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Midday News

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1400 HRS.

13th November, 2018


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to leave for Singapore tonight to attend 13th East Asia Summit.

  • Full Election Commission to review poll preparedness in Madhya Pradesh today.

  • Supreme Court defers hearing on fresh petitions pertaining to entry of women into Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

  • Mortal remains of Union Minister Ananth Kumar being consigned to flames in Bengaluru with full state honours.

  • Indian captain Virat Kohli and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah maintain top positions in latest ICC ODI rankings.

  • Hong Kong Badminton tournament begins today; PV Sindhu to spearhead Indian challenge.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leaving for Singapore tonight to attend the 13th East Asia Summit. This will be Mr Modi's 5th East Asia Summit and his second visit to Singapore. During his two-day stay, Mr Modi will also attend the second Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership meeting where the leaders will review the progress made in the negotiations. Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu will participate in the negotiations.

Mr Modi will also be the first head of government to deliver an address at the Singapore Fintech Festival. It is one of the largest events on financial technology. Briefing media in New Delhi, Secretary (East) in the External Affairs Ministry, Vijay Thakur Singh said, the Prime Minister's visit to Singapore will give new momentum to India's relations with eastern neighbors. 

Mr Modi will also hold several bilateral meetings including one with US Vice President Mike Pence during his stay.


Campaigning is in full swing for the second and final phase of Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh. 72 constituencies will go to polls in this phase on the 20th of this month. Political parties are leaving no stone unturned to woo the voters.

"After the polling in 18 constituencies in first phase yesterday, the focus has now been shifted to the other seventy two constituencies, where polling would be held on November 20. As many as one thousand one hundred and forty eight candidates are in the fray in these 72 constituencies. The campaign in these constituencies is now gearing up. Many star campaigners and senior leaders are holding public meetings for their parties. Union ministers and senior BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari and Smriti Irani are addressing election meetings at Durg, Balod, Raigarh and Janjgir-Champa district to canvass for BJP candidates today. Congress President Rahul Gandhi is also on a two day visit to Chhattisgarh from today. Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur."

In Madhya Pradesh, full Election Commission will review poll preparedness today. The State will go to polls on 28th of this month to elect a new Assembly

"Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat has arrived in Indore with the commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa a two-day visit to review the preparation for assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh. The commission will hold a meeting with Divisional Commissioner, Inspector General of Police, District Election Officers and Superintendents of Police of 18 districts of Indore, Ujjain and Narmadapuram divisions after a short while from now. Election Commission will also hold a meeting with recognized national political parties in Bhopal today. The commission will review the preparation for the elections in the remaining 33 districts tomorrow. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."

In Mizoram, campaigning has gained momentum for November 28 Assembly elections.

"Campaigning by major parties is going at its peak across the state. While giving promises to woo voters, major parties are also undermining each other on various issues. Meanwhile, Congress has withdrawn its support to the Chakma Autonomous District Council body, headed by BJP. On this issue, Zoramthanga alleged that Congress is still working with BJP. Irene, AIR News, Aizawl."


The Supreme Court today deferred the hearing of the fresh petitions pertaining to the entry of women into Sabarimala temple. The Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph heard four petitions before deferring the hearing of the same. The Bench said that the writ petitions will be heard subject to the decision of the review petitions filed against the Sabarimala verdict. Apex Court said that a five-judge bench is scheduled to hear in chamber the review petitions at 3 pm today. The writ petitions and revew petitions were filed after the 28th September judgement of the Supreme Court which held that women irrespective of their age, have the right to enter the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Kerala.


The Supreme Court will hear final arguments in Income Tax case against Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi on the 4th of December. The Court today fixed the date for final arguments on petitions filed by Rahul and Sonia Gandhi challenging the Delhi High Court order refusing to give them relief in a case of re-opening of their tax assessments for 2011-12. The apex court did not issue any notice on their petitions as the Income Tax department was represented by its counsel. The Income Tax department had filed a caveat in the apex court that it should be heard in case any appeal is filed against the High Court order. After a brief hearing, a bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and S A Abdul Nazeer said, since respondent (Income Tax department) has put in appearance, the Court is not issuing a formal notice. However, the Court fixed the matter for final arguments on 4th of December.

The Income Tax matter against the Congress leaders is linked to the National Herald case in which they are also facing a criminal case.


The Delhi High Court today said that there is no urgency in the plea of Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), publisher of the National Herald newspaper, against the Centre's order asking it to vacate its premises in New Delhi. Justice Sunil Gaur said it will hear AJL's plea on Thursday. The publisher had approached the High Court yesterday challenging the 30th October order of the Urban Development Ministry, ending its 56-year-old lease and asking it to vacate the premises in the press enclave at ITO in Delhi.


Mortal remains of Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ananth Kumar are being consigned to flames with full state honours in Bengaluru. Earlier, his body was kept in National College Grounds in Basavanagudi to facilitate the public to pay their last respects to their beloved leader.

