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Uddhav Thackeray-led Aghadi sails through floor test with 169 votes




The Maharashtra drama had a blockbuster finale today with the Maha Vikas Aghadi, an ambitious alliance of the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, led by 59-year-old Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray proving its majority in the 288-member assembly. The alliance comfortably sailed through the floor test with 169 votes.

Four MLAs — two All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLAs and one each from the CPI(M) and MNS — abstained from voting.

The Aghadi, however, faces another challenge — the Speaker’s election tomorrow.

The floor test began amid huge ruckus as the BJP, led by Devendra Fadnavis, walked out calling the proceedings “unconstitutional”.

“This session is unconstitutional and illegal. Appointment of pro-tem Speaker was also unconstitutional,” former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said outside the assembly.

The trust vote was delayed amid ruckus in the House with the BJP MLAs shouting “Dadagiri nahi chalegi”.