PDP expels senior party leader Altaf Bukhari for ‘anti-party activities’

Mehbooba Mufti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday expelled senior party leader Altaf Bukhari for “anti-party activities”.

The statement issued by the PDP on Saturday stated that, “Party today expelled Altaf Bukhari from the party for his anti-party activities. Party has been watching with concern the activities of Altaf Bukhari for quite some time and thereby stands expelled from the basic membership of party.”

The party alleged that, “Bukhari inspired and led dissent in the party at its most crucial stage which caused serious damage to party’s efforts at implementing the agenda of the government. While the party leadership was engaged in negotiations with its partner and the government of India, insisting on implementing some agreed points before forming the new government, the dissension weakened its bargaining position forcing subsequent events against its will.”

Responding to his expulsion from the PDP, former Jammu and Kashmir finance minister, Altaf Bukhari on Saturday said he was “happy” over the party’s decision.

Bukhari said while he was happy over the party’s decision, “the reasons given for my expulsion are debatable”.

“I am happy for this decision of the party as my conscience is clean and I never compromised on my principles.  I wish the J&K PDP all the very best!” Bukhari said in a statement.

Mamata’s Mega Rally: Opposition unite against BJP

The Mega opposition rally being organised by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is underway at the historic Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata.

Opposition leaders as well people in huge number have gathered at the venue.

Speaking on the occasion, Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah, said: “The BJP is dividing people on the basis of religion. We must all come together to defeat the divisive forces”. He also spoke on the need to shun the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in future elections.

“Regional have the strong instinct to connect with the people and protect the interests of their States,” Karnataka CM HD Kumarswamy.

Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu said, “We have only one mission – Save India. Save democracy.” BJP has divided the nation, we want to unite India.

DMK President, Mk Stalin said that the upcoming general elections in May will be the second freedom struggle of the country. “Send Modi home, save this country.”

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said, “on this new year, will have new minister. Whoever the people choose will become PM.” He further said, “Jo baat #Bengal se chalegi, woh desh mein dikhai degi”

Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal claimed that the Narendra Modi government had divided the society and that is why we need to get rid of the Modi-Shah partnership. If Modi-Shah come back in 2019, they will destroy this country. He further said, “Today is a historic day for the country. The Shah-Modi duo have destroyed the country”

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge read a message from Sonia Gandhi: “The upcoming general elections will be on the faith of restoring democracy in our country”

Sharad Pawar congratulated Mamata for organising the meet and said, “Your show of unity today is giving us hope.”

“Not one institution is left, which has not been destroyed by the current govt at Centre,” said Former MP Sharad Pawar.

“The last four years have been testing times for Indian democracy,” Gegong  Apang, former CM of Arunachal Pradesh said.

“This is not about removing one man from power. We have come together to defeat an ideology.,” Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha.

Former Union Minister Arun Shourie said that no other government has said so many lies. Never before were institutions undermined in this manner.

Rajya Sabha MP Dr AM Singhvi said that clouds are parting. A rainbow of political parties is forming. The time for a coalition has arrived.

PM Modi targets Mamata’s rally, says ‘Mahagathbandhan’ is against the people of India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday targeted the mega-rally of Opposition parties in Kolkata, calling it ‘anti-people’.

Speaking at a public function at Silvassa, the Capital of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Modi said the opposition alliance was not against him, but “against the people of India”.

Modi said, “they have not even properly united together but have already started bargaining for their share (of seats).” They are seeking support to save themselves. “But I want your support to take the country forward,” Modi added.

He pointed out that his campaign against corruption has made some people angry as he prevented them from looting public money.

Modi said, “to counter these and other actions, the opposition has now formed the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ alliance for the upcoming general elections.”

Exhibition on National Mission for Clean Ganga organised at Prayagraj Kumbh Mela

A very informative and interesting exhibition has been organised by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India at Prayagraj Kumbh Mela to make aware people visiting the mela on keeping River Ganga Clean and to inform them about the many projects and schemes being  implemented by different agencies to achieve the target under Namami Gange Mission. 

