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PM announces high-level task force on structural reforms in agriculture            Govt convenes all-party meet today ahead of Parliament session            Efforts on to end West Bengal doctors' agitation            Heat stroke claims 43 lives in Bihar during past 24 hours            ICC World Cup: India to clash with arch-rivals Pakistan today           

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News at Nine

2100 HRS
20.03.2019

2100 HRS

20.03.2019

 

the headlines:

  • Nirav Modi, accused in PNB scam case, arrested by London Police; remanded in custody till 29th March.

  • All four accused in Samjhauta Express blast case acquitted.

  • Goa government under new Chief Minister Pramod Sawant passes floor test in Legislative Assembly.

  • Prime Minister says some people ran disinformation campaign against chowkidaars for their own vested interest.

  • Congress and National Conference stitch alliance for Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir

  • CPM releases second list of 20 candidates.

  • Social media platforms submit code of ethics to Election Commission.

  • In Football, India to play Nepal in finals of 5th South Asian Football Federation Women's Championship on Friday; beat Bangladesh 4-nil in semis.

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Fugitivejeweller Nirav Modi has been arrested by Scotland Yard in London. He is themain accused in the 13,500-crore rupee Punjab National Bank scam case.

Thearrest came days after a London court issued an arrest warrant against him inresponse to a request by the Enforcement Directorate for his extradition in amoney laundering case. The Metropolitan Police said, Nirav Modi was arrested onbehalf of the Indian Authorities yesterday in Holborn.

A UK court later remanded him in custody till the 29th of March, saying thereare substantial grounds to believe that he would fail to surrender if grantedbail.

Reactingto Nirav Modi's arrest, BJP leader and Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri saidit is a clear sign that the India of today will not allow economic offenders toloot the country and evade the law. Mr Puri said, unlawfull people cannot hidefrom the country's Chowkidar.

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PrimeMinister Narendra Modi today said that some people have mounted adisinformation campaign against chowkidaars for their own vested interest. Hewas interacting with chowkidars from across the country through an audiobridge.


"कुछ लोगों ने अपने निजी स्‍वार्थों के लिए चौकीदार को चोर कह दिया। एक प्रकार से हर चौकीदार के जीवन के सामने उनकी तपस्‍या के सामने उन्‍होंने सवालिया निशान खड़ा कर दिया। इस देश का दुर्भाग्‍य है, ऐसे लोगों की भाषा आपको पीडि़त कर रही है। ऐसे कुछ लोग‍ आगे भी यही करने वाले हैं और हमे इसलिए पूरे धैर्य के साथ जो भी चौकीदारी करने की हमारी जिम्‍मेदारी है उसको निभाना है चौकन्ना होकर निभानाहै।"

Duringthe interaction, Mr Modi also hit out at the Opposition for questioning theIndian Air Force strike on terrorist camps in Balakot, Pakistan. He said everyIndian should be proud of the armed forces but it is surprising that while theair strike was carried out at Balakot, the pain is being felt by some people inthe country.

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CongressPresident Rahul Gandhi today assured the people of the northeast  that his party will not allow theintroduction of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament. He wasaddressing a poll rally at Khumulwng near Agartala after launching the electioncampaign for the party. Mr Gandhi said that if the Congress comes to power atthe Centre, it will introduce a guaranteed minimum income scheme for the poor.

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The newGoa government passed the floor test in the legislative assembly today by 20 to15 votes.

"TheBJP-led coalition government headed by Pramod Sawant garnered support from 20MLAs while 19 votes were required to prove majority. These 20 MLAs include 11from BJP, all three each from the Goa Forward Party and MaharashtrawadiGomantak Party; and the three independent legislators in the house. Ailing BJPlegislator Pandurang Madkaikar was present in the assembly to vote in what washis first public appearance in over six months. The 15 MLAs voting against theconfidence motion include 14 from the Congress and the lone legislator of theNationalist Congress Party in the house. With Mukesh Thali, Saikat Sarkar fromGoa for AIR."

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The BJPCentral Election Committee is holding a meeting in New Delhi to discuss namesof candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJPPresident Amit Shah and senior party leaders are attending the meeting. This isthe third meeting of the committee to finalize the list of candidates.

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In Jammuand Kashmir, the Congress and National Conference have announced a pre-pollalliance for the Lok Sabha polls. Addressing a joint press conference in Jammutoday, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and National Conference patron FarooqAbdullah said, the Congress will contest Jammu and Udhampur Lok Sabha seats inJammu Division and National Conference will fight from Srinagar. They said,there will be  a friendly contest betweenthe two parties in the Anantnag and Baramulla Lok Sabha seats in the KashmirValley. Discussions are on for an arrangement for the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat.Dr. Farooq Abdullah will be the joint candidate of National Conference andCongress from his current Srinagar Parliamentary seat.

Reactingto the development, State BJP Spokesperson Brigadier Anil Gupta described theCongress-NC alliance as opportunistic.

Meanwhile,two nominations were filed for Jammu-Poonch Parliamentary Constituency. Firstnomination was filed by PoJK Refugee leader Rajiv Chunni, as an Independentcandidate. The second nomination was filed by Syed Aqib Hussain of newly formedIndependent Peoples Party before the Returning Officer at the DeputyCommissioners’ office in Jammu.

