singh had any personal enmity with anyone. 

They demanded a thorough probe into the murder. Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia slammed the Bhagwant Mann government over the law and order situation in the state. -- PTI
Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal/File image
Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal/File image
17:52   Don't encroach on OBC quota: Bhujbal at rally
Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal on Friday reiterated that the existing reservation for the Other Backward Classes should not be curtailed while giving reservation to the Marathas, and also hit out at Maratha activist Manoj Jarange over his recent statements. 

Speaking at a rally of OBC communities, the NCP leader asked how suddenly a number of records showing Marathas as belonging to the Kunbi caste were being found. 

Bhujbal and several other prominent OBC leaders including Congress leaders Vijay Wadettiwar, Rajesh Rathod, BJP MLC Gopichand Padalkar, Prakash Shendge and Mahadev Jankar attended the `OBC Bhatke Vimukt Jaat Aarakshan Bachao Yalgaar Sabha' (rally for saving the reservation of OBCs and Nomadic Tribes) at Ambad in Jalna district of Maharashtra. 

The event took place 25 km from the Antarwali Sarati village where Jarange had launched a hunger strike for the demand of Maratha quota first in August and again in October. 

"OBCs have got reservation constitutionally and after an approval of the Supreme court. He (Jarange) says that we have taken away their (Maratha community) reservation for 70 years. Are we taking away something that belongs to Jarange's family?" Bhujbal said. 

"We do not oppose Maratha reservation, but there should be no encroachment on the OBC quota," he added. -- PTI
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17:47   India, Australia set to hold '2+2' ministerial dialogue next week
Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Defence Minister Richard Marles are set to visit India to take part in the two-plus-two ministerial dialogue on Monday that is likely to focus on further shoring up strategic ties between the two countries, people familiar with the matter said. 

It is learnt that Marles, who is also Australia's deputy prime minister, and Wong may watch the Cricket World Cup final between India and Australia in Ahmedabad on Sunday. 

There is no official announcement on the '2+2' dialogue or the planned visit to India by Wong and Marles. 

The people cited above said the two sides are expected to focus extensively on further ramping up the overall defence and security ties and boost strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region in the "2+2" ministerial dialogue. 

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will lead the Indian delegation at the talks. -- PTI
17:32   Telecom coverage in rural areas falls
Urban India has a telecom growth of 0.98 per cent. 
17:20   Video of me doing garba was deepfake: Modi
PM Modi reacts to a video of 'him' doing the garba: " ...There is a challenge arising because of Artificial Intelligence and deepfake... a big section of our country has no parallel option for verification... people often end up believing in deepfakes and this will go into a direction of a big challenge. We need to educate people with our programmes about Artificial Intelligence and deepfakes, how it works, what it can do, what all challenges it can bring and whatever can be made out if it. I even saw a video of me doing 'Garba'..."
KBK Infographics
KBK Infographics
17:11   Sensex, Nifty decline on selloff in banking, financial stocks
In a volatile trade, equity benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty declined on Friday, dragged down by heavy selling pressure in banking, financial and energy stocks amid mixed cues from global markets. 

 However, lower global crude prices and fresh foreign capital inflows helped the indices restrict the losses, as per traders. 

 Shares of bank and NBFC firms fell sharply after the Reserve Bank tightened norms for consumer credit as it asked them to assign a higher risk weight for unsecured personal loans, a move aimed at making the lenders more cautious about such advances.
16:54   India is building national highways@ 20km a day
The pace of national highway construction in the country stood at 20.78 kilometre a day during the first seven months of the current financial year, according to official data. 

 Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has put in place plans to maintain the pace of highway development and construct 12,500 km of highways in 2023-24. 

 "The (project) award figure is 2,595 km during this period as compared to 5,007 km during the period in previous year. The ministry has constructed 4,474 km of national highways up to October in 2023-24 as compared to 4,060 km constructed up to October in 2022-23," MoRTH said in its monthly summary for the Cabinet for October 2023. 

 The ministry constructed 10,237 km NH in 2019-20 financial year, 13,327 km in 2020-21 and 10,457 km in 2021-22. 

 "lf the target for award has to be met for this year, decision on the proposal for approval of the revised Bharatmala Phase-1 or alternate programme needs to be taken expeditiously. Shortfall in award this year will reflect in the progress of construction in FY 2024-25," it said. 

