Priyanka Chaturvedi quits party, joins Shiv Sena

Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi quits party, joins Shiv Sena

Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi, who had expressed her displeasurView image on Twittere against the party in a tweet, on Friday joined the Shiv Sena. She sent her resignation to Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday evening.

At a press conference she addressed along with Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai, Ms Chaturvedi said, “Happy that the Sena has taken me in as a family member. I am thankful to Uddhavji and Adityaji.”

Two days ago, in a tweet, Priyanka Chaturvedi expressed her displeasure over reinstatement by the Congress on April 15 of some party workers in Mathura who had misbehaved with her at a recent press conference.

Mr. Thackeray said, “No need to introduce Priyankaji. She confidently defended her party. She thought that the Sena is best choice. I welcome you to the Sena family.” Earlier, as Ms Chaturvedi put her resignation letter on her Twitter handle, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Rout told reporters that the former Congress spokesperson from Mumbai would be joining their party.

In her resignation letter, Ms Chaturvedi said, “In the last few weeks, certain things have convinced me that my services are not valued in the organization and I have reached the end of the road. At the same time, I also feel the more time I spend in the organization will be at the cost of my own self respect and dignity.”

The letter, copied to K.C. Venugopal and Randeep Surjewala, read, “What saddens me is that despite the safety, dignity, empowerment of women being promoted by the party and has been your call to action the same is not reflected in the action of some of the members of the party.”

View image on Twitter

I am absolutely overwhelmed and grateful with the love and support I have got across board from the nation in the past 3 days. 
I consider myself blessed with this immense outpouring of support. Thank you to all who have been a part of this journey.

The trigger for her action is stated to be the reinstatement by the party on April 15 of some party workers in Mathura who had misbehaved with her at a recent press conference. They were subjected to disciplinary action, initially.

Misbehaviour by party workers

“Deeply saddened that lumpen goons get prefence in @incindia over those who have given their sweat&blood. Having faced brickbats&abuse across board for the party but yet those who threatened me within the party getting away with not even a rap on their knuckles is unfortunate,” Ms. Chaturvedi tweeted on Wednesday. She has removed all the reference to the Congress from her Twitter bio.

Ms Chaturvedi was also upset over being passed over in allotment of party ticket to actor Urmila Matondkar for the Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency.

“I have not asked, sought rewards or returns for  myself in the hope that the party and it’s leadership would take care of my aspirations,”she wrote in her letter without clearly spelling out her disappointment over being denied a Lok Sabha ticket.


RSS demands law to construct Ram temple at Ayodhya

RSS demands law to construct Ram temple at Ayodhya

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Wednesday said the Central government should now acquire the land and start building Ram temple to restore the nation’s pride. “Ram temple is the issue of nation’s pride and prestige. Former President of India Rajendra Prasad had personally visited Somanath Temple which was rebuilt by Sardar Patel. The government should acquire the land to build the temple and even enact a law,” said RSS joint general secretary Manmohan Vaidya. He was addressing a press conference on the first day of the RSS all-India working committee meeting at Keshav Srushti, near Mumbai.

Related image

Mosque not required for Muslim prayers

“This issue is not about Hindu-Muslim or temple and mosque. When Babar conquered Ayodhya, he had plenty of land and could have built a masjid anywhere. But he demolished the temple, which has been proven in the study by archeaologists. Courts too have said that mosque is not required for Muslim prayers. Islamic scholars have said that prayers in mosque which has been conquered is of no use,” said Mr. Vaidya.

The working committee meeting of the RSS is organised twice every year, first in March and second before Diwali. A total of 350 RSS working committee members will be participating in the meeting.

Mr. Vaidya said that the meeting apart from discussing pressing national issues, will also hold talks on organisation’s work in the recent past as well as its strategy for the future.

55,000 shakhas

“At present, we have a total of 55,000 shakhas running across the country at more than 31,000 places. Out of these 82% are running in rural areas while rest in urban parts. We have formed 56,000 mandals whereby each mandal connects 10 to 12 villages,” he said.

Replying to a question about the criticism of Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s on RSS, Mr Vaidya said, “Congress is making such allegation since many years. Let them allege. RSS is growing despite all the criticism.”

Among the issues highlighted include RSS work on protection of Indian (desi) breed cows. It has formed over 1,500 cow shelters across the country. “The nuclear family structure is also a cause of concern and this meeting will discuss various measures that needs to be taken on this issue,” he said.