"Vice Presdient M.Venkiah Naidu paid homage to Ananth Kumar and consoled the family members today morning. Earlier Union Ministers Nirmala Seetharaman, Prakash Javadekar, Dharmendra Pradhan, D.V.Sadananda Gowda, Arjunram Meghwawl, Gajendra Singh Shekawat, State BJP Chief B.S.Yeddyurappa and many RSS Leaders paid their last respects to Ananth kumar.T .B. Nanjundaswamy, AIR News, Bengaluru."

A special meeting of the Union Cabinet was held to condole the demise of Kumar. The Cabinet expressed profound sorrow at the sad demise of the Minister. In a resolution, the Cabinet noted that in his passing away, the Nation has lost an experienced leader.

The Cabinet extended its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family on behalf of the Government and the entire nation. The Cabinet observed two-minute silence in his memory.


The cyclone Gaja in the West Central Bay of Bengal has moved further towards Tamil Nadu coast. A bulletin from the Met Department said, it is centred about 740 km east of Chennai and 830 km east-northeast of Nagappattinam. The weather system is likely to intensify into a Severe Cyclonic Storm in the next 24 hours and drift towards west-southwest direction. It is set to make a landfall between Pamban and Cuddalore after weakening into a Cyclonic Storm in the forenoon on Thursday.

Strong winds of speed up to 110 kilometres per hour, gusting up to 125 km is expected from tomorrow evening, besides bringing rain at most places in north coastal Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and its adjoining districts. Fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea.

"The state machinery in Tamil Nadu has been geared up to mitigate the effects of the Cyclone Gaja. State Revenue Minister RB Udhayakumar told media in Chennai this morning, eight teams of the National Disaster Response Force NDRF are camping in Nagappattinam, Chidambaram, Cudalore, Ramanathapuram and Chennai. Four teams from the state disaster response force have also been sent to vulnerable places. Inter-Departmental Zonal Teams that have been formed to monitor the situation in vulnerable areas are put on high . Earthmovers and rescue tools are kept in sufficient numbers, and shelters for accommodating people in case of evacuation have also been readied. People have been asked to be indoors during the landfall of the cyclone. Jayasingh, AIR News, Chennai."


The festival of Chhath is being celebrated with religious fervour and gaitey in different parts of the country today. Our Patna correspondent has filed this report on Chhath celebrations in Bihar:

"Devotees have started gathering at various ghats of Rivers, Ponds and water reservoirs. All roads leading to ghats have been nicely decorated. Standing in knee deep water, devotees will pay oblations to the setting sun this evening. Puja will conclude after paying offerings to the rising sun tomorrow morning. A large number of devotees have gathered at various sun temples including Deo in Aurangabad, Barkagao in Nalanda and Ular Sun temple in Paliganj to observe the festival. With K K Lal's report from Ptana, Anupam Mishra, AIR News."

President Ram Nath Kovind has greeted the people on the occasion. In his message, Mr Kovind said, Chhath Pooja is one of the oldest festivals of the country wherein devotees worship the Sun God. He said, the people also pay their obeisance towards the rivers, lakes and ponds, which are nature’s gifts.


Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Dr Rajat Kumar has asked public broadcasters, All India Radio and Doordarshan to play a greater role in disseminating accurate and authentic information relating to elections. He was delivering the key note address at the District Correspondents workshop on Election Coverage held by the All India Radio in Hyderabad today. The CEO asked AIR to maintain its credibility in helping people to take an informed decision. He also said that Telangana state is setting a benchmark on several aspects of election conduct.


Ayushman Bharat, or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23rd of September, 2018. The scheme provides health protection cover to poor and vulnerable families. A 5 Lakh rupee cashless medical insurance is given to the beneficiaries. Panchmahal district of Gujarat state covers one lakh 20 thousand 934 beneficiaries as per socio-economic caste based census 2011. A ground report from our Ahmedabad correspondent:

"Panchmahal district of Gujarat state empanelled 42 hospitals for treatment under this scheme. Abdul Rakha Ahemad khan Ansari, residing in Shahara town of  Panchlahal district has taken his eye treatment under this scheme.

With the help of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana poor patients get treatment free of cost is going to be completed. BHARAT DEVMANI, AIR NEWS, AHMEDABAD."


India captain Virat Kohli and premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah maintained their top positions respectively in the latest ICC ODI rankings published today. Kohli remained in pole position with 899 points while limited overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma remained second in the list. Rohit's opening partner Shikhar Dhawan is the third Indian in the top-10 list at eighth position improving from his ninth place in the previous list. Similarly in the bowlers' list, there are three Indians with Bumrah on top with 841 points. Kuldeep Yadav maintained his third place in the list. Kuldeep's wrist spin twin Yuzvendra Chahal is placed fifth on the list. Rashid Khan of Afghanistan with 353 points is the top-ranked ODI all-rounder in world cricket currently. 


Hong Kong Open Badminton tournament begins in Kowloon today. Rio Olympics Silver medalist PV Sindhu will spearhead the Indian challenge. Sindhu, seeded third, will begin her campaign against Thailand's Nitchaon Jindapol. Saina Nehwal will face the second seeded Japanese Akane Yamaguchi in the opening round. In the Men's Singles, fourth seed Kidambi Srikanth will take on local boy Wong Wing Ki Vincent, while HS Prannoy will open his campaign against Denmark's Anders Antonsen.


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