LIVE: Not interested in talking to China about Phase 2 deal, says Trump

Students at Columbia University in New York City, where classes have been suspended. Photo: Reuters
The Congress on Tuesday sacked Sachin Pilot from the posts of Rajasthan's deputy chief minister and the party's state unit chief. Cracking the whip on the rebel party leader, the party also removed his loyalists Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena from the state cabinet.

Sachin Pilot had skipped the second meeting of MLAs today.

Meanwhile, a 9-day Covid-19 lockdown has been imposed in Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts in Karnataka starting today in view of the steep surge in number of coronavirus cases in Karnataka.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day


Rajasthan crisis: Congress grounds Sachin Pilot; Cabinet meeting today

The Congress on Tuesday stripped Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and two supporters of their ministerships and sacked Pilot as state Congress chief when he and his supporters disobeyed a party whip asking them to attend the Congress Legislature Party meeting — but, not before Pilot inflicted significant damage to the government led by Ashok Gehlot.  Read more

Foot-operated taps & ionised AC air: Railways preps for travel post-Covid

From foot-operated soap dispensers and toilet flushes to door handles manoeuvred with the forearm and handrails coated with anti-microbial copper, the Railways’ new coaches for post-Covid travel launched on Tuesday come packed with features to help stave off infection.
The first two coaches that rolled out from the Railway Coach Factory in Kapurthala also have fixtures coated with titanium dioxide and the provision for plasma air equipment in AC ducts to sterilise interiors using ionised air, officials said.
All future coaches will now have these specifications, a railway spokesperson said. “The present ones will also be retrofitted to include these changes wherever possible,” he said.

RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani to detail post-Covid business plan at AGM

Mukesh Ambani is likely to announce plans of leveraging recent partnerships with global technology giants like Facebook as well as a vision to maximise oil to chemical conversion at his flagship Reliance Industries' annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, analysts said.
Ambani, 63, may at the company's first online AGM also give a sneak preview of his vision for decarbonisation of energy molecules to create value-added products with almost no carbon emissions.
Strategic direction post-Covid-19 and further details on asset monetisation are key expectations from the 43rd AGM of RIL, analysts said.

Trump says he is not interested in talking to China about Phase 2 deal

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he is not interested in talking to China about a Phase 2 trade deal. "I'm not interested right now in talking to China," Trump replied when asked in an interview with CBS News whether Phase 2 trade talks were dead.

Trump administration rescinds order denying foreign students US visas

US says room for sanctions in response to China in South China Sea

The top US diplomat for East Asia warned on Tuesday that Washington could respond with sanctions against Chinese officials and enterprises involved in coercion in the South China Sea after the United States announced a tougher stance to Beijing's claims there.
"Nothing is off the table ... there is room for that. This is a language the Chinese understand - demonstrative and tangible action," David Stilwell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, told a Washington think tank when asked if sanctions were a possible US response to Chinese actions.
Stilwell spoke a day after Washington rejected China's claims to offshore resources in most of the South China Sea as "completely unlawful," a stance denounced by Beijing.

Jharkhand govt transfers 18 IAS officers

The Jharkhand government on Tuesday transferred 18 IAS officers including the district magistrates (DM) of more than 12 districts, an official said.

Director of Agriculture, Chhavi Rajan will be the new District Magistrate (DM) and Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Ranchi, an official notification said.

Manish Ranjan, Rajesh Kumar Sharma and K Srinivasan, all waiting for posting, have been appointed as Divisional Commissioner (Kolhan), Chaibasa, Secretary (Information & Technology/egovernance) and officiating secretary (Mines & Geology departments) respectively, it said.

BMTC to suspend bus services for public, essential services to continue

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) on Tuesday decided to suspend bus services from July 15 to July 21. However, the corporation will perform essential services for permitted activities.
"In view of the lockdown of Bengaluru Metropolitan area comprising of BBMP area, Bengaluru Urban and Bengaluru Rural districts to combat the spread Of Covid-19, BMTC bus services to the general public are suspended from July 15 to July 17. However, as per orders of the government, BMTC will operate essential services for permitted activities during the lockdown period as detailed below," a statement by BMTC said.