 Bharatmala Pariyojana is the largest highway infrastructure programme in India that aims to develop 34,800 km of national highway corridors at an investment of Rs 5.35 lakh crore. -- PTI
16:32   Where are you, Mick?
Mick Jagger, the lead singer of the British rock band The Rolling Stones, is currently in India. He tweeted this image alongside, writing, "Thanks India Got away from it all here!" 

The icon did not disclose the location. 

In a recent interview with The Times Of India, Jagger disclosed the roots of his profound association with the country and how an image of Goddess Kali inspired the logo of The Rolling Stones.
16:24   Cricket WC: Hotel tariffs zoom to Rs 2L a night
Hotel room tariff in Gujarat's Ahmedabad and airfares to the city have skyrocketed in view of the soaring demand from people who want to witness the cricket World Cup final match between India and Australia to be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium here on the coming Sunday.

 As the fever for the world cup final is reaching its peak, hotel room tariffs for the night of the match have gone up as high as Rs 2 lakh in top five-star hotels in the city, while other hotels have also increased their rates by five to seven times. 

"There is enthusiasm for the world cup final not only in India, but people from abroad including places like Dubai, Australia and South Africa want to come to watch the match," President of Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Gujarat Narendra Somani said. 

 "There are 5,000 rooms in three stars and five star hotels in Ahmedabad, while the number for entire Gujarat is 10,000. The capacity of the Narendra Modi Stadium is over 1.20 lakh people and we expect that 30,000 to 40,000 people will come from outside to watch the match," he said. 

As the demand for hotel rooms is high, their rates are also increasing, he said, adding that the rooms which were available at nominal rates earlier have touched anywhere between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1.25 lakh.

 "People tend to book the flight tickets first before booking hotels. The room prices are going to increase not only in Ahmedabad but in the surrounding towns also as the match day comes near," he said.

 Online rates on various hotel booking sites of five-star hotels have reached around Rs 2 lakh per night. The tariff mentioned by hotels like ITC Narmada and Hyatt Regency online is more than Rs 2 lakh on the night of the match. Even non-star hotels have increased their rates five to seven times to cash in on the rush.

 Hotel Crown on C G Road, which generally charges Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 per night, has increased its rate to over Rs 20,000, its staff confirmed. Meanwhile, airfares from different destinations to Ahmedabad have drastically gone up as compared to the normal rates. 

For flights coming from Chennai, the rates in normal times are around Rs 5,000, but they are now Rs 16,000 to Rs 25,000. "Due to high demand for Ahmedabad, airfares for flights to the city from almost all places have risen three to five times," said Manubhai Pancholi, a travel agent.
15:50   Who is BJP's CM face in Rajasthan, asks Priyanka
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said on Friday that the BJP is scattered in Rajasthan and it does not have a chief ministerial face in the upcoming state Assembly polls. 

 The Congress general secretary also took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's frequent visits to the poll-bound state, saying it seems that he is out to find a chief ministerial face for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

 "The BJP is a scattered party in Rajasthan and it does not have a face for the chief minister's post. The prime minister is roaming every corner of the state. Sometimes, it seems that he is out to find his chief ministerial face," Gandhi said while addressing a poll rally at Sagwada in Dungarpur district. She also asked the voters to be careful if emotions and religion are used in order to get their votes. 

 "If emotions and religion are used in politics, one has to be careful," she said. 

 Hitting out at the BJP-led Centre, Gandhi said people across the country, including farmers, are suffering due to inflation. 

 The 200-member Rajasthan Assembly will go to polls on November 25 and the counting of votes will be taken up on December 3. The Congress is in power in the desert state. PTI
A resident clears debris in Kibbutz Beeri. Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters
A resident clears debris in Kibbutz Beeri. Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters
15:42   5 Palestinian terrorists killed in Jenin raid: IDF
The Israel Defense Forces said on Friday morning that five Palestinian terrorists were killed during an overnight counter-terror raid in Jenin. 

The military said several terrorists were chased to a local hospital where they were arrested while trying to hide. During the raid, an Israeli drone struck a group of terrorists firing on soldiers. 

Other Palestinians threw explosives. 

 The police and the IDF said several gunmen fled in cars and an ambulance in the direction of Jenin's Ibn Sina hospital. One of the terrorists was caught at the entrance to the hospital. 

