Eknath Shinde Takes Oath As Maharashtra CM, Fadnavis To Be Deputy CM

Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde on Thursday took oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra a day after Uddhav Thackeray resigns from the post for losing majority in the State Assembly.

The development threw up a big surprise in this political crisis when everyone was expecting that BJP leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will be sworn in for the post. Fadnavis will be Shinde’s deputy in the new government,

Addressing a press conference after meeting Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and staking claim to form government, Devendra Fadnavis along with Eknath Shinde addressed the media making public the decision over the chief ministership.

Eknath Shinde-faction MLAs, staying at a hotel in Goa, celebrated after he was announced as the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra. There were posts on social media showing the legislators dancing before a large TV screen that announced his candidature.

Shinde thanked Fadnavis saying, “The BJP has 120 MLAs but despite that Devendra Fadnavis didn’t take the post of CM. I express my gratitude to him along with PM Modi, Amit Shah & other BJP leaders that they showed generosity and made Balasaheb’s Sainik (party-worker) the CM of the state.”

The 31-month tenure of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government collapsed after over 40 MLAs mostly of Shiv Sena and independents rebelled against the coalition government led by Uddhav Thackeray.

The political drama which went on for weeks began after MLC election results were declared on June 21. On the night of the results, Shinde along with over 15 MLAs left for Surat where they camped for a few days. As the crisis unfolded, more MLAs of Shiv Sena rebelled against the top leader leadership and MVA govt, and joined Shinde’s camp. 

Shinde along with rebels left for Guwahati. As crisis deepened further and Uddhav Thackeray started to lose grip at his government, more Sena MLAs joined Shinde in Guwahati. When the rebels felt that there strength was enough to topple the government, the Shinde faction wrote to governor that they were the real Shiv Sena and staked claim to form the government.

UAE Investors Sign $276 Bn Worth Of Investment In Odisha

UAE investors have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) worth USD 2.76 billion with India’s state Odisha, after meeting with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Dubai.

Odisha Government led by Honourable Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik met key UAE business groups as part of an investment roadshow aimed at promoting investment in the state’s industrial sector.
The Investors’ Meet held on Wednesday was jointly organized with industry body FICCI and the Embassy of India in UAE. It was attended by more than 150 companies based out of the UAE and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.

The announcement comes after the state approved more than 250 large-scale industrial and infrastructure project proposals collectively worth USD 50 billion in sectors such as Metals and Metal downstream, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Textiles and Apparel including Technical Textiles, Food processing including Seafood processing, ESDM, Logistics and Clean Energy in the last two years.

Inviting the UAE investors to Odisha State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik addressed the gathering underlining Odisha’s four key advantages including Mineral, Human Resources, Technology in delivering efficient and effective investment facilitation, Progressive policy and governance.

“Odisha offers great opportunity to foreign investors and our Team is ready to extend any help to facilitate investment to the UAE investors,” he said in a statement.

Highlighting the state’s rich mineral resources, he said, Odisha holds the lion’s share of India’s mineral reserves with 96 percent of the country’s chromite reserves, 92 per cent nickel, 53 per cent bauxite, 45 per cent manganese, 35 per cent iron-ore, and 23 per cent coal reserves of India.

This has made Odisha the largest producer of Steel, Stainless Steel, Ferro Alloys, Alumina, and Aluminium in India.

Odisha also has 11 per cent of India’s water resources. The state has a 480-km long coastline making it a natural choice for setting up ports, and for international trade.

Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, Chief Secretary of Odisha state and Hemant Sharma, Principal Secretary for Industrial Development of Odisha state highlighted the economic opportunities in key sectors.

The Investors Meet was addressed by the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Sanjay Sudheer, who stressed on the significance of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), signed between the UAE and India – which reduces taxes and will help two-way trade and investment between India and the UAE to accelerate.

CM Patnaik also announced that the State would be conducting the third edition of its flagship Global Investors Meet – “Make In Odisha 2022” during November 30 to Decemebr 4, this year at Bhubaneswar. (ANI)

Punjab Assembly Passes Resolution Urging To Withdraw Agnipath

Led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the Punjab Vidhan Sabha today passed a resolution urging the Union Government to roll back the Agnipath Scheme, said the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on Thursday.