Young turks vs old guards debate comes to the fore again

The sacking of Sachin Pilot from the Congress and his imminent exit have again ignited the debate of young turks vs old guards and spawned fears of a fresh wave of defections from the party.
The former Rajasthan deputy chief minister's refusal to yield to the party high command's overtures is already being linked to his proximity to Jyotiraditya Scindia, who earlier revolted and left the Congress in March.
A senior party leader said the Congress cannot afford to lose its 'GenNext' to the BJP after having given eminence to its 'young turks' for so long.
With the Congress on Tuesday suffering a jolt in Rajasthan, the worry within the party now is whether this could trigger a fresh wave of defections of its younger generation which is already getting edgy.

Sad to see Sachin Pilot leave, says Shashi Tharoor

Maharashtra govt won't last long: Ramdas Athawale

Sanjay Jha has been suspended from Congress party with immediate effect

Scindia, Pilot episodes reflective of leadership crisis plaguing Congress: Analysts

With Jyotiraditya Scindia having exited the Congress and Sachin Pilot rebelling, political observers feel the recent events relating to the two leaders were reflective of a deeper crisis of leadership plaguing the grand old party and lack of a clear roadmap.

The Congress on Tuesday cracked the whip on dissident leader Pilot, stripping him of the posts of Rajasthan's deputy chief minister and the party's state unit president, for revolting against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

The crisis for the Congress in the Hindi heartland state comes close on the heels of the jolt it received in Madhya Pradesh where its government fell after another young leader of the party, Jyotiraditya Scindia, quit and joined the BJP with MLAs supporting him.

PM Modi greets France President Macron on Bastille Day

UK tables new 'cheaper, quicker and easier' Health Visa in Parliament

The UK government tabled a new "cheaper, quicker and easier Health and Care Visa in Parliament on Tuesday, aimed at attracting overseas doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals to the state-funded National Health Service (NHS) as part of a new post-Brexit visa and immigration system.

The new visa, welcomed by Indian professional groups, will be launched from August to create a new fast-track visa route designed to attract the best global health professionals to work in the NHS, for NHS commissioned service providers, and in eligible occupations in the social care sector.

"We are indebted to overseas health and care professionals for their tremendous contributions, not just in saving thousands of lives throughout this crisis, but for the vital role they play year-round, said Home Secretary Priti Patel, who worked on the new visa with Cabinet colleague Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

BJP to hold key meeting tomorrow amid Rajasthan crisis

BSNL employees union to protest against cancellation of 4G tender

The employees union of state-run telecom operator BSNL will stage protests across the country on Thursday on a host of issues including the cancellation of its 4G tender and non-payment of salaries.
All major unions are organising 'lunch-hour black-flag' demonstrations throughout the country under the banner of All Unions and Association of BSNL (AUAB), said a statement by AUAB. These demonstrations will be organised, by maintaining social distancing and by taking other precautions, like wearing of masks. The BSNL employees will also wear black-badges the whole day on July 16.
The employees body would demand that BSNL should immediately be allowed to roll out its 4G services and the tender should be issued immediately. Further, they want that in the matter of procuring new equipments and upgradation, there should not be any discrimination between BSNL and other private telecom service providers.

Expert Views: UK bans Huawei from its 5G network

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:
"5G will be transformative for our country, but only if we have confidence in the security and resilience of the infrastructure it is built upon."
"Following US sanctions against Huawei and updated technical advice from our cyber experts, the government has decided it is necessary to ban Huawei from our 5G networks."
"No new kit is to be added from January 2021, and UK 5G networks will be Huawei free by the end of 2027. This decisive move provides the industry with the clarity and certainty it needs to get on with delivering 5G across the UK."
"We are already working with all our Five Eyes partners on those alternatives," Dowden told parliament, referring to cooperation between the group of allies comprising the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
"The first thing we need to do is ensure that we protect the other two vendors in this market so Nokia, and Ericsson. Secondly we need to get new suppliers in, that starts with Samsung, and it starts with NEC," he said.
Huawei spokesman:
"This disappointing decision is bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone. It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide. Instead of 'levelling up' the government is levelling down and we urge them to reconsider. We remain confident that the new US restrictions would not have affected the resilience or security of the products we supply to the UK.
"Regrettably our future in the UK has become politicized, this is about US trade policy and not security. Over the past 20 years, Huawei has focused on building a better connected UK. As a responsible business, we will continue to support our customers as we have always done.
"We will conduct a detailed review of what today's announcement means for our business here and will work with the UK government to explain how we can continue to contribute to a better connected Britain."