A search of his vehicle turned up three M-16 rifles. In other counter-terror operations, security forces in Hebron mapped out for demolition the homes of three terrorists responsible for Thursday's shooting attack at a checkpoint south of Jerusalem. 

Avraham Fetena, 20, who served in the military police, was killed. Another five people were injured. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. An overall 21 Palestinians were arrested around Judea and Samaria during the raids, of whom six were associated with Hamas. -- ANI
Corporal Noa Marciano
Corporal Noa Marciano
15:01   Body of Israeli corporal recovered from Gaza: IDF
 The IDF said it has recovered the body of Corporal Noa Marciano of the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps 414th unit from the Gaza Strip, The Times of Israel reported. Troops of the 7th Armored Brigade's 603rd Battalion recovered Marciano's body from a building adjacent to Shifa Hospital.

The troops recovered her body following intelligence information provided by the Shin Bet security agency. IDF said that her body was then brought to Israel for identification. 

The body of the hostage has been found at a time when troops continue to search for terror infrastructure in the hospital complex.Marciano (19) was serving at the Nahal Oz IDF base when it was overrun by Hamas terrorists at the time of the attack on southern Israel on October 7. 

She lived in Modiin and was the oldest of three siblings, according to The Times of Israel report.On Monday evening, Hamas shared a propaganda video of Marciano, showing her speaking to the camera four days after being taken hostage, identifying herself and reciting the names of her parents and her hometown. 

The video then showed her body, according to The Times of Israel report.

The Israeli Army said that soldiers have found the body of an Israeli hostage near Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, CNN reported. Yehudit Weiss was kidnapped from the kibbutz of Be'eri on October 7.
14:41   Ashneer Grover, wife stopped at IGI Airport Delhi
The economic offences wing (EOW) of Delhi Police on Thursday late night stopped BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover and his wife Madhuri Jain at terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport as a lookout circular (LoC) was issued this week against the two by the EOW, officials said on Friday. 

 Sindhu Pillai, joint commissioner of police (EOW), said that the couple was travelling to New York and were stopped before security check.

This is what Grover tweeted:

"So facts:
1. I had not received any communication or summon from EOW since FIR in May till 8 AM today 17 morning (7 hours after returning from airport).
2. I was going to US from 16-23 November
3. At immigration they said LoC laga hua hai sir - EOW se check kar ke batate hai
4. I found it strange as have travelled 4 times internationally since FIR filed in May - never been a problem and I had not even been summoned once
5. Flight left in meantime anyways - EOW folks directed Immigration to let us out so that we can return home.
6. Today morning EOW summon was home delivered - will cooperate as always."

14:20   Art historian BN Goswamy passes away
Writer William Dalyrmple shares the loss of a historian. "Devastated to hear of the death of my beloved friend and mentor, BN Goswamy, India's greatest art historian and one of the most wisest and most brilliant men I ever met. He was a kind friend, a generous mentor, a rigorous scholar, a fabulous writer and an entrancing speaker who every year hypnotised the audiences @JaipurLitFest with his wit, subtlety and erudition. He was irreplaceable and will be hugely missed. Om shanti!"
File pic
File pic
14:16   Cyclone to make landfall in B'desh, squalls in WB
The deep depression over the Bay of Bengal on Friday intensified into cyclonic storm and will graze past the Sunderbans before making landfall on Bangladesh coast with a maximum wind speed of 80 kmph, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a bulletin.

 The cyclonic storm 'Midhili' will cross the Bangladesh coast on November 17 night or early hours of November 18, it said.

 The Met department on Friday warned fishermen not to venture into the sea in north Bay of Bengal and along and off West Bengal coasts till November 18. 

The deep depression existing over north Bay of Bengal intensified into cyclonic storm Midhili as it moved in a north-northeaster ward direction, lying 200 km south-southeast of the seaside resort town of Digha in West Bengal and 220 km southeast of Khepupara in Bangladesh on Friday morning, the Met said. 

"It is likely to continue to move north-northeastwards and cross Bangladesh coast close to Khepupara with wind speed of 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph during November 17 night or early hours of November 18," the IMD said. 

 The name 'Midhili' was given by the Maldives. Countries affected by the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal cyclones rotationally give names of cyclones in a sequence. The Met department warned fishermen not to venture into the sea in north Bay of Bengal and along and off West Bengal coasts till Saturday.