Moving a resolution in this regard on the floor of the house on Thursday, the Chief Minister read out that unilateral announcement of the Government of India to introduce the Agnipath scheme in the Armed forces has witnessed widespread reactions across the country including Punjab.
He read, “The Punjab Vidhan Sabha strongly feels that the scheme where youth will be employed in Armed forces only for a period of four years and out of which only 25 per cent will be retained, is neither in the interest of national security nor of the youth of this country. Bhagwant Mann further read that this policy is likely to create dissatisfaction among the youth who wish to serve the Armed forces of the nation throughout their life.

The Chief Minister reminded the house that more than one lakh soldiers from Punjab serve the Armed Forces of the nation and a large number of them sacrifice their lives at altar of their motherland while safeguarding the borders of the country every year. He apprised the house that the youth of Punjab, known across the globe for their traits of valor and courage, consider it a matter of pride and privilege for them to serve their motherland by joining the Indian Armed Forces. However, Bhagwant Mann bemoaned that this scheme has crushed the ambitions of several youths of Punjab who have been aspiring to join the Armed Forces as regular soldiers.

The Chief Minister envisioned that the scheme also has the propensity to weaken the long-standing esprit de corps of the Armed Forces. “The Punjab Vidhan Sabha urges the Union Government to roll back the Agnipath Scheme immediately” read the resolution moved by the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile training his guns against the BJP led NDA government for this whimsical move, the Chief Minister, while participating in the debate, dared the BJP leaders to enroll their own sons as Agniveers before supporting this anti-youth move. He said that those who are advocating this move should set an example by sending their sons first in the Army under the scheme. Bhagwant Mann said that in this way they will get a fresh young lot of Agniveers who will be saluting their leaders in their office, after a service of four years.

The Chief Minister said that this is an illogical move that will jeopardize national security besides damaging the basic spirit of the Indian Army. Bhagwant Mann advised the BJP leaders to stop building castles in the air to support this irrational move which is detrimental to the interests of the country. He said that this scheme is against the ethos of love and passion of youth for his country and Armed forces.

The Chief Minister asked the BJP leaders to explain how will the country combat its infiltrators and enemies with an ‘Army on rent’. He cautioned them that this move will prove fatal for the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country in the coming times. Citing examples of how the Indian Army has a glorious tradition of taking care of the families of the martyred soldiers, Bhagwant Mann also asked the BJP leaders to explain that if any soldier, enrolled under the scheme, attains martyrdom during call of duty then who will take care of their families as there is no such provision in it.

The Chief Minister said that he will soon call on the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister to impress upon them for rolling back this move or referring it to the experts Defence Committee. He said that all the stakeholders should be taken on board before moving ahead on this dangerous move.

“I will meet and convey them that they shall either roll back this scheme or people will force them to do so as in case of the draconian farm laws” added Bhagwant Mann. (ANI)

I Don’t Think Fadnavis Is Happy Being Deputy CM, Taunts Pawar

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar on Thursday congratulated Eknath Shinde on taking oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister but noted that he “inspired people to quit Shiv Sena” and it didn’t happen without preparation.

Taking a swipe at new government formation in Maharashtra, Pawar said that BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis had been “asked” to take oath as Deputy Chief Minister even though he was a former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in the state.

Pawar said he does not think Devendra Fadnavis has accepted the number 2 position of Deputy CM happily.

“I don’t think Devendra Fadnavis has accepted the number 2 position of Deputy CM happily. It can be seen on his face. But he had lived in Nagpur, it is his ethos as an (RSS) swayamsevak, so he accepted the position,” the NCP leader said.

Shinde was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Fadnavis took oath as the Deputy Chief Minister today evening.

Referring to Shinde, he said that the “one who led MLAs to Assam” had not expected more than the post of Deputy Chief Minister.

“I congratulate Eknath Shinde on his new responsibility. He showed the power of taking such a large number of MLAs to Guwahati. He inspired people to quit Shiv Sena. I don’t know if it happened earlier. But it didn’t happen without preparation,” Pawar told the media here.

“I don’t think that the one who led MLAs to Assam had expected more than the post of Deputy CM. But in BJP, as per order- be it from Delhi or Nagpur- CM post has been given to Eknath Shinde… The person who was CM and Leader of Opposition has been asked to take oath as Deputy CM. It’s shocking,” he added.