Party's doors are open for those who express trust in its ideology: BJP leaders on Sachin Pilot

With all eyes on rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot's next political move, several senior BJP leaders from Rajasthan said on Tuesday that their party's doors are open for anybody who expresses trust in its ideology, according to a PTI report.
"If anybody with a mass base joins the BJP or any political party, everybody welcomes him. Expressing trust in our ideology, if anybody joins us we will welcome him with open arms. This is a normal procedure," Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat told reporters here.
Shekhawat also took a swipe at Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, saying he is behind all this "propaganda" to cover up the failures of his government which is now in "minority".
Gehlot had been working on this plan for over six months and "succeeded" with the ouster of Pilot from his government, he claimed. Another BJP leader, P P Chaudhary, echoed Shekhawat and said the Congress government in the state has been reduced to a minority. A young leader has been marginalised in the Congress as the party has no place for young faces, he said about Pilot.

BJP held a meeting today at party office in Rajasthan over the current political situation

Rajasthan Cabinet meets after party sacks Sachin Pilot, his loyalists

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and other ministers reached the CM's residence Tuesday evening for a Cabinet meeting, hours after the ruling Congress sacked Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and two others from the cabinet, according to a PTI report.
Gehlot and the other ministers arrived there from the hotel where they were holed up amid the power tussle between Gehlot and Pilot. The Congress Legislature Party decided in the afternoon to sack Pilot and two of his loyalists, Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena, from the cabinet.
Pilot was also removed as the president of the state Congress unit after he and MLAs close to him skipped two CLP meetings, where party legislators expressed confidence in Gehlot's leadership.
The Cabinet meeting will be followed by another of the Council of Ministers. After the sacking of the three ministers, the 12 senior ministers, including the CM, remain in the Cabinet. The council of ministers has 10 ministers of state.

Govind Singh Dotasara: Once a practising lawyer, now Rajasthan Congress chief

Once a practising lawyer, Rajasthan Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasara's elevation to the post of the state Congress chief came almost 15 years after he contested his first election to become a member of a panchayat samiti in the state, according to a PTI report.
Born on October 1, 1964 in Kriparam ji ki Dhani in Lakshmangarh of Sikar district, 55-year-old Dotasara had started his career at the grass-roots level in the party while working as a lawyer.
The three-time Congress MLA had contested the Lakshmanagarh pachayat samiti in 2005 before being given the party ticket for the assembly elections three years later.
On Tuesday, he was made the state Congress president after the removal of Sachin Pilot from the post following accusations that he tried to topple the Congress government in the state as part of a "BJP conspiracy". Earlier, he held the post of the Sikar district Congress president for seven years. He also worked for the Youth Congress.

Congress loses a stalwart with huge potential in Sachin Pilot: Priya Dutt

On a day when Sachin Pilot was sacked as Rajasthan Congress president and deputy chief minister for rebellion, former MP Priya Dutt on Tuesday said it was "unfortunate" the party has lost stalwart young leaders with great potential like him and Jyotiraditya Scindia, according to a PTI report.
Dutt said she did not believe that being ambitious is "wrong".
"Another friend leaves the party both sachin and jyotirajya were colleagues & good friends unfortunately our party has lost 2 stalwart young leaders with great potential. I don't believe being ambitious is wrong. They have worked hard through the most difficult times," the former MP from Mumbai tweeted.
Pilot has not made his next move clear yet.
Scindia, a senior leader from Madhya Pradesh and once a loyalist of Gandhi family, quit the party in March this year and joined the BJP. His exit, along with 22 MLAs of the Congress, led to collapse of then Kamal Nath government.

Our aim is to save lives and ensure Rajasthan continues to provide best healthcare: CM Ashok Gehlot

CM Ashok Gehlot congratulates Govind Singh Dotasara for being appointed as President of Rajasthan PCC

Rajasthan CM Gehlot, along with state ministers, leave from Fairmont Hotel for his residence

Kept like 'hostage', alleges Rajasthan Bharatiya Tribal Party MLA in video

Two video clips of Rajasthan's Bharatiya Tribal Party MLA Rajkumar Roat surfaced on social media on Tuesday with the leader claiming in one of these that he has been kept like a "hostage" and not allowed to go to his constituency.
The videos are shot in a car with the MLA occupying the front seat. One of these is purportedly shot by the MLA himself. It is not clear when the videos were shot. In the video uploaded on social media in the evening, a police inspector is seen taking away keys of his car, with a constable saying "there is a threat".
In one of the video clips that surfaced earlier in the day, the Chorasi MLA, while referring to the current political crisis in the state, was heard saying that he has been kept like a hostage. The video was uploaded on rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot's official WhatsApp group.

