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J&K Cabinet Reshuffle LIVE: Kavinder Gupta Sworn-In as Mehbooba Mufti's New Deputy, Replaces Nirmal Singh

News18.com | April 30, 2018, 2:19 PM IST
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We will keep track of major news events in India and across the world through this live blog. Stay tuned as Aditya Nair brings you latest updates

Big news right now: Kavinder Gupta, who resigned as the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Speaker on Sunday, has been sworn-in as the new deputy CM, replacing BJP colleague Nirmal Singh. The change is part of a bigger reshuffle in the Mehbooba Mufti cabinet in the state. BJP's state unit chief Sat Sharma, Kathua and Sambha MLAs Rajiv Jasrotia and Devinder Kumar Manyal are among the new BJP faces in the cabinet. The PDP also now has Pulwama MLA Mohd Khalil Band and Sonwar MLA Mohd Ashraf Mir as Cabinet ministers, while the BJP has upgraded Minister of State for Transport Sunil Sharma to the rank of a Cabinet minister.
Apr 30, 2018 2:19 pm (IST)

Normally, a small NSG team comprises five commandos led by a non-commissioned officer along with bomb experts and crack marksman. The commandos use sophisticated Heckler and Koch MP5 sub-machine guns, snipper rifles, through-the-wall radar and C-4 explosives to eliminate holed up terrorists without causing much damage to the structure.

Apr 30, 2018 2:19 pm (IST)

The move to deploy NSG commandos in Kashmir comes in the wake of increasing incidents of encounters where security forces have lost many soldiers during high-risk house intervention operations in densely populated localities. The NSG commandos, when allowed, would get opportunities to test their skills and it will be a force-multiplier for anti-militancy forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, another official said.

Apr 30, 2018 2:18 pm (IST)

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, during a recent NSG event in Telangana, had said the government is planning as to how the force's role could be "enlarged" vis-a-vis the new security challenges faced by the country, as these commandos can play a "big role" in operations such as those where terrorists take a human as shield and enter civilian premises.

Apr 30, 2018 2:14 pm (IST)

Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir, SP Vaid had also said recently that he has been working on the proposal. "Hope I will be successful," he had said. This is not for the first time that the NSG commandos, popularly know as 'Black Cat', would be deployed in Jammu and Kashmir. The commandos of the elite force have been deployed in the Valley in the past too. Their special skills of carrying out house intervention and hostage rescue can act as "clincher" during a terror siege, the official said.

Apr 30, 2018 2:13 pm (IST)

'Black Cats' Commandos to be Deployed in J&K | 'Black Cat' commandos of the elite counter-terror force NSG are set to be deployed soon in Jammu and Kashmir to help security forces in dealing with encounters and hostage-like situations, officials said today. The Ministry of Home Affairs is examining a proposal to deploy a contingent of the National Security Guard (NSG) commandos in the Kashmir Valley so that they can join the Indian Army, the CRPF and the state police when a high-risk militancy related incident takes place. "We are planning to deploy the NSG in Kashmir. They are trained to deal with terrorists and hostage-like situations. We are mulling over it," an official told PTI requesting anonymity.

Apr 30, 2018 1:28 pm (IST)

The highest number of uncontested wins have been recorded in Birbhum district where Trinamool Congress leader Anubrata Mondal heads the party. Of the total 2,427 seats in gram panchayat, 1,967 (87.5%) are uncontested. In panchayat samiti, out of 465, more than 87 percent or 405 seats are walk-overs. The zila parishad polls in Birbhum take the cake, though, as all 42 seats are uncontested.

Apr 30, 2018 1:28 pm (IST)

According to the EC, of the 48,650 gram panchayat seats up for grabs, 16,814 or 34.6 percent of the spots have gone uncontested. In panchayat samiti level, out of the 9,217 seats, 3,509 or 33.2 percent seats are uncontested. The numbers in zila parishad elections also echo the same as 203 (24.6%) of the 825 seats have been a walk-over. The previous record of uncontested wins was registered in 2003, during the Left rule, when 6,800 seats were a walk-over. Panchayat polls were first held in the state in 1978, if the total number of uncontested wins from 1978 - 2017 (eight elections) were to be counted, the figure is 23,185. The number was nearly matched by this year's polls alone.