Sensex, Nifty touch record levels as rupee recovers

Sensex, Nifty touch record levels as rupee recovers

Positive global cues on easing trade protectionist measures along with an appreciation in the Indian rupee lifted the key equity indices — S&P BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty 50 — to settle at fresh high levels on Monday.

On a intra-day basis, the BSE Sensex touched a fresh high of 38,340.69 points, while the Nifty50 climbed a peak of 11,565.30 points.

Index-wise, the wider NSE Nifty50 closed at 11,551.75 points, up 81 points or 0.71 per cent from its previous close of 11,470.75 points.

The benchmark BSE Sensex which had opened at 38,075.07 points, closed at 38,278.75 points, higher by 330.87 points or 0.87 per cent from its previous close of 37,947.88 points. It touched an intra-day low of 38,050.69 points.

In the broader markets, the S&P BSE Mid-cap ended higher by 1.05 per cent and the S&P BSE Small-cap rose by 0.14 per cent.

The BSE market breadth was tilted towards the bulls with 1,437 advances and 1,307 declines.

“Positive global stocks, optimism over a trade resolution between the USA and China and strong institutional activity at home fuelled investor sentiment and pushed the bourses to close the day with gains,” Abhijeet Dey, Senior Fund Manager for equities at BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.

The two economic giants are expected to hold lower-level trade talks this month, offering hope that they might resolve an escalating tariff war, Dey added.

Accordingly, major Asian markets closed on a positive note, barring the Nikkei and Straits indices and European indices including FTSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 traded in the green, said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.

Besides, global cues, the appreciation in Indian rupee supported the indices’ upward movement.

On Monday, the Indian rupee appreciated by 33 paise to settle at 69.83 per US dollar, from its record closing low of 70.16 per dollar on the previous trade session.

“The rupee has appreciated today as the US dollar index has witnessed profit booking,” Anand Rathi Shares and Stock Brokers’ Research Analyst Rushabh Maru told IANS.

“There is an optimism in the market that US and China would find a solution for ongoing trade conflict. So that has also supported the rupee.”

Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 483.04 crore and the domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 593.22 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE capital goods index rose 668.41 points, the metal index was up 332.36 points and the auto index rose by 244.22 points.

In contrast, the S&P BSE IT index declined by 188.84 points, consumer durables fell 127.24 points and Teck (entertainment, technology and media) index ended lower by 76.07 points from its previous close.

The major gainers on the Sensex were Larsen and Toubro, up 6.74 per cent at Rs 1,323.95; Tata Motors (DVR), up 5.74 per cent at Rs 143.80, Tata Motors, up 4.74 at Rs 269.55; ONGC up 3.34 per cent, at Rs 168.55; and Tata Steel, up 3.24 per cent at Rs 599.40 per share.

The majors losers were Infosys, down 3.22 per cent at Rs 1,385.20; Maruti Suzuki, down 0.79 per cent at Rs 9,075.90; ICICI Bank, down 0.50 per cent at Rs 338.35; Axis Bank, down 0.46 per cent at Rs 624.20; and Hindustan Unilever, down 0.30 at Rs 1,775.40 per share.

-PTI |21 August 2018 | Mumbai

IndiGo cancels 47 flights with faulty engines

IndiGo cancels 47 flights after DGCA grounds planes with faulty engines

Budget carrier IndiGo has cancelled as many as 47 flights on 13 March, 2018 after the country’s aviation regulator DGCA grounded its eight A320Neo planes with faulty Pratt & Whitney engines, along with three such aircraft of GoAir.

IndiGo has cancelled 47 flights across its domestic network on March 13, the airline announced on its website. The flights that have been cancelled are from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Patna, Srinagar, Bhubaneswar, Amritsar, Srinagar and Guwahati, among others.

IndiGoThe Directorate General of Civil Aviation ( DGCA) cracked the whip after an IndiGo flight bound for Lucknow returned to Ahmedabad within 40 minutes of its getting airborne due to a mid-air engine failure on Monday.

Three other IndiGo A320Neo planes have been on the ground since February following similar engine problems.

Citing safety of aircraft operations, the Director of the DGCA, in the March 12 order, said that A320 Neos fitted with PW1100 engines beyond ESN 450 have been grounded with immediate effect. Three other IndiGo A320Neo planes have been on the ground since February following similar engine problems.

