NEW DELHI: The destruction by heavy rains in Maharashtra, ADR report on political funding and China’s military build-up near LAC were some of the news that made headlines today.
Here is a look at the top 10 news stories from the day —
Tata largest political donors, BJP biggest recipient: ADR report
According to a report by Association for Democratic Reforms, BJP was the biggest recipient of political donations (Rs 698 crore), followed by the Congress (122.5 crores) in the year 2018-19. The Tata Group-backed Progressive Electoral Trust was the largest donor to political parties in 2018-19 with donations equalling Rs 455.15 crore, the report said.
Chinese troops with weapons at LAC a challenge: Jaishankar
The behaviour of Chinese troops on the Ladakh border is a sharp departure from a course of relationship over 30 years, and has left the relationship between India and China “profoundly disturbed, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said.
The violent clashes have also had a very deep public and political impact, the minister said, while speaking at a virtual event hosted by the Asia Society.
Successful night trial of nuclear-capable Prithvi-2 missile
India on Friday successfully conducted a night trial of the indigenously developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-2 missile as part of a user trial by the Army from a test range in Odisha, defence sources said. The state-of-the-art surface-to-surface missile blasted off around 7.30 pm from launch complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore and the trial was successful, they said.
Rains claim 47 lives in Maharashtra, crops damaged extensively
Heavy rains and floods have claimed at least 47 lives in Maharashtra’s Pune, Aurangabad and Konkan divisions in the last three days while crops on lakhs of hectares were damaged extensively, officials said on Friday.
Twenty-eight persons have died in rain-related incidents in western Maharashtra which comes under Pune division, sixteen in central Maharashtra’s Aurangabad division and three in coastal Konkan, they said.
Govt to soon decide on minimum age of marriage for girls: PM Narendra Modi
The government is likely to decide on revising the minimum age of marriage for girls after it received a report by a committee set up for this purpose. “There is an important deliberation going on to decide what should be the ideal age of marriage for daughters,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing a video conference after releasing a commemorative coin of Rs 75 denomination on the 75th anniversary of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
New timetable for passenger trains may scrap 600 mail & express trains
The “zero-based” timetable for all passenger trains, which is likely to see many firsts including the dropping off nearly 600 mail/express trains and doing away with about 10,200 halts including night halts, would be notified in the next couple of months.
As per the plan, around 360 passenger trains would be upgraded as mail/express trains and 120 mail/ express trains would be upgraded to superfast trains category. Sources said the railway ministry is finalising the plan and would be notified soon.
SC appoints one-man panel to monitor stubble burning
Concerned by possibility of smoke from stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana choking the NCR, the Supreme Court-appointed one-man committee under former SC judge Madan Lokur to monitor the stubble fire and take preventive steps with help of chief secretaries of concerned states.
The SC asked the heads of National Cadet Corps, NSS and Bharat Scouts and Guides to put the young force at Lokur’s disposal to help locate stubble burning and bring it to notice of authorities to prevent crop burning.
Forex reserves rise by $5.867 billion to a lifetime high of $551.505 billion
The country’s foreign exchange reserves surged by $5.867 billion to touch a record high of $551.505 billion in the week to October 9, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data. In the previous week ended October 2, 2020, the reserves had increased by $3.618 billion to $545.638 billion.
China, Russia and India spewing stuff into air: Trump
US President Donald Trump has blamed countries like China, Russia and India for adding to the global air pollution and asserted that his country has the best environmental numbers.”We have the best environmental numbers, ozone numbers, and so many other numbers. In the meantime, China, Russia, India all these countries they’re spewing stuff into the air,” he alleged during a rally.
Dinesh Karthik hands over KKR captaincy to Eoin Morgan
Finally, Dinesh Karthik has done what many Kolkata Knight Riders fans wanted him to do for a fair while. After seven games -exactly at the halfway stage of the competition, Dinesh Kartik has handed over the Knight Riders’ captaincy to England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan.
With four wins and three losses, KKR are fourth on the table. Looking weighed down by the burden of captaincy, Karthik has looked off-colour with the bat, scoring just 108 runs in seven games at 15.42 so far.
Pakistan targets LoC, IB in ceasefire violation
JAMMU: Pakistan on Saturday violated ceasefire at multiple locations by firing unprovoked along the International Border (IB) in Samba sector and the Line of Control (LoC) in Degwar sector of Poonch district in Jammu & Kashmir.
Official sources said Pakistan violated ceasefire along the International Border at Rajpura area of Ghagwal in Samba district around 2am by firing at the border outposts (BOPs) of Border Security Force (BSF). BSF troops retaliated promptly and effectively to the enemy fire. No loss of life or injury was reported in the exchange of firing. Sources said that BSF had started some development work of forward locations along the international border, and Pakistani firing was aimed at hindering it.
Later in the evening, Pakistani troops violated ceasefire along the LoC in Degwar sector of Poonch district. Jammu-based defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand said, “Pakistan initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing with small arms and mortar shelling along the LoC in Degwar sector at about 6.30pm. The Indian Army retaliated befittingly.”
On Friday, Pakistan had violated ceasefire by resorting to unprovoked firing and shelling along the LoC in three sectors of Poonch district. Before this, it had violated ceasefire in the Mankote sector on October 16 and in two sectors along the LoC in Poonch district on October 14. Prior to this, it had violated ceasefire for three consecutive days — on October 9, 10 and 11 — in Rajouri and Poonch districts.