 The IMD said the cyclone Midhili will have no major impact on Odisha as it passes above 150 kilometres from the state's coast. However, some districts like Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur likely to get heavy rainfall on Friday, IMD scientist Umashankar Das said.

Odisha's Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) has put all the District Collectors on alert in the wake of the cyclone in the Bay of Bengal. 

"We do not want to take any chance and therefore put the state machinery on alert for any eventuality," SRC Satyabrata Sahoo said. 

 The cyclonic storm is likely to bring heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal and in the northeastern states, the Met said. It is likely to bring isolated heavy downpour in West Bengal's coastal districts of Purba Medinipur, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas on Friday, the weather office said. 

 It said that the system is likely to bring very heavy rainfall in the northeastern states of Mizoram and Tripura on Friday and in Nagaland, Manipur, south Assam and east Meghalaya till Saturday. -- PTI
13:34   No bail to pillion rider who killed scribe J Dey
The Bombay High Court has refused to grant bail to an aide of gangster Chhota Rajan convicted in the 2011 killing of journalist Jyotirmoy Dey and to suspend the sentence of life imprisonment handed to him. 

 A division bench of Justices N W Sambre and N R Borkar on November 6 dismissed the petition filed by Satish Kalya seeking bail and suspension of his sentence, noting that he does not deserve to be released on bail by suspending the sentence. 

 The court, in its order, noted that it was established that Dey died a homicidal death after suffering a firearm injury.

 The fact remains that at the behest of the applicant (Kalya), there is recovery of the weapon which was used in the commission of the offence. The weapon was also proved to be used in the offence, the court said. 

 The bench noted that even if Kalya has undergone a long period in jail, the court needs to be sensitive to the earlier convictions of the accused persons. The applicant/accused (Kalya) is part of an underworld gang and in a calculated manner, executed the offence in question at the behest of syndicate head Chhota Rajan, who is presently lodged in Tihar jail, it said.

 A special court convicted Kalya, Chhota Rajan and six others in May 2018 for Dey's murder and sentenced them to life imprisonment.

 All the convicted accused have filed appeals in the high court challenging their conviction. 

 According to the prosecution, Dey was killed at the behest of Rajan, as he found certain articles written by the journalist offensive.

 On June 11, 2011, Dey was shot dead by two persons on a motorcycle in the Powai area of central Mumbai. Kalya, who was the pillion rider, had allegedly opened fire at Dey. -- PTI
People who fled Myanmar cross a bridge to India. Reuters/Stringer
People who fled Myanmar cross a bridge to India. Reuters/Stringer
13:02   Myanmar refugees in Mizoram: Want to go back but...
Amid the clashes between the ruling military and anti-junta protesters in Myanmar, scores of refugees, who crossed over into India fleeing the violence, have found temporary refuge in the Zokhawthar area of Mizoram's Champhai district.

The refugees said while they are longing to return to their native village, they are scared to do so in the face of the ongoing clashes.

Speaking to ANI, Vanlalruata, a resident of Chin State of Myanmar who is sheltered along with his family at the Bethel refugee camp in Zokhawthar, said the situation back home continues to be grave and they are spending anxious days amid the prevailing disquiet and violence.

"We want to go back but are too scared to do so. We don't know when the situation will return to normal. We have found refuge here (Zokhawthar) for the time being. The Mizoram government and the YMA (Young Mizo Association, an NGO) have helped us and arranged for us to camp here. We are very thankful to them," Vanlalruata told ANI.

He added that several houses in his village in Chin State were burnt down while still more were ransacked and damaged."While some among us have returned to the village (in Chin State), some others came back here as they have lost everything they had back home. We don't know what's in store for us in the days ahead," Vanlalruata added.

About 500 Myanmarese refugees are currently sheltered at the Bethel refugee camp and 170 of them are children.

Some said they have been sheltered in the refugee camps over the last two years.

Thanlianchhiari, a woman refugee from Chin State who is also taking shelter at the Bethel refugee camp, told ANI, "We want to go to our own village but the current situation in Myanmar is too volatile. We have lost our homes and have to rebuild from scratch. We are praying for the restoration of peace in our homeland at the earliest." -- ANI
12:41   Fire erupts in Mumbai high-rise, all safe
A fire erupted on the eighth and the 12th floor of a residential building in the Grant Road area of south Mumbai on Friday morning, and no casualties were reported, an official said. 