Sachin Pilot's removal as Rajasthan deputy CM, PCC chief: Most Congress leaders dub it as 'unfortunate', 'sad'

Rebel Sachin Pilot's removal from the posts of Rajasthan deputy chief minister and Congress state unit chief on Tuesday evoked mixed reactions from the party leaders, with a section of them still hoping for resolution of the matter and the rest blaming the young leader for his haste. Most of the leaders, however, described the turn of events as "unfortunate" and "sad".
A day after the Congress said the "doors are open" for Pilot and gave him a second chance, the party virtually closed them for him on Tuesday, sacking him as Rajasthan deputy chief minister and state party chief, three days after he mounted a rebellion against his state chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
Soon after the Congress action, party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said Pilot was holding constitutional post and some of his actions may not be in sync with that position.
"Some doors have to close if the open doors are not utilised for constructive closures. We still hope that closure of options will be an exception, and harmonious settlement the rule," Singhvi told PTI.

LIVE: We tried our best, says Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

In present circumstances, there is no place for ability in the Congress party: Jyotiraditya Scindia

Will fulfill all the promises we made to the people of Rajasthan, says CM Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot should take floor test, demands BJP

As the ruling Congress in Rajasthan grapples with a rebellion led by Sachin Pilot, the BJP on Tuesday demanded that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot take a floor test to prove his government's majority in the Assembly. The party also alleged that the residences of MLAs were being kept under police surveillance and the legislators of Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) "had been threatened".
The BTP, which has two MLAs in the Rajasthan assembly, has asked its legislators to remain neutral. It was earlier supporting the Gehlot government, PTI reported.
Prove majority in a floor test first and then go for a cabinet reshuffle. The result of the political fight is out, Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria told reporters. Deputy Leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore claimed that Ashok Gehlot government will not be able to prove its majority in a floor test. BJP state president Satish Poonia said that the state government has lost the confidence of the people and it was time for its departure.

Anyone with a mass base is welcome in BJP: Gajendra Shekhawat on Sachin Pilot

Union Minister and BJP Rajasthan leader Gajendra Shekhawat said on Tuesday that anyone with a mass base who wants to join the BJP is welcome. He made the comment soon after the Congress sacked Sachin Pilot as Deputy Chief Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee Chief of Rajasthan, according to an IANS report.
Shekhawat said this when asked a specific question by a reporter on the possibility of Pilot joining the saffron bandwagon.
Earlier, in a series of tweets, he threw his weight behind the rebel Congress leaders, questioning Rajasthan Chief minister Ashok Gehlot and the Congress party's handling of the situation. Using word play, he alleged, "Sad to see Rajasthan Govt. on auto-pilot because the CM is busy chasing a Pilot."
In a fallout of the crisis in the Congress over the leadership issue in Rajasthan, Sachin Pilot was on Tuesday divested of the posts of Deputy Chief Minister and the PCC President. Two other Pilot-loyalist Ministers -- Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena -- were also removed from the council of ministers.

Congress district president of Pali resigns, says 'hurt by undemocratic removal of Sachin Pilot'

When Kamal Nath was CM he didn't have time to hold meeting over Covid-19: Jyotiraditya Scindia

Rajasthan political crisis LIVE: CM Ashok Gehlot to hold Cabinet meet at 7.30 pm

Amid the possibility of a reshuffle in ministerial berths, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has convened a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday evening. The Cabinet meeting has been slated to be held at 7.30 pm, said party sources according to a PTI report.
After the Cabinet meeting, another meeting of the entire council of ministers, including the ministers of state, too will take place at 8 pm at the chief minister's residence, they added.
Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and two Cabinet ministers -- Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena -- were sacked today for their alleged involvement in a conspiracy to topple the Congress government in the state.

Sachin Pilot must have been facing humiliation in Congress: Uma Bharti

BJP national vice president Uma Bharti on Tuesday attributed Sachin Pilot's rebellion to "humiliation" within the Congress. Pilot was on Tuesday sacked as deputy chief minister of Rajasthan as well as chief of the state Congress.
Talking to reporters here, Bharti said, "Sachin is the son of (late Congress leader) Rajesh Pilot, who was like a brother to me and we shared family relations. So I know that his family has self-respect.
"I can understand he must have been facing humiliation for the last one and a half years," she added. Bharti also alleged that Rahul Gandhi was responsible for the "destruction" of the Congress, and held the Gandhi family responsible for the crisis in Rajasthan.
"He (Rahul Gandhi) insults and humiliates young leaders (in his party) due to envy....he is unable to tolerate brilliant young leaders. So these leaders are left with no option but to confront and fight," the senior BJP leader said.