Farooq Abdullah to head seven-party Peoples Alliance, Mehbooba Mufti nominated VP
SRINAGAR: The Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, the seven-party amalgam of mainstream Kashmir parties demanding the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, appointed on Saturday National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah as its president, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti as vice-president, and decided the flag of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir would be the flag of the alliance.
The decisions came at a meeting of alliance constituents, some of whom are arch-rivals, at Mufti’s Gupkar Road residence here. “It’s not an anti-national alliance, it is an anti-BJP alliance… BJP wants to divide the country, our aim is to ensure that the rights of the people of J&K and Ladakh are restored,” Dr Abdullah said.
Congress appeared to distance itself from the PAGD with J&K PCC president GA Mir staying away from two meetings of the conglomerate — on October 15 when the alliance was forged, and on Saturday. Sources close to the regional Congress unit said this was because of what they described as a “twist” in the objective of the basic demand for the restoration of special status to J&K, a reference to recent statements from Mehbooba Mufti to the effect that she would raise the tricolour only when the J&K flag, too, was allowed to fly. The source said Congress had raised the issue of the nullification of Article 370 in Parliament but the PDP Rajya Sabha members had not spoken a word on it in the Upper House.
Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, meanwhile, was quoted by ANI as asking, “Why is the so-called secular lobby silent at this anti-national remark (Mehbooba’s remarks of Friday)? … In one country there cannot be ‘do nishaan, do pradhan’. We condemn this.” He added that J&K was “India’s inseparable part” and “Article 370 abrogation was a constitutional process (sic)”.
However, CPM leader Yousuf Tarigami rejected the notion of Congress distancing itself, saying,“Congress party is very (much) a constituent of the PAGD.”
PAGD’s constituents are National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Peoples Conference, Awami National Conference, CPM, CPI and J&K Peoples Movement.
Veteran CPM leader M Y Tarigami was elected convener while Lok Sabha member from South Kashmir Hasnain Masoodi was made coordinator of the conglomerate. People’s Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone would be the spokesman for the amalgam.
Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone said the PAGD would come up with a document, at the next meeting in Jammu in two weeks, on the “lies being spread against the people of Jammu and Kashmir”. “The white paper will compare the reality and false propaganda on the ground,” Lone said.
Both Congress and BJP condemned Mehbooba’s statements of Friday. While Congress advised Mehbooba to desist from such statements, BJP demanded her arrest and party activists burnt effigies of Mufti for “insulting the national flag”
“Our relationship with the flag of this country is not independent of this flag (Jammu and Kashmir’s flag). When this flag comes in our hand, we will raise that flag too,” Mehbooba had said on Friday.
JKPCC chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma, however, added that Congress is for the restoration of J&K’s special status and that J&K should revert to being a single state that includes Ladakh. “We are not with any such irresponsible statement which would hurt the sentiments of Indians,” Ravinder Sharma said.
Rajnath reviews LAC situation in eastern sector at Army’s Trishakti Corps in Sukna
NEW DELHI: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday reviewed the combat preparedness of the Indian Army at the Sukna-based headquarters of its 33 Corps which is responsible for guarding the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China in the Sikkim sector, officials said.
The defence minister arrived at the key military base, popularly known as ‘Trishakti’ Corps, in Darjeeling district in late afternoon as part of his two-day visit to West Bengal and Sikkim to review the military preparedness in view of the border row with China in eastern Ladakh as well as to celebrate Dussehra with soldiers.
Singh is accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane.
The Army has significantly bolstered deployment of troops and weaponry along the nearly 3,500 km-long LAC including in the Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh sectors.
The officials said top commanders of the 33 Corps gave detailed briefing to the defence minister and Gen Naravane on the situation along the LAC in Sikkim sector as well as about deployment of troops and weapons.
In an interaction with a group of Army personnel, the defence minister conveyed his wishes to them on the occasion of Vijayadashami and hailed their dedication in securing the nation’s borders.
“Due to brave soldiers like you, the borders of this country are protected. The whole country is proud of you,” he said.
The defence minister also talked about the rich history of the Trishakti Corps.
“The Trishakti Corps has a great golden history. Especially in 1962, 1967, 1971 and 1975, this Corps demonstrated examples of valour. It has been excellent,” he said.
“I extend my best wishes to all of you and your family for the festival of Vijayadashami,” the defence minister’s office tweeted quoting him as saying.
Officials said Singh will perform ‘Shastra puja'(worship of weapons) at Sherathang area in Sikkim on Sunday morning on the occasion of Dussehra.
The defence minister had performed ‘Shastra Puja’ in the French port city of Bordeaux during Dussehra last year as he was on a bilateral visit to the country then.
Singh has been performing ‘Shastra Puja’ during Dussehra for the last several years including during his tenure as the Union Home Minister in the previous NDA government.
Almost all formations of the Indian Army along the LAC are on a very high-level of alert in view of the border row with China in eastern Ladakh.
India and China are locked in an over five-month-long bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh that has significantly strained their ties.
Both sides held a series of diplomatic and military talks to resolve the row. However, no breakthrough has been achieved to end the standoff.
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