Daily Bulletin: KCR likely to meet Mamata Banerjee; Indonesia toll rises to 281; Modi to unveil projects in Odisha; day's top stories

KCR likely to meet Mamata Banerjee today for talks on forming anti-BJP, anti-Congress front

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) is expected to meet his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee on Monday to discuss ways to strengthen his plans to build a non-BJP and non-Congress front. An NDTV report said, "Manata — who is interested in forming an alliance of regional powers to reach a better bargaining position with the Congress — has given a positive response to KCR. A number of leaders, who are expecting to join the Opposition front against the BJP, have shown interest in the idea."

This comes a day after the Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief met Biju Janata Dal leader and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday. Also, during his visit to Delhi from 25 December, the Telangana chief minister is scheduled to meet Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati and Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav.

File photo of Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao. PTI

File photo of Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao. PTI

Indonesia 'volcanic tsunami' kills 281, toll expected to rise

The toll from a volcano-triggered tsunami in Indonesia has risen to 281, with more than 800 people injured.

"As many as 222 people are dead, 843 people are injured and 28 people are missing," Indonesia's national disaster agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said. "This number is predicted to increase because not all victims have been successfully evacuated, not all health centres have reported victims and not all locations have got complete data," he said.

Without warning, a tsunami after a volcanic eruption slammed into popular beaches around Indonesia's Sunda Strait on Saturday night, cutting a swathe of destruction and triggering mass panic as it swept inland.

Authorities said the tsunami may have been triggered by an abnormal tidal surge due to a new moon and an underwater landslide after the eruption of Anak Krakatoa, which forms a small island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra.

"The combination caused a sudden tsunami that hit the coast," Nugroho said, but added that Indonesia's geological agency was working to ascertain exactly how it happened.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Odisha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to unveil projects worth around Rs 15,000 crore in Odisha on Monday. During his visit, he will visit the new campus of IIT-Bhubaneswar at Aragul, built at a cost of Rs 1,660 crore, and also launch a slew of projects related to higher education, health, road and highways, and culture via video conferencing.

Modi is also scheduled to address a public meeting near Khurda.

Rajasthan Cabinet to take oath today

The swearing-in ceremony of 23 newly-elected legislators of Rajasthan will be held on Monday at Raj Bhavan in Jaipur.

The names of council of ministers — 22 of whom are from the Congress, and one is from Rashtriya Lok Dal — were finalised by Rajasthan Congress leaders, including Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, after rounds of discussions with party president Rahul Gandhi and other senior leaders, sources said.

The swearing-in ceremony is expected to be held at 11.30 am. According to PTI, Rahul intends to focus on having a cabinet with a majority being fresh faces. The report also said that the Rajasthan Cabinet will be a blend of the old and new and will give an opportunity to those who have not held ministerial portfolios in the past.

Women unable to enter Sabarimala temple, blame police

Eleven women from Chennai-based NGO 'Manithi' on Sunday attempted to enter the iconic Sabarimala temple in Kerala, but were unsuccessful due to strong protests from Lord Ayyappa devotees. They also claim that the police forced them to abandon their visit and return to the base camp at Nilakkal.

The Kerala Police reportedly rejected the charge and said that the group of women, comprising seven devotees and three activists, had returned of their own will for security reasons. India Today reported that two cases had been filed against the protesters based on the complaints lodged by members of the group.

Malala Yousafzai praises Shah Rukh Khan's Zero

Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has lavished praises on Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's performance in his latest release Zero. Malala, who watched the film on Friday, posted a video message on social media and said: "Hello, Shah Rukh Khan. It was very nice to watch your movie. It was very entertaining, and my whole family loved it."

Xiaomi Mi Play to launch today in China

The latest smartphone from Chinese giant Xiaomi is going to be the Mi Play, to be launched in China on Monday. This is going to be the first in the line of the new 'Play' series smartphones that Xiaomi has planned in its Mi lineup.

The phone is said to feature a water drop notch and will likely sport a mid-level Qualcomm chipset. The Mi Play is perhaps a gaming-centric device, though we shall know for sure after the phone is announced. There is no official release date for India at the moment, but we can be almost sure that the country will be the next stop after China.

Bank employees call for day-long strike on 26 December

Close to a million employees of various banks, including private lenders, have called for a day-long strike on 26 December to protest against the proposed amalgamation of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda.

The call for the strike comes on the heels of an officers' union of state-run banks observing a day-long strike last Friday on similar grounds, along with a demand for immediate settlement of their wage negotiations.

With inputs from agencies

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Dec 24, 2018 08:25 AM

Also See