Daily Bulletin: BJP releases 10th list, keeps veterans out; party strength in Goa Assembly rises to 14 as 2 MGP MLAs join; day's top stories
Today's top stories: BJP keeps party veterans Murli Manohar Joshi and LK Advani out of the Lok Sabha poll process; the party's strength rises to 14 in Goa Assembly as 2 MGP MLAs merge their legislative unit with that of the BJP's; King's XI Punjab take on Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL; and more.
A Singapore Airlines flight from Mumbai to Singapore with 263 passengers on board Tuesday received a bomb threat
A Democrat-led congressional committee has challenged the Pentagon's plan to divert $1 billion to support President Donald Trump's plan to build a wall
In a late night dramatic development, two MLAs from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) merged their party's legislative wing with the BJP
BJP keeps senior leaders out of poll process
Bharatiya Janata Party veterans Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi have been kept out of the poll fray by the party as neither of them have made it to the BJP's list of 40 leaders who will be campaigning for the party's candidates during the first two phases of Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh. The two senior leaders have not been included in any candidates' list so far. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and senior ministers, including, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Uma Bharti, Nirmala Sitharaman, and Yogi Adityanath are all part of the list of star campaigners.
On Tuesday, Joshi said he has been asked by BJP general secretary Ramlal not to contest the election. Other veterans like Shanta Kumar, BC Khanduri and Kalraj Mishra have also not received tickets.
The party announced 39 more candidates for Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal on Tuesday. Union minister Maneka Gandhi and her son Varun Gandhi's seats have been swapped. Varun will now contest from Uttar Pradesh's Pilibhit seat while Maneka will be fielded from Sultanpur. Cabinet minister in Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who also is former Congress leader, will contest from Prayagraj. Former Samajwadi Party leader Jaya Prada, who joined the BJP on Tuesday will contest from Rampur.
BJP's Goa Assembly strength increases to 14 as two MGP MLAs join ranks
In a late night dramatic development, two MLAs from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) merged their party's legislative wing with the BJP, said Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant.
The support of the MGP was crucial for the stability of BJP-led dispensation in Goa. The merging of the two-member legislative unit with the BJP brings the saffron party at par with the Congress, with both parties having 14 seats each. The MGP is an alliance partner of the BJP in Goa since 2012.
"Two MGP MLAs Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pauskar have joined BJP for the stability of the government. Automatically, our strength has grown to 14," chief minister Pramod Sawant told ANI.
Sawant had won the floor test in the state Assembly after 20 MLAs including 11 from BJP and three each from MGP, Goa Forward Party and Independents voted in his favour.
Singapore Airlines flight escorted by F-16s after bomb threat
A Singapore Airlines flight from Mumbai to Singapore with 263 passengers on board Tuesday received a bomb threat, prompting Singapore Air Force to send two F-16s to escort the aircraft.
The flight landed safely at Singapore's Changi International Airport on Tuesday around 8 am (local time), the airline added.
All passengers, except for a woman and a child, disembarked safely and had to undergo screening. The woman and the child were held back for questioning by the police, who are investigating the incident.
Preliminary checks showed that the airline received a call after the plane left Mumbai's airport on Monday at about 11.35 pm local time. The caller claimed that there was a bomb on the plane.
Four suspected Maoists killed in Sukma encounter
Four suspected Maoists, two of them women, were killed in a joint encounter by the CoBRA battalion of the CRPF and Chhattisgarh police in Sukma on Tuesday.
One INSAS rifle, two .303 rifles and one .315 rifle were recovered from the encounter site.
Police said that they had prior information regarding the movement of Maoists in the area, after which two police parties were deployed to look for them. According to police, the Maoists, who were hiding, opened fire on one of the police parties, which was then forced to retaliate.
Nawaz Sharif released on bail
Pakistan's Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was released from jail on Wednesday after Supreme Court granted him six weeks' bail to receive medical treatment without "leaving the country".