Apr 30, 2018 1:27 pm (IST)

34% Seats in Upcoming Bengal Panchayat Elections Have a Winner | In a dubious record of sorts, data released by the West Bengal State Election Commission (EC) shows that 34.2 percent or 20,076 of the 58,692 seats have gone uncontested in the upcoming panchayat elections. A majority of the uncontested seats have been automatically won by candidates of the ruling Trinamool Congress.

Apr 30, 2018 12:36 pm (IST)

CLICK TO READ | US Lawmakers Ask Trump Admin to Reconsider Decision on Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders

Washington: A group of 15 influential lawmakers from California has urged the Trump administration to reconsider its move to revoke an Obama-era rule that gives work permits to spouses of certain categories of H-1B visas, the most sought-after among Indian IT professionals.

Apr 30, 2018 12:18 pm (IST)

The saffron party had on April 17 asked all its nine ministers in the PDP-BJP government in the state to submit their resignations to enable bringing in new faces in the two-year-old Mehbooba Mufti government. The party, however, had not forwarded the resignations to the Governor. Two BJP ministers — Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga — who took part in a rally in support of those accused in the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua, had to resign from the government earlier this month. The state can have a maximum of 25 ministers, including the chief minister, out of which 14 portfolios are with the PDP and the remaining with the BJP.

Apr 30, 2018 12:18 pm (IST)

Eight legislators will be inducted as ministers of the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir today. While the BJP is inducting six MLAs as ministers, the PDP is inducting two legislators in keeping with its quota. The BJP has dropped Nirmal Singh, Health Minister Bali Bhagat and MoS Priya Sethi. Nirmal Singh is likely to be new speaker. The officials said the function is being held at the Convention Centre instead of the Raj Bhavan as the Jammu and Kashmir government has already shifted its base to summer capital Srinagar as part of the bi-annual darbar move.

Apr 30, 2018 12:10 pm (IST)

The change is part of a bigger reshuffle in the Mehbooba Mufti cabinet in the state. BJP's state unit chief Sat Sharma, Kathua and Sambha MLAs Rajiv Jasrotia and Devinder Kumar Manyal are among the new BJP faces in the cabinet. The PDP also now has Pulwama MLA Mohd Khalil Band and Sonwar MLA Mohd Ashraf Mir as Cabinet ministers, while the BJP has upgraded Minister of State for Transport Sunil Sharma to the rank of a Cabinet minister.

Apr 30, 2018 12:06 pm (IST)

Kavinder Gupta Takes Over as J&K Deputy CM | J&K state assembly speaker Kavinder Gupta has been sworn in as the deputy CM in the PDP-BJP government led by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Gupta replaces Nirmal Singh, who a day ahead of a Cabinet reshuffle, tendered his resignation. Governor NN Vohra administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Convention Centre at noon.

Apr 30, 2018 11:45 am (IST)

21, Including 4 Journalists, Killed in Kabul Suicide Blast | At least 21 people were killed, including Agence France-Presse chief photographer Shah Marai and three other journalists, when two suicide blasts ripped through Kabul early today, the health ministry has confirmed. At least 27 people were wounded and rushed to a hospital, where some are in critical condition, spokesman Wahid Majroh told Tolo news, warning the toll could rise.

Apr 30, 2018 11:37 am (IST)

CLICK TO READ | Gujarat Speaker Calls Ambedkar, PM Modi 'Brahmins'; Why Are You Hurting Party, Asks BJP MP Udit Raj

Speaking at a job fair organised by the Samast Gujarat Brahma Samaj in Gandhinagar recently, Speaker Rajendra Trivedi had described PM Narendra Modi and BR Ambedkar as "Brahmins" and Lord Krishna as an "OBC".

