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Goa

Parrikar quits as Defence Minister, to be sworn in as Goa CM on Tuesday

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Manohar Parrikar on Monday resigned as the Defence Minister and will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Goa on Tuesday at the head of a BJP-led coalition government that will be formed by the party with the support of regional outfits and independent legislators.

Manohar Parrikar
Manohar Parrikar
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Manohar Parrikar today resigned as the Defence Minister and will be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Goa tomorrow at the head of a BJP-led coalition government that will be formed by the party with the support of regional outfits and independent legislators.
 
"The President of India, as advised by the Prime Minister, has accepted the resignation of Shri Manohar Parrikar, from the Council of Ministers, with immediate effect, under clause (2) of Article 75 of the Constitution," a press communique from Rashtrapati Bhavan said.
 
Further, as advised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee has also assigned the charge of the Ministry of Defence to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in addition to his existing portfolios, the communique added.
 
Mr. Jaitley held the Defence portfolio as an additional charge in the initial months after the Narendra Modi government assumed office at the Centre in May 2014. He relinquished the charge in November 2014 when Mr. Parrikar, who was Chief Minister of Goa, was shifted to the Centre as the Defence Minister.
 
The Congress had emerged as the single largest party in the elections to the Goa Legislative Assembly, polling for which was held on February 4 and votes counted on March 11, with 17 seats in the 40-member house. 
 
The ruling BJP ended up with 13 seats, with Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and many of his Cabinet colleagues losing their seats. However, the BJP has managed to get support from two regional outfits -- the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Goa Forward Party -- which won three seats each as well as two of the three independents. 
 
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The 13 BJP MLAs and the other eight legislators met Governor Mridula Sinha yesterday evening and she later invited Mr. Parrikar to form the new government.  
 
Mr. Parrikar will have to be elected to the State Assembly within six months in keeping with the Constitutional requirements. He is currently a member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Parliament, from Uttar Pradesh.
 
For Mr. Parrikar, 61, this will be his third time as Chief Minister of Goa, having first served in that position from October 2000 to February 2005 and then from March 9, 2012 till Novemer 9, 2014. He had also served as Leader of the Opposition in the Goa Legislative Assembly from June 1999 to November 1999 and from June 2005 to March 2012. In all, he was elected six times to the Goa Assembly since 1994. 
 
He has a B.Tech. in Metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai and was the first IIT alumnus to serve as the Chief Minister of a state.
 
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Assembly elections: Counting of votes to be taken up on Saturday

Counting of votes will begin on Saturday morning in the crucial elections to the State Legislative Assemblies of five States -- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa -- and most of the results are expected to be out within a few hours after that.

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Counting of votes will begin tomorrow morning in the crucial elections to the State Legislative Assemblies of five States -- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa -- and the keenly-awaited results are expected to have far-reaching implications for national politics.
 
The elections in five States have taken place mid-way through the five-year term of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and just weeks after the sudden decision of the government on November 8 to demonetise Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 banknotes.
 
Polling in Uttar Pradesh -- India's most populous state -- was held in seven phases between February 11 and March 8, while Manipur had polling in two phases on March 4 and 8. Punjab and Goa had single-phase polling on February 4 and Uttarakhand had single-phase voting on February 15.
 
The terms of the Goa, Manipur and Punjab assemblies are due to normally expire on March 18, Uttarakhand on March 26 and Uttar Pradesh on May 27.
 
The Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly has 403 seats, including 84 reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) and two for Scheduled Tribes. Punjab Assembly has 117 seats (34 SC), Goa 40 (1 SC), Uttarakhand 70 (13 SC, 2 ST) and Manipur 60 (1 SC, 19 ST).
 
The Election Commission will give out counting trends and results of the elections through its website from 8 am tomorrow.
 
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Among other things, the website will give details such as the number of votes secured by the candidates round-wise and constituency-wise and political party-wise and candidate-wise trends.
 
The website can also be accessed through the main website of the Election Commission of India.
 
For the first time, the Commission will also provide analytics through interactive dashboard in the form of clickable infographics. Users can download data, crosstab, PDF and images for analysing the elections further at their end. It will include comparative analytics between 2012 and 2017. 
 
An official press release said users will get constituency analysis with respect to participation of electors (constituencies with more female electors, constituencies by slabs of voter turnout, turnout by poll days) and candidates (gender wise participants, winners and major competitors). To assess performance of political parties, analysis on seats won by them, the percentage vote-share in the State and the profile (age and social category)of candidates fielded by them have been included. Candidates have been mapped to their constituencies and the votes polled in their favour, it said.
 
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Punjab, Goa go to the polls to elect new legislative assemblies

Punjab and Goa went to the polls on Saturday to elect new state legislative assemblies -- the first two of five states holding crucial elections midway through the five-year term of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and two months after the November 8 demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 bank notes.

 
Voters queue to cast their votes amidst tight security
Punjab and Goa went to the polls today to elect new state legislative assemblies -- the first two of five states holding crucial elections midway through the five-year term of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and two months after the November 8 demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 bank notes.
 
