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Daily Bulletin: Narendra Modi to hold rallies in Bihar, Odisha; Congress to release election manifesto; day's top stories

Modi to speak in Odisha, Bihar; Congress to release manifesto

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address an election rally at Bhawanipatna, the district headquarter of Kalahandi district in western Odisha. From there, he will travel to Ballopur village in Bihar's Jamui district for a rally and then to Gaya's Gandhi Maidan, where he and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will address another rally.

BJP national president Amit Shah will also hold public meetings on Tuesday, at Thoothukudi, Sivaganga and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Later in the evening, he and the BJP's Bengaluru South candidate Tejaswi Surya will hold a joint road show in Bengaluru.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yodi Adityanath will interact with nearly 10,000 youngsters in Gorakhpur as part of the party's Yuva Sammelan. Meanwhile, the Lucknow chief electoral officer has asked for a factual report from the District Election Office at Ghaziabad, on Aditynath allegedly referring to the Indian Army as "Modi ji ki sena".

 Daily Bulletin: Narendra Modi to hold rallies in Bihar, Odisha; Congress to release election manifesto; days top stories

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Twitter@NarendraModi

Furthermore, the Congress is expected to release its election manifesto on Tuesday. The minimum income scheme NYAY, along with special status for Andhra Pradesh and several states in the North East, are likely to be among the party's promises.

Debate over Kashmir's special status heats up

National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Monday said his party will strive hard to "restore the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir", and that could include having a sadar-e-riyasat (president) and wazir-e-azam (prime minister). Modi condemned Abdullah's remark and demanded to know from the Congress — an ally of the National Conference — and other parties of the "grand Opposition alliance" whether they supported the former chief minister on the autonomy issue.

Addressing a rally at Bandipore in North Kashmir, Abdullah said his party will not allow any attacks on Jammu and Kashmir's special status and will work to get back what was "infringed upon".

Responding to Modi's attack on him, an unfazed Abdullah tweeted that he did not need other parties to support his stand and said his party has always stood for the restoration of the original terms of accession. "So there is nothing new in this. You guys must be really desperate when the prime minister makes this an election issue," he wrote.

British Parliament rejects fourth Brexit plan

British lawmakers on Monday voted against the fourth of the possible alternative plans for the country's withdrawal agreement with the European Union (EU), after rejecting deals that had been tabled thrice in the Parliament.

By the time voting concluded in the British Parliament on Monday, lawmakers had rejected all the proposed alternatives, which included plans to hold a second referendum, retaining much closer economic ties after leaving the EU, or stopping Brexit to prevent a no-deal departure, Al Jazeera reported.

The second referendum proposal had garnered the most votes in favour (280) but was beaten by 292 votes against. The next option that proposed having UK stay in a permanent customs union with the EU was rejected by 276 to 273 votes.

The UK will crash out of the EU on 12 April, unless the British Parliament passes May's deal, or the government is able to secure a long extension to Brexit.

SC may hear petition on electoral bonds sales rising by 62 percent

Reports say the Supreme Court is likely to hear a petition on the sale of electoral bonds skyrocketing by 62 percent compared to last year, ahead of the Lok Sabha election, with the State Bank of India alone selling bonds of over Rs 1,700 crore.

In an RTI response to Pune-based Vihar Durve, the SBI said that in 2018, it had sold bonds worth Rs 1056.73 crore in the months of March, April, May, July, October and November. This year, in January and March alone, the bank has sold electoral bonds worth Rs 1716.05 crore, the response said.

5-year-old, BSF jawan, woman killed in Pakistani shelling

A five-year-old girl, a Border Security Force inspector and a woman were killed, and more than 15 people injured on Monday as Pakistani troops persisted with heavy shelling in areas along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district. The Indian Army said it gave Pakistan a "befitting reply", though there are no reports yet of casualties across the border.

Ceasefire violations have witnessed a spurt after India’s airstrike on the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) training camp in Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on 26 February, in a "pre-emptive" action following the militant group’s suicide bombing in Pulwama on 14 February, in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed.

SFIO arrests former IL&FS vice chairman Hari Shankaran

The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) on Monday arrested former vice-chairman of crisis-hit IL&FS for fraudulent conduct and causing wrongful loss to the company and its creditors, official sources said. Sankaran was arrested in Mumbai in connection with the ongoing investigations into the affairs of IL&FS and its group entities.

This is the first arrest made by the probe agency in the IL&FS case. The agency has been granted custody of Sankaran till 4 April.

Sources said Sankaran was arrested on the grounds of abusing his powers at IL&FS Financial Services Ltd through fraudulent conduct and in granting loans to entities that were not credit-worthy, or were declared as non-performing accounts. Such actions caused wrongful loss to the company and its creditors, they added.

GST misses FY19 collection target

Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections in March came in at a record Rs 1.06 lakh crore, but not enough to meet the Centre's target for the fiscal year that ended 31 March, official data showed.

The government, which had upwardly revised the fiscal deficit target to accommodate the cash-dole-out plan to farmers, was banking on its share of estimated GST collections of Rs 5.03 lakh crore out of about Rs 11.47 lakh crore in total mop-up for 2018-19. But the final numbers showed gross central GST coming in at Rs 4.25 lakh crore, about Rs 78,000 crore short of what the Centre was targeting.

GST, which was rolled out on 1 July, 2017, subsumed 17 central and state levies, and collections thereof are divided into three broad heads — central GST (which accrues to the Union government), state GST (which goes to states) and integrated GST (which is divided equally between the Centre and the state).

Official sources said an estimated Rs 5.03 lakh crore share of the Centre in the GST proceeds was after distributing states' share out of IGST. The actual collection of Rs 4.25 lakh crore is after settling IGST.

Dedicated 'News' tab on Facebook soon?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that he may add a dedicated tab for "high-quality news" to Facebook, possibly by the end of 2019. Reports suggest that this section will be free for users, but Facebook will likely pay publishers whose work is featured.

This development comes amid the rampant spread of provocative fake news during the election season. Social media platforms have been trying to crack down on agencies behind the spread of such fake news and to curb their dissemination.

IPL 2019: Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore eye first win of season

Ajinkya Rahane-led Rajasthan Royals will take on Virat Kohli's Royal Challnegers Bangalore on Tuesday, with both teams looking for their first win of the new season at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Both RCB and RR have played three matches and suffered defeats in all of them.

Pressure is on Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who has been facing criticism for his captaincy. A few senior players like AB de Villiers have also been failing to make any impact. Indian Test team vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has been on the wrong side of couple of close contests, so he would hope that his players will finally break the points duck and secure the win.

In talks with Priyanka Chopra for a project, says Avengers: Endgame co-director

Avengers: Endgame co-director Joe Russo on Monday revealed that he is in talks with Priyanka Chopra for a project. The 47-year-old filmmaker, who is known for giving Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) a grounded tone along with his brother Anthony Russo, finds Priyanka "fantastic" and says he would love to work with her.

"Priyanka is transitioning into global status now. She is fantastic... (I would) love to work with her... I am potentially talking to Priyanka for something. I am not going to say what it is," Russo said in a group interview.

Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.

Updated Date: Apr 02, 2019 07:50:19 IST