 The fire brigade rescued several residents stranded on the 15th, 21st and 22nd floors of the building and shifted them safely to the terrace through the staircase, he said. 

The fire is confined to electric wiring, electric installation, furniture, doors, household articles, etc. on 8th floor & 12th floors. People stranded on 21st and 22nd floors were safely rescued by firemen to the terrace. Around eight people stranded on the 15th floor rescued by firemen and moved to terrace by the staircase.

 The blaze broke out around 9.30 am on the 8th and 12th floor of Dhavalgiri Building on August Kranti Road, the official said. No casualties were reported in the incident, and the cause and origin of the fire on both the floors is yet to be ascertained, the official said.
12:24   What did Piyush Goyal tell Joe Biden?
Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said that apart from sending his greetings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the President of the United States also acknowledged what India has been saying at various world forums.

Goyal said that the US President acknowledged that the countries that were not responsible for creating environmental degradation are getting impacted first.

"I think that's a very big message, a very big endorsement of what Prime Minister Modi and India have been saying at various world forums," he added.

"He has conveyed his greetings to PM Modi when I met him last night and he did acknowledge the fact the countries which were not responsible for creating the environmental degradation in the first place are the countries which get impacted the most," Goyal told ANI.

The Commerce Minister also stated that PM Modi's consistent stand on climate issues has resonated well with the world as well as India.Goyal said, "I think that's a very big message, a very big endorsement of what Prime Minister Modi and India have been saying at various world forums. It clearly shows that Prime Minister Modi's consistent stand on climate issues, the positivity with which he engages as well as the clear message that he gives out in all of his engagements has resonated with the world and India and the US have resolved to work closely together."

"We've launched a new fund today where the governments of both countries are going to actively contribute and we hope that this will act like a catalyst for large pools of capital to now look at and focus on investments in India...," he told ANI.

Highlighting India's growing prominence as an investment destination, Goyal credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for transformative efforts in improving ease of doing business, enhancing transparency in the regulatory ecosystem, and fostering sustainable growth and development.

Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal visited San Francisco in the US from November 13-16 to attend various official engagements of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).Welcoming the US-India Green Transition Fund by the US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), Goyal expressed confidence in the fund's catalytic role in supporting India's ambitious goals in renewable energy generation. -- ANI
File pic
File pic
12:18   LeT terrorists gunned down in Kulgam encounter
Five Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists have been gunned down in the ongoing firefight with security forces in the Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, Kashmir Police said on Friday. 

 According to Kashmir police, the operation is in its final stages and the area is being sanitised. 

 "Day 2: Five terrorists neutralized by Kulgam Police, Army, and CRPF. Incriminating materials were recovered. Operation in the final stage; area being sanitized," read a post on the official X handle of Kashmir Zone Police. 

 However, the operation is still in progress, sources informed. The police, earlier, confirmed that the exchange of heavy fire between the security forces and the terrorists from across the border was still ongoing. 

 The encounter broke out on Thursday afternoon at the Samno pocket of the DH Pora area of Kulgam district, according to Jammu & Kashmir Police. The joint operation against the terrorists involves the Army's 34 Rashtriya Riffles, 9 Para (elite special forces unit), police, and the CRPF. -- ANI
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
11:47   Tik Tok cracks down after Osama's letter goes viral
Social networking site TikTok that allows users to share videos, has taken action against posts pertaining to Osama bin Laden's "Letter to America," which was written by the commander of al Qaeda following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, CBS News reported.

 Bin Laden tried to defend the roughly 3,000-person terror assaults against the United States in a long letter dated 2002. 

 The head of al-Qaeda condemned US military installations in the Middle East as well as US backing for Israel in the letter.

 It was this week that the letter written by bin Laden surfaced on social media, with many TikTok users posting about how the letter changed their perspective on the 9/11 terror attacks and the US foreign policy altogether, CBS News reported. 

 As of Thursday afternoon, the #lettertoamerica hashtag on TikTok had received 13.7 million views, despite the platform stating that reports of it trending were false.

 "Content promoting this letter clearly violates our rules on supporting any form of terrorism. We are proactively and aggressively removing this content and investigating how it got onto our platform," TikTok said in a statement on Thursday. 