IndiGo has cancelled 47 flights across its domestic network on March 13, the airline announced on its website. The flights that have been cancelled are from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Patna, Srinagar, Bhubaneswar, Amritsar, Srinagar and Guwahati, among others. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation ( DGCA) cracked the whip after an IndiGo flight bound for Lucknow returned to Ahmedabad within 40 minutes of its getting airborne due to a mid-air engine failure on Monday.

On Monday, hundreds of passengers were stranded across the country as dozens of flights were cancelled by IndiGo and GoAir following the grounding of 11 planes. IndiGo operates about 1,000 flights daily.

IndiGo carries about 40 per cent of domestic flyers, while GoAir has a market share of around 10 per cent.

– PTI, 13 March, 2018

Mumbai foot overbridge stampede kills 22

Mumbai foot over-bridge stampede kills 22 

At least 22 people were killed and several injured in a rush hour stampede on a foot over-bridge (FOB) linking Elphinstone Road and Parel suburban railway stations in Mumbai this morning, civic officials said.
The tragedy took place amid rain in the city around 10.40 am when the FOB was heavily crowded, a police official said.
Police suspect a short-circuit with a loud sound near the FOB led to panic and people started running, resulting in the stampede.
According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) disaster control room, 22 people were brought dead to the KEM Hospital in Parel.
Those injured were taken to various hospitals, he said. Officials of the railway, police and fire brigade rushed to the site to carry out rescue operations.
-29 September 2017 | PTI | Mumbai

Dawood Ibrahim’s assets worth Rs 15,000 cr seized in UAE

Mumbai blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim’s assets worth Rs 15,000 cr seized in UAE

Mumbai blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim's assets worth Rs 15,000 cr seized in UAE

In what is believed to be the biggest ever crackdown on Mumbai serial blasts mastermind Dawood Ibrahim, a report on Tuesday claimed that the UAE government has seized the fugitive underworld don’s assets worth Rs 15,000 crore.

Zee Media on Tuesday claimed that Dawood has several properties, including hotels and shares in top rung companies in UAE.

The UAE authorities have also sealed properties of Dawood in Dubai.

The UAE government had recently begun an inquiry into properties of  Dawood Ibrahim in Dubai after receiving a confidential list from India.

 The list was provided to the UAE authorities when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accompanied by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, visited UAE last year.

The Government of India had then requested the UAE government to seize the properties belonging to Dawood and his crime syndicate.

The dossier provided by India to UAE listed several properties and also reportedly made a mention about a company known as ”Golden Box” being allegedly run in Dubai by Dawood’s brother.

The dossier stated that this company is being run by Anis Ibrahim who is the younger brother of Dawood.

Besides Dubai, Dawood has investments in Morocco, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Thailand, Cyprus, Turkey, India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

-January 3, 2017, New Delhi


Uran Suspects’ sketches released, may targets ONGC

Mumbai, Uran on high alert: Suspects’ sketches released, one heard as saying We will target ONGC

Mumbai, Uran on high alert: Suspects' sketches released, one heard as saying `We will target ONGC`

The Maharashtra Police on Thursday night issued sketches of suspects spotted moving suspiciously near a naval base at Uran in neighbouring Raigad district.

The information by some local students led to a multi-agency search operation.

Based on the description given by some school children at Uran who spotted the armed suspects, their sketches were issued late last night, police said on Friday.

Meanwhile, National Security Guard and Navi Mumbai Police today questioned the girl who claimed to have seen the suspected gunmen.

Reports say that the girl has told the officials that she saw four-five men dressed in Pathani suits and a few of them were wearing masks. “They (suspected gunmen) were talking that we will target ONGC and split into two groups,” added the girl.

The schools and colleges in Uran and adjoining areas have been shut today.

“As per the reports, five to six persons were sighted in Pathani suits and appeared to be carrying weapons and backpacks,” Naval spokesman Cdr Rahul Sinha had earlier said.

Some reports said they were in military uniform.

The alert, which comes four days after the Uri attack which left 18 soldiers dead, has led to elite forces like National Security Guard (NSG), state police’s specialised commandos Force One, Anti-Terrorist Squad, Maharashtra Police, Navi Mumbai police, Mumbai police, and other agencies being roped in for the search and security.

Despite carrying out a massive combing operation in Uran and Karanja areas, police are yet to trace the suspects.

Navi Mumbai Commissioner of Police monitored the situation throughout the night along with other top officials.

A strict vigil by police and other security agencies is being maintained in the area.

