A visibly confident Congress leader Rahul Gandhi told members of the Indian American community here that India is currently experiencing a "fight" between two different ideologies and exuded confidence that all opposition parties are joining hands for an "alternative vision" of the country to that of the ruling BJP.
While making his last public appearance during his two-day visit to the US Capitol, Gandhi said that when he meets the non-Congress opposition parties, he has always emphasised that it is very important that they fight unitedly.
“Lots of media people like to sort of make BJP larger than life, RSS larger than life. Please look at the Himachal (Pradesh) election. Please look at the Karnataka election. We are going to have elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan,... See those elections and you will see that the Congress Party is more than capable of defeating the BJP,” a confident-looking Gandhi told members of the Indian American community at a reception hosted in his honour here on Friday.
“We get together and normally fight as individual parties, but fight by placing an alternative vision for India on the table. And that is what we are working on. All the opposition parties are in discussion, are in conversation. And I would like to tell you that that discussion is moving forward very effectively,” Gandhi said while addressing a diverse group of Indian Americans gathered from in and around Washington DC. Gandhi told the Indian Americans that they would be aware of the “fight” that is taking place in India.
“It's an ideological fight between two visions of our country. One is Mahatma Gandhi's vision of a peaceful, nonviolent, truthful, humble region of our country. A vision where all our people, regardless of which religion they come from, which caste they come from, and which language they people are equal stakeholders in the progress of our nation. A vision where every single Indian feels free to express himself and views themselves as part of our nation,” he said.
“On the other side, there is a vision championed by RSS of divisive arrogance, non-scientific aggressiveness. This is the fight between the two. These are not new ideas. They're not new ideologies. This fight has been taking place for many, many years. I would say thousands of years. These two visions of India have engaged with each other; I'm pretty confident that it is in India's nature to be loving and affectionate. It is not in our nature to be violent and hateful. So, I'm confident that's the vision of (Mahatma) Gandhi,... Is going to triumph,” he said.
Rahul stated that the BJP has captured institutions. “They have the mainstream media. They have captured institutions. They put pressure on all the institutions. They threaten people... So, their voice is more heard. But don't underestimate the voice of reason, the voice of affection. The voice of love in our country. It's also very very powerful,” he said.
The Congress leader said that the Indian Americans are the country's ambassadors in the United States. “I couldn't say enough about how you made our country proud, about the work that you've done here, about what you have done for the image of our country, what you have done to build the bridge between the United States and India. The more successful you are in the USA, the Indian Inc brands will be consolidated accordingly.
In a major train tragedy, many people were killed and 300 were injured when a passenger train hit the derailed coaches of another train in Odisha's Balasore this evening. Many are feared trapped. A third freight train was also involved in the accident.
Coromandel Express, which was going from Kolkata to Chennai, rammed into the derailed coaches of the other train, which was going from Bengaluru to Kolkata, Railway Ministry spokesperson Amitabh Sharma told NDTV.
The details of the two trains are 12841 Shalimar-Chennai Coromandel Express and 12864 Yashwantpur-Howrah Superfast Express. Fifteen coaches of Coromandel Express came off the tracks, while two of the other train got derailed.
All the rescue work from the state and central government is underway.
Indian space agency ISRO today successfully launched a navigation satellite on board an expendable GSLV rocket from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. Nearly 20 minutes after the flight, the rocket deployed the satellite in a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) at an altitude of about 251 km, ISRO said. The navigation satellite has been successfully placed in orbit.
"We now have the ability to launch even bigger payloads," ISRO said. This will give the country an edge in the civil and defense sectors.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the new Parliament building as a "temple of democracy" and wished that it continues to strengthen India's development trajectory and empower millions.
Modi, who had urged people to share a video of the new building on Twitter with the hashtag 'MyParliamentMyPride', also noted that through very emotional voiceovers people are conveying a spirit of pride that the nation is getting a new Parliament that will keep working to fulfill people's aspirations with more vigour.
Tagging a tweet by Union minister Hardeep Puri lauding the new Parliament building, Modi said on Twitter, "May this Temple of Democracy continue strengthening India's development trajectory and empowering millions."
He used the 'My Parliament My Pride' tag along with his tweet. The prime minister also re-tweeted several people's posts with the video of the new Parliament building and their voiceovers.
In another tweet, Modi said, "Several people are expressing their joy on #MyParliamentMyPride. Through very emotional voice-overs they are conveying a spirit of pride that our nation is getting a new Parliament which will keep working to fulfill people's aspirations with more vigour."
In a showcase of the strength of florishing democracy in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new parliament building amid a boycott by opposition parties, which insisted President Droupadi Murmu should do the honours. The PM unveiled a plaque marking the inauguration.
Prime Minister Modi reached the new parliament building at 7.30 am. Soon after, he and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla sat down for a puja. Once the puja ended, the Prime Minister prostrated before the historic sceptre 'sengol'.
The Adheenam seers handed over the 'sengol' to the Prime Minister, who sought their blessings on the momentous occasion. The Prime Minister then carried the historic sceptre to the Lok Sabha chamber and installed it beside the chair of the Speaker.
The Prime Minister then felicitated a group of construction workers involved in the making of the grand new parliament. This was followed by 'sarv-dharma' (all faith) prayers by representatives from several religions.