Voters began queueing outside polling stations in both states from early morning and their numbers were steadily increasing as the day progressed. 
 
Voting, which began at 7 am in Goa and at 8 am in Punjab, will end at 5 pm in both states.
 
Polling also took place today for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, which fell vacant after the resignation of Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh.
 
The Punjab Assembly has 117 seats and the Goa Assembly 40 seats and both states have single-phase polling today.
 
Uttarakhand will have single-phase polling on February 15, Manipur will have polling in two phases on March 4 and 8 and Uttar Pradesh, the country's most populous state, will have polling in seven phases between February 11 and March 8.
 
Counting of votes in all the five states will be taken up on March 11 and all the results are expected by late evening that day.
 
The terms of the Goa and Punjab assemblies are due to expire on March 18.
 
The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for smooth, free and fair elections in both the states.
 
Punjab has a total of 19879069 voters, including 10503108 males and  9375546 females. There are 1145 candidates in the fray, including 81 women and one of the third gender. The Election Commission has set up 22,615 polling stations across the state.
 
In Goa, there are a total of  1110884 electors, including 546742 men and 564142 women. A total of 251 candidates, including 19 women, are in the fray.  The Commission has set up 1642 polling stations across the state.
 
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is making a determined effort for another term in office in Goa, while the Congress is hoping to come back to power in Goa. The three-party alliance forged by Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Goa Suraksha Manch and Shiv Sena is the other major player in the state.
 
Similarly in Punjab, the Congress is trying to wrest power back from the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP combine, which has been in office for a decade.
 
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The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the ruling party in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, has gone all out to emerge as the alternative to the established players in both the states.
 
In Punjab, SAD leader and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, 89, is seeking re-election for the sixth time. He will face Capt. Amarinder Singh, the chief ministerial candidate of the Congress, in the Lambi constituency. The Congress leader is also contesting the elections from his traditional seat of Patiala, where his opponent is former Army chief Gen J J Singh, a candidate of the SAD.
 
The Chief Minister's son Sukhbir Singh will face AAP's Bhagwant Mann, MP, who is his party's likely chief ministerial candidate, in Jalalabad.
 
Former Indian Test cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, who joined the Congress weeks ahead of the polls, is contesting from Amritsar East, a part of the Amrtisar Lok Sabha constituency that he represented in Parliament as a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for two terms.
 
Prominent candidates in Goa include Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar (BJP) and five former Chief Ministers -- Ravi Naik, Digambar Kamat, Pratapsinh Rane and Luizinho Faleiro (Congress) and Churchill Alemao (NCP). There have been indications that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar might return to Goa as Chief Minister if the BJP retains power.
 
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Congress stakes claim in Goa, BJP-led alliance ponders on next CM

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Political activity in Goa gathered steam on Monday in the absence of an ailing Manohar Parrikar, with the Congress staking claim to form a government in Goa even as leaders of the BJP-led alliance discussed leadership options to replace the Chief Minister who is currently being treated for pancreatic cancer at the AIIMS in Delhi.
 
In a letter submitted to Raj Bhavan, Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar demanded that in view of the political instability arising out of Parrikar's absence from office, the state Assembly should not be dissolved or held in suspended and instead the Congress, the single largest party, should be invited to take power.
 
"We have requested the Governor that the government should not be dissolved and put the state on the path of elections. We have also asked her not to impose President's Rule or keep the House in suspended animation. People have elected us for five years. Imposing an election after a mere 18 months is not good for anybody," Kavlekar said.
 
"We also apprehended that false letters or statements may be attributed to Leaders of INC (Indian National Congress), claiming there is a desire on the part of the INC to accept recommendation for dissolution of the Goa Assembly. This is not true and should not be accepted without adverting to a floor test," the letter signed by 16 Congress MLAs also said.
 
Governor Mridula Sinha is not in Goa. The Congress MLAs are expected to meet her when she returns on Tuesday.
 
Earlier, a team of Bharatiya Janata Party central observers, including General Secretary in charge of the organisation Ram Lal, who on Sunday had met BJP MLAs and leaders from alliance parties and independent lawmakers, conversed with senior BJP leaders from the party's core committee as well as former MLAs in a bid to draw up a list of potential alternative options for the post of Chief Minister, in place of Parrikar.
 
From Monday morning till afternoon, Ram Lal met former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, former Speaker Rajendra Arlekar, former Power Minister Mahadev Naik and former Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar among others.
 
"We have said that the CM (Parrikar) should continue. It will be for the good... He is undergoing treatment. He will recover sooner or later. There was no discussion on whether someone else should be appointed in charge. The High Command will decide that," Mahadev Naik told reporters.
 
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Ram Lal, however, initially tried to play down the discussions on leadership change, later insisting that the final call could be taken by BJP President Amit Shah.
 
"The government is strong and has the full majority, what is going to happen? It is not for me to decide (on a permanent solution). Whatever everyone has said I will place before the national president. What decision has to be taken will be taken. The government has to function," Ram Lal said, adding that there was no proposal for merger of any of the supporting alliance parties into the BJP.
 
