Daily Bulletin: Mamata to meet Modi in New Delhi; Cabinet mulling ordinance to ban e-cigarettes; day's top stories
Here are today's top stories: Mamata Banerjee to meet Narendra Modi today; TMC chief to discuss issues of funds to West Bengal; Maharashtra polls: Election Comission to review state's poll preparedness; and more
Mamata Banerjee to meet Narendra Modi today; TMC chief to discuss issues of pending funds to West Bengal
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to discuss various issues related to the state, the state secretariat had confirmed on Monday.
The proposed meeting between Modi and Banerjee assumes significance as it will be held at a time when several TMC leaders and former Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar are under the CBI scanner in connection with the Saradha Ponzi scam.
The BJP leadership mocked Banerjee for seeking an appointment to meet Modi in Delhi calling it a "classic example of opportunistic politics" and "a desperate attempt to save herself from the clutches of CBI".
Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday confirmed that she will meet Modi in the national capital and discuss various issues of funds related to her state. "Because capital is Delhi, Parliament is in Delhi, President and Prime Minister are in Delhi, so this time I am going because few funds are pending for my state," she told reporters at the airport here before leaving for New Delhi.
She said she would also raise issues related to bank, Railways and BSNL and other problems related to her state. On being asked about reports of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah's detention under the provisions of the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), Banerjee said: "I read it in newspaper let me find out some more details."
Cabinet likely to consider ordinance to ban e-cigarettes today
The Cabinet is likely to consider an ordinance seeking to ban the production, import, distribution, and sale of electronic cigarettes, and a jail term for violators, on Wednesday. The Prohibition of E-cigarettes Ordinance, 2019, has been examined by a Group of Ministers (GoM) following directions from the Prime Minister’s Office.
“The GoM had suggested minor changes and these have been incorporated. The draft ordinance is likely to be put up before the Cabinet tomorrow (Wednesday),"a source said.
In the draft, the health ministry has proposed maximum imprisonment of up to one year along with a penalty of Rs one lakh against first-time violators. The ministry has recommended a maximum of up to three years of jail and a penalty of Rs five lakh for repeat offenders, the sources said.
Maharashtra polls: Election Comission to review state's poll preparedness
The Election Commission will interact with various stakeholders in the upcoming Maharashtra assembly elections as part of its review of the state's poll preparedness, on Wednesday.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had reached Mumbai on Tuesday evening with Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa and Sushil Chandra and held meetings with civil administration and police officials besides various parties' leaders there to take stock of the state's poll readiness.
The poll panel will be back to Delhi on Wednesday evening.
The term of the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly ends on 9 November and a new Assembly has to be constituted before that. It was learnt that the commission could announce elections in Maharashtra and Haryana in the next few days.
The BJP is vying to retain power in the state and is in talks with the Shiv Sena over the seat-sharing arrangements, while the NCP and the Congress have decided to contest the polls together.
Union minister RK Singh to visit Kashmir today to review power sector work, says NHPC will provide jobs to 150 skilled locals
Union Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister RK Singh will visit Kashmir tomorrow to review different development projects in the power sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
After the abrogation of Article 370, this will be the first visit of RK Singh to Kashmir.
Singh in an exclusive interview to ANI said that NHPC will provide jobs to 150 local skilled people. Powergrid Corporation is going for campus selection from a different technical institution in Valley. Powergrid Corporation also takes up school smart learning programme.
"From this year, people in Kashmir will not face a power crisis in the winter season. The ministry is working towards providing 24x7 power supply to the Valley. Secretary of power and Jammu and Kashmir administration will call a meeting of all contractors and ensure that works under various central government scheme progresses fast and are completed within the given timeline. The government of India is spending more than 300 crores to provide uninterrupted power supply during the winter season in Valley," he told ANI.
Over 6 cr EPFO accounts to soon get 8.65 percent credit ahead of festival season
Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said over six crore EPFO accounts will be credited with interest amount at 8.65 percent rate for 2018-19 ahead of the festival season. The Central Board of Trustees — the apex decision-making body of the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) — had approved 8.65 percent interest rate for the last fiscal on 21 February, this year.
The proposal was sent for the concurrence of the finance ministry. Once approved by the finance ministry, the EPFO would credit the interest amount at 8.65 percent rate in subscriber accounts and settle claims on this rate.
At present, the EPFO is settling PF withdrawal claims at 8.55 per cent interest rate, which was approved for 2017-18.
"...ahead of the festival season, over 6 crore EPFO subscribers would get 8.65 percent interest for 2018-19," Gangwar told reporters on the sidelines of the National Safety Awards function in New Delhi
Google confirms Orange coloured Pixel 4 with new Time Square ad
Google's upcoming flagship device Pixel 4-series is scheduled to launch on 15 October and in a new ad at Times Square in New York, the company has officially confirmed the Orange or Coral colour variant of the device. The Pixel 4 XL had earlier been leaked in the orange colour variant alongside black and white colour options as well. The specs of the device are also out in the open after multiple leaks. The only real mystery left now of the device is its price tag.
India take on South Africa in 2nd T20I at Mohali
India faces South Africa in the second T20I of the three-match series at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Chandigarh on Wednesday. The series scoreline currently reads 0-0 after the opening match at Dharamsala was washed out due to wet conditions without even the toss taking place. While the ongoing series in South Africa's first assignment since their disastrous World Cup campaign, it is also interim team director Enoch Nkwe's first series in charge. Play is scheduled to begin at 7 pm IST.
Saturday Night Live fires Shane Gillis after racist, homophobic jokes resurface
Saturday Night Live has announced that newly hired comedian Shane Gillis will no longer be a part of the show after his racist, homophobic jokes resurfaced online. Gillis was one of three comedians announced as the new cast members last week. Gillis came under fire after a freelance writer and editor Seth Simons posted on Twitter a viral video from Gillis' podcast, Matt and Shane's Secret Podcast, in which the comedian is heard making fun of people from Chinese descent.
Jagdeep Dhankhar has alleged that the former West Bengal finance minister's misplaced eloquent economic optical illusions have been a heavy drain on Bengal's development
An alliance between the TMC, a Congress-led UPA and regional parties is a theoretical possibility
'There's no UPA', says Mamata after meeting Sharad Pawar; both pitch for united Opposition against BJP
Mamata has not yet met any Congress leader in Maharashtra. It is believed to be an indication that the TMC would like to play the leading role in bringing the Opposition parties together in a possible national coalition against the BJP