The Exhibition is located at the main entry point of Mela from city side at sector one. It attracts most of the people visiting Kumbh with its lyrical presentation on River Ganga. Several details about the project have been given through illustrative panels on activities of Wild Life Institute of India, Central Fisheries Research Institute and Ganga Task Force and their significance for the Mission. Ganga Task Force is active in Prayagraj, Varanasi and Kanpur districts in Uttar Pradesh to encourage people towards plantation of trees on the banks of Ganga. Several success stories are also regularly being screened. Details of projects being implemented in different States are exhibited. About 53 nullahs have been tapped at Prayagraj through Bio-Remediation and Geo Bags Modular STP to provide pollution free water to devotees at Sangam and Ghats of the Ganga for bathing during Kumbh. Also, 261 Projects are being implemented in different states to keep Ganga clean and pollution free. Of them, 94 are implemented in Uttar Pradesh. Several projects have been implemented at Prayagraj in view of Kumbh including construction of 6 Ghats, tapping of nullahs, construction of 3 crematorium, deployment of trash skimmers and cleaning of 21 Ghats of rivers of Ganga and Yamuna. 

Namami Gange Mission has extended financial assistance to Prayagraj Mela Authority for construction of toilets, urinals and solid waste management at Kumbh. 

The exhibition is very topical as devotees and tourists reaching Prayagraj Kumbh are very receptive to the issue of pollution in River Ganga. 

Mumbai: PM Modi inaugurates National Museum of Indian Cinema

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the National Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai.

Governor of Maharashtra C. Vidyasagar Rao, CM of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister of State Ramdas Athawale and Union Minister of State Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore (Retd.) along with other dignitaries were present on the occasion.  

In his address, PM Modi said that the National Museum of Indian Cinema will provide a wonderful opportunity for the younger generation to understand and learn about Indian cinema. He added that the Museum will have detailed information about the history of the Indian entertainment industry, along with tales of struggles of various film personalities.

Stating that film and society are a reflection of each other, Modi said that whatever happens in the society are reflected by the movies on the screen while the images from the films are also mirrored in the society. 

Talking about trends he said, there are many films now which depict both the problem and the solution which is a positive sign as compared to earlier years when only the helplessness was displayed. 

PM Modi said that India is now confident of finding its own solutions to the problems it faces and this he said is a sign of a New India which is confident and capable of taking issues head on and resolving them.

Prime Minister Modi in his address highlighted the global reach of Indian Cinema. In this context, he mentioned his interaction with various global leaders who can even sing Indian songs. 

He extended best wishes to the film fraternity for creating the characters that have captured the imaginations of young generations. He said that due to the global appeal of such characters, India’s youngsters are now not just fans of Batman, but also of Bahubali.

PM Modi said that the Indian Cinema has a big role in enhancing India’s soft power, its credibility and building Brand India across the world. He said that through Cinema important social issues such as sanitation, women empowerment, sports etc are now reaching to people. Cinema plays an important role in nation Building and strengthens the feeling of Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat. PM said that the film Industry has a huge potential of contributing to the growth of Tourism in the country.

He mentioned that Government is working to provide the facility of ‘Ease of Filming’ by putting in place a Single Window Clearance system, for Film Shooting approvals in different parts of the country. Prime Minister said Government is working on amending Cinematograph Act 1952 to check the problem of Film Piracy.

PM said Government is also working towards setting up a National Centre for Excellence for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics.  Modi said that a fully dedicated university for Communication and Entertainment is a need of the hour and urged Film personalities to suggest and contribute on this. He also suggested the idea of Global Film Summit similar to Davos Summit which would focus on the expansion of the market for Indian Cinema.

CM Mamata Banerjee to hold Mega Rally today

Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground is all set for West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee’s mega Opposition rally with political leaders from all corners of the country joining in.

“Only few hours to go for the historic ‘United India Rally’ at Brigade Parade Grounds. I welcome all national leaders, supporters and lakhs of people to participate in today’s rally to pledge to build a stronger, progressive and united India,” Mamata Banerjee tweeted in the morning.

Although Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi is unlikely to turn up at the rally. Hence, the party would be represented by Mallikarjun Kharge and Abhishek Manu Singhvi

Other leaders who are likely to attend the rally are former prime minister HD Devegowda, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy; Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Yadav, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Lalu Yadav’s son Tejashwi Yadav from the RJD.