A high alert was yesterday sounded along the Mumbai coast and adjoining areas after a group of men were spotted moving suspiciously near a naval base at Uran in Raigad, leading to search operations by multiple agencies.

The alert came four days after the Uri attack which left 18 soldiers dead.

The Navy pressed its choppers for surveillance and heightened patrolling in the sea by its vessels and high-speed boats.

Some children from Uran Education Society’s school first spotted the suspects, and their teacher informed the police, the police said.

Subsequently, the Western Naval Command issued a “highest state of alert” along the Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Raigad coasts where several sensitive establishments and assets are located.

A similar high alert was sounded in Mumbai with armed police taking positions at various points in south Mumbai, including near the Gateway of India and Girgaum Chowpatty. All coastal police stations from Palghar to Goa have been alerted to keep a lookout for any suspicious activities.

Western India’s biggest naval base, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, fertiliser plants, refineries, power plants and the country’s largest container port, JNPT are located in close vicinity of Uran.

The fishing town of Uran is located across the eastern waterfront of the financial capital. The base located close to the town also houses units of MARCOS, the Navy’s elite strike force.

The development brought back memories of November 26, 2008, when a group of 10 Pakistani terrorists had sneaked into Mumbai through the Arabian Sea at Colaba and then created mayhem for 60 hours.

Much earlier, the sea route was taken for landing large quantities of arms and ammunition at various points on the Maharashtra coast which were used for carrying out the serial bomb attacks in Mumbai on March 12, 1993

-September 23, 2016, Mumbai


Mumbai -Goa highway bridge collapse: 2 dead, 44 missing

Mumbai -Goa highway bridge collapse: 2 dead, 44 missing; CM reviews rescue ops, Opposition seeks probe

Mumbai-Goa highway bridge collapse: 2 dead, 44 missing; CM reviews rescue ops, Opposition seeks probe

A British era bridge on the Mumbai-Goa National Highway collapsed in the wee hours of Wednesday due to excessive rains in the Konkan region in Maharashtra.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis also arrived at the bridge collapse site to review the relief and rescue work.Mumbai-Goa bridge collapse: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis at the spot.

The rescuers have recovered two dead bodies from the overflowing Savitri river and a massive search is on for others who are missing, Raigad Collector Sheetal Ugale had confirmed.

At least 44 people, two buses and several other vehicles went missing near Mahad city after the bridge, more than seven decades old and a critical link to the Mumbai-Goa National Highway, crashed around 1 am due to the flood waters rushing into the river.

 Two state transport buses with 11 passengers each are also missing and there was no contact with either their drivers or the passengers, Raigad Collector Sheetal Ugale said.

Since the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation buses, which started from Mumbai, did not arrive at their scheduled Mahad depot, Ugale appealed people to get in touch with the concerned authorities about their missing relatives. Locals said that around five to six private vehicles were also missing and they were feared to be washed away in the floods.

The ICG has meanwhile pressed Chetak Helicopters into search operations for tracing missing vehicles. Sea king 42C all weather aircraft with diving team has also been pressed into service by the Indian Navy. A massive search operation have been initiated, Ugale confirmed

“The bridge was built during the British era. After discussion with the National Highways Authority, we have shifted traffic to the new parallel bridge nearby. We are trying to confirm reports of other missing vehicles,” Ugale said.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today informed Lok Sabha that 4 NDRF teams comprising 115 personnel including divers along with 12 boats were immediately rushed to Maharashtra bridge collapse site. Centre stands with Maharashtra government in this hour of crisis and assures all possible help, Singh added.

Meanwhile, the Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly today sought a judicial probe into the Mahad bridge collapse tragedy. Raising the issue in the Assembly, former CM Prithviraj Chavan said a judicial probe should be conducted and action taken against those guilty of allowing the old bridge to remain open for traffic.

A case of IPC 302 should also be filed against PWD minister Chandrakant Patil, he added.

Meanwhile, a 45-member National Disaster Response Force team has reached Raigad from Pune to assist in the rescue operations.

Maharashtra CM Fadnavis said that PM Narendra Modi had called him in the morning and assured all help from Centre. NDRF teams have reached and carrying out search operations, the Maharashtra CM added.

As of now we have reports of two state transport buses missing with 22 people onboard, Fadnavis said. He also added that primary reason seems to be high pressure caused due to flooding of river Savitri as heavy rains continue to lash the catchment of Mahabaleshwar.

