TDP Lawmakers Meet Vice President, Challenge Colleagues Merging With BJP
Five lawmakers of Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party this evening met Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, to challenge four of their colleagues switching over to the BJP. The TDP delegation - two Rajya Sabha and three Lok Sabha lawmakers - have asked for the initiation of disqualification proceedings under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution against the TDP lawmakers who merged with the BJP yesterday.
Four of TDP's six Rajya Sabha lawmakers - YS Chowdary, CM Ramesh, Garikapoati Mohan Rao, TG Venkatesh - met Venkaiah Naidu yesterday and gave him a letter that said they have "decided to merge" the TDP's Legislature Party with the BJP with immediate effect "under Paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India".
The fourth paragraph of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution lists circumstances under which lawmakers who join other parties cannot be disqualified from the House. "The merger of the original political party of a member of a House shall be deemed to have taken place if, and only if, not less than two-thirds of the members of the legislature party concerned have agreed to such merger," the provision says.
The switchover was led by YS Chowdary, who was named TDP leader in Rajya Sabha just a few days ago. Considered close to Chandrababu Naidu, was a minister of state in the first Narendra Modi-led NDA government till March last year when TDP pulled out of the coalition.
Mr Chowdary said Andhra Pradesh's development could only be achieved by cooperation and not confrontation, in an apparent dig at the TDP chief who had quit the NDA over the centre's refusal to provide Special Status to Andhra Pradesh; he later became one of the key interlocutors of the opposition.
Incidentally, Income Tax department had raided residential and official premises of Mr Chowdary and Mr Ramesh last year over allegations of tax evasion and money laundering. Both had then claimed innocence.
Chandrababu Naidu, who is currently in Europe with family, yesterday tried to downplay his MPs switching to the BJP and said the TDP "will be back" and crises were nothing new to it.
With 4 MPs of TDP going in the BJP, is Chandrababu Naidu finished now?
5 CRPF Soldiers Killed In Anantnag Terror Attack; 1 Terrorist Shot Dead
Five Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel have been killed and two have sustained injuries after their patrol team was attacked by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district. A police inspector and a civilian have also been injured in the firing.
According to the reports, out of the two terrorists who attacked the team, one has been killed by security forces.
The soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty have been identified as Ramesh Kumar from Haryana's Jhajjar, Nirod Sarma from Assam's Nalbari, Satendra Kumar from UP's Muzaffarnagar, Mahesh Kumar Kushwaha from UP's Ghazipur and Sandeep Yadav from Madhya Pradesh's Dewas.
The incident took place at KP Road in Anantnag. The terrorists fired at the team with automatic rifles and hurled grenades.
Station House Officer of Anantnag Police Station, Arshad Ahmed, was injured in the attack and has been shifted to Srinagar for treatment, the news agency added.
The attack comes as the state administration is preparing for the annual Amarnath Yatra that would begin next month. The 46-day pilgrimage is scheduled to start from two routes, one of which passes from Anantnag.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has condemned the attack.
"Strongly condemn the barbarous attack on security personnel in Anantnag. My heart goes out to families of our martyred CRPF personnel. Prayers for speedy recovery of those injured," she tweeted.
Omar Abdullah, National Conference leader, also condemned the incident.
"Very sorry to hear about the attack on the CRPF personnel in Anantnag today. I unreservedly condemn this attack and pray for the souls of the departed. May the injured make a speedy and complete recovery," he tweeted.
Nearly 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in a suicide blast carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammed in Pulwama district earlier this year. It later snowballed into an aerial dogfight between India and Pakistan.
Do you think India should retaliate?
PM Modi's Aircraft Won't Fly Over Pak For Regional Meet SCO In Bishkek
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's aircraft won't fly over Pakistan on its way to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan for regional meet SCO that starts tomorrow, the foreign ministry said today. This is widely seen as a snub to Pakistan days after reports suggested its government had "decided in principle" to allow PM Modi's plane to fly over its airspace.
In response to questions on the route the Prime Minister would take, a foreign ministry spokesperson said: "The government of India had explored two options for the route to be taken by the VVIP Aircraft to Bishkek. A decision has now been taken that the VVIP Aircraft will fly via Oman, Iran and Central Asian countries on the way to Bishkek."
Pakistan had closed its airspace on February 26 after Indian Air Force (IAF) planes bombed a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror camp in Balakot. Since then, it has only opened two of 11 routes, both through southern Pakistan.