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The BJPtoday finalised its seat-sharing deal with the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS)and the P C Thomas-led Kerala Congress in the state for the Lok Sabha polls. Asper the arrangement, BJP will contest 14 seats and BDJS five. Kerala Congresswill fight from one seat.

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BSP chiefMayawati says she will not contest the Lok Sabha elections. She announced herdecision at a press conference in Lucknow today.

"देश के वर्तमान हालात में जरूरत को देखते हुए तथा अपनी मूवमेंट के व्‍यापक हित के साथ-साथ जनहित में देश हित का भी यही तकाजा है  कि मैं लोकसभा का चुनाव अभी नहीं लडूं।

Meanwhile,BSP leader Chandraprakash Mishra has joined the BJP.

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TheCPI(M) today released its second list of 20 candidates for the Lok Sabhaelections. The party has finalised names of 13 candidates for West Bengal, twoeach for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and one each for Jharkhand, Karnataka andUttarakhand.

In WestBengal, the party has fielded Gauranga Chatterjee from Asansol, SumitraAdhikary from Howrah and Amiya Patra from Bankura.

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InOdisha, a BJD MP and an MLA have resigned from the ruling party. BJD MP fromKandhamal, Pratyusha Rajeswari singh and party MLA from Daspalla, Purna ChandraNaik sent their resignations to Party president and Chief Minister NaveenPatnaik. BJD MP from Kalahandi, Arka Keshari Singh Deo had sent his resignationletter to Mr Patnaik yesterday.

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InTelangana, the number of nominations filed for 17 Lok Sabha constituencies roseto 58, with 42 nominations submitted on the 3rd day today.

In Bihar,nine nomination papers were filed today for the first and second phase of LokSabha elections. Altogether, seventeen nominations have been filed so far.

In Meghalaya, the common candidate of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance,Jemino Mawthoh today filed his nomination from the Shillong Parliamentary seat.His candidature is supported by regional parties. An Independent candidate,Samuel Hashah, also filed his nomination before Khasi Hills DeputyCommissioner.

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SocialMedia platforms today presented a Voluntary Code of Ethics for the GeneralElections to the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora in New Delhi. It has been developed to ensure free, fair andethical usage of Social Media Platforms to maintain the integrity of theelectoral process. Appreciating the measure, the CEC said the social mediaplatforms need to follow in letter and spirit the commitments made in the Codeof Ethics.

The codehas been prepared as a follow up to yesterday’s meeting between the ElectionCommission and representatives  fromFacebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google, ShareChat, TikTok and BigoTV.

TheSocial Media platforms will create a high priority dedicated reportingmechanism and appoint dedicated teams during the General Elections for takingexpeditious action on any reported violations. They also greed to provide a mechanismfor political advertisers to submit pre-certified advertisements issued by theMedia Certification and Monitoring Committee. The Code of Ethics also promisesto facilitate transparency in paid political advertisements.

 

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All fouraccused in the Samjhauta Express blast case were acquitted by a special courtin Panchkula, Haryana today. Sixty-eight people, mostly Pakistanis, were killedin the blast near Panipat in 2007.

NIAcounsel Rajan Malhotra said, all the four accused, Naba Kumar Sarkar aliasSwami Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary wereacquitted by the court.

Beforepronouncing the verdict, NIA special judge Jagdeep Singh dismissed the pleafiled by a Pakistani woman for examining some eyewitnesses from her country.The NIA counsel said, the court ruled that the plea was devoid of any merit.

"TheHaryana Police had registered a case, but the probe was handed over to theNational Investigation Agency in July 2010. The NIA filed a charge sheet inJuly 2011 against eight persons for their alleged role in the terror attack.Sunil Joshi, the alleged mastermind of the attack, was shot dead near his homein Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh in December 2007. Aseemanand was out onbail, while three others, let off today were in judicial custody. The threeother accused could not be arrested and were declared proclaimed offenders.Swati Rakheja, News desk."

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In Jammu& Kashmir, a gunfight is on between terrorists and security forces atKalantara Kandi area of  Baramulladistrict. There was no report of any casualties on either side so far. Detailsare awaited.

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ThePresident  and Vice President havegreeted people on the eve of Holi. In a message, President Ram Nath Kovind saidthis festival is a celebration of spring, fraternity and mutual goodwill.

In hismessage, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said, it is a festival that expressesjoy, camaraderie and conviviality.

DelhiMetro services will not be available till 2.30 pm on the occasion of Holitomorrow. Metro feeder bus services will also not be available till 2 PM.

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Defendingchampion India will play Nepal in the final of the 5th South Asian FootballFederation, SAFF Women's Championship on Friday. India entered the final afterdefeating Bangladesh, 4-nil in their semi-final at Biratnagar this evening.

"Fourtime defending champions team India again posed that they are class apart fromrest of the teams. After a tense start, Dalmia Chibbar opened India's accountin 18th minute. Indumati took Indian lead to three scoring goal in 23rd and37th minute. The tempo of the match went up as both sides made good attempts toscore. In the second half, Indian team controlled most of the possession. Inthe dying moments of the game, Manisha scored 4th goal to complete the rout.Earlier, in the first semifinal host Nepal defeated Sri Lanka by 4-0. Now Indiawill take on Nepal for title clash on Friday. Raj Kumar, AIR NewsKathmandu."

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