 "The number of videos on TikTok is small and reports of it trending on our platform are inaccurate. This is not unique to TikTok and has appeared across multiple platforms and the media," it added.

 In the letter circulating on social media platforms, other than just X, Bin Laden claimed that "whoever has killed our civilians, then we have the right to kill theirs." 

 He criticised the US for exploiting the "treasures" of the region, which he referred to natural resources, and asserted that America understands just one language: violence. 

 According to CBS News, in a response to the incident, deputy press secretary for the White House Andrew Bates stated that acts of antisemitism and violence related to that in the US and other countries are on the rise, particularly in light of the tragic Hamas assaults in Israel on October 7.

 "There is never a justification for spreading the repugnant, evil, and antisemitic lies that the leader of al Qaeda issued just after committing the worst terrorist attack in American history -- highlighting them as his direct motivation for murdering 2,977 innocent Americans," CBS News quoted Bates as saying.

 "And no one should ever insult the 2,977 American families still mourning loved ones by associating themselves with the vile words of Osama bin Laden," Bates said. -- ANI
11:15   PM condemns civilian deaths in Israel-Hamas war
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today condemned the deaths of civilians in the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and highlighted the urgent need for unity and cooperation among the Global South in the face of escalating challenges rising in West Asia due to the conflict.

Speaking at the e inaugural session of the 2nd Voice of Global South Summit, PM Modi emphasised India's unwavering stance against violence and terrorism, including the October 7 attacks by Hamas on Israel. The Prime Minister underscored the importance of exercising restraint and prioritising dialogue as the cornerstones of conflict resolution.
10:58   Subrata Roy cremated
Family members along with Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, Congress leader Pramod Tiwari and actor and Congress leader Raj Babbar attend the last rites of Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy in Lucknow today. 
10:53   Demonetisation: Why did RBI protect Modi?
Events proved that on every count the RBI had accurately predicted both the damage and the lack of benefit. What the RBI was hiding was the fact that Modi had ignored its concerns -- all of which turned out to be true -- and gone ahead anyway, asserts Aakar Patel. Read the column here. 
A grab from the video posted by the IDF
A grab from the video posted by the IDF
10:40   Hamas tunnel uncovered under Shifa Hospital: IDF
 Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has said that a Hamas terrorist tunnel was uncovered in the Shifa Hospital complex in Gaza.According to IDF, IDF troops found another terrorist tunnel in the Rantisi Hospital.

 It further said that a large amount of weaponry and ammunition were found in the Al-Quds Hospital.In a post shared on X, IDF stated, "Exposing another layer of Hamas' exploitation of three of the largest hospitals in Gaza: Inside the Shifa Hospital complex, a Hamas terrorist tunnel was uncovered." 

In another post, it stated, "Inside the Rantisi Hospital, yet another terrorist tunnel was unearthed by IDF troops.""The Shaldag SF unit, the 7th Brigade, and additional SF units exposed Hamas's tunneling infrastructure inside the Shifa Hospital. They also discovered a booby-trapped vehicle that was prepared for the October 7th massacre, containing a large amount of weapons and ammunition," Israeli Air Force posted on X.

Taking to X, IDF shared pictures of weapons and ammunition found in what they said was the Al-Quds Hospital. "Inside the Al-Quds Hospital, a large amount of weaponry and ammunition were found. This was all found over the past 24 hours," IDF posted on X.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said fighter jets struck several more Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon. The IDF said that the attacks were carried out in response to attacks on the northern border, The Times of Israel reported.

According to the IDF, anti-tank guided missiles were fired at a number of army posts on the border near the Biranit base and the northern community of Rosh Hanikra. No injuries were reported in the attacks, according to The Times of Israel report. -- ANI
10:20   MP records 11.19% polling, Chhattisgarh 5.71%
 Madhya Pradesh recorded a voter turnout of 11.19 per cent while neighbouring Chhattisgarh saw 5. 71 per cent polling in the second phase till 9.30 am on Friday, according to data shared by the Election Commission.

Polling for the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly and 70 seats for the 90-member Chhattisgarh House is underway currently.

While polling for all seats in Madhya Pradesh is being held in a single phase currently, voting for 20 seats in the first phase of the Chhattisgarh polls was held on November 7.