Raigad Collector also confirmed that one way traffic has now resumed on the new bridge, he added.

Incessant rains continue to lash the coastal Konkan, northern and western Maharashtra since past five days.

– August 3, 2016, Mumbai

Final trial of Delhi-Mumbai Talgo bullet train from today

Final trial of Delhi to Mumbai Talgo bullet train from today

Delhi to Mumbai in 12 hours! Final trial of Talgo bullet train from today

The three day final trial run for high-speed Talgo trains of  between Delhi-Mumbai route will start from Monday.

The trial will be conducted between August 1 to August 5. The first trial will kick off on August 1, second on August 3 and the final on August 5.

Indian Railways had conducted the first ever trial run for Talgo trains on the Bareilly-to-Moradabad stretch in Uttar Pradesh in May this year.

The second trial run was conducted on the Palwal-to-Mathura section of the North-Central Railway.

Talgo is a Madrid-based Spanish leading manufacturer of semi-high speed (160-250 kmph) and high-speed (350 kmph) passenger trains, which are energy-efficient.

This Spanish high speed train is expected to cut travel time between Delhi and Mumbai to 12 hours.

The nine-coach Talgo train consists of two Executive Class cars, four Chair Cars, a cafeteria, a power car and a tail-end coach for staff and equipment.

Currently, the super fast Rajdhani Express train takes around 16 hours to complete the 1,384 km stretch between New Delhi and Mumbai.

The Mumbai Central-New Delhi Rajdhani Express has an average running speed of nearly 91 km per hour. It can attain a top speed of 130 km per hour.

-August 1, 2016, New Delhi


SC tells Centre to take over Adarsh housing society

SC tells Centre to take over Adarsh housing society in Mumbai before August 5, stays demolition plan

Supreme Court asks Centre to take possession of Adarsh Society building in Mumbai


The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to take possession and secure the 31-storey controversial Adarsh apartments in Mumbai.

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to take possession and secure the 31-storey controversial Adarsh apartments in Mumbai.

The Centre further gave an assurance to the court that the building would not be demolished.

“We will secure the building and the land and there will be no demolition,” Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre assured the bench when the counsel for the Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society sought a stay on the demolition order of the High Court.

A bench comprising Justices J Chelameswar and AM Sapre also asked the Registrar General of Bombay High Court to ensure that either he, or a registrar nominated by him, oversee the handing over of possession of the building on or before August 05.

The bench asked the Registrar of the High Court to ensure that all the documents and records pertaining to the society are inventorised and handed over to the housing society simultaneously when Director of Military Estate or his nominee takes over the possession of the building.

“Issue notice. There shall be no interim order… Except the fact that the Government of India will take possession of the building in question within one week from today,” the bench said.

However, later it extended the time for taking over the possession of the building till August 5.

Earlier on April 29, the Bombay High Court ordered demolition of the 31-storey scam-tainted Adarsh apartments in the heart of Mumbai and sought criminal proceedings against politicians and bureaucrats for “misuse” of powers, holding that the tower was illegally constructed.

However, on a plea made by the Adarsh Housing Society, a division bench later stayed its order to pull down the building close to the sea at Colaba for 12 weeks to enable it to file an appeal in the Supreme Court, despite the Maharashtra Government opposing it.

In its order, the division bench had asked the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest to carry out the demolition at the expense of petitioners (Adarsh Society).

The HC had also asked the Centre and Maharashtra Government to consider initiating civil and criminal proceedings against bureaucrats, ministers and politicians for misuse and abuse of power to get plots under the scheme, originally meant for Kargil war heroes and war widows.

After the scam erupted in November 2010, with allegations that it had violated various environmental norms and regulations, lacked certain permissions and other issues, it claimed the job of then chief minister Ashok Chavan and several other officials.

The building, originally intended to be a six-storey structure to house Kargil War heroes and widows, was later transformed into a 100-metre tall tower in which several politicians, bureaucrats and Army officers allegedly conspired to corner flats at cheap rates.

The CBI investigations finally resulted in 13 people being charge-sheeted. Among them was Ashok Chavan, whose three relatives figured in the list of the tainted Society’s members. The building remains unoccupied, without water and electricity since November 2010.

In January 2011, a two-member commission of inquiry consisting retired high court judge, Justice JA Patil, and retired chief secretary P Subrahmanyam, was also constituted but the then Congress-Nationalist Congress Party only partly accepted its recommendations.

-July 22, 2016, Mumbai