People have started assembling at Brigade Parade Grounds since early morning.

Huge turnout of Adivasi brothers and sisters at mega event.

Members of the Lepcha community have also arrived.

“We welcome @ArvindKejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, to the historic rally at Brigade Parade Grounds,” All India Trinamool Congress tweeted.

Banerjee on Thursday said that the mega opposition rally being hosted by her party would sound the “death knell” for the BJP party in the Lok Sabha polls and regional parties would be the deciding factor.

Mumbai: PM Narendra Modi to inaugurate National Museum of Indian Cinema

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday will inaugurate the new building for National Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai.

He will visit the National Museum and address the gathering.

The National Museum of Indian Cinema has been set up to showcase the rich cinematic history of India as well as to encapsulate socio-cultural history of India as revealed through evolution of Cinema. It will take the visitors through an absorbing journey of more than a century of Indian Cinema in a story telling mode with the help of visuals and graphics, film clippings, artifacts, publicity materials, interactive exhibits and many more.

Located at Films Division Complex in South Mumbai, it is spread over two buildings, in the historic Gulshan Mahal and New Museum Building.

The New Museum Building consists of four levels:

Level 1 – Gandhi & Cinema

Level 2 – Children’s Film Studio

Level 3 – Technology, Creativity and Indian Cinema

Level 4 – Cinema across India

The New Museum Building will also have two Auditoriums, equipped with State-of-the-Art Digital Cinema Projectors and 7.1 surround sound system.

India protests against Pakistan Supreme court’s order on Gilgit-Baltistan

India on Friday summoned the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan and lodged a strong protest over the Pakistan Supreme Court’s order extending its powers to ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’.

“The Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned on Friday and a strong protest was lodged on recent order by Supreme Court of Pakistan on the so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan” which is an interference in India’s internal affairs,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

“It was reiterated that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, which also includes the so-called ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’ has been, is and shall remain an integral part of India, it added.

The statement further said, “Pakistan Government or judiciary have no locus standii on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it. Any action to alter the status of these occupied territories by Pakistan has no legal basis whatsoever.”

“India rejected such continued attempts by Pakistan to bring material change in these occupied territories and to camouflage grave human rights violations, exploitation and sufferings of the people living there.,” the statement said.

Pakistan was asked to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.

India beat Australia by 7 wickets

India beat Australia in the third and final ODI in Melbourne to take the series 2-1.

MS Dhoni’s 87 – his third consecutive half-century, and 61 from Kedar Jadhav lead the way as Australia’s 230 is chased down for a seven-wicket victory.

“What a run-chase. The Dhoni-Jadhav duo take #TeamIndia to a thumping 7-wicket victory,” BCCI tweeted.

MS Dhoni became player of the series for his brilliant performance in all the three matches and Yuzvendra Chahal, the player of match for his brilliant spell of 6/42.

“51 in Sydney 55* in Adelaide 87* in Melbourne @msdhoni is the Player of the Series!” ICC tweeted.

A career best from Chahal and another perfectly timed chase led by Dhoni handed India the ODI series with a seven wicket win at the Melbourne.

Australia: 230 all out – 48.4 overs.

India: 234 for 3 – 49.2 overs. 

Jammu and Kashmir: Two grenade attacks by terrorists

Terrorists on Friday carried out two grenade attacks on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, including one in the Lal Chowk area of the city, police said.

Suspected terrorists lobbed a grenade at a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) party near Ghanta Ghar in Lal Chowk area.

According to an official, the grenade exploded on the roadside adding no one was hurt in the attack.

In a separate incident, terrorists lobbed a grenade at security forces in Shopian district of south Kashmir. No loss of life or injury has been reported yet.

Jammu and Kashmir police tweeted, “Two incidents of #grenade attack by #terrorists; one in #Srinagar & other in #Shopian. #Police is at the spot. Investigation in both incidents is going on. No loss of life or property reported.”

Security forces were rushed to both the areas and search operations have been launched to nab the attackers.

Further details are awaited.