QBullet: K’taka Floor Test Today; Rahul Gandhi Challenges PM Modi

1.Nirav Modi Diverted Rs 4,299 Crore to Himself, Family and Firms: ED in Court

File image of Nirav Modi. 

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has found that fugitive diamond jeweller Nirav Modi diverted about $629 million (Rs 4,299 crore at current rate) of the $1,015.34 million (Rs 6,939.84 crore) outstanding fraudulent Letters of Undertaking (LoU) issued by Punjab National Bank (PNB) to himself, his firms and his relatives, through 15 “dummy companies” based in the UAE and Hong Kong, according to the first prosecution complaint (chargesheet) filed by the agency on Thursday, 24 May.

According to the ED probe, Modi diverted $265 million (Rs 1,811 cr) to his Group firms, his sister Purvi Modi and her husband Maiank Mehta through nine UAE-based dummy firms — Diagems FZC, Pacific Gems, Unity Trading Company, Tri Color Gems, Universal Fine Jewellery, Himalayan Trader FZE, Hamilton Precious Traders, Unique Diamond and Jewellery FZC, and Vista Jewellery FZC. Both Purvi Modi and Maiank Mehta have been named as accused with Modi in the ED complaint. Mehta is the brother-in-law of diamond trader Russel Mehta of Rosy Blue Group.

(Source: Indian Express)

Also Read: PNB Scam: ED Files Chargesheet Against Nirav Modi, Associates

2. Indigo Plane, Indian Air Force Jet Avert Mid-Air Collision over Chennai

The Indigo plane and the Air Force jet were only 300-feet apart at the time of the incident.

A mid-air disaster was averted last week when an IndiGo plane and an Indian Air Force (IAF) jet were on a “collision course” in Chennai airspace, setting off an RA warning for IndiGo pilot to steer the aircraft to a safer distance, a source said.

The two aircraft were just “300 feet” away from each other at the time of the incident, which took place on 21 May, the source said.

Resolution advisory (RA) is an auto-generated warning in the cockpit for the pilot to manoeuvre the aircraft and avoid collision.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: Indigo, Air Force Planes Avert Mid-Air Collision over Chennai 

3. Jairam Ramesh May Lead Congress Campaign for 2019

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh. 

With Lok Sabha elections less than a year away, the Congress may soon appoint former Cabinet Minister and Rajya Sabha member Jairam Ramesh as the campaign co-ordinator for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

According to sources in Congress, the announcement is likely to be made in a day or two.

“He successfully helmed two campaigns in 2004 and 2009 and he was also part of the campaign committee in 2014 which was then chaired by Congress president Rahul Gandhi. So it was felt that he would be a good choice,” a senior Congress leader said.

(Source: The Hindu)

Also Read: In Pictures: Opposition Leaders Unite in Karnataka Ahead of 2019 

4. Trump Scraps North Korea Summit, Warns Kim Jong-Un That Military Ready

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and US President Donald Trump.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday, 24 May, called off a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un scheduled for next month, citing Pyongyang’s “open hostility,” and warned that the US military was ready in the event of any reckless acts by North Korea.

Trump announced his abrupt withdrawal from what would have been a first-ever meeting between a serving US president and a North Korean leader in Singapore on 12 June in a letter to Kim.

“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it would be inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote. “Please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: ‘A Missed Opportunity’: Trump Cancels Meeting With Kim Jong-un

5. ‘Reduce Fuel Prices or Face Nationwide Agitation’: Gandhi Throws Challenge at PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, 23 May, accepted the fitness challenge extended by cricketer Virat Kohli, Congress president Rahul Gandhi grabbed the opportunity to throw another challenge at him. In a tweet addressed to the PM, the Congress president dared Modi to either cut down fuel prices or be ready to face a nationwide agitation by the party.

Earlier, Kohli had shared a fitness video of himself and extended a fitness challenge to PM Modi, who tweeted that he will soon upload his fitness video. “Challenge accepted, Virat! I will be sharing my own #FitnessChallenge video soon,” the PM wrote.