Russia's military commander claims it has captured the east Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, epicentre of the fighting, as President Vladimir Putin congratulated his troops and private mercenary group Wagner.
The announcement from the Russian army came hours after Kyiv said the battle was continuing, while admitting the situation was "critical", and with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky meeting G7 leaders in Japan.
Bakhmut, a salt-mining town that once had a population of 70,000 people, has been the scene of the longest and bloodiest battle in Moscow's more than year-long Ukraine offensive. While the rest of the world leaders were busy in discussing the global crisis in Japan, the announcement of the victory is seen as an assertion by the Russia that they will not relent.
After a week of deadlock, Siddaramaiah will be the next Chief Minister of Karnataka and DK Shivakumar his deputy, the Congress announced on Thursday, ending five days of suspense after the party's emphatic election win. They will take oath on Saturday.
Both leaders expressed their commitment to work together. "Karnataka's secure future and our people's welfare is our top priority, and we are united in guaranteeing that," tweeted Mr Shivakumar. Siddaramaiah said, "Our hands will always be united to protect the interests of Kannadigas. The Congress party will work as a family."
The commander of South Africa’s ground forces is in Moscow for talks, the country’s military said Monday, confirming earlier Russian media reports, days after Washington accused Pretoria of secretly providing arms to Russia.
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) “confirms that the Chief of the SA Army, Lieutenant-General Lawrence Mbatha is in Moscow… for a bilateral between the two military establishments".
The meeting was “planned well in advance" as part of “a long-standing arrangement", the SANDF said in a statement, adding it was a “goodwill visit" at the invitation of the Russian army.
Citing the country’s defence ministry, Russian news agencies had earlier Monday said Mbatha was heading a delegation that discussed “issues relating to military cooperation and interaction".
Last Thursday the US ambassador to Pretoria Reuben Brigety said that the United States believed weapons and ammunition had been laden onto a Russian freighter that docked at a Cape Town naval base in December.
In a must-win situation for Congress in Karnataka, the Congress stays comfortably above the halfway mark. The BJP may end up with close to 75 seats. The JDS is faring badly in many of the regions. Keep following our updates.
The Congress is winning/leading in more seats in the Kalyan Karnataka, Kittur Karnataka and South regions. The BJP is leading in Bangalore and coastal Karnataka regions. A party or a coalition needs to win 113 seats to secure a majority in the 224-member Karnataka Assembly.
The Congress party looked set to win a majority in the Karnataka assembly polls after nearly three hours of counting of votes covering all the 224 assembly seats in the state. The Congress, according to official ECI data, was in the lead in 114 seats in a legislature where the simple majority is 113 seats at 11 am.
"The Congress has established a lead as per our expectations. We are expecting over 120 seats. We will come to power on our strength," the former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah said in an initial reaction in Mysuru on the trends.
The Congress has obtained a vote share of 43.2 percent as against the BJP's 36 percent. The Congress leads in 120 seats, the BJP in 70 and the JDS in 20 (13.1 percent vote share).
In 2018 the BJP won 104 seats with 36 percent vote share and the Congress 80 seats with 38 percent vote share. The JDS won 37 seats with a 19 percent vote share.
The apex court of India. Supreme Court while delivering a landmark judgement said that Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray cannot be reinstated as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra as he resigned from the post voluntarily without facing a floor test. However, it said that the then Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s decision to call for a floor test that ultimately toppled the Uddhav-Thackeray-led MVA government was not in accordance with the law.
The top court was dealing with the issue of disqualification of 16 MLAs belonging to CM Shinde’s Sena. The 16 MLAs, including Shinde, were sent disqualification notices for not attending a party meeting convened by the then CM Uddhav Thackeray despite the whip which was issued. In July, when Shinde sought a trust vote on the floor of the state legislative assembly, the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena combine got the support of 164 out of a total of 288 MLAs and became the chief minister.
The Supreme Court said it cannot disqualify Mr Shinde and 15 other MLAs for revolting against then Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in June last year. That power will rest with the speaker until a larger panel of judges rules on it.
In a dramatic event, Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested today just as he was entering the Islamabad High Court for a hearing in one of the dozens of cases pending since he was ousted from office last year. The 70-year-old former cricketer-turned-politician was taken into custody from the court premises by paramilitary forces; leaders from his party, Pakistan-Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), have alleged that the police entered the court, smashed the glass window of the room where his biometric data was being taken, and dragged him outside. The arrest comes a day after the country's powerful army had accused Imran Khan of levelling baseless allegations against a senior officer of the spy agency ISI.
Imran Khan was arrested in the Qadir Trust case (which concerns allegations that Bahria Town allotted land worth millions to Al-Qadir Trust, owned by the PTI chairman Imran Khan and his wife), Islamabad Police tweeted in Urdu, adding that the situation is "normal". However, The dramatic manner of the arrest has many questioning if the arrest was on the merits of the case alone.
An aggressive Russian President Vladimir Putin said at Moscow's Red Square Victory Day parade that the world was at a "turning point" and claimed a "war" had been unleashed against Russia.
"Today civilisation is again at a decisive turning point," Putin said at the parade, which included elderly veterans and soldiers from Russia's Ukraine campaign, adding: "A war has been unleashed against our motherland."
He called for Russia to be victorious: "For Russia, for our armed forces, for victory! Hurrah!"