Ram Lal's comment came on a day when Amit Shah also called on Parrikar at AIIMS.
 
Meanwhile, both key allies the Goa Forward and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party have put the ball in the BJP's court as far the decision of leadership is concerned.
 
"We want common solution from the BJP, which will be agreeable to all alliance partners," MGP President Dipak Dhavalikar said, even as party sources suggest that the party has already pitched for Public Works Department Sudin Dhavalikar to be appointed as Chief Minister in Parrikar's absence.
 
Goa Forward President Vijai Sardesai has opposed Parrikar's proposal to appoint Dhavalikar as Deputy Chief Minister and has insisted on a "permanent solution" to the leadership issue, rather than opting for an ad hoc route.
 
IANS
 

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As BJP searches for Parrikar's successor, Congress stakes claim to form government

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Even as the ruling BJP-led coalition alliance looks for a new leader to replace ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Congress MLAs on Monday staked claim to form a government in Goa.
 
Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar visited Raj Bhavan and submitted a letter to Governor Mridula Sinha's office signed by all 16 Congress MLAs, demanding that she should not dissolve the Assembly and pave way for a fresh election.
 
This follows the political turmoil following Parrikar's airlift to a Delhi hospital last week. The Congress urged the Governor to instead invite the Congress, the single largest party, to form a government.
 
"We have requested the Governor that the government should not be dissolved and put the state on the path of elections. We have also asked her not to impose President's Rule or keep the House in suspended animation. People have elected us for five years... Imposing an election after a mere 18 months is not good for anybody," Kavlekar said.
 
In a formal demand to Sinha, Kavlekar has said: "That any recommendation for dissolution of the Goa Assembly ought not to be accepted... That the Congress being the single largest party, ought to be invited to form the government."
 
Kavlekar said he feared that a false letter or statement may be submitted to the Governor claiming the Congress recommended dissolution of the state Assembly.
 
"We also apprehended that false letters or statements may be placed attributed to Leaders of the INC (Indian National Congress), claiming there is a desire on the part of the INC to accept recommendation for dissolution of the Goa legislative assembly. This is not true and should not be accepted without adverting to a floor test," the letter said.
 
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Sinha is currently not in the state and is expected to return to Goa on Tuesday.
 
Kavlekar's staking the claim comes at a time when BJP central observers are in the state meeting leaders of their own party and allies to finalise an alternative for Parrikar who has been fighting advanced pancreatic cancer for several months.
 
He has been shifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi.
 
State Congress President Girish Chodankar in a letter to the Governor last week also warned her against dissolving the House, seeking an opportunity for the Congress to form a government.
 
The Congress is the single largest party in the 40-member Goa Assembly with 16 MLAs, while the BJP, with 14 MLAs, is supported by three members each of Goa Forward and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, a Nationalist Congress Party legislator and three independent MLAs.
 
What queers the pitch in the number game, however, is the health conditions of three BJP MLAs. While Parrikar is severely afflicted by cancer, Urban Development Minister Francis D'Souza is currently taking treatment for cancer in New York and Power Minister Pandurang Madkaikar, who suffered from a brainstroke some months back, is bed-ridden at his private residence near Panaji.
 
IANS

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Goa: Allies step up pressure on BJP over leadership crisis

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The Goa Forward MLAs and independent legislators stepped up pressure on BJP leaders on Sunday to demand a permanent solution to the leadership crisis, even as BJP MLAs queued up to meet representatives of the High Command in a bid to decide future course of political action in view of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's hospitalisation.
 
Speaking to reporters before meeting BJP's central team comprising  General Secretary Ram Lal, B. L. Santosh and Vijay Puranik, Town and Country Planning Minister and Goa Forward President Vijai Sardesai said that he had the support of five other MLAs and that all of them in one voice were going to demand a permanent solution to the current crisis.
 
"We six want a permanent solution. We do not want a temporary arrangement. This is what we are going to tell them," Sardesai said.
 
The six lawmakers include three Goa Forward Ministers (including Sardesai) namely Fisheries Minister Vinod Palienkar and Housing Minister Jayesh Salgaokar, two Independent Ministers Rohan Khaunte and Govind Gaude and another Independent MLA Prasad Gaokar.
 
Representatives of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, which has three MLAs in the 40-member Goa Assembly, are expected to meet the BJP central leaders later this evening.
 
A proposal to make senior MGP leader and Public Works Department Minister Sudin Dhavalikar a Deputy Chief Minister officiating as Chief Minister has been opposed by Goa Forward.
 
The three central leaders are in the state to find a solution to a leadership crisis, which has arisen after Parrikar was shifted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi on Saturday, creating a leadership void in the coastal state.
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) currently have 14 MLAs in the 40-member state assembly, of which three are severely ill. And therefore, support of allies is critical to the survival of the government.
 
BJP MLAs, who met the central observers all through Sunday afternoon, have reposed their faith in Parrikar's leadership for now and have insisted that a new leader, if needed, should come from the BJP ranks.
 