Apr 30, 2018 11:35 am (IST)

Stock Market | The benchmark BSE Sensex reclaimed the 35,000-mark and Nifty went past 10,700 on Monday on sustained buying by participants, driven by strong corporate earnings and positive global cues. The 30-share index again crossed the 35,000-mark by surging 228.73 points, or 0.65 percent, to trade at 35,198.43. The gauge had rallied 468.43 points in the previous two sessions.

Apr 30, 2018 11:33 am (IST)

Two Soldiers Injured in Pulwama Encounter With Militants | Two soldiers were injured in an encounter with militants in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir today, officials said. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Drabgam area of Pulwama district after receiving information about the presence of two to three militants in the area, a police official said. As the security forces were closing in, the militants opened indiscriminate fire on them, the official said. Two soldiers were injured in the firing, an Army official said, adding the cordon has been strengthened and an operation to flush out the militants was going on.

Apr 30, 2018 11:16 am (IST)

TDP has been staging protests against the Centre accusing it of injustice to Andhra Pradesh. Recently, on April 20 in Amaravati, Naidu sacrificed his birthday celebrations and observed a day-long hunger strike — Dharma Porata Deeksha. The party has been organising cycle and bike rallies in constituencies across the state to create public awareness over the "injustice" that has been done to Andhra. Meanwhile, YSRCP is also intensifying its movement for the 'Special Category Status' and has called for 'Betrayal Day' on April 30. Party MPs, MLAs, MLCs and other leaders will go on a 12-hour fast in Vizag and protest with black flags.

Apr 30, 2018 11:15 am (IST)

TDP President and Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu will address the meeting and also play clips of PM Modi making those promises four years ago. "BJP has colluded with a tainted party, the YSR Congress, to do injustice to 5 crore people of Andhra Pradesh. Our fight will continue against them until justice is delivered and there is no compromise on that," Naidu said.

Apr 30, 2018 11:15 am (IST)

TDP's Protest Against Centre Today | The Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) will be organising a grand public meeting in Tirupati on Monday to protest against the Centre's refusal to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh. The party has said that the Tirupati rally would be a reminder for the Narendra Modi-led BJP government which has failed to keep up its promises made to the people of the state. Four years ago, on April 30, 2014, Narendra Modi, then the BJP prime ministerial candidate, made several promises to the five crore people of Andhra Pradesh, including the Special Category Status. TDP promises to hold the huge public meeting on the same date at the same venue calling for a "fight against betrayal and collusion politics" to remind the government of its promises.

Apr 30, 2018 11:10 am (IST)

Google The Modern-day Narada: Vijay Rupani | Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on Monday claimed that mythological Hindu messenger of Gods Narada had the entire world's information in the manner similar to search engine Google. “This is relevant in today’s time that Narada was a man of information; who had information of the whole world... he acted on this information... collecting information was his dharma for the betterment of the humankind, and it is very much required,” said Rupani, quoted The Indian Express. “Google is the source of information just like Narada because he knew everything happening in the world,” Rupani said. The chief minister was speaking at an event to celebrate ‘Devrshi Narad Jayanti’. The event was organised by Vishwa Samvad Kendra, an offshoot of the RSS.

Apr 30, 2018 10:30 am (IST)

Bobby’s body reached Phagwara in the morning after postmortem by doctors under tight police security. Though tension had gripped the town, the cremation was conducted peacefully, PTI quoted police officials as saying. Tanish, Bobby's younger brother, lit the funeral pyre. On April 13, clashes erupted in Phagwara between members of Dalit outfits and Right-wing groups after the former allegedly put up a board with a picture of BR Ambedkar at Gol Chowk and tried to rename the Paper Chowk intersection as Samvidhan Chowk. Six persons were injured in the clashes and Bobby had sustained head injury.

Apr 30, 2018 10:28 am (IST)

Dalit Youth Injured in Phagwara Clash Dies | A youth, who was critically injured in a recent clash in Phagwara between members of the Dalit community and Right-wing groups over the renaming of a traffic intersection, succumbed to his injuries at a Ludhiana hospital on Sunday. Security in the area has been beefed up following the death of 19-year-old Dalit activist Jaswant Bobby. Punjab Police, besides personnel of the Rapid Action Force, Anti-Riots squads and women police and BSF, have been deployed in all sensitive areas in the town.