The former chief minister said that he expects Shinde to work to resolve issues of all departments.

“I spoke with Eknath Shinde and extended my greetings. I also expressed my expectations that Head of a State leads entire state and not just a party. You might represent a party but after oath, you represent the state. So, I expect him to work to resolve issues of all departments,” he said.

“I think Uddhav Thackeray gives complete responsibility once he trusts someone. He showed the same trust in Eknath Shinde and gave him the responsibility for Vidhan Sabha and the party. I don’t know if it (political crisis) is a result of that,” Pawar added.

Shinde, who claimed the support of 40 rebel Shiv Sena MLAs led a revolt which led to the fall of the Uddhav Thackeray-led government.

A day after the resignation of Thackeray from the chief ministerial post, Shinde and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and staked claim to form the government.

Fadnavis, who was Chief Minister of Maharashtra from 2014-19, announced at a joint press conference in Mumbai on Thursday that he will not be part of the government. However later on the urging and directions and of the BJP’s central leadership, Fadnavis took oath as the Deputy CM.

The Eknath Shinde camp, which had stayed mostly in Guwahati during the revolt, said that Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are Shiv Sena’s traditional rivals. They had earlier urged Uddhav Thackeray to stitch a “natural alliance” with the BJP.

Thackeray resigned on Wednesday after the Shinde-led group kept adding to its numbers and the Supreme Court gave a go-ahead for a floor test in the assembly.

BJP and Shiv Sena had fought the 2019 assembly polls together but differences cropped up over the post of Chief Minister.

“In 2019, BJP and Shiv Sena had an alliance and we got the required numbers in Assembly elections. We hoped to form the government but Shiv Sena chose to get into an alliance with those against whom Balasaheb protested throughout his life. Shiv Sena insulted the mandate of the people,” Fadnavis said.

“Shiv Sena MLAs were demanding that the alliance with Congress and NCP should be ended but Uddhav Thackeray ignored these MLAs and gave priority to MVA alliance partners, that’s why these MLAs intensified their voices,” he added.

Shinde, who was also present at the press conference with Fadnavis, said, “A total of 50 MLAs are with us, including 40 MLAs from Shiv Sena…We have fought this battle so far with their help…I will not let even a scratch mar the trust that these 50 people have placed in me – let alone break that trust.”

“The decision that we have taken is committed to Balasaheb’s Hindutva and for the development work in the constituencies of our MLAs. We have 50 MLAs with us,” he added.

The Shiv Sena leader further said that though BJP has 120 MLAs, but Fadnavis did not take up the post of Chief Minister.

“BJP has 120 MLAs but despite that Devendra Fadnavis didn’t take the post of CM. I express my gratitude to him along with PM Modi, Amit Shah and other BJP leaders that they showed generosity and made Balasaheb’s Sainik (party-worker) the CM of the state,” he said. (ANI)

India Delivers Six Tons Of Medical Assistance To Afghanistan

India supplied the seventh batch of medical assistance to Afghanistan on Thursday consisting of 6 tons of essential medicines as a part of its ongoing humanitarian assistance.

The consignment was handed over to the Indira Gandhi Hospital, Kabul.

“In view of the urgent appeals made by the United Nations to assist the Afghan people, India has, so far, supplied 20 tons of medical assistance in seven batches, which includes essential life-saving medicines, anti-TB medicines, 500,000 doses of COVID vaccine, etc. These medical consignments have been handed over to the World Health Organization(WHO) and Indira Gandhi Children Hospital, Kabul,” MEA said in a statement.

It further added, “In order to ensure food security in Afghanistan, India has provided food assistance of 35,000 MTs of wheat.”

Moreover, in the wake of the recent tragic earthquake, India, as the first responder, supplied almost 28 tons of earthquake relief assistance in two relief flights. These relief consignments were handed over to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the UN World Food Program (WFP) and the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS).

“Furthermore, India is in the process to ship more medical and wheat assistance to Afghanistan in coordination with the UN agencies on the ground,” the MEA statement mentioned.

On June 22, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake jolted parts of Afghanistan including the capital city Kabul killing over 1000 people across Barmal and Giyan districts in Paktika province and Spera district in Khost province.

In addition, at least 1,455 people were injured across three of the six most affected districts of Barmal, Giyan, and Spera – many of them seriously. Over 10,000 houses were destroyed.

In wake of this, India handed over the first consignment on June 23 to support the Afghan nationals affected by the earthquake.

India also deployed a team to the Embassy in Kabul to coordinate the efforts of stakeholders for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The Taliban welcomed India’s decision to return its technical team to continue humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, immediate humanitarian assistance was dispatched to affected areas on June 22, including 10 tons of medical supplies sufficient for 5,400 surgeries and medical treatments covering 36,000 people for three months by WHO. (ANI)

SRK’s New Pic Flaunting Man Bun Goes Viral

One picture of Shah Rukh Khan is enough to make his fans trend him on social media.

On Thursday, a new image of SRK from the sets of ‘Pathaan’ surfaced online. In the viral image, SRK is seen sporting a white shirt. He looks uber cool in a bun and sunnies.

Reacting to SRK’s look, a social media user commented, “Oh my God. Can’t take my eyes off him.”

“SRK is the best,” another one wrote.

“SRK is back and how,” a netizen commented.

On June 25, 2022, Shah Rukh completed 30 years in the film industry. Marking the special occasion, he did an Instagram live session, in which he revealed several details about his upcoming films.

He hinted that Salman Khan might be a part of a song in Pathaan, which also stars Deepika Padukone, John Abraham and Ashutosh Rana among others.”With Salman Khan, there is no working experience. There is only love experience, happy experiences, friendly experiences and brotherly experiences. So, it is amazing whenever I get to work with him,” Shah Rukh Khan said when a fan asked him his experience of working with the actor.

He continued, “We haven’t done a full-fledged film together apart from Karan Arjun, which also was not full-fledged as we were not together in it for too long. So, we get to work four-five days in a year sometimes. Last two years have been fantastic as I got to be in one of his films. I had a couple of days role with Kabir Khan. And he came in Zero and did a song with me. Now, in Pathaan. I don’t know if this is a secret but inshallah, I will try to in Tiger 3 also. So, it is great fun working with him.”

Shah Rukh is also coming up with ‘Dunki’, which is helmed by Rajkumar Hirani and Atlee’s directorial ‘Jawan’. (ANI)

Terror Outfits Behind Udaipur Killing: CM Bommai

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said that the Udaipur killing is an inhuman and dastardly act and pointed out that terrorist outfits behind this killing.

The incident took place in Udaipur’s Maldas area. A man was beheaded by two men in Udaipur’s Maldas street area that took place in broad daylight on June 28. He had shared a social media post in support of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma a few days ago.
Speaking to media persons, Bommai said that it is an act of terror. There is a larger international conspiracy behind it. It needs to be exposed and the guilty should be hanged. The Rajasthan Government should conduct a thorough investigation and punish the perpetrators of this heinous act.

Reacting to reports about the Union Home ministry seeking documents from the Contractors Association on the alleged commission in tenders issue, Bommai said, “I have no information about it. Let them provide the documents, no problem. The probe would be conducted on the Prime Minister’s directive.”

Replying to a question on BT Lalitha Naik’s demand not to hold a test for recruitment of PSIs, Bommai said, “Let the investigation be completed first. I have conveyed this very clearly.” (ANI)

Rohit To Lead India Squad In T20 and ODI Series Against England

The All-India Senior Selection Committee has picked the squads for the three-match T20I and ODI series against England to be played after the fifth Test.

Rohit Sharma will be leading the side in both the series. Virat Kohli also makes his return to the side after the 1st T20I.

India and England will lock horns with each other in three T20Is starting from July 7 onwards. Both the teams will play three ODIs starting from July 12.

Meanwhile, India will square off against England in the fifth and final Test from July 1 onwards at Edgbaston. The rescheduled match is a part of last year’s five-match Test series that had to be delayed after the fourth Test due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp. India led the series 2-1.

India’s squad for 1st T20I: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaekwad, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik

India’s squad for 2nd and 3rd T20I: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik

India’s squad for 3 ODIs: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, J Bumrah, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Shami, Mohd Siraj, Arshdeep Singh. (ANI)

Kangana Congratulates Shinde For Becoming Maharashtra CM

Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut, on Thursday, congratulated the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Eknath Shinde on Instagram.

The ‘Dhaakad’ actor, shared a photo of the new CM and captioned it, “What an inspiring success story….From driving auto-rickshaw for a living to becoming of the most important and powerful people in the country…congratulations sir” followed by a joined hand emotion.

Kangana has been a vocal supporter of the centre-ruling Bhartiya Janata Party, and due to some MLAs supporting Eknath Shinde that triggered Maharashtra political crisis, Uddhav Thackeray resigned as the Chief Minister of the state and the BJP was declared as the new ruling party of Maharashtra and appointed Eknath Shinde as the new CM.

Over the past few years, the ‘Manikarnika’ actor had been facing a rift with the former chief minister, and also slammed him on various occasions through her social media.

The ‘Tanu weds Manu’ actor also shared her reaction to Uddhav Thackeray’s recent resignation from the post of Maharashtra’s Chief Minister through a video on her Instagram.

Kangana Ranaut reacts to Uddhav Thackeray’s resignation as Maharashtra Chief Minister

“In 2020, I had said that democracy is a belief system. And those who destroy this belief system because of greed for power are doomed. Their arrogance will be demolished. This shows a person’s character.” She said in the video.

Meanwhile, on the work front, the ‘Queen’ actor will be next seen in ‘Tejas’ in which she portrays the role of an Indian Airforce officer. The film is slated to release later this year.

Along with that, she also has ‘Emergency’ in which she will be portraying the role of Smt Indira Gandhi. Apart from acting Kangana will also direct the film. (ANI)

Shinde To Be New Maharashtra CM, To Take Oath Today

Rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde will take oath as the Maharashtra Chief Minister, a day after Uddhav Thackeray announced his resignation from the top post bringing to an end the 31-month-old Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Devendra Fadnavis made the announcement on Thursday after meeting Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari to stake a claim to form the government in the state.
He said that the oath-taking ceremony of Shinde as Maharashtra CM will be held at 7.30 pm today.

“Eknath Shinde to be the Maharashtra Chief Minister, oath ceremony to be held at 7.30 pm today,” Fadnavis told media persons in a press conference here.

At present, the BJP has 106 MLAs in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly and Shinde is leading 39 rebel Shiv Sena legislators and some Independents. After the death of a Shiv Sena MLA recently, the current strength of the Assembly is reduced to 287, thus the majority mark is 144.

Shinde, who has been leading a rebellion against Uddhav Thackeray following the Maharashtra Legislative Council polls, met Fadnavis at the latter’s residence today.

Earlier today, a spokesperson of the Shinde camp, Deepak Kesarkar said that rebels have given Shinde full authority to take a decision on the cabinet berth-sharing in the government. He said that they did not revolt for the cabinet berths, but for the development of the state.

Clearing the air around the distribution of portfolios with the BJP, Shinde had said that there has been no discussion, but talks will happen soon.

Maharashtra Assembly Secretary Rajendra Bhagwat has informed all state MLAs that as per the Governor’s orders the special session that was scheduled on Thursday will now not be convened.

In a circular, Rajendra Bhagwat, Principal Secretary, Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, informed all state MLAs that as per the Governor’s orders, there’s no need for a floor test now, so today’s special session will not be convened.

The Floor Test that was convened by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari was challenged in the Supreme Court by the Shiv Sena.

The apex court, however, declined to stay the Floor Test and in its observation said that the floor of the House was the only way to settle these issues of democracy.

Minutes after the order by the top court on Wednesday, Thackeray addressed the people of the state via social media in which he announced his decision to step down as chief minister and as a Member of the Legislative Council.

Thackeray, whose party’s internal revolt brought down the MVA government, said he came to power in “an unexpected manner” and was “going out in a similar fashion”.

“I had come (to power) in an unexpected manner and I am going out in a similar fashion. I am not going away forever, I will be here, and I will once again sit in Shiv Sena Bhavan. I will gather all my people. I am resigning as the CM and as an MLC,” he said.

Thackeray became Chief Minister after Shiv Sena joined hands with Nationalist Congress Party and Congress to form the government in Maharashtra following the 2019 Assembly elections. Shiv Sena leadership had differences with its pre-poll ally BJP and wanted the post of Chief Minister. (ANI)