According to Dawn, Nawaz Sharif, who was sentenced to seven years in prison by an accountability court in Al-Azizia reference case last year, left Lahore's Kot Lakhpat Jail around 12:30 pm.
The three-judge bench led by Pakistan's Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa announced the judgement in the former's prime minister's favour.
While reading out the order, Khosa said that Nawaz Sharif will have to surrender himself to the jail authorities after termination of his bail period.
US lawmakers challenge Pentagon's $1-billion plan to build border wall
A Democrat-led congressional committee has challenged the Pentagon's plan to divert $1 billion to support President Donald Trump's plan to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.
Less than one day after acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan authorized moving the funds from existing Defense Department projects to border construction, the House Armed Services Committee said this move was not permitted.
This is the newest challenge to Trump's 15 February declaration of a "national emergency" at the border in order to obtain more than $5 billion to build a frontier wall to keep out illegal immigrants and drug smugglers, after Congress denied him the funds.
Nirav Modi to make second application in UK court on 29 March
Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi, wanted in India on fraud and money laundering charges amounting to $2 billion, is set to appear before Westminster Magistrates Court in London on Friday, when his legal team will make a second bail application.
The 48-year-old had been denied bail by District Judge Marie Mallon at his first hearing soon after his arrest by Scotland Yard officers from a central London bank branch as he tried to open a new bank account and has been in custody at HMP Wandsworth prison in south-west London since last Wednesday.
"He is expected to be produced before the court for a second bail application hearing on March 29," a court official confirmed on Tuesday.
Jet Airways sets ambitious target of flying 75 aircraft by April end
Jet Airways has informed the government that it has 35 aircraft in operation currently and it has set an "ambitious" target of flying additional 40 aircraft by the end of April, Civil Aviation Secretary PS Kharola said on Tuesday.
For last few weeks, the full-budget carrier has been grounding its aircraft in tranches due to non-payment of dues to lessors, bringing down its operational fleet from 103 to just 35.
Giving up chairmanship after more than 26 years, embattled Jet Airways' founder Naresh Goyal Monday quit as a board member, with the lenders taking control of the cockpit and deciding to infuse Rs 1,500 crore immediately into the ailing airline.
Addressing a press conference, Kharola said, "They (Jet Airways) were hopeful that by Monday or Tuesday, they will be able to come to some settlement with the lessors. As per the plan given by Jet, they are hopeful that by the end of next month, they will be able to fly about 40 more planes."
KKR take on KXIP in match six of IPL 2019
R Ashwin will be in focus after the 'Mankading' event as Kings XI Punjab take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens in IPL. KKR won their first match against SRH by six wickets, while KXIP defeated Rajasthan Royals by 14 runs in their inaugural match which was in the news after Ashwin "Mankaded" Jos Buttler.
The dismissal led to a batting collapse as RR lost at Jaipur for first time against KXIP.
Gmail messages are about to get more interactive
Google has announced the general availability of "dynamic email", also known as "AMP for Email", a feature that lets senders create interactive content inside their messages. Google announced this initiative more than a year back and it took them a while to have the feature ready for launch.
Avengers: Endgame to be the longest Marvel movie at 182 minutes
Avengers: Endgame, with its three hours and two minutes of runtime, is expected to break its predecessor's record as the longest Marvel film, which clocked in 149 minutes. The news about the film's length was broken by theatre websites AMC and Fandango. "Three hours, 2 minutes. #AvengersEndgame," tweeted Fandango on Monday.
Nirmala Sitharaman conveyed the assurance to Sri Lankan High Commissioner Milinda Moragoda when the envoy met her
The finance minister would take stock of credit growth, asset quality, and business growth plan of banks, sources said, adding non-performing assets (NPAs) of Rs 100 crore and the recovery status would also be discussed
India vs England: Ravi Shastri explains why Shardul Thakur is preferred over R Ashwin in starting XI
The pitch at Edgbaston has historically supported spinners and Ashwin picked up seven wickets the last time he played at the ground in 2018.