Mumbai, Dec 24 (PTI) Following are the top stories from the Western Region at 1700 HRS.

·2-min read

BOM5 GA-VIRUS-LD UK ARRIVALS 11 UK returnees in Dec have tested COVID-19 +ve in Goa: Rane Panaji: Eleven passengers among those who arrived in Goa from the UK after December 9 have tested positive for COVID-19 so far, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Thursday, amid concerns over detection of a new coronavirus variant in Britain.

BOM2 MH-VIRUS-UK RETURNEE Maharashtra: UK returnee tests COVID-19 positive in Nagpur Nagpur: A 28-year-old man who recently returned from the UK has tested positive for coronavirus at Nagpur in Maharashtra, an official said on Thursday.

BOM6 MH-QUOTA-CHAVAN Opposition to EWS Maratha quota driven by politics: Chavan Mumbai: Maharashtra PWD minister Ashok Chavan on Thursday said opposition to the state government allowing Maratha candidates to avail benefits of the EWS quota was mere politics.

BOM4 GA-VIRUS-CHRISTMAS Goa set for Christmas celebration with COVID-19 norms in place Panaji: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Goa is all set to usher in Christmas festivities from Thursday midnight with beaches already crowded and markets abuzz with last-minute shopping by parishioners.

BOM1 MH-URMILA I don't regret my association with Congress: Urmila Matondkar Mumbai: Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar, who recently joined the ruling Shiv Sena, has said she does not regret her brief association with the Congress and has high regard for that party's leadership.

BES4 MH-CONG-ALLIANCE MVA allies together can defeat BJP in polls: Congress Mumbai: The Congress, an ally of the Maharashtra government which also comprises the Shiv Sena and NCP, has geared up for the civic and local bodies polls due in 2021 in the state and said if the three parties come together, it is not difficult to defeat the BJP.

BES11 MH-BHUJBAL-CONG Centre should listen to opposition parties: Bhujbal Mumbai: Issues can not be solved if opposition is stopped from raising them, Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal said on Thursday after Congress leaders were detained in Delhi during a protest against farm laws.

BES3 MH-QUOTA-BJP Maha govt not confident of winning Maratha quota case: BJP MP Mumbai: BJP MP Sambhaji Chhatrapti on Thursday said the Maharashtra government does not seem to be confident of winning the legal battle over the issue of Maratha quota under the Socially and Economically Backward Class (SEBC) category.

BES12 MH-DRUG-ARREST Man held with mephedrone worth Rs 27.5 lakh in Mumbai Mumbai: Mumbai Police's Anti-Narcotics Cell has arrested a man, suspected to be involved in an inter-state drugs syndicate, and seized mephedrone worth Rs 27.5 lakh from him, an official said on Thursday.

BES2 MH-VIRUS-THANE Maha: 427 new COVID-19 cases in Thane, tally crosses 2.40 lakh Thane: The COVID-19 caseload in Thane district of Maharashtra has reached 2,40,203 with the detection of 427 new cases of the viral infection, an official said on Thursday.