IANS

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Goa CM Manohar Parrikar admitted to AIIMS Delhi for treatment

Manohar Parrikar
Manohar Parrikar
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, was on Saturday admitted at the All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for further treatment and examination.
 
Sources said Parrikar, 62, came to Delhi by a special chartered flight and reached AIIMS around 1.10 p.m. He will be under observation of Dr Pramod Garg, Professor of Gastroenterology and Associate Dean (Research). 
 
No medical bulletin has been issued by the premier medical institute.
 
Parrikar has been in and out of hospitals in the US, Mumbai and Goa since February.
 
The Goa CM also held meetings with Speaker Pramod Sawant and Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo amid talks of distribution of some portfolios currently being looked after by him.
 
"Portfolios would be distributed today to existing ministers so that the administration of Goa can run smoothly and ministers can take decisions on any files. He will distribute 48 portfolios, but will keep two or three like Home, Finance, GAD for himself," Lobo told reporters after meeting Parrikar at a private hospital in the beach village of Candolim, located 15 km from Panaji.
 
Apart from key portfolios, Parrikar also holds charge of ministries allocated to Francis D'Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar, both of whom have been hospitalised due to severe ailments.
 
A central team of Bharatiya Janata Party observers is also expected to arrive in Goa and meet legislators and representatives of allied parties, while also finalising an alternative leader of the BJP-led coalition government in Parrikar's absence.
 
Lobo said that the decision of change of leadership has not been taken yet and that Parrikar would continue as the Chief Minister. 
 
"This can be only discussed at a time when he cannot continue anymore. Till then it is not right to discuss. The national leaders will discuss with the core committee. If that need arises, only then a decision on change will be taken," he added.
 
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Parrikar heads to AIIMS Delhi for medical treatment

Manohar Parrikar
Manohar Parrikar
Ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday headed to the national capital via a special chartered flight for further treatment and examination at the All India Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
 
Parrikar, who is suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, also held meetings with Speaker Pramod Sawant and Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo amid talks of distribution of some portfolios currently being looked after by him.
 
"Portfolios would be distributed today to existing ministers so that the administration of Goa can run smoothly and ministers can take decisions on any files. He will distribute 48 portfolios, but will keep two or three like Home, Finance, GAD for himself," Lobo told reporters after meeting Parrikar at a private hospital in the beach village of Candolim, located 15 km from Panaji.
 
Apart from holding key portfolios, Parrikar is holding charge of ministries allocated to Francis D'Souza and Pandurang Madkaikar, both of whom have been hospitalised due to severe ailments.
 
A central team of Bharatiya Janata Party observers is also expected to arrive in Goa and meet legislators and representatives of allied parties, while also finalising an alternative leader of the BJP-led coalition government in Parrikar's absence.
 
Lobo also said, that the decision of change of leadership has not been taken yet and that Parrikar would continue as the Chief Minister. 
 
"This can be only discussed at a time when he cannot continue anymore. Till then it is not right to discuss. The national leaders will discuss with core committee. If that need arises, only then a decision on change will be taken," he added.
 
Parrikar has been in and out of hospitals in the US, Mumbai and Goa since February.
 
The Chief Minister's continued absence from office has been a subject of criticism among the Opposition as well as civil society.
 
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Parrikar steps out of hospital to join Ganesh festival at home

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Ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Friday evening left a private hospital, where he was admitted for the last two days, to attend Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at his ancestral home in Parra village, located about 10 km from Panaji.
 
Parrikar, who is being treated for advanced pancreatic cancer, surprised waiting journalists by walking out of the clinic in Candolim beach village, wearing a non-customary full-sleeved white shirt and stepping into the front seat of a waiting car, which drove straight to his ancestral residence, where other members of his family were awaiting him.
 
Sources said he is expected to head back to the clinic, after paying his respects to the Ganesh idol at his ancestral residence.
 
Parrikar's emergence from the clinic came minutes after a core committee meeting of the state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders got underway here, to deliberate on the prevailing political situation in Goa, with the Chief Minister hospitalised for several days now.
 
The 62-year-old former Defence Minister, who had been resting at his private residence near Panaji ever since his return from the US on September 6, was admitted to this very clinic operated by a relative last week, before being admitted a second time, two days back, after sources said he had developed fever.
 
The Chief Minister earlier this month, returned from the US -- for the third time in six months -- where he was undergoing treatment for this ailment. He has not attended office since his return from New York, inviting criticism from the Opposition as well as the civil society.
 
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Parrikar admitted to private clinic, skips Ganesh Chaturthi celebration

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Ailing Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is being treated for advanced pancreatic cancer, was on Thursday admitted to a private clinic in the beach village of Candolim in North Goa, after he developed fever.
 
Deputy Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly, Michael Lobo told reporters that Parrikar had been admitted to the clinic, but refused to divulge details about his health.
 
"He has been admitted to the clinic for treatment," said Lobo, who is a legislator from the Calangute assembly constituency, where the village of Candolim is located.
 