Rajasthan political crisis caused by 'weakness' within Congress, says BJP, hits back at CM Gehlot for blaming it for turmoil

Congress sacks Sachin Pilot as Rajasthan Deputy CM, party's state chief

The Congress on Tuesday sacked Sachin Pilot from the posts of Rajasthan's Deputy Chief Minister and the party's state unit chief. Cracking the whip on the rebel party leader, the party also removed his loyalists Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena from the state cabinet.
AICC spokesperson Randeep Surjewala announced the decision after a Congress Legislature Party meeting held here amid a tussle for power between Pilot and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Surjewala said Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasara will be the new Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief. READ MORE...

Bhartiya Tribal Party MLA from Chorasi Rajkumar Roat releases another video

BJP delegation from West Bengal demands CBI probe into BJP MLA Debendra Nath Ray death case

People in Madhya Pradesh have lost faith in Congress: Jyotiraditya Scindia

BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday said that people of Madhya Pradesh have "lost faith in Congress" and accused former Chief Minister Kamal Nath and Congress leader Digvijaya Singh of having run a "corrupt government" in the state, news agency ANI reported.
Scindia, who met former union minister Uma Bharti here, told reporters that he would seek answers from them over the way Congress government was run in the state for 15 months.
He also accused them of indulging in politics during coronavirus crisis.
"For 15 months when Congress was in power, they ran a corrupt government from Vallabh Bhavan (CM Office in Bhopal). They were only worried about the division of the portfolios. I was silent for the past 90 days as the world was dealing with a deadly pandemic. But Honourable Kamal Nath and Digvijay Singh were busy doing politics during the corona crisis too. They haven't done anything in the public interest," he said.
Scindia, a former union minister who joined BJP in March this year, said he is "back in the field" to demand answers from the Congress leaders. He refused to comment to a query about the ongoing crises in Rajasthan.

Sachin Pilot changes bio on Twitter after getting sacked as Deputy CM, PCC chief

Soon after being removed from the posts of Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief, Sachin Pilot changed his bio on Twitter and later stated, "Truth can be disturbed, not defeated." Notably, the nameplate of Pilot has also been removed from the party's state headquarters in Jaipur, news agency PTI reported.
Pilot's new bio on Twitter reads, "MLA from Tonk| Former Minister of IT, Telecom & Corporate affairs,GoI |Commissioned officer Territorial Army". The senior leader has removed earlier bio which mentioned "Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan and President, Rajasthan Congress".
In place of Pilot, Rajasthan's Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasra has been named as the new PCC chief. The decision to remove Pilot was taken after the conclusion of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meet at the Fairmont Hotel in Jaipur, Rajasthan earlier today.
The Rajasthan Congress is in turmoil over the past few days. While Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has blamed the BJP for attempting to destabilise the State government by poaching MLAs, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot has been camping in Delhi.
A controversy broke out in Rajasthan after Special Operation Group (SOG) sent a notice to Pilot to record his statement in the case registered by SOG in the alleged poaching of Congress MLAs in the State.

Sachin Pilot has long worked with dedication for Congress, says Jitin Prasada

No one can take away the fact that Sachin Pilot has long worked with dedication for the Congress, party leader Jitin Prasada said on Tuesday soon after his colleague and friend was sacked as Rajasthan deputy chief minister and Pradesh Congress Committee chief. Prasada, considered a leader of the party's young brigade', also expressed the hope that the situation can be salvaged, according to a PTI report.
"Sachin Pilot is not just a colleague but my friend. No one can take away the fact that all these years he has worked with dedication for the party," Prasada tweeted.

"Sincerely hope the situation can still be salvaged. Sad it has come to this," he said.
Shortly after he was sacked, Pilot said, "Truth can be rattled, not defeated".
He also changed his profile on Twitter, deleting all references to his positions as deputy chief minister and Rajasthan Congress chief. He only described himself as MLA of Tonk and a former minister of IT, Telecom & Corporate affairs, Government of India. Prasada, 46, and Pilot, 42, were said to be part of the Congress' young brigade along with Jyotiraditya Scindia who left to join the BJP earlier this year.

