Daily bulletin: LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan to meet Arun Jaitley amid seat-sharing talks; Deepak Talwar named in US' Airbus probe; day's top stories

LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan likely to meet Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today

An hour-long meeting on Thursday between BJP president Amit Shah, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and his son Chirag remained inconclusive on the topic of seat sharing, according to a PTI report. The meeting came a day after the LJP leaders announced their 31 December deadline to finalise the NDA's seat-sharing arrangement for the 2019 Bihar elections.

However, BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav, who is his party's in-charge for Bihar and was present in the meeting, insisted that there is no problem in the alliance and that it is intact. LJP sources also said the BJP's defeat in the five state polls have ignited a rethink in the party over its ties with the saffron party.

Chirag, sources said, had written a letter to Jaitley with a copy to Modi after the results were announced on 11 December and asked him to list the benefits of demonetisation so that he can "explain" them to people. In his comments to media, Chirag has spoken about unease among farmers and youths, and had also tweeted about the ruling NDA passing through "trying times".

Meanwhile, RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha joined the Opposition's grand alliance in Bihar on Thursday.

File photo of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan. PTI

File photo of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan. PTI

Deepak Talwar's name emerges in US' Airbus probe

The US Dept of Justice (DOJ) has started a probe into European aerospace group Airbus' activities. Several corruption allegations have been levelled against middlemen in multiple countries, most of them being in Asia, including India and Malaysia.

According to reports, Deepak Talwar, a corporate lobbyist, who is being investigated by the CBI and ED for allegedly misusing funds received through CSR from Airbus in violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) has also been named in the US department's investigation.

Talwar has two FIRs filed against him by the CBI. The allegation was that over Rs 90 crore was transferred to Talwar's NGO Advantage India by Airbus and MBDA allegedly as kickbacks. According to sources, the middleman is currently in Dubai.

West Bengal govt to move court against BJP Rath Yatra

The West Bengal government will move the division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday against the order of the single bench on Thursday granting permission to BJP's three rath yatras.

The state government denied permission for the yatra twice in the last two weeks, citing law and order problems which prompted the BJP to move court. The BJP has proposed 22, 24 and 26 December as the proposed dates of the yatra.

Public sector banks on strike today

The strike call given by the All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) is expected to hit banking operations across the country today. However, private sector banks would continue business as they are not part of the strike. AIBOC is demanding immediate wage revision and protesting merger of the state-owned banks.
The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of the top nine bank unions, has also decided to observe a strike on 26 December. Taking into account these two days of Unions' strike and other holidays, banks would be closed for most of the extended Christmas weekend.

Dangal, Maacher Jhol to be screened at India-China Film Festival

Amir Khan's Dangal, Bengali film Maacher Jhol and Chinese movie CZ12 will be among seven films that will be screened at the India-China Film Festival starting from Saturday.

In order to strengthen people-to-people connect and deepen cultural understanding between the two countries, the India-China film festival will be organised during the first India-China High Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges from 22 to 24 December.

The three-day festival will be organised at the Siri Fort auditorium by the Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. A total of seven films—four Chinese and three Indian films—will be screened during the festival, an official statement said. The opening film of the festival will be CZ12 also known as Chinese Zodiac.

The list of Indian films to be screened are Dangal (Hindi), Maacher Jhol (Bengali), and Ventilator (Marathi). All the films will carry English subtitles.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2018 07:44:10 IST

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