Apr 30, 2018 9:53 am (IST)

Khan told a boisterous crowd of about 100,000 people that Pakistan was "heading towards destruction" but his plan would help forge a fairer society and steer Pakistan towards a path first envisaged by the nation's father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Khan said that if elected he would build schools and "world class hospitals" across the country, while farmers would get cheap loans. He also pledged to build 5 million homes for the poor, which would create jobs and stimulate the economy. After spending much of his post-cricket political career on the fringes, Khan has in recent years emerged as a key challenger to Sharif, a three-time prime minister who was ousted by the Supreme Court last year but whose party retains power.

Apr 30, 2018 9:52 am (IST)

From Sharif's Bastion, Imran Khan Pushes for Pak PM Post | Pakistani opposition figure Imran Khan on Sunday vowed to sweep to power in upcoming elections, promising radical change for the poor at a campaign kick-off rally in the city of Lahore that has long been the power base of ousted premier Nawaz Sharif. With the red-brick minarets of Lahore's Mughal-era Badshahi mosque in sight, Khan outlined a populist 11-point plan to usher in a new era of prosperity that he envisages for Pakistan after the general election at which he hopes to become prime minister. "Today we are at crossroads," said Khan, a former cricketing hero and founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. "It is time to change our destiny and think big."

Apr 30, 2018 9:27 am (IST)

CLICK TO READ | India, Pakistan Must Make Peace Like the Koreas, Says Pakistani Media

Although the Dawn newspaper felt that the tensions between India and Pakistan were fundamentally different to the issues between the Koreas,

Apr 30, 2018 9:24 am (IST)

The chief minister also highlighted Lohia's active participation in the movement for Goa's liberation from Portuguese rule and suggested that the international airport in the coastal state be named after him, PTI reported. "Lohia had gone to the extent of saying that he would give up opposing Nehru if the latter got toilets constructed for rural women. His foresight can also be gauged from his emphasis on equipping kitchens with chimneys so that smoke did not spoil women's health," Kumar said in the letter. "In the light of these facts, it would be appropriate that the Government of India confer Bharat Ratna on Lohia, in the honour of his contributions, on his death anniversary on October 12 and also rename the Goa International Airport as Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Airport," he said.

Apr 30, 2018 9:23 am (IST)

Bharat Ratna For Ram Manohar Lohia: Nitish Urges Modi | Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to confer the 'Bharat Ratna', the country’s highest civilian award, on socialist leader Ram Manohar Lohia. In a three-page letter to the PM, Kumar drew Modi's attention towards Lohia's role in the struggle for Independence, his efforts in bringing together non-Congress parties during the time of Nehru, his model of socialism rooted in Indian realities and his emphasis on issues of public sanitation and women’s upliftment decades ago.

Apr 30, 2018 9:18 am (IST)

Officials said the function is being held at the convention centre instead of Raj Bhavan as Jammu and Kashmir government has already shifted its base to summer capital Srinagar as part of the bi-annual 'darbar move', under which the government functions six months each in the twin capital cities. The Civil Secretariat, the seat of Jammu and Kashmir government, and Raj Bhavan closed here on Friday and will reopen along with other move offices in Srinagar on May 7.

Apr 30, 2018 9:09 am (IST)

The PDP will have Mohd Khalil Band, MLA from Pulwama, and Mohd Ashraf Mir, MLA from Sonwar, as Cabinet ministers, while the BJP will upgrade Sunil Sharma, at present Minister of State for Transport, to the rank of a Cabinet minister, the officials said. BJP MLA from Doda Shakti Raj will also be sworn in as Minister of State at the oath-taking ceremony, which will be attended by senior BJP leaders, including national general secretary Ram Madhav and Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh, they said. Governor NN Vohra will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at the Convention Centre at noon.

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