LIVE: Congress' weakness behind Rajasthan political crisis, says BJP

The political crisis in Rajasthan has been caused by "weakness" within the Congress, the BJP said on Tuesday as it hit back at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot for blaming it for the turmoil, according to a PTI report.
"Dear Ashok Gehlot, closing your eyes does not make the sun disappear. There is weakness in the structure of your house, and you are blaming the BJP national leadership for this," BJP vice president Om Prakash Mathur, who is a senior party leader from the state, said.
Another BJP vice president Baijayant Jay Panda, who is also a party spokesperson, set tongues wagging with his tweet, "In aviation, every flight plan includes an alternate airport or airstrip to divert to in the event of technical problems or severe bad weather. Every experienced pilot knows this."
Though the BJP has made no official comment about any political negotiation with rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot, sources said he has spoken to some leaders from the saffron party. Sources close to Pilot had though insisted earlier that he would not join the BJP.
The BJP, the sources said, is keeping a close watch on numbers of Congress MLAs who are supporting Gehlot and those who are with Pilot. The Congress on Tuesday sacked Pilot from the posts of Rajasthan's deputy chief minister and the party's state unit chief.

Police force across Rajasthan alerted to ensure peace, maintain law and order

Police personnel across the Rajasthan have been alerted to maintain peace in their jurisdiction amid the political crisis in the state, according to a PTI report.
"Following intelligence inputs and political happenings, police force across the state has been alerted to ensure peace and maintain law and order situation," ADG (Law and Order) Saurabh Srivastava said.
He said that police force has been asked to keep a vigil so that common people do not have to suffer.
The Congress on Tuesday sacked Sachin Pilot from the posts of Rajasthan's deputy chief minister and the party's state unit chief. Cracking the whip on the rebel party leader, the party also removed his loyalists Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena from the state cabinet. The demand for a floor test by the members of the Sachin Pilot camp has gained momentum, with Ramesh Meena saying this will make it clear how many MLAs are with the Ashok Gehlot government.

Congress leader sought allotment of Priyanka's bungalow to party MP: Hardeep Puri

Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday claimed that a "powerful" Congress leader contacted him to request allotment of the government bungalow that Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has to vacate to a parliamentarian from the party so that she could stay on.
In her response, the Congress general secretary said she has made no such request and that she will be vacating the house by August 1 as asked by the government.
On July 1, the government issued an eviction notice to Priyanka Gandhi asking her to vacate the 35, Lodhi Estate bungalow before August 1 as she was no longer eligible for it after her security cover was downgraded last year.

Sachin Pilot sacked from party positions, CM Gehlot says friends went astray

Following his absence from the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting for the second consecutive day, held on Tuesday, Sachin Pilot was sacked from his party positions, Congress Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala announced here.
The two other absentee MLAs -- Vishvender Singh and Ramesh Meena -- have also been dropped from the Cabinet.
"Sachin Pilot, Vishvender Singh and Ramesh Meena have been removed from the posts of Deputy Chief Minister and Ministerial posts respectively. Sachin Pilot has also been removed as the Rajasthan PCC Chief," said Surjewala.
Speaking to reporters Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said: "High command was compelled to take the decision because since a long time BJP was conspiring and resorting to horse-trading. We knew it was a big conspiracy; now some of our friends went astray because of it and went to Delhi." After Gehlot met Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra at Raj Bhawan in Jaipur, the Governor has accepted the resignations of all three party members.
"I regret that Sachin Pilot and some of his associates have been swayed by BJP's plot and are now conspiring to topple the Congress government elected by eight crore Rajasthanis. It is unacceptable," Surjewala said.
Soon after Pilot was sacked from the party, he tweeted: "Truth can be troubled but not defeated." Govind Singh Dotasra has been appointed as the new PCC chief, Surjewala announced.

Rajasthan govt on autopilot as CM busy chasing Sachin Pilot: Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Taking a dig at the crisis-hit Ashok Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Tuesday said that the dispensation is on autopilot as the chief minister is "busy chasing a Pilot".
Congress leader Sachin Pilot, who was sacked from the post of Rajasthan deputy chief minister and state Congress president chief by the party, has rebelled against Gehlot along with MLAs loyal to him, news agency PTI reported.
"Sad to see Rajasthan Govt on auto-pilot because the CM is busy chasing a Pilot," Union Jal Shakti minister Shekhawat tweeted.
Shekhawat is also an MP from Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Pilot has been upset since he was denied the Rajasthan chief minister's post after the December 2018 assembly elections. Shekhawat also made a veiled attack on the Gandhi family without taking its name.
"Looking at the rebellion clearly indicates that there is a lot of suffocation in the King's palace," Shekhawat tweeted. "Why does the headmaster's son come first in the class?" he said in another tweet.

