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News Wrap: Khurshid says govt directionless; Gowda makes demands

- After a furore over his statements on the UPA government being directionless, Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid defended himself. He said that his comments were misunderstood and meant to be an encouragement to younger leaders like Rahul Gandhi to prepare themselves for the challenges ahead. He said that the party was constantly maintaining a dialogue with the media on all economic issues and as part of that he had spoken to a newspaper.

But PA Sangma, who is fighting the presidential campaign, said that he would have sacked Khurshid for his comments.

- By this weekend, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation could take some tough action against Vijay Mallya. Director General EK Bharatbhushan told Firstpost today that though Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines is sticking to its truncated schedule, which it had filed with the aviation regulator this February, it has still not reverted with a recovery plan for the airline. We will closely be following that.

- In a last minute hitch, the ruling BJP Legislature party meeting to elect Jagadish Shettar as the Karnataka Chief Minister was delayed this morning, with outgoing Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda’s camp insisting on their demands being met.

AFP

Ministers and MLAs loyal to Gowda are believed to be pushing for making him the party’s state unit President, and KS Eshwarappa the Deputy Chief Minister.

- In some shocking news, a video has emerged of two ward boys treating patient in a hospital in Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh. The undated video shows a hospital employee stitching a child’s wound while another employee administered an injection. The health minister has ordered a probe but the hospital superintendent defended it, saying that it was an emergency situation and the operation theatre assistant had been called in purely to handle this case.

- Though car makers complain of piling petrol inventories and a slump in demand, the data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) show that June sales this year were the highest ever in this month since 1997! But month on month, the growth has slowed, with domestic car sales numbers the lowest since October last month. There's more detail on our website.

- Over to sport and two major stories. Firstly, a district court has granted bail to former Indian athlete Pinki Pramanik who has been accussed by another woman of being a man and raping her. The athlete has twice undergone gender determination tests in two different government hospitals but on both the occasions the tests were inconclusive. And over to Olympics— Sania Mirza's mother is travelling to London as team manager. In spite of having attended tennis championships around the world, she doesn't have any expertise in the game and questions are certainly being asked of whether she deserves to be there.

- And finally, we leave you with a video about the introduction of the new railway tatkal system. Check the bulletin for that one.