Security tightened in Maharashtra, Haryana ahead Assembly election
Lakhs of security personnel will be deployed in Maharashtra and Haryana ahead of the Assembly elections in the states on Monday. Reports said that in Maharashtra, where Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is seeking a second term, over three lakh security personnel from local police as well as Central forces will be deployed to ensure a smooth voting process. At least three helicopters and drones will be used in Naxal-affected Gadchiroli district in east Maharashtra, PTI quoted police officials as saying.
Meanwhile, in Haryana, over 75,000 police personnel have been mobilised as part of the security arrangements for the polling exercise. As part of election preparedness, the neighbouring states will also deploy maximum force in their territory to ensure sealing of inter-state borders before the polls.
As campaigning in the states ended on Saturday, Maharashtra is gearing up for a fight between the Mahayuti or grand alliance led by the BJP and the Maha-aghadi (front) of the Congress and the NCP. In Haryana, issues like the abrogation of Article 370, unemployment and farmers' woes came into focus during the canvassing. Among the major parties in the fray are BJP, Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Abhay Singh Chautala's Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Dushyant Chautala's Janata Jannayak Party (JJP).
In Maharashtra, the BJP is contesting 164 seats, which include candidates of smaller allies contesting on its lotus symbol, while its coalition partner, Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena is contesting 126 seats. On the other hand, the Congress has fielded 147 candidates and its ally NCP 121.
Maharashtra ATS arrests one in Kamlesh Tiwari murder case
The Anti-Terrorism Squad of Maharashtra police on Saturday arrested a man from Nagpur's Mominpura area in connection with the murder of former Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha leader, Kamlesh Tiwari. An ATS official quoted by PTI said that the arrest was made on the basis of leads provided by the Uttar Pradesh Police.
The arrested man was identified as Sayed Asim Ali (29), who runs a hardware business in the city. Ali had organised a protest against Tiwari in the past and also issued a "warning" to him in a YouTube video, reports said. Tiwari (45), leader of the lesser-known Hindu Samaj Party (HSP) who was earlier associated with a faction of the Hindu Mahasabha, was killed in his home in Lucknow on Friday.
Earlier on Saturday, Uttar Pradesh Police had said that five people, including three from Surat in Gujarat, had been held in connection with the murder. The suspects were reportedly "radicalised" and appeared to have targeted Tiwari for his inflammatory remarks made in 2015.
Boris Johnson asks EU to postpone Brexit
Prime Minister Boris Johnson grudgingly asked the European Union late Saturday to delay Brexit after the British Parliament postponed a decision on whether to back his divorce deal. But the defiant Johnson also made clear that he personally opposed delaying the UK's exit, scheduled for 31 October.
A law passed by Parliament last month set a late-night deadline for the government to send a letter asking the EU for a three-month postponement if lawmakers had not approved an agreement with the bloc by Saturday. An hour before the deadline, European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: "The extension request has just arrived. I will now start consulting EU leaders on how to react."
Johnson made clear he was making the request under duress. The letter requesting an extension was not signed. It was accompanied by a second letter, signed by Johnson, arguing that delay would "damage the interests of the UK and our EU partners."
On Saturday, Johnson had told lawmakers that "further delay would be bad for this country, bad for the European Union and bad for democracy."
Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane look to build on India's ascendancy on Day 2 of third Test against South Africa
Opener Rohit Sharma slammed his third century of the series to lead India's charge after they lost early wickets against South Africa on Day 1 of the third Test in Ranchi. Rohit remained unbeaten on 117 at stumps. He combined with Ajinkya Rahane, on 83, to put on an unbeaten 185-run stand after the hosts wobbled early at 39/3. India reached 224/3 when bad light stopped play in the final session. This was followed by rain leading to an early close of play.
ISL 2019/20 season to get underway in Kochi
Kerala Blasters will play host to ATK in the inaugural match of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20 season on Saturday. It will be the sixth season of the top-tier of Indian football and has Bengaluru FC as defending champions. Hyderabad FC and Odisha FC are the new teams to be introduced to the league.