I've been impartial to all MLAs, no one is happy with the decisions: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

BJP was conspiring and resorting to horse-trading since long: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

Sachin Pilot changes his Twitter bio after being removed as Rajasthan Deputy CM and state Congress unit chief

Rahul Gandhi, family responsible for Congress' situation: Uma bharti

Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti on Tuesday took a dig at the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi amid the Rajasthan crisis, saying that he and his family were to be blamed for the situation the opposition party was in, according to an IANS report.
"Till Rahul Gandhi and his family are in the Congress, it will sink to the nether world," the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister remarked, claiming that the talented young leaders were not getting recognition in the Congress.
Asked about Congress leader Digvijaya Singh's demand to reappoint Rahul Gandhi as the Congress President, she said the former would be in a better position to tell why he is demanding it. "I only know one thing -- like master, like pupil. Digvijaya and Rahul are the same," the BJP leader added.
She said that Rahul Gandhi could not stand talented youth leaders who were were humiliated and downgraded in the Congress, leaving them no choice but to revolt. Bharti also said that the Congress leadership didn't want to work hard in politics.

LIVE: Rajasthan Governor accepts CM Ashok Gehlot's proposal to remove Sachin Pilot as Deputy CM

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi reaches Janpath to meet party president Sonia Gandhi

Sachin Pilot's nameplate removed from Congress headquarter after he was removed as Deputy CM and PCC Chief

Truth can be disturbed, cannot be defeated, tweets Sachin Pilot.

LIVE: Sachin Pilot sacked as Rajasthan Deputy CM, party's Rajasthan unit chief

The Congress on Tuesday sacked Sachin Pilot from the posts of Rajasthan's deputy chief minister and the party's state unit chief, according to a PTI report. Cracking the whip on the rebel party leader, the party also removed his loyalists Vishvendra Singh and Ramesh Meena from the state cabinet.
AICC spokesperson Randeep Surjewala announced the decision after a Congress Legislature Party meeting held here amid a tussle for power between Pilot and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Surjewala said Education Minister Govind Singh Dotasara will be the new Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief.
Surjewala said Sachin Pilot enjoyed the affection and blessings of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and was given political power at a young age. Yet, he and other ministers were trying to topple the state government as part of a BJP conspiracy, he added.

Pilot-loyalist MLAs demand floor test in Rajasthan Assembly

Amid the political crisis in Rajasthan, the demand for a floor test by the members of the Sachin Pilot camp has gained momentum, with state Food and Civil Supply Minister Ramesh Meena saying this will make it clear how many MLAs are with the Ashok Gehlot government, news agency PTI reported.

Meena, a Pilot loyalist, is among the Congress legislators who skipped both the Congress legislature party meetings on Monday and Tuesday.
"Floor test should be conducted in the assembly. This will expose the claim that the Ashok Gehlot government has the support of 109 MLAs," Meena said on Tuesday.
He, however, refused to say anything further. Congress MLA Deependra Singh Shekhawat too had raised the same demanded on Monday.
"We want a floor test at the earliest, which will make the situation crystal clear. We are with the Congress and Congress (state) president Sachin Pilot," Singh had told reporters yesterday.

Sachin Pilot also removed as Rajasthan PCC Chief, Govind Singh Dotasra appointed in his place: Randeep Surjewala

BREAKING: Sachin Pilot removed as Deputy CM, announces Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala

Rajasthan BJP leaders discuss Congress crisis

Amid the ongoing political crisis in Rajasthan, opposition BJP leaders on Tuesday met here to discuss the current situation in the state. A meeting has started at the BJP state office here in which party national joint general secretary V Satish, BJP state president Satish Poonia, leader of opposition Gulab Chand Kataria and deputy leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore are present, according to a PTI report.
"The leaders are discussing the current political situation in the state," the party sources said.
The ruling Congress is facing a crisis after rebellion by Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and dissident MLAs. Pilot has been upset since he was denied the Rajasthan chief minister's post after the December 2018 assembly elections.
Pilot and his supporters claimed to have the backing of 30 Congress MLAs and some independents. The Ashok Gehlot camp has claimed that 109 MLAs, both of the Congress and others, are in support of the government. In the 200-member assembly, the Congress has 107 MLAs and the BJP 72.