Sources said that Parrikar, who has been resting at his private residence near Panaji, ever since his return from the US on September 6, had been admitted to the same clinic in Candolim once before earlier this week.
 
Parrikar also did not attend the traditional Ganesh Chaturthi puja at his ancestral home in the village of Parra in North Goa, a ritual he has been observing for decades.
 
The Chief Minister earlier this month, returned from the US -- for the third time in six months -- where he was undergoing treatment for this ailment. 
 
He has not attended office since his return.
 
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Congress, BJP spar over Mallya; Rahul seeks Jaitley's resignation

A fresh war of words broke out between the BJP and Congress over Vijay Mallya on Thursday with Congress President Rahul Gandhi seeking Finance Minister Arun Jaitleys resignation over "free passage" given to the fugitive businessman and the BJP hitting out by alleging that UPA government gave "sweet deals" to him.

 
Jaitley-Mallya meet: Rahul demands FM's resignation
 
 
A fresh war of words broke out between the BJP and Congress over Vijay Mallya on Thursday with Congress President Rahul Gandhi seeking Finance Minister Arun Jaitleys resignation over "free passage" given to the fugitive businessman and the BJP hitting out by alleging that UPA government gave "sweet deals" to him and that Gandhi family "partially owned the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines through proxy".
 
The ruling party rejected the demand for Jailtley's resignation and instead sought to turn the tables on the Congress by asking Gandhi to quit in view of his involvement in National Herald case. 
 
The day saw two press conferences each by the Congress and BJP with Gandhi coming to party's central office to attack Jaitley. 
 
It came a day after Mallya said he had met Jaitley and the Union Minister rubbished the claim, saying there was no formal meeting.
 
Gandhi accused Jaitely of "colluding" with Mallya who is facing charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to around Rs 9,000 crore.
 
He asked why Jaitley did not inform the investigating agencies about Mallya's plans to leave India.
 
"There is a clear-cut collusion. He (Jaitley) should have confessed (about the meeting) and he should resign. The Finance Minister talks to an absconder (Mallya) and the absconder tells the Finance Minister that I am going to London. The Finance Minister neither told the CBI, the ED or the police, why?
 
"He was given a free passage to leave the country by the Finance Minister. There was a lookout notice against Mallya which was diluted to an inform notice. Who changed it? This can be done only by one who controls the CBI," he alleged. 
 
Gandhi also demanded to know if the decision was taken by Jaitley himself or the "order came from the top".
 
"The Finance Minister has colluded with a criminal running away from the country. He was told by the criminal that he is going to run away but the Finance Minister did nothing. The government is lying on Rafale, they are lying on Mallya".
 
At the media conference, Congress MP P.L. Punia claimed he was an eyewitness to the meeting between Jaitley and Mallya in the Central Hall of Parliament a day before the businessman fled the country on March 2, 2016. 
 
Punia claimed the meeting between Jaitley and Mallya lasted 15-20 minutes and asked if Mallya had taken permission from Jaitley about his planned flight abroad.
 
Hitting out at the Congress, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra alleged that there were documents that show how RBI and UPA under Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh had given sweet deals to Kingfisher Airlines.
 
"And it appears through these chain of documents that Kingfisher Airlines was owned not by Mallya but by the Gandhi family through proxy," he alleged showing the letters written by RBI to SBI requesting for the restructuring of the loans of Kingfisher Airline
 
The accuracy of the documents could not be ascertained. There was no immediate response from Rahul Gandhi's office.
 
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Patra also alleged that the party has enough evidence which shows that Rahul Gandhi was "using black money" and the Gandhi family was helping Mallya with sweet deals. 
 
He claimed that Rahul Gandhi travelled free in Kingfisher Airlines, which was once owned by Mallya.
 
"Rahul Gandhi took one crore loan from a shell company, we have the confession of the company director," Patra alleged. 
 
At another press conference, Congress Communications In-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala posed specific questions to the Modi government. 
 
"Why was no action taken against Vijay Mallya for bank fraud despite registration of an FIR by CBI on July 29, 2015? Who asked CBI to change its look-out notice of October 16, 2015 into a mere 'inform notice' on November 23, 2015? Who directed the banks to delay filing of the case in the Supreme Court," he asked.
 
Earlier in the day, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters that all the allegations against Jaitley were "false". 
 
"All these remarks are being made after Rahul Gandhi's London visit. Is there anything common between them (Mallya and Rahul Gandhi)?" he asked. 
 
Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, who addressed a press conference at the BJP headquarters, said Rahul Gandhi was "facing serious criminal charges" and that he "should first resign."
 
"Those who took loans from hawala companies and accumulated wealth by taking government land free of cost or at lower rate from National Herald and whose case was rejected by Delhi High Court, should resign first," he said. 
 
He also dismissed the claims of Punia about Mallya meeting Jaitley in the Central Hall of Parliament. 
 
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Manohar Parrikar, being treated for cancer, returns from US

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Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday returned from the US two days ahead of schedule, and headed for his private residence near here.
 