Polling for the second phase in Chhattisgarh began at 8 pm and will continue till 3 pm. However, voting in nine polling stations of Bindranavagarh Assembly constituency will be held from 7 am to 3 pm.

For Chhattisgarh, over 18,800 polling stations have been set up for the second phase of polling. A total of 958 candidates are in the fray across the 70 seats.
Israeli troops inside Gaza. Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters
Israeli troops inside Gaza. Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters
10:06   Internet, phone networks collapse in Gaza
Internet and telephone services collapsed across the Gaza Strip on Thursday for lack of fuel, the main Palestinian provider said, bringing a potentially long-term blackout of communications as Israel signalled its offensive against Hamas could next target the south, where most of the population has taken refuge. 

 Israeli troops for a second day searched Shifa Hospital in the north for traces of Hamas. They displayed what they said were a tunnel entrance and weapons found in a truck inside the compound. But the military has yet to release evidence of a central Hamas command center that Israel has said is concealed beneath the complex. 

Hamas and staff at the hospital, Gaza's largest, deny the allegations. The military said it found the body of one of the hostages abducted by Hamas, 65-year-old Yehudit Weiss, in a building adjacent to Shifa, where it said it also found assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades. It did not give the cause of her death.

New equipment arrived at the site yesterday
New equipment arrived at the site yesterday
09:46   Tunnel collapse: 21m drilled, 40m more to go
Working overnight with a powerful machine, rescue workers had by Friday morning drilled up to 21 metres through the rubble in Silkyara tunnel, inching closer to the 40 labourers trapped there for five days. 

 The workers need to drill up to 60 metres to insert 800 mm and 900 mm diameter pipes one after the other -- with the help of a giant drill machine till an escape passage is created for the labourers stuck behind the collapsed portion of the under-construction tunnel, NHIDCL Director Anshu Manish Khalkho said. 

 The labourers have been trapped since Sunday morning when a part of the tunnel collapsed following a landslide. 

 "Drilling has been done up to 21 metres so far," the state emergency operation centre's control room in Silkyara said. 

 The stretch where debris is accumulated begins 270 metres from the mouth of the tunnel at Silkyara side. Uttarkashi District Magistrate Abhishek Ruhela said that the trapped workers are safe and being supplied with oxygen, medicines, and food and water through pipes. Constant communication is being maintained with them to keep up their morale, he said. PTI
09:23   Delhi air quality close to 'severe plus' category
Delhi's air quality has deteriorated further and now stands closer to the "severe plus" category, a stage which might trigger the implementation of the odd-even car rationing measure in the capital. 
The city's air quality index stood at 437 at 7 am, worsening from 419 at 4 pm on Thursday.
The capital's 24-hour average AQI, recorded at 4 pm every day, was 401 on Wednesday, 397 on Tuesday, 358 on Monday, 218 on Sunday, 220 on Saturday, and 279 on Friday.  
The relatively better air quality last weekend is attributed to rain. Air pollution levels surged in the following days due to intense firecracker bursting on Diwali night and a resurgence in stubble burning in the neighbouring states.
These effects were compounded by unfavourable meteorological conditions, primarily calm winds and low temperatures, hindering the dispersion of pollutants.  Neighbouring Ghaziabad (374), Gurugram (404), Greater Noida (313), Noida (366), and Faridabad (415) also recorded very poor to severe air quality.  
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 satisfactory, 101 and 200 moderate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 very poor, 401 and 450 severe and above 450 severe plus.  
Earlier this week, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai had mentioned the possibility of the return of the odd-even car rationing measure if the AQI crosses the 450-mark.
The measure, implemented four times since 2016, allows cars to operate on alternate days based on the odd or even last digit of their registration numbers. The last enforcement was in 2019.  
The government last week postponed its implementation after a notable improvement in the city's air quality due to rain on Friday.  
Recent findings from a joint project by the Delhi government and IIT-Kanpur found that vehicular emissions accounted for about 38 per cent of the capital's air pollution on Wednesday. This reduced to 25 per cent on Thursday.  
Secondary inorganic aerosols -- particles such as sulfate and nitrate that are formed in the atmosphere due to the interaction of gases and particulate pollutants from sources like power plants, refineries, and vehicles -- is the second major contributor to Delhi's foul air, accounting for 30 to 35 per cent of the air pollution in the city the last few days.  
Calm winds and low temperatures are allowing accumulation of pollutants and relief is unlikely over the next few days, an official at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. -- PTI
08:58   Modi urges MP, Chhattisgarh voters to use their franchise
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged voters in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to use their franchise as the two states went to polls.  
On Friday, polling began for all seats in Madhya Pradesh and 70 of 90 assembly seats in Chhattisgarh in the second and final phase of the election in the state.  
Modi on X urged the Chhattisgarh voters to use their franchise, saying every vote is valuable for democracy.  
In a message to Madhya Pradesh voters, he expressed confidence that voters across the state will cast their ballots and add to the "brightness of this festival of democracy."  
The prime minister extended his greetings to the first-time voters. -- PTI 
08:34   Voting begins for MP, Chhattisgarh assembly polls
The voting for Madhya Pradesh's all 230 assembly seats and Chhattisgarh's 70 seats, in the second phase of the election, begins.