Rajasthan political crisis: 102 MLAs present at the ongoing CLP meeting have unanimously demanded Sachin Pilot's removal from party, reports ANI

Rajasthan political crisis: 102 MLAs present at the ongoing CLP meeting at Fairmont Hotel in Jaipur have unanimously demanded that Sachin Pilot should be removed from the party, reports ANI

CBSE result 2020 update: CBSE 10th result to be declared tomorrow

CBSE 10th result tomorrow. Read more here

Covid-19 podcast: WHO's warning, India's testing rate, UK's 2nd wave & more

India has recorded over 28,000 new cases in a day to take its total number of Covid-19 cases to 907,645. This is the third consecutive day when India has recorded over 28,000 new cases. The country's death toll stands at 23,727. Maharashtra has seen a spike of 6,497 cases in the past 24 hours, while Delhi has added 1,246 cases to its tally.

Click here to listen to the podcast

BJP supporters clash with police, pelt stones at buses in West Bengal

BJP supporters clash with police, pelt stones at buses during 12-hour bandh called by the party in north Bengal after the body of party MLA Debendra Nath Ray was found hanging from the ceiling of a verandah outside a shuttered shop near his home in North Dinajpur district

BJP's attempts at destabilising Gehlot govt won't be successful: Congress

Senior Congress leader PL Punia on Tuesday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) attempts at destabilising the Rajasthan government will not be successful, he claimed that the remaining MLAs who did not attend the Congress Legislature Party meeting held on Monday, will also return to the party fold.
"It is very clear that BJP is trying to destabilise the government in Rajasthan. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has himself said that the BJP has crossed all the limits. 28 MLAs have given privilege motion against BJP due to their attempts. Congress's 107 MLAs were present and the rest of them will also come so the attempt at destabilising the government won't be successful. It has failed," said Punia.
Twenty MLAs, including Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, did not attend the Congress Legislature Party meeting held at the residence of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday amid the political crisis in the state, sources said.

Rajasthan political crisis:Congress appeal to Sachin Pilot to join CLP meeting

Amid the political crisis in Rajasthan, Congress National General Secretary Avinash Pande on Tuesday appealed to Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and his supporters to join the second Congress Legislature Party meeting scheduled here.
The second meeting of the Congress Legislature Party was announced several hours after the first one ended on Monday afternoon, skipped by Pilot and 18 other party MLAs.
The meeting is scheduled to be held at a resort where Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and other MLAs are camping since Monday.
"I appeal to Sachin Pilot and all his fellow MLAs to join today's Legislature Party meeting. While expressing your faith in the ideology and values ??of the Congress, please make your presence felt and strengthen the hands of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi," Pande tweeted.

We have been culturally deceived, as India has distorted facts, says Nepal PM

Nepal’s Prime Minister K P Oli has claimed that India has “distorted facts” to appropriate Lord Ram by creating his kingdom at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh’s Faizabad, and that Ram actually came from a place in present-day Nepal.
Speaking at an event on the occasion of the 206th birth anniversary of Nepal poet Bhanubhakta Acharya, who translated Valmiki Ramayan in Nepali, Oli said Ayodhya was an area west of Birgunj, a town bordering Bihar.
There is was no possibility of Ram coming all the way from present-day Ayodhya to Nepal for his marriage, Oli maintained.

“We have been culturally deceived, as India has distorted facts. Sita was not given in marriage to an Indian prince,” he said. Oli insisted that Ayodhya in Faizabad district of UP was a later-day creation of India, and not the real ancient kingdom of Ram.

Troops of Assam Rifles in a joint operation with Assam Police apprehended a top-ranking ULFA (I) Cadre from Lalpahar

Troops of Assam Rifles in a joint operation with Assam Police apprehended a top-ranking ULFA (I) Cadre from Lalpahar, Tinsukia, Assam on 12 July: Eastern Command, Indian Army

Name and shame states not doing enough testing for coronavirus, says Kant

Pointing out that Telangana and Bihar, among some other states, were just not doing enough testing to detect coronavirus positive cases, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Monday said that these states needed to be named and shamed. Read more

Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia: Congress govt has lost people's confidence

 It should go in public interest. The state govt failed to keep its promises made to people.

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