Raising questions over the Rafale fighter aircraft deal, the Congress accused the government of having compromised national interest and security while promoting “crony capitalism” and causing a loss to the public exchequer. The BJP rubbished the allegation, claiming it was intended to “divert attention” as the party bigwigs faced the prospect of being questioned in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scandal. The Congress’ communications department head Randeep Surjewala alleged the government neglected the interests of public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as Dassault Aviation, the French manufacturer of Rafale aircraft refused to transfer technology to it and instead entered into an agreement with Reliance Defence.
PM Narendra Modi, Chinese Premier Jinping hold brief interaction in Manila
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a brief interaction with Chinese premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit here. Both Modi and Keqiang had chit-chat on Sunday also during a gala dinner hosted by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. “Two neighbours in deep conversation. PM @narendramodi with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the margins of #EastAsiaSummit Summit in #Manila,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted along with a photograph of the two leaders engaging in a conversation while sitting on a sofa.
Yogi Adityanath launches UP civic polls campaign from Ayodhya
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched the campaign for the civic polls in the state from the temple town of Ayodhya where he sought to convince the electorate that a win for the BJP would ensure holistic development. He alleged that public money meant for development was misused in previous regimes led by other parties. “Among the seven sacred cities, Ayodhya is the first. And it is for the first time that Ayodhya is readying for the mayoral elections. Voting is going to take place in Ayodhya in the first phase and I congratulate you that the first election rally is also being held here,” said the priest-turned- politician in a speech that ended with the shout of ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
Secularism “biggest lie”, says Yogi Adityanath; Congress slams him
The word secularism is the “biggest lie” told post-Independence, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said, prompting a strong retort from the Congress today. “I feel the word secularism is the biggest lie (told) in India post-Independence…those who have given birth to and used the word repeatedly should apologise to the people of India…there is no word like secularism,” Adityanath said. He made the remarks while responding to a query about communalism and secularism at an event organised by the Dainik Jagran group in Chhattisgarh capital Raipur yesterday.
West Bengal’s Banglar Rasogolla gets GI tag
West Bengal’s famous Banglar Rasogolla has got Geographical Indication (GI) tag from the Indian patent office.
“Banglar Rasogolla from West Bengal gets Geographical Indication (GI) tag. It is a pure white, spongy ball of ‘Chhana’ dipped in light sugar syrup,” CIPAM said in a tweet. Banglar Rasogolla is a syrupy dessert popular in all over India and abroad. An official in GI Registrar office at Chennai said that there was no tussle or dispute between West Bengal and Odisha over the GI tag on the sweet.
GST Council may cut tax rates on more goods, hints Assam Finance Minister
The goods and services tax (GST) Council may further prune tax rates on more goods under the new indirect tax regime depending on revenue buoyancy, according to Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. Talking to reporters here on Tuesday, Sarma, the chief of the group of ministers (GoM) that had recommended the recent revision of tax slabs, said: “Pruning of rates (on goods) is a continuous process, but it has to be seen in terms of revenue buoyancy. As of when, a higher revenue growth or buoyancy is established, there is a scope of pruning of rates.” He clarified that it was not that all the items from the 28% tax bracket could come down as there were many luxury goods in that bracket and from there the government ensured revenues. “But pruning is still possible,” he said.