In both of these Hindi heartland states, the straight contest between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition Congress.

While in Madhya Pradesh, the incumbent is the BJP, in Chhattisgarh, it is the Congress that is seeking to retain power.

Counting of votes for both states will take place on December 3, along with votes for Telangana, Rajasthan and Mizoram, where elections are taking place in this round. 
00:55   Fire breaks out in Mumbai industrial estate; no casualties reported
A fire broke out in an industrial estate in the Malad area of Mumbai on Thursday. 

The fire engulfed 5 to 6 godowns of the industrial estate. 

On receiving information, 6 fire vehicles rushed to the spot and took immediate measures to control the fire, according to officials. 

According to the officials, no one has been injured in the fire. The cause of the fire is not known and an investigation is underway. More details are awaited. -- ANI
00:43   Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy cremated in Lucknow
The last rites of Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy were performed at Baikunth Dham, on the banks of the Gomti river in Lucknow, on Thursday. 

A procession carrying the body left Sahara Shahar in Gomti Nagar for Baikunth Dham, where in the presence of Sahara Group employees and a number of dignitaries, the last rites were performed. 

Roy's sons were not present during the cremation and the last rites were performed by his 16-year-old grandson, Himanc Roy, sources in the family said. 

Prominent among those seen during the cremation included Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, Congress leader Pramod Tiwari and actor and Congress leader Raj Babbar. 

Roy died of cardiorespiratory arrest in a Mumbai Hospital on Tuesday, according to a statement issued by the Sahara Group. 

He was 75. 

His body was flown in from Mumbai and kept at Sahara Shahar on Wednesday. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Yadav had expressed grief over Roy's demise. 

In a post on X, Adityanath said, "The demise of Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy is very sad. Prayers to Lord Shri Ram to give place to the departed soul at his feet and give strength to the bereaved family members to bear this immense sorrow. Om Shanti." 

Yadav had said Roy's death is a "loss for Uttar Pradesh and the country because along with being a very successful businessman, he was also a very sensitive person with a big heart who helped countless people and became their support". -- PTI
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule meets ex-minister Pankaja Munde (right)/Chandrashekhar Bawankule on X
Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule meets ex-minister Pankaja Munde (right)/Chandrashekhar Bawankule on X
00:21   Maha BJP chief meets ex-minister Pankaja Munde
Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party president Chandrashekhar Bawankule on Thursday met party national secretary Pankaja Munde, who has been sidelined in state politics, at her residence in Mumbai. 

Bawankule posted pictures of his visit to the home of Pankaja Munde, the daughter of BJP stalwart late Gopinath Munde, social media site X. 

Beed Lok Sabha member Pritam Munde, sister of Pankaja Munde, was also present during the meeting. 

Bawankule described the visit as a courtesy call to greet the Mundes on Diwali. 

"Apart from savouring on Diwali delicacies, we had a good discussion on various issues," said the state BJP president without elaborating. 

Pankaja Munde, a prominent OBC face of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Maharashtra, was the rural development minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government (2014 to 2019). 

However, she was defeated in her home constituency Parli in Beed district by her estranged cousin Dhananjay Munde, who is from the NCP (Ajit Pawar group), in the October 2019 assembly polls. 

Dhananjay Munde joined the Shiv Sena-BJP ruling coalition along with Ajit Pawar on July 2 and is now a minister in the Eknath Shinde government. -- PTI