Parrikar, who is being treated abroad for advanced pancreatic cancer, had gone to the US on August 30, the third time in six months.
 
The Chief Minister arrived at the Dabolim International Airport around 5.30 p.m. and did not speak to the media gathered outside.
 
Parrikar's early return coincides with murmurs about the possibility of some Congress MLAs joining the ruling party ranks. The Congress has however dismissed media reports to this effect and blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party's "fake news factory".
 
Parrikar's absence from Goa has attracted flak from the opposition that claims that governance has come to a standstill in the coastal state.
 
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Parrikar heads to US for treatment

Manohar Parrikar
Manohar Parrikar
Amid demands for dismissal of his government by the opposition and confusion in the state BJP ranks over leadership issues, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar left for the US from Mumbai early on Thursday for treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer.
 
"The Chief Minister left by a 1.30 a.m. flight. He is expected to be back in a week's time," sources close to Parrikar said.
 
Parrikar was admitted to Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital last week, hours after he returned to Goa from a New York medical facility, following a second round of treatment abroad.
 
The Congress in the state has appealed to Goa Governor Mridula Sinha to dismiss the BJP-led coalition government in the coastal state due to the severe health crisis that has hit the state cabinet. 
 
Four out of the 12 cabinet ministers including Parrikar, have been suffering from serious ailments, which has forced them to abstain from discharging their official duty to full capacity.
 
On Wednesday, there was confusion in the ranks of the Bharatiya Janata Party, as well as alliance partners, over facilitating an "alternative arrangement" in the absence of Parrikar.
 
While Union Minister of the State for AYUSH and North Goa MP Shripad Naik told reporters on Wednesday, that he would be meeting party chief Amit Shah along with the members of its state core committee to form an alternative arrangement, some members of the committee later said that there were no such plans on the anvil.
 
The Chief Minister's Office was later forced to issue a statement saying Parrikar himself would be overseeing functioning of the coalition government from the US.
 
Parrikar was diagnosed in February and was treated in a New York medical facility from March to June. On August 10, Parrikar had again left for the US for review of his treatment.
 
IANS
 

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Sex crimes, rapes have to end: Modi

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Breaking his silence over the brutal cases of rapes in various parts of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the narrow mentality towards women has to end and justice must prevail.
 
"We have to free our society and country from this disgusting mentality of rape," Modi said in his Independence Day address from the the Red Fort.
 
"In Madhya Pradesh a rapist was hanged by a fast track court. People should know this. Rule of law is supreme and no one can take the law in their hands," he said.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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President Kovind to visit Goa on July 7-8

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President Ram Nath Kovind will visit Goa on July 7-8, during which he will address the 30th annual convocation of the Goa University tomorrow.
 
This will be his first visit to Goa as the President, an official press release said.
 
The release said that Mr. Kovind will also attend a civic reception hosted by the State Government in his honour tomorrow evening.
 
On July 8, the President will visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Old Goa, and Shri Mangueshi Temple in Mardol, before returning to Delhi.
 
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Seychelles President Danny Faure arrives in Ahmedabad at start of six-day visit to India

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Seychelles President Danny Faure arrived in Ahmedabad on Friday evening at the start of a six-day state visit to India.
 
He is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising two Cabinet Ministers, four Secretaries of State and other senior officials of the Government of Seychelles. A business delegation will also be accompanying him on the visit. 
 
In Ahmedabad, Mr. Faure will visit the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, the Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram and the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University before meeting the Governor of the state today.
 
Later in the day, he will reach Goa, where he will have a meeting with the Governor tomorrow before emplaning for Delhi.
 
In Delhi, Mr. Faure will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday morning. This will be followed by a visit to Rajghat to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi. 
 
His official engagements include meeting with President Ram Nath Kovind, delegation level talks with the Prime Minister, calls by the Vice-President and the External Affairs Minister, and an address to the India-Seychelles Business Forum.  President Kovind will host a State Banquet in honour of the visiting dignitary. 
 
On Tuesday, Mr. Faure will travel to Dehradun, Uttarakhand, where he will meet the Governor on that day and visit the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy on the next day before returning to Delhi and  then flying back home.
 
"The State Visit of President Faure is part of regular high level exchanges between India and Seychelles, and will accord an opportunity to review our wide-ranging bilateral cooperation including in the fields of defence and security and development partnership," the release added.
 
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IndiGo launches flights from Lucknow to Pune and Goa

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Low-cost carrier IndiGo has announced its maiden flights from Lucknow to Pune and Goa, effective July 2018, becoming the first airline to launch  services on these sectors.
 
A press release from the airline said it would operate daily non-stop flights on the Lucknow-Goa-Lucknow and Lucknow-Pune-Lucknow routes.
 
IndiGo’s average daily departures will now be 25 flights out of Lucknow to 13 destinations, it said.
 
The release said the new flights are designed to cater to business and leisure travellers who are constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options. 
 
