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Daily Bulletin: Opposition targets Centre over Budget; CBI chief likely to be announced today; Modi in West Bengal; day's top stories

Narendra Modi in West Bengal today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday will continue the BJP's campaign in West Bengal for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections with rallies in the North 24 Parganas district and the industrial town of Durgapur. The venues of both rallies have political significance, reports say.

Thakurnagar, which is one of the venues, is the hub of the Matua community, which originally hails from erstwhile East Pakistan and began migrating to West Bengal in the early 1950s mostly due to religious persecution. The venue of the rally is near the house of Matua matriarch Binapani Debi.

The prime minister's Durgapur rally will be part of the BJP's 'Ganatantra Bachao' (save democracy) campaign in the state. Home Minister Rajnath Singh will also address two public gatherings in Coochbehar and Alipurduar.

 Daily Bulletin: Opposition targets Centre over Budget; CBI chief likely to be announced today; Modi in West Bengal; days top stories

Representational image. AFP

New CBI chief announcement likely today

The Narendra Modi-led panel is likely to announce the name of next CBI chief on Saturday, ignoring the objections raised by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, a member of the Selection Committee, on the names of probable contenders proposed by the government, officials said. During the second meeting of the committee on Friday, the government is understood to have put forth a few names of officers who could be considered for appointment as the CBI director, they said.

Senior IPS officers of 1984 batch, Javeed Ahmed, Rajni Kant Misra and SS Deswal, are said to be among the top contenders for the coveted post. Ahmed, an officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, is at present the chief of National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences here. Ahmed's cadre and batchmate Misra is head of the Border Security Force.

Robert Vadra anticipatory bail plea in money laundering case in court today

Robert Vadra on Friday moved a Delhi court seeking anticipatory bail in a money laundering case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). A lawyer from the prosecution team said Vadra sought anticipatory bail in the case in which his close aide Manoj Arora was granted interim protection from arrest till 6 February by the court. The case is likely to be heard on Saturday.

The case relates to allegations of money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property, located at 12, Bryanston Square, worth 1.9 million pounds, which is Vadra allegedly owned by Vadra, the brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. On 19 January, the ED had told the court that Arora was cooperating in the investigation. Arora had earlier alleged before the court that the case was foisted on him by the NDA government out of "political vendetta".

'Interim Budget a final jumla'

Opposition parties on Friday termed the Interim Budget presented by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal as the 'final jumla' by the Narendra Modi government, questioning its significance ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

While the CPM, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and BSP chief Mayawati criticised the Budget for having "absolutely no value", and an "exercise in rhetoric", Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the provision to provide 'Rs 17 a day' to farmers was an "insult".

However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the Interim Budget and said it is merely a "trailer" of what will guide India towards prosperity after the Lok Sabha polls. He described it as something that will benefit all sections of the society.

In his remarks after the Interim Budget was presented in Parliament, Modi said it empowers people, referring to a host of budgetary announcements and schemes to illustrate his point. More than 12 crore farmers, three crore middle-class families and 30-40 crore workers employed in the unorganised sector will benefit from the Budget, he said, adding that poverty has been falling at a record rate due to the efforts of his government.

India fighting for survival against Italy in Davis Cup

Having seen both Ramkumar Ramanathan and Prajnesh Gunneswaran lose their singles ties on Friday in the Davis Cup, the Indian tennis team will be fighting for survival against Italy on Saturday the tournament. The onus, first up, will be on the shoulders of the doubles pairing of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan.

On Friday, Andreas Seppi had beaten Ramanathan 6-4, 6-2 while Matteo Berrettini had edged past Gunneswaran 6-4, 6-3 in under an hour. "Focus is on tomorrow. We know we have a job at hand. It will be a lot harder. No time to give up now," non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi told reporters on Friday.

Fuel prices continue to fall

Petrol, diesel prices continued to fall on Friday. While petrol price went down by 10-15 paise, diesel prices witnessed a cut of 8-14 paise per litre. Petrol cost 10 paise cheaper on Friday in Delhi and was retailing at Rs 71.09 per litre; in Mumbai at Rs 76.72; and in Chennai at Rs 73.80 per litre.

In Delhi, diesel was priced at Rs 65.81 per litre, down 8 paise from the previous close. Likewise, in Mumbai, it was down 8 paise to cost Rs 68.91, and in Chennai, it was 15 paise cheaper at Rs 69.52 per litre.

Fuel prices vary with the international market prices of crude oil. Petrol prices had touched a record high of Rs 84 per litre in Delhi and Rs 91.34 in Mumbai in October 2018 on account of crude prices going up to $86 per barrel.

Reliance Communications to file for bankruptcy

Anil Ambani-led telecom company Reliance Communications will opt for insolvency proceedings as it has failed to sell assets to pay its debt. "RCom board of directors decides upon implementation of debt resolution plans through the NCLT framework," the company said in a statement.

The Board of Directors of RCom on Friday reviewed the progress of the company's debt resolution plans since the invocation of strategic debt resolution on 2 June, 2017.

Apple delays FaceTime bug fix

Apple has delayed the software update that is expected to fix the bug that allowed callers to eavesdrop on call recipients. Group FaceTime will be restored only after the bug has been fixed.

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: Feb 02, 2019 08:17:40 IST