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President invites NDA parliamentary party leader Narendra Modi to form Govt            CWC rejects Rahul Gandhi's resignation offer            Andhra Pradesh: Jagan Mohan Reddy stakes claim to form govt            Normal life affected in Odisha due to intense heatwave conditions            India wins bronze medal in Archery World Cup Stage III           

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Morning News

0815 HRS
17.12.2018
THE HEADLINES,
  • Ashok Gehlot to be sworn-in as Rajasthan Chief Minister today; Kamal Nath to take oath as Madhya Pradesh CM; Bhupesh Baghel as Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to hold delegation-level talks in New Delhi today.
  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu appeals to all political parties to ensure passage of Women's Reservation Bill in Parliament.
  • Cyclone Phethai to hit Andhra Pradesh coast this afternoon.
  • Men's Hockey, Belgium crowned new World Champions.

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Congress' Ashok Gehlot will be sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan today, while party leader Kamal Nath will take oath as the CM of Madhya Pradesh, and Bhupesh Baghel as the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh. Congress National President Rahul Gandhi is among those who will attend the swearing-in ceremony in all the three states.
In Rajasthan, Governor Kalyan Singh will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Mr Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot at the Albert Memorial Museum Hall in Jaipur around 10 this morning. More from our correspondent:
"It would be the third term of Mr. Gehlot as Chief Minister of the state. He has served as central minister and President of State Congress Committee for three times. Mr Pilot has also served as central minister once in UPA-II government. He will be fifth Deputy Chief Minister in the state. Several Congress leaders, including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and leaders of grand alliance will also be present in the oath-taking ceremony. Jitendra Dwivedi, AIR News, Jaipur."
In Madhya Pradesh, Governor Anandiben Patel will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Mr Kamal Nath around 1:30 in the afternoon at Jamboori Maidan in Bhopal. Party sources said, Mr Nath will take oath alone and his Cabinet will be expanded later after consultations with party leadership. Our correspondent reports that the nine-time Lok Sabha member from Chhindwara was elected as the leader of Congress Legislature Party after days of deliberations.
"The 72-year old Kamal Nath will be sworn-in as the 18th Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. The swearing-in ceremony will be held at Jamboori Maidan in Bhopal. Among those who will be present in the oath-taking ceremony include Chief Ministers of some states, national office-bearers of Indian National Congress, office-bearers of other political parties and newly-elected MLAs. Kamal Nath was born in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He is an alumnus of The Doon School, and earned a Bachelor degree from St. Xavier's College, Kolkata. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Bhopal."
Ms Anandiben Patel, who is also the Governor of Chhattisgarh, will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Mr Baghel, the State Congress President, in Raipur at 5 in the evening. After days of discussions with legislators and Mr Gandhi, party observer Mallikarjun Kharge announced the name of Mr Baghel as the Chief Minister at the Congress legislature party meeting in Raipur yesterday. Our correspondent reports that the swearing-in ceremony will take place at the Science College Grounds in the state capital.
"Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi will attend the ceremony. Bhupesh Baghel will be the third Chief Minister of the state. The Chief Minister alone will take oath today and his Council of Ministers will be sworn-in at a later date. Baghel is an experienced administrator, who was a minister during undivided Madhya Pradesh and later in Chhattisgarh in Congress government and is also known for his organisational skills. Vikalp Shukla, AIR News, Raipur."

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accused the Congress party of always trying to weaken the judiciary and other democratic institutions. Addressing a public meeting at Andawa in Prayagraj district of Uttar Pradesh last evening, Mr Modi charged the Congress with weakening each and every institution that refused to toe its line. The Prime Minister said:
"जिस तरह एक बार फिर न्यायपलिका पर दबाव का खेल शुरू हुआ है, उस स्थिति में देश को, आज की युवा पीढ़ी को सतर्क किया जाना बहुत आवश्यक है। देश पर सबसे ज्यादा समय शासन करने वाली पार्टी ने हमेशा ही खुद को हर कानून, न्यायपालिका, संस्था और यहां तक की देश से भी अपने आप को उपर माना है।"
In Prayagraj, Mr Modi also laid foundation stone of several developmental projects worth more than 4,500 crores. He also inaugurated the new terminal building of the Bamrauli Airport.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister launched development projects worth over 1,000 crore rupees at Rae Bareli.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will hold delegation-level talks in New Delhi today. The two leaders are expected to discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations. A number of agreements are also expected to be signed after the talks. Mr Solih arrived in New Delhi yesterday on a three-day visit to India. Our correspondent has filed this report:
"The Maldivian President's visit comes nearly a month after Mr Modi attended Mr Solih's swearing-in ceremony in Male. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will call on the visiting dignitary. Mr Solih will meet President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan this evening. India is a leading development partner of Maldives and capacity building and skills development is one of the key components of India’s assistance to the island nation. Growing from modest beginnings, India and Maldives bilateral trade now stands at 700 crore rupees. Indians are the second largest expatriate community in the Maldives with approximate strength of around 22 thousand. ANUPAM MISHRA, AIR NEWS, DELHI."

