Daily Bulletin: IMD says 'heavy rainfall' likely in Kerala, Karnataka; SC to give verdict in P Chidambaram's bail plea in INX Media case; day's top stories
Here are today's top stories: At least seven districts in Kerala are likely to receive 'very heavy' rainfall today, exit polls predict 'bigger' win for BJP in Maharashtra and Haryana, and more
IMD issues red alert for Kerala, Karnataka for today
The states of Kerala and Karnataka are likely to receive heavy rainfall as the Northwest Monsoon set in. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a 'red alert' for seven districts in Kerala with 'heavy' to 'very heavy' rainfall and 'extremely heavy' showers being forecast at isolated places.
According to the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority, red alert has been issued in Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur and Palakkad on Monday and in four districts on Tuesday. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has asked people to be vigilant.
The red alert is a call to immediately take preventive steps to evacuate people from vulnerable areas to shelter camps and provide others with emergency kits.
Meanwhile, in Karnataka, torrential rains in many parts and in some parts of Maharashtra have created a fresh flood scare as many rivers are in spate, especially in the northern regions and Chikkamagaluru. For the past few days, torrential rains in the north interior parts of Karnataka have wreaked havoc as many rivers, rivulets, and small streams are in spate, similar to the flood situation in August this year.
The affected districts are Dharwad, Belagavi, Kalaburagi, Gadag, Vijayapura, Bagalkote, Shivamogga and Chikkamagaluru, where water has gushed into houses and government buildings, including schools and banks in low-lying areas.
Exit polls predict major win for BJP and allies in Maharashtra, Haryana Assembly polls
The BJP appears to be set to retain power with a bigger mandate in Maharashtra, where it is in an alliance with the Shiv Sena, as well as in Haryana, as exit polls have forecast a facile victory for the party in the two states and a rout for its rivals, led by the Congress.
Exit polls, broadcast soon after voting for the Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly polls was concluded on Monday, varied widely in their projection of seats for the rival alliances, but were in no doubt about an emphatic victory with more than two-thirds seats for the BJP-led NDA in both the states.
The BJP had brought the issue of abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and national security at the centre of its campaign, with development works of its state governments playing the second fiddle.
In 2014, the BJP and the Sena had won 122 seats and 63 seats respectively in Maharashtra, followed by 42 and 41 seats by the Congress and the NCP. All four parties had contested the polls independently. In Haryana, the BJP had won 47 seats, followed by the Indian National Lok Dal's (INLD) 19 and 15 of the Congress.
SC likely to pronounce verdict on P Chidambaram's bail plea
Former finance minister P Chidambaram's petition for regular bail in the INX Media case is likely to be taken up by the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Chidambaram's petition challenged the Delhi High Court's order denying him bail in the case being probed by both central investigative agencies, the CBI and ED.
Chidambaram was arrested in connection with the graft case on 21 August by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has recently chargesheeted him and others, including his son Karti and some other bureaucrats, for causing a loss to the exchequer by allegedly committing offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code.
The 74-year-old senior Congress leader approached the apex court challenging the 30 September verdict of the high court which had dismissed his bail plea in the corruption case, filed by the CBI, saying the probe was at an advanced stage and the possibility of his influencing the witnesses cannot be ruled out.
Chidambaram is presently in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the INX Media money laundering case.
Bank strike today, operations to be hit across country as employee unions protest against merger of PSBs
Services in state-owned banks across the country may be affected on Tuesday as some of the employee unions have decided to observe nationwide strike to protest against the Centre's decision to merge 10 state-run banks into four, and also due to fall in deposit rates.
However, officers and private sector banks are not part of the strike call given by the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) and Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI). Most of the banks, including the country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI), has already informed customers about the strike and its impact on them.
Bank of Baroda said that the operations of its branches/officer may be "affected/paralysed" due to the proposed strike. "AIBEA and BEFI have called for an all-India strike of its members on 22 October in support of their demands. In the event the strike materializes, the normal functioning of the bank may get affected," Oriental Bank of Commerce said in a regulatory filing last week.
Last month, officers' unions had called a two-day all India bank strike on 26 and 27 September, which was later withdrawn following the government's intervention.
Facebook claims to have banned four disinformation campaigns from Iran and Russia
The social media giant announced that in its effort to curb coordinated and malicious campaigns, it has banned four state-backed disinformation campaigns. Three of the campaigns have originated from Iran while one is from Russia. The campaigns targeted users in North Africa, Latin America, and the US.
India on brink of 3-0 whitewash over Proteas
India are two wickets away from a 3-0 series whitewash after South Africa finished the third day at 132-8, following on in their second innings on Monday. Mohammed Shami (3-10) and Umesh Yadav (2-35) shared five wickets. The visitors are still 203 runs adrift of India's first innings total of 497-9.
After being hit on the helmet by Yadav prior to tea, Dean Elgar, who retired hurt on 16, didn't come out to bat after the break and South Africa opted for Theunis de Bruyn as his concussion replacement. At stumps, de Bruyn was batting on 30 not out with Anrich Nortje 5 not out.
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