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Indian Army’s combat exercise in Arunachal irks China

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New Delhi, Oct 5 : As the Indian Army holds its biggest ever mountain combat exercise ‘Him Vijay’ in Arunachal Pradesh, the first ever such drill in the northeastern state, it is reported to have irked China which considers large parts of Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet.

Three battle groups, each comprising 4,000 soldiers, are participating in the exercise at a height of 14,000 feet, — 100 kms away from the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

It is being carried out in phases in the upper reaches of Arunachal Pradesh near Tawang, and will end on October 25. The exercises are being held at a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping is to visit India for the second informal meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, likely in Mahabalipuram.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui, who is here to oversee the visit of President Xi, is reported to have raised the issue during his meeting with Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on Thursday.

The dates for Xi’s India visit have not been announced yet.

His visit comes amid strains in India-China ties over the issue of Kashmir, with Beijing choosing to side with good friend Pakistan. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had also raised the Kashmir issue at the UNGA last week.

In this exercise, the capability of newly-conceived Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) will be tested. The ‘Him Vijay’ will include troop mobilisation, mountain assault and air assault.

In February too, China had “firmly opposed” the visit of Modi to Arunachal Pradesh to inaugurate projects there.

India

WB Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee resigns

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Amid a string of exits from the Trinamool Congress party, West Bengal Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee has resigned from his office as Cabinet minister. His resignation has been accepted by West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, ANI reported.

“It has been a great honour and privilege to serve the people of West Bengal. I heartily convey my gratitude for getting this opportunity,” he wrote in his resignation letter.

“I have considered each one of you as my extended family and your support has always motivated me to go the extra mile and be at your service in a better way possible, hence I am announcing my formal resignation on this platform and have informed the concerned authority as well. I hope that in the years to come I will be able to be at each of your service in the best way possible as that has been the sole reason I am into politics,”

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Gehlot-led AICC team to mull Cong prospects in Kerala polls

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Ashok Gehlot

A three-member committee set up by the AICC will hold discussions on Friday evening and Saturday with state leaders on the prospects of the Congress as well as the United Democratic Front in the 2021 Assembly elections.

Led by Rajasthan Chief minister Ashok Gehlot, the team constituted by the All India Congress Committee comprises former Goa Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro and former Karnataka Deputy CM G Parameshwara.

While Falerio and Parameshwara have already arrived in the state capital, Gehlot will reach here on Friday evening, accompanied by AICC General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal. The meeting will be held thereafter.

Falerio and Parameshwara have already met with the ‘big three’ in the state Congress — KPCC President Mullappaly Ramachandran, former Chief minister Oomen Chandy, and opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala.

KPCC General Secretary Manacadu Suresh told IANS: “Both Felerio and Parameshwara are here and meeting all senior state leaders. They will make a small presentation when Gehlot and Venugopal reach here by evening.”

While an informal meeting will be held after the arrival of the two senior leaders, a series of meeting are slated on Saturday to discuss the prospective party candidates in the Assembly elections likely to be held in May 2021 to elect 140 MLAs.

As Congress Working Committee member and former Kerala Chief Minister AK Antony has openly called for fielding “new faces”, the Congress will be forced to choose several youth leaders for party tickets. Gehlot and his team will have a close look at the strengths and limitations of the new faces proposed to be fielded by the state leadership.

KPCC chief Ramachandran told IANS: “There will be an open meeting between AICC observers and the state leaders’ team. We will discuss the election strategy, pros and cons of fielding new candidates, relations with coalition partners, and finances for the polls. All team members are senior politicians and we will make use of their vast experience and expertise in the run-up to the polls.”

The Congress contested 87 seats in 2016 elections but won only 22, while its United Democratic Front partner Indian Union Muslim League contested 25 seats and won 18.

In the 2021 polls, the Congress is likely to contest 95 Assembly seats and is hoping to lead in 27 of them. The UDF will give two seats to the Communist Marxist Party (CMP), which has been with the UDF since its formation. Forward Block will get one seat while Kerala Congress splinter group led by PJ Joseph will get 7 to 9 seats to contest.

Source: IANS

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PMC Bank case: ED searches 5 locations in Mumbai

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The ED officials, however, remained tight-lipped about sharing any further details.

An ED source said that the agency had got some links that amounts in crores of Rupees were transferred from the HDIL to the Viva group trust and companies, which is controlled by the family members of Thakur.

Earlier this month, the ED had questioned Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha Raut in connection with the case.

Source: IANS

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