(Source: Indian Express)

Also Read: RaGa, Other Oppn Leaders Criticise Modi for Fitness Challenge

6. Tamil Nadu CM Says Police Fired in Self-Defence, Toll Goes up to 13

Police personnel tackles agitators in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin. 

Even as the death toll in police firing on anti-Sterlite protesters in Tuticorin went up to 13 on Thursday, 24 May, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami affirmed that police had followed procedures as per law before opening fire. Sporadic violence was reported in Tuticorin, which was relatively calmer on Thursday though there was tension in several areas.

Speaking to reporters at the secretariat, the CM blamed opposition parties and anti-social elements for instigating the violence. “Section 144 of the CrPC had been promulgated in Tuticorin to prevent violence. But some opposition parties and anti-social elements were instigating innocent people to pressure the government and give us a bad name,” he said.

In a related development, the Madras high court refused to entertain the state government’s appeal against its order asking the government to preserve the bodies of the protesters killed in police firing.

(Source: Times of India)

Also Read: Sterlite Row: Section 144 Extended till 27 May in Tuticorin

7. No Decision yet on Backing HD Kumaraswamy for 5 Years: Congress Deputy CM

Karnataka Congress chief G Parameshwara.

In a twist to the unfolding political drama in Karnataka, Congress leader and deputy CM G Parameshwara on Thursday, 24 May, said the party had taken no decision yet to support H D Kumaraswamy as CM for the full five year-term.

“The issue is yet to be discussed and finalised. Our immediate aim is to pass the floor test, allocate portfolios and provide good administration. The modalities, including sharing the CM post, are yet to be worked out,” said Parameshwara who is also head of the state Congress.

His remark came in response to a question during his first press conference after taking over as deputy CM, and indicates that the fault-lines among the coalition partners, papered over in the effort to keep BJP out, might emerge earlier than anticipated.

(Source: Times of India)

Also Read: Can Once-Divorced JD(S)-Congress Make Their New Marriage Work?

8. Karnataka: Floor Test Today, Congress-JD(S) Hold on to MLAs

HD Kumaraswamy.

The newly formed JDS-Congress coalition government in Karnataka under Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy will face a trust vote on Friday, 25 May, to prove majority in the Karnataka Assembly. The JDS-Congress combine has 118 MLAs (JDS 37, Congress 78 and three others) in the 222-member House where 112 is a simple majority, while the BJP has 104 seats.

The Assembly will on Friday conduct an election to pick a new Speaker before the vote of confidence is tabled. The Congress has nominated former speaker K R Ramesh Kumar as its candidate, while the BJP has picked veteran legislator S Suresh Kumar.

(Source: Indian Express)

Also Read: The Never-Ending Karnataka Election: Explained, Only Through Memes

9. Congress Ahead of BJP in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, Says CSDS-Lokniti Survey

Rahul Gandhi, the president of the Congress.

Forthcoming assembly elections in the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh can bring more bad news for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) if the results of a survey by CSDS-Lokniti are to be believed.

The survey shows that the Congress is ahead of the BJP in these two states by 5 percentage points and 15 percentage points, respectively. Given the fact that these two states witness a bipolar contest, this gap in vote share could translate into an even larger gap in seat share.

These survey findings have been released with the third round of CSDS-Lokniti Mood of the Nation (MOTN) survey which has been conducted among more than fifteen thousand respondents across 19 states between 20 April and 17 May. The previous two rounds were conducted in May 2017 and January 2018, i.e. just after the assembly election results of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

Also Read: 47% of Indians Don’t Want BJP Government Back: CSDS Survey

. Read more on India by The Quint.QCrime: Duo Evades GST, Held; Neighbour Killed for Being NoisyQBullet: K’taka Floor Test Today; Rahul Gandhi Challenges PM Modi . Read more on India by The Quint.