Daily bulletin: Congress escalates Rafale row, Narendra Modi to inaugurate Sikkim’s first airport today; day’s top stories
A delegation of top Congress leaders will meet the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on Monday to seek an independent probe into the alleged corruption in the Rafale fighter jets deal, the party said. The Congress has launched an offensive against the BJP government over the Rafale deal alleging corruption and violation of rules by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded answers from him. Party president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday hit back at Arun Jaitley on the Rafale issue on Sunday, saying it is time the finance minister and the prime minister “stop lying” and call for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe for an “uncorrupted truth” to come out. He accused Jaitley of having the ability to spin “2 truths or lies” with “fake self-righteousness” and “indignation to defend the indefensible”. He also tagged a media report highlighting how former French president Francois Hollande’s charges have hit the Modi government on the Rafale issue. The Rafale controversy took a turn last week after former Hollande claimed that the Indian government proposed Reliance Defence’s name as the offset partner for Dassault Aviation.
Kerala priest, nun face action for supporting nuns’ protest; police custody of Bishop Franco Mulakkal ends today
A Jacobite priest has been warned of disciplinary action and a Catholic nun restrained from church duties in a fallout of their participation in protests in Kochi demanding the arrest of rape accused Bishop Franco Mulakkal. Sister Lucy Kalapura, who returned to her parish in Wayand on Sunday morning from Kochi, claimed she was informed orally by the Mother Superior that she should keep away from holding catechism classes, conducting prayers and other activities related to the Syro Malabar catholic church. However, in a statement Father Stephen Kottakkal, vicar of the St Mary’s church Karakkamala in Wayanad, said Sister Lucy had been asked to keep away from duties in view of certain concerns expressed by the parishioners. The police custody of the bishop — arrested on Friday after three days of intense grilling by Kerala police — will end on 24 September. The bail application of Mulakkal was been dismissed by the Magistrate Court, Pala on Saturday afternoon.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Gangtok, Sikkim. PIB
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Gangtok, Sikkim. PIB
Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate Sikkim’s first airport today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the state’s only airport-the Pakyong Greenfield on Monday. He arrived in Gangtok for a two-day visit to Sikkim on Sunday. During the two-day visit, Modi will inaugurate the Pakyong Greenfield Airport, around 33 kilometres from Gangtok, on Monday. He will also address people at St Xavier’s School in Pakyong after inaugurating the airport. The Pakyong airport was approved by the Centre in 2008 and was constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 350 crore. The project is being billed as an engineering marvel — it has been built at a height of 4,500 feet in inhospitable terrain.
Army chief Bipin Rawat backs Centre’s decision to call off UNGA talks
Reacting on the Indian government’s decision to call off the foreign minister-level talks with Pakistan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Sunday said that terrorism and peace talks cannot take place together. In a strong statement, Rawat told reporters that the Indian government’s policy is very clear that Pakistan, with their actions, has to prove that they are not promoting terrorism. On 21 September, Ministry of External Affairs said that behind Pakistan’s proposal for talks to make a fresh beginning, its evil agenda stands exposed and the true face of the new Pakistan prime minister has been revealed. India, on Friday, pulled out of the proposed meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi, hours after two special police officers and one policeman in Jammu and Kashmir were kidnapped and brutally killed by terrorists.
Rawat also said that Pakistan has intentionally caused trouble in Kashmir Valley by radicalising its youth and also claimed that Pakistan’s peace proposal is a farce as long as it refuses to act on terror emanating from its soil. “Pakistan wants these types of trouble (violence) to continue in Kashmir. They want that peace shouldn’t return in this area. They’re trying to radicalise the youth of Kashmir. Pakistan has decided to bleed India with a thousand cuts,” he said during an interview to news agency ANI.
Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar to stay on in office
Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar will continue in his post, BJP president Amit Shah said on Sunday as he announced that a reshuffle of the state’s ministers will soon take place. The BJP chief said so in a tweet following a discussion with Bharatiya Janata Party’s core group team from Goa. “It has been decided during a discussion with the Goa BJP core team that Manohar Parrikar will continue to lead the Goa government. There will soon be a reshuffle of ministers and their portfolios,” he said. Parrikar’s poor health has sparked speculation over his continuation as chief minister of Goa, and Shah recently sent a team of central party leaders to the coastal state to speak to allies and take stock of the political situation there.
Petrol prices in Mumbai inch towards 90-mark
Petrol prices in Delhi were increased by 17 paise per litre and diesel were hiked by 10 paise per litre on Sunday. The cost of petrol inched closer to the Rs 90-per litre mark in Mumbai, according to the price notification of state-owned fuel retailers. The price of petrol in Mumbai is the highest on account of highest value added tax (VAT) while fuel rates are cheapest in Delhi because of lower taxes. The revised price of diesel in Delhi stood at Rs 73.97 per litre and in Mumbai diesel was retailed at Rs s.78.53. Fuel prices have been on the rise due to depreciation of the rupee against the US dollar and sharp hike in crude prices.
Irrfan Khan film is Bangladesh’s entry to Oscars 2019
Indian actor Irrfan Khan-starrer Doob – No Bed of Roses, which was once banned in Bangladesh, has been chosen as the country’s official entry for the Academy Awards 2019. The Bangladesh Oscar Committee chose the movie as the entry for the best foreign language film category. Doob stars Irrfan — also its co-producer — as a successful filmmaker facing a midlife crisis when he has a tryst with his daughter’s childhood friend, causing a national scandal.
Motorola One Power to launch today
Motorola One Power was launched at IFA 2018 and was confirmed to arrive exclusively in India. The phone finally comes to India on 24 September. Given we already know the specifications of the phone, it’s the price that everyone will be looking out for. Given its competition, the Motorola One Power is expected to be priced in and around the Rs 15,000 mark and directly take on the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Nokia 6.1 Plus. Motorola will also have to ensure that it does not cannibalise the market of its existing Moto G6 series. In terms of specifications, the phone is said to feature a 6.2-inch FHD+ display with a notch on top and a 19:9 aspect ratio. Inside, we have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC which was also seen on the Nokia 6.1 Plus. The phone runs on Android Oreo 8.1 and is said to arrive in two storage options — a 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage and 4 GB RAM with 64 GB internal storage. The phone may also be equipped with an expandable memory with up to 256 GB. For optics, the One Power sports a 16 MP + 5 MP dual-lens unit on the rear and a 12 MP selfie camera. The phone also rocks a massive 5,000 mAh battery unit.