India had requested Pakistan to let PM Modi's aircraft fly over its airspace on its way to Bishkek for the two-day SCO or Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meet.
Pakistan had decided to allow it, PTI reported on Monday, quoting an unnamed official as saying that the Imran Khan government had "approved in principle" the Indian government's request to let PM Modi's aircraft fly over the Pakistani airspace.
"The Indian government will be conveyed about the decision once the procedural formalities are completed. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will also be directed to notify the airmen subsequently," the official said. The official was also quoted as saying that Pakistan "was hopeful that India would respond to its offer for peace dialogue".
Foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar says no bilateral meeting has been arranged between PM Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan, who will also attend the meet.
Pakistan had given special permission to Sushma Swaraj, who was foreign minister in the previous Modi government, to fly directly through the Pakistani airspace to attend the SCO Foreign Ministers'' meet in Bishkek on May 21.
Apart from two routes, Pakistan's airspace remains closed for commercial airliners.
The Indian Air Force announced on May 31 that all temporary restrictions on the Indian airspace after the Balakot airstrike had been removed. However, it is unlikely to benefit any commercial airliners unless Pakistan reciprocates and opens its complete airspace.
International operations of Air India and IndiGo have been affected by the closure of Pakistani airspace.
Pakistan extended its partial airspace ban on eastern border with India until June 14.
Do you think Pakistan is afraid of Narendra Modi?
Wreckage Of Missing Air Force An-32 Plane Found In Arunachal Pradesh
The wreckage of an An-32 aircraft that went missing with 13 on board last week has been found in Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian Air Force has confirmed. The aircraft went missing on June 3.
The wreckage has been found in Payum Circle of Siang district. It was spotted by a Mi-17 helicopter of the Indian Air Force, at a height of around 12,000 feet.
"Efforts are now continuing to establish the status of occupants and establish survivors," the Air Force tweeted.
IAF's C-130J transport aircraft, Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, NAVY P8-I search aircraft and a fleet of IAF and Army helicopters had been searching for the aircraft. ISRO satellites and unmanned drones were also involved in the search operations.
Teams from the Army, Navy and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) troops, supported by night-time sensors, worked through the night. The Air Force said the search area had been expanded despite challenges posed by vegetation, inhospitable terrain and poor weather.
The plane was traveling from Jorhat in Assam to a remote military landing strip in Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh when it vanished from the radar around 1 pm.
The Air Force deployed two Mi-17s and an Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), the P8i - a long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft from Tamil Nadu - for the search.
The search was difficult because of difficult terrain and bad weather. The spot where the plane had been flying was mountainous and heavily forested; landing and take-off at Mechuka are extremely difficult. Coupled with erratic weather, the region is among the most inhospitable for air transport.
The plane's Search and Rescue Beacon had not been in production for 14 years, and no signal had been detected. This distress signal was meant to have been picked up by a satellite belonging to Cospas-Sarsat, an international satellite-aided search and rescue facility.
The An-32 is a Soviet-designed twin engine turboprop transport aircraft used extensively by the Indian Air Force for over four decades. Since it joined the IAF fleet, the rugged planes used to ferry people and air-drop supplies have undergone several rounds of upgrades.
Do you think Indian Air Force should overhaul the present fleet of planes?
Congress slams BJP for declaring Kargil war veteran as foreigner
The Congress on Thursday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government over a tribunal in Assam declaring a Kargil war veteran a foreigner, saying it shows the "high-handedness and flawed manner" in which the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise is being implemented in the northeastern state.
Mohammad Sanaullah, a resident of Kolohikash village in Kamrup district, was declared a foreigner by the Foreigners Tribunal, Kamrup.
"Shocking!! BJP Govt has labelled the 'Foreigner' tag to a Kargil War Hero! It is an insult to the sacrifice of our brave Armed Forces. This speaks volumes about the high handedness and flawed manner in which the NRC exercise is being implemented in Assam," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.
The draft Assam NRC was published on July 30, 2018, in which the names of 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore people were included. The names of 40,70,707 people did not figure in the list. Of these, 37,59,630 names have been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 are on hold.
A case was registered in 2008 after Sanaullah's name was listed as a 'D' (doubtful) voter in the voters list, according to Additional Superintendent of Police (Kamrup) Sanjib Saikia.
Sanaullah's family said it would appeal to the Gauhati High Court against the tribunal's verdict.