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Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has appealed to all political parties to ensure the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill in Parliament. He was addressing the NITI Aayog Conference on Women Empowerment in New Delhi yesterday. Mr Naidu said:
"I would like to appeal to all political parties to arrive at a consensus to ensure the passage of Women's Reservation Bill for providing reservation to women in Parliament and state legislatures also. We have the experience of over 33 per cent in some states, 50 per cent reservation for women in Panchayat Raj local bodies and also municipalities. The experience is very good. The experiment is proving to be successful."
The Vice President asserted that discrimination against women has to end, be it in terms of differential wages or skewed opportunities for career advancement.

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The Delhi High Court is likely to pronounce its verdict today on the appeals challenging a trial court's judgement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case in which Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was acquitted. The court had, on the 29th of October, concluded hearing arguments on the appeals filed by the CBI, riots victims and the convicts, and had reserved the judgement. Former Congress councilor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal and two others were held guilty in the case relating to the murder of five members of a family on the 1st of November 1984 after the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
The trial court had acquitted Sajjan Kumar in the case, but awarded life term to Khokhar, Bhagmal and Lal, and a three-year jail term to two others - former MLA Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar.

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Cyclone Phethai will hit the Andhra coast near Kakinada this afternoon with a wind speed of 70 to 90 kilometres per hour. Talking to AIR, Duty Officer in the Cyclone Warning Centre, Vishakhapatnam, Hyma Rao said:
"The severe cyclonic storm Phethai is located at about 220 kilometres south east of Machlipatnam and 270 kilometres south of Kakinada. The cyclonic storm is likely to cross the coast at around Kakinada today afternoon. However, due to unfavourable conditions, it is likely to weaken before landfall and cross  coast as a cyclonic storm."
Under the influence of the Cyclone, heavy rain is expected in East and West Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Krishna, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts of Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Pudducherry.
Our correspondent reports that elaborate arrangements have been made by the administration of the districts to deal with any eventuality.
"Teams from National and State Disaster Response Forces have been deployed mainly in the central Coastal Andhra Pradesh districts to meet any eventuality. Cyclone shelters have been opened in some coastal districts and transportation facility has been kept ready to evacuate people, if necessary. Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu directed the official machinery to be on high and take measures for the safety of people in the vulnerable areas. Meanwhile, farmers are facing hardships as the crops especially paddy is either ready for harvesting or on the fields just after cutting. Lakshmi, AIR NEWS."

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Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has said, he re-appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister out of respect for democracy and parliamentary tradition though he is personally opposed to him. Continuing his tirade against Mr Wickremsinghe after swearing-in him yesterday, Mr Sirisena said his statement on refusing to give premiership to Mr Wickremesinghe even if all 225 in Parliament request him to do so, is his personal political opinion and persists to date.

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In Men's Hockey, Belgium have been crowned as the new World Champions. In the title clash at Bhubaneswar last evening, they defeated three-time winners, the Netherlands, 3-2 via a penalty shoot-out to win the coveted trophy for the first time. The match went into penalties after both teams failed to score in regulation time. In the shoot-out, Belgium goalkeeper Vincent Vanasch outperformed his Dutch counterpart Pirmin Blaak by making four saves to power his side to its second biggest international title. Belgium had won a Silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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In Cricket, Australia were 142 for 4 in the second innings against India on the fourth day of the Perth Test, when reports last came in. Usman Khawaja and skipper Tim Paine were at the crease, with the hosts having a lead of 185 runs.


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The News Services Division of All India Radio, in its weekly bilingual live phone-in programme 'Public Speak', will bring you a discussion tonight on 'Various Initiatives taken in the Agriculture Sector'. This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9:30 pm.

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NEWSPAPERS HEADLINES:

  • PM Modi's maiden visit to Rae Bareli, and Bhupesh Baghel being named Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, are highlighted in the press this morning.
  • "PM Modi takes war to Sonia's home turf" is the lead in the DNA. Addressing a rally there, "Modi slams Congress: No Quatrocchi mama or Michel uncle in NDA's deals" headlines the Indian Expess.
  • "Baghel wins Chhattisgarh CM race" leads the Pioneer. "Ending Chhattisgarh suspense, Congress says Baghel will be Chief Minister" writes the Times of India.
  • "Stalin proposes Rahul as PM candidate for 2019, leaves many in Opposition surprised" reports the Indian Express.
  • "Parliament braces for a stormy week as Opposition lines up notices" observes the DNA.
  • "67 per cent of 5,151 Smart city projects stuck on paper; But Housing ministry says implementation pace has picked up" notes The Hindu Business Line.
  • "Pak infiltration operations shifting to Jammu border" with 40 terrorists pushed into India in the last 3 years through the international border, the Hindustan Times cites an NIA report.
  • On Nursery admissions, "105 schools in Delhi fail to make criteria public, asked to stop admission process" by the Delhi government, informs The Pioneer.
  • Papers report PV Sindhu winning the World Tour Finals with photographs. The Hindu carries the caption "Making History". The Indian Express states "First big title win this year, Sindhu pockets her biggest pay cheque too".
  • The Pioneer notes "Government to promote water transport during Kumbh" as it plans to use inland waterways for ferrying pilgrims and tourists.
  • And finally, "71 war widow's wait to see husband ends" reports The Times of India, of a moment that brought out both tears and smiles. Amra Devi, a newly-wed at the time of the war, was gifted a photograph of her husband, a martyr of the 1971 war, on the occasion of Vijay Diwas on Sunday, ending an almost five-decade long wait.

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