Mr Sanjay Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “We are pleased to announce the launch of these two sectors from Lucknow, which will further provide more flexibility of choice to our customers. Lucknow continues to hold immense potential for IndiGo and we are indeed happy to be the first airline to operate maiden flights between Lucknow-Goa-Lucknow and Lucknow-Pune-Lucknow. We are providing affordable fares on these new routes for 6E travelers. It is our constant endeavour to provide the best travel experience to our customers, as IndiGo continues to offer them on-time, courteous and hassle-free service and an affordable flying experience always.”
 
IANS
 
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Two Tamil Nadu tourists drown off Goa beaches while clicking selfies

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Two tourists from Tamil Nadu drowned in two separate incidents while clicking selfies at popular Goa beaches, police said on Sunday.
 
According to Police Inspector Jivba Dalvi, Dinesh Kumar Ranganathan, 28, from Vellore in Tamil Nadu drowned when he was clicking selfies along with two other tourists near a rocky stretch located adjoining a creek, which empties into the sea at Baga beach in North Goa.
 
"Two of them managed to come out after a heavy wave pulled all of them into the sea. However, the third, Dinesh, drowned. His body was fished out later," the official said, adding that the incident occurred late on Sunday.
 
The other incident also occurred near a rocky outcrop at Sinquerim beach, also located in North Goa, when a wave pulled Sasikumar Vasan, 33, also a native of Tamil Nadu, into the sea, resulting in his drowning.
 
Post-mortem examinations in both cases have been conducted and the bodies will be handed over to their relatives soon, the police official said.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
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After three-month absence, Parrikar back in Goa

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar at a meeting with senior officials at his residence in Panaji on March 5, 2018.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar at a meeting with senior officials at his residence in Panaji on March 5, 2018.
After three months of treatment in a US hospital for advanced pancreatic cancer, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar returned to the state on Thursday.
 
Parrikar, accompanied by members of his family, a medical team and officials of the Chief Minister's Office, flew from US to Mumbai, before arriving in Goa on Thursday evening amid heavy police security.
 
A visibly-thin Parrikar, who walked out of the terminal building at the Dabolim International Airport wearing a blue shirt, was welcomed by Health Minister Vishwajit Rane and Director General of Police Muktesh Chander, among other Goa government officials and state BJP office bearers. 
 
He then headed for his private residence near here.
 
Bharatiya Janata Party sources said, that Parrikar may cancel the meeting of his council of ministers, which was scheduled to be held on Friday.
 
"The Chief Minister is tired after the visit. The cabinet meeting which was scheduled to be held at his private residence, may be rescheduled," a senior BJP functionary said.
 
Parrikar was shifted to the US in March this year, after being diagnosed for advanced pancreatic cancer. He was first admitted to the Lilawati Hospital in Mumbai in February, after he complained of stomach pain.
 
IANS
 
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Parrikar back in India, to reach Goa in evening

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar at a meeting with senior officials at his residence in Panaji on March 5, 2018.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar at a meeting with senior officials at his residence in Panaji on March 5, 2018.
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was being treated in a US hospital for advanced pancreatic cancer since more than three months now, returned to India on Thursday afternoon and is expected to arrive in Goa later this evening, a BJP leader said.
 
Parrikar, accompanied by members of his family, a medical team and officials of the Chief Minister's Office, flew from the US to Mumbai, from where he will be taking a connecting flight to Goa, a party official said.
 
Additional police personnel have been deployed at Dabolim International Airport ahead of the Chief Minister's return.
 
Parrikar is expected to chair a meeting of the state's council of ministers on Friday.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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Former Goa Congress chief Shantaram Naik dead at 76

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Shantaram Naik (File photo: IANS)
Shantaram Naik (File photo: IANS)
Former Goa Congress President and two-time Rajya Sabha MP, Shantaram Naik, died of a massive heart attack on Saturday, a party leader said. He was 76.
 
Girish Chodankar, who replaced Naik, as state Congress president in April told IANS from Panaji: "Naik passed away around 6.30 a.m."
 
"He complained of chest pain, after which he was rushed to a private hospital in Margao town," Chodankar said. He was declared brought dead at the Trimurti hospital.
 
Naik's last rites would take place on Sunday at 10.30 a.m. at his native village Cuncolim in south Goa, he added.
 
Congress President Rahul Gandhi condoling the death, said: "I'm sorry to hear about the passing away of Shri Shantaram Naik, former Goa Congress Chief, MP and senior Congress leader, who played an important role in the battle for Goa's statehood. 
 
"My condolences to his family in their time of grief. May his soul rest in peace," Gandhi tweeted.
 
Naik, who headed the Goa Congress until recently, represented the state in Rajya Sabha for two consecutive terms -- from 2005 to 2011 and from 2011 to 2017. 
 
Beginning his political career in 1967, Naik joined the Congress as a party worker and successfully contested the North Goa Lok Sabha seat in 1984.
 
He was also instrumental in the passage of the bill that led to Goa's statehood on May 30, 1987.
 
IANS
 
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Delhi minor dies in Goa hotel swimming pool, management booked

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A nine-year-old boy from Delhi has drowned in a hotel swimming pool at the popular Calangute beach village, a police official said on Thursday.
 
The incident occurred late on Wednesday night, said Jivba Dalvi, the Officer In-charge of the Calangute Police Station, adding that the victim was holidaying in Goa along with his parents.
 
"We have booked and lodged a case against the resort management under Section 304-A (negligence) of the Indian Penal Code for their negligent manner in maintaining the swimming pool by not providing any pool attendant or life guard there," Dalvi told reporters here.
 
The boy had wandered into the pool, without the knowledge of his parents, he said.
 
The body was handed over to the parents on Thursday, after the post-mortem examination was conducted, Dalvi said ruling out any foul play.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Rise likely in levels of rivers in Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala due to heavy rainfall

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The Ministry of Water Resources has said there is a likelihood of a rapid rise in water levels in various river basins such as west-flowing rivers between Tapi and Tadri, Godavari and its tributaries near the west coast, Krishna and its tributaries near west coast, Cauvery and its tributaries near west coast as well as in west-flowing rivers between Tadri and Kanyakumari because of the heavy rainfall forecast for the region.
 
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a forecast yesterday saying that heavy to very heavy rainfall was likely at a few places with extremely heavy fall at isolated places over Konkan and Goa, Madhya Maharashtra during June 7 to 12. It said heavy to very heavy rainfall was also likely to occur over Coastal Karnataka today and throughout Karnataka during June 9-11. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is also likely to occur at isolated places over Kerala during June 9-10.
 
Due to the forecast of very heavy rains in and around Mumbai and advance of Southwest monsoon causing tidal waves, there is likelihood of inundation in some of the heavy rainfall affected urban areas of Mumbai city, a press release from the Ministry said.
 
Rivers having source in the Western Ghats and flowing into the Arabian Sea may witness flash floods in association with the forecasted rainfall. Since most of the rivers are dry, necessary precautions to control the activities along the river bed may be taken as flow may increase suddenly, drowning men and materials, it said.
 
Due to the expected rainfall, River Damanganga and its tributaries are expected to rise in Nasik district of Maharashtra, Valsad district of Gujarat and Daman district in the  Union Territory of Daman and Diu, it said.
 
River Godavari is likely to rise in upstream reaches in the district of Nasik, Ahmednagar and Aurangabad. River Krishna and its tributaries are likely to rise in upstream districts of Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Pune, Sholapur in Maharashtra as well as in Bagalkote, Vijayapura and Kalaburagi districts on Krishna and in Chikmagaluru, Shivamogga and Bellari districts on river Tungabhadra in Karnataka. 
 
Since almost all the dams are in very low level, this rain may give inflows into various upstream reservoirs, the release said.
 
Rivers flowing west into the Arabian Sea south of Tapi in Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka are also likely to rise and inundate areas in Raigad, Thane, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts of Maharashtra and in Uttara Kannada, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts in Karnataka. Traffic along the old road and rail bridges in Konkan Railway along these river reaches have to be regulated accordingly, it said.
 
River Cauvery and its tributaries in upstream reaches in Kodagu, Chikmagaluru, Hassan and Mysuru districts of Karnataka and Wayanad district of Kerala are likely to rise in association with the rainfall. 
 
However, as the dams in the basins have sufficient storage, the expected rainfall may give some inflows into these reservoirs depending on the severity of the rainfall, the release added.
 
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Goa Minister Madkaikar suffers brain stroke, undergoes surgery in Mumbai

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Goa Power Minister Pandurang Madkaikar underwent a surgery on Tuesday in Mumbai's Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital after he suffered a brain stroke, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said.
 
"Madkaikar has suffered a brain stroke. I am going to see him accompanied by the Medical Superintendent of the Goa Medical College so he can co-ordinate. His surgery was conducted today morning," Rane told IANS.
 
Madkaikar had been in the firing line over the last few weeks over massive power cuts across the coastal state.
 
On Sunday, Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress leaders had complained that several areas in North Goa had suffered blackouts for hours after the power department shut off electricity to relocate high tension transmission lines from near a real estate plot to favour a builder.
 
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar spoke to Madkaikar late Monday, asking the Minister to ensure that power failures should be curtailed to less than one hour.
 
IANS
 
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Goa minister suffers stroke, admitted to Mumbai hospital

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Goa Power Minister Pandurang Madkaikar has been admitted to the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital in Mumbai after he suffered a stroke on Tuesday, a BJP official said here.
 
"The minister, who was in Mumbai since Monday, has suffered a stroke and he has shifted to the Kokilaben hospital for treatment," the official said.
 
The party is expected to issue an official statement soon.
 
Madkaikar had been in the firing line over the last few weeks over massive power cuts across the state. 
 
On Sunday, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress leaders had protested, complaining that several areas in North Goa had suffered blackouts for hours after the power department shut off electricity to relocate high tension transmission lines from near a real estate plot to favour a builder.
 
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had spoken to Madkaikar late Monday, asking the minister to ensure that power failures should be curtailed to less than one hour.
 
IANS
 
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