Maharashtra: Uddhav Thackeray sworn in as chief minister after a month of political instability

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray took oath as the 19th chief minister of Maharashtra on Thursday at an event held in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari will also administer the oath to six ministers – two each from the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party, and the Congress.

West Bengal bye-elections: BJP candidate in Kaliaganj blames NRC for defeat

As the Trinamool Congress swept the bye-elections in West Bengal, a Bharatiya Janata Party candidate said confusion about the proposed implementation of the National Register of Citizens in the state cost the party the seats, PTI reported.

Efforts are being made to revive BSNL and MTNL, Centre says in Rajya Sabha

The government informed the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that efforts are on to revive telecommunications firms Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, which have been making losses, PTI reported. The Centre added that its voluntary retirement scheme for employees of the two organisations is receiving a good response.

Maharashtra: Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress commit to ‘secular values’ in common minimum programme

The newly formed alliance of the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress in Maharashtra have promised to uphold secular values in the state, ANI reported. The alliance announced its common minimum programme on Thursday evening, assuring immediate loan waivers to farmers who suffered due to floods this year.

Jharkhand elections: Maoism buried ‘20 feet under the earth’ by BJP regime, says Amit Shah in rally

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday claimed the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Jharkhand had “buried” Maoist activities “20 feet under the earth”, PTI reported. Speaking at a rally in the state’s Chatra district, Shah claimed there was not a single corruption charge against the government, which is seeking a second term.

Maharashtra: Ajit Pawar left out of Uddhav Thackeray’s Cabinet, six ministers to take oath today

Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar, whose revolt against the party on the weekend precipitated a crisis in Maharashtra politics, on Thursday said he would not take oath along with others who are part of an alliance government led by Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray. Thackeray and his Cabinet will take oath in a ceremony at Shivaji Park in Mumbai at 6.40 pm. Two leaders each from the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress will be sworn in as ministers.

Over 13,000 RTI cases pending with the Central Information Commission in last one year, says Centre

As many as 13,453 cases have been pending with the Central Information Commission for more than a year, the Centre said on Thursday. The commission deals with grievances related to requests filed under the Right to Information Act. Union minister Jitendra Singh gave the number in a written response to a question asked in the Rajya Sabha by Trinamool Congress MP Shanta Chhetri.

Godse remarks: Pragya Thakur claims outburst was in defence of revolutionary Udham Singh

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Singh Thakur on Thursday claimed that her expunged comment in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday was to protest against the “insult” of revolutionary leader Udham Singh, not Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse. The Bhopal legislator presented her defence in a tweet hours after the saffron party’s Working President JP Nadda said she will be removed from the consultative defence committee and barred from participating in parliamentary party meetings.

INX Media case: Supreme Court reserves judgement on P Chidambaram’s bail plea

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on former Union minister P Chidambaram’s bail plea in connection with the Enforcement Directorate’s charges filed in the INX Media case. The top court instructed the registry to accept the investigation reports in a sealed cover from the agency.

‘BJP made shameless attempts to subvert democracy in Maharashtra,’ says Sonia Gandhi

Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of making shameless attempts to “subvert democracy” in Maharashtra and for “blatantly sabotaging” the three-party alliance from coming to power in the state. Addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting in the Parliament House, Gandhi attacked Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and said that he had acted in an “unprecedented and reprehensible manner”.

Google sent 12,000 warnings to users about state-backed attackers during July-September

“Government-backed attackers” prompted Google to send over 12,000 warnings to its users across 149 countries – including up to 500 in India – between July and September, the company said on Tuesday. Such attackers work with goals such as collecting intelligence, targeting dissidents and activists, and “destructive” cyber attacks, Google said.

Reliance Industries becomes first Indian firm to cross Rs 10-lakh-crore market capitalisation

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries on Thursday became the first Indian company to cross Rs 10-lakh-crore in market capitalisation, after its shares rose to record high of Rs 1,581 a piece. Last month, Reliance Industries had crossed the market capitalisation of Rs 9 lakh crore to become the most valuable company. The company will release its financial results for the quarter that ended on September 30 later in the day.

Bye-election results: TMC wins Kaliaganj, leads in other two West Bengal seats

The Trinamool Congress won the bye-election to the Kaliaganj Assembly seat in West Bengal and was leading in two other seats in the state. The three seats – the others being Karimpur and Kharagpur Sadar – had voted for bye-elections on Monday.

After the victory in Kaliaganj, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday claimed the BJP was getting paid back for its “arrogance” and for “insulting” the people of the state.

After Pragya Thakur praises Godse, BJP working chief says she will be removed from defence panel

Bharatiya Janta Party Working President JP Nadda on Thursday condemned party MP Pragya Singh Thakur’s remarks about Nathuram Godse. On Wednesday, Thakur had referred to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin as a patriot during a debate in the Lok Sabha.

Maharashtra: BJP made ‘political blunders’, thinking of quitting, says Eknath Khadse

Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party leader Eknath Khadse said he was thinking about quitting the party after watching it make “political blunders” in the state. Khadse claimed that the BJP would have won 20-25 additional seats in the Assembly elections held last month, if he and some other party leaders had actively campaigned.

‘PM avoids luxury hotels, stays at airport’: Amit Shah defends removing SPG cover for Gandhi family

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while defending the decision to remove Special Protection Group cover for the Gandhi family, on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi avoids luxury five star hotels during his foreign visits and chose to take rest at airport terminals instead.

‘Reward for honesty is humiliation’: IAS officer Ashok Khemka transferred for 53rd time

The Haryana government on Wednesday transferred 14 Indian Administrative Service officers, including bureaucrat Ashok Khemka, PTI reported. This is Khemka’s 53rd transfer in a 28-year-long career.

Ahead of Uddhav Thackeray swearing-in as Maharashtra CM, Narendra Modi and Sonia Gandhi get invites

Invites for Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s swearing-in ceremony as chief minister on Thursday evening were sent out to politicians across party lines, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi, along with several other leaders, NDTV reported. The oath will be administered at Shivaji Park in Mumbai.

The new Shiv Sena-led government will have only one deputy chief minister from the Nationalist Congress Party while the Assembly Speaker will be from the Congress. A few legislators from the Sena, the NCP, and the Congress will also take oath along with Thackeray.

Ayodhya verdict: Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind says its review plea not to disrupt ‘national solidarity’

Muslim organisation Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind on Thursday said it will file a review petition, challenging the Supreme Court’s Ayodhya verdict, PTI reported. The top court on November 9 had ordered a trust to be set to oversee the construction of a Ram temple at the site while the Muslims were offered a separate five-acre plot elsewhere in the city for the construction of a mosque.

Corruption: 51% Indians paid bribes in last one year, down from 56% in 2018, says survey

Fewer Indians paid bribes in the last one year than in the preceding 12 months, non-governmental anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International India said in a survey report on Wednesday. The percentage of respondents who admitted to paying a bribe was 51% this year, as compared to 56% in the previous survey. However, the figure for 2019 was higher than that for 2017, when it was 45%.

Assam: 988 ‘foreigners’ lodged in detention centres, says Centre

The Centre told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that 988 “foreigners” have been lodged in six detention centres in Assam as on November 22, PTI reported. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said that from 2016 to October 13 this year, as many as 28 detenues died in the detention centres or in hospitals.

Jharkhand elections: In manifesto, BJP promises to implement NRC and rid the state of Bangladeshis

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday promised to bring the National Register of Citizens to Jharkhand to rid the state of Bangladeshi “infiltrators” if it is re-elected in the upcoming Assembly elections. The party made the promise in its manifesto, which was released by Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Ranchi.

The elections will be held in five phases starting from November 30, and results will be announced on December 23.

Air India will have to be closed if it is not privatised, says civil aviation minister

Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that the government will have to close national carrier Air India if it is not privatised, IANS reported. However, he added that a favourable deal would be negotiated for all employees.

Pragya Thakur again refers to Nathuram Godse as a ‘deshbhakt’ – this time in the Lok Sabha

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Singh Thakur on Wednesday referred to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse as a patriot during a debate in the Lok Sabha, PTI reported. She had courted controversy by calling Godse a patriot in the run-up to the General Elections.

“You cannot give the example of ‘deshbhakts’ [patriots],” Thakur interjected when Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP A Raja mentioned Godse during a debate on the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill. Raja had cited Godse’s statement about why he killed Gandhi.

Indian diplomat suggests Israel model for Kashmiri Pandits’ return, sparks controversy

India’s top diplomat in New York has compared the proposed return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland to the return of Jews to Israel. Sandeep Chakravorty, India’s consul general in New York City, made the remarks last week during an interaction with a group of Kashmiri Pandits. A video of the private event was posted by filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, who also addressed those who had gathered.

Parliament: Growth may have slowed but there will never be a recession, claims Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that economic growth might have slowed down, but it was not a recession yet and there never would be one, ANI reported. She claimed that India’s real growth in Gross Domestic Product was better during the first term of the Narendra Modi government than in the rule of the previous regime.

Sitharaman said India’s real economic growth rate was 6.4% between 2009 and 2014, but 7.5% in the subsequent five years. “If you are looking at the economy with a discerning view, you see that growth may have come down but it is not a recession yet,” Sitharaman said. Real economic growth refers to the GDP adjusted for inflation.