Morning News Bulletin: Track the latest updates

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Published: September 22, 2017 9:15:23 AM

Putting an end to months of speculation, Congress leader in Maharashtra Narayan Rane on Thursday announced his resignation from the party amid indication he was veering towards an innings in the ruling BJP.

Putting an end to months of speculation, Congress leader in Maharashtra Narayan Rane on Thursday announced his resignation from the party amid indication he was veering towards an innings in the ruling BJP.

Narayan Rane quits Congress, mum about next political move

Putting an end to months of speculation, Congress leader in Maharashtra Narayan Rane on Thursday announced his resignation from the party amid indication he was veering towards an innings in the ruling BJP. Announcing his much-awaited decision in his home turf Sindhudurg district in the coastal Konkan region, Rane accused the Congress of reneging on the promise of making him the chief minister when he joined the party 12 years ago after leaving the Shiv Sena. State Congress president Ashok Chavan, however, said Rane’s allegations were “devoid of facts”, while the BJP in Maharashtra maintained it was time the Congress introspected why its leaders were leaving the grand old party.

6 injured in Pakistan firing along IB in Jammu, Samba

After a two-day lull in cross-border firing and shelling, Pakistani troops targeted Indian border outposts and villages along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Samba districtson Thursaday, injuring six civilians, a senior BSF officer said.  The officer said Pakistan targeted more than 15 BoPs tonight. Indian troops retaliated effectively. The exchange of fire is going on intermittently, he said.  Earlier, Pakistani troops shelled Jerdha hamlet in the Ramgarh sector of Samba district, the officer said.  A policeman said Pakistan Rangers shelled more than 20 border hamlets in the Arnia Sector, injuring six people.  Arnia Khurd, Pindi, Kathar, Jabowal, Kol Khurd in the Arnia sector bore the brunt of the shelling.

Arvind  Kejriwal meets Kamal Haasan, join hands to fight graft

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and veteran actor Kamal Haasan on Thursday joined hands to fight communalism and corruption amid mounting indications that the latter would take a political plunge.  After their hour-long meeting here that comes at a time when Tamil Nadu politics passes through a turbulent phase, Kejriwal, who is the chief of Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), appeared to suggest that the 62-year-old multilingual star should enter politics. The meeting also set off speculation of a new alignment in the state. However, the two did not make any grand announcement though Kejriwal said more such meetings would be held in the future. The chief minister lauded the actor for coming out against communalism and corruption.

‘Railways looking at ways to speed up electrification process’

The railways ministry is looking at ways to speed up the electrification process as it would help reduce the Rs 16,000 crore bill on diesel, Union Minister Piyush Goyal saidon Thursday.  He said the ministry is consulting all the people who are involved in the electrification process.  The important things which are involved in the process include availability of equipment and adequate infrastructure.  The Railways Minister said, “we are giving a relook to the ways of speeding up the electrification process” of rail lines across the country.  The move would help in cutting down the diesel expenses on Indian railways, which is about Rs 16,000 crore and improving operating ratio of Indian railways, Goyal told reporters here.

India eyes $8 bn deal for 100 Avenger Predator drones with US for IAF

Having struck a deal with Washington recently to purchase Sea Guardian Unmanned Aerial Systems for the Indian Navy, the Narendra Modi government has now set its sights on acquiring jet-propelled Avenger Predator drones from the US for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The estimated requirement of IAF is for 100 drones, sources said, adding that if a deal — most likely with San Diego-headquartered General Atomics — goes through, its size could be around $8 billion.

In row with banks, IRCTC disallows a number of lenders to use its payment gateway for debit cards

A squabble between banks and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) over fees has resulted in the latter disallowing a number of lenders from using its payment gateway for debit cards. Bankers FE spoke to explained that IRCTC had stopped them from operating on the website because they were unwilling to share a portion of the convenience fees earned on customer transactions. An email sent to IRCTC requesting a comment remained unanswered. The Indian Railways subsidiary’s website is among the most busy portals in the country. Currently, the IRCTC website allows card-based payments only for cardholders of Indian Overseas Bank, Canara Bank, United Bank of India, Indian Bank, Central Bank of India, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank. Earlier this year, IRCTC had asked banks to share with it half the convenience fee that lenders recover from card transactions on the website. The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) is understood to have been discussing the issue with IRCTC and the Indian Railways with a view to resolving the matter.

Unitech homebuyers to get refunds? Here is what SC has ordered

The Supreme Court on Thursday denied interim bail to Unitech managing director Sanjay Chandra and have asked homebuyers to register their claims for refunds or flats within three weeks. It had refused to grant interim bail to Chandra twice this month in connection with the alleged fraud related to delaying of housing projects in the National Capital Region. The apex court-appointed amicus curiae advocate Pawan Shree Agarwal informed the SC that a total of around 16,300 homebuyers who have already paid Rs 7,800 crore for several projects of Unitech have been facing delays at present. “The Supreme Court said it has to see the interest of 16,300 home buyers against one person here and has again denied bail to Chandra,” Agarwal said. Earlier this month, the apex court had appointed Agrawal as the amicus curiae and asked him to compile project-wise details of the money so far received from home or plotbuyers by Unitech for its various projects. He has also been entrusted to launch a website. “The website will become active from tomorrow,” he said. The next date of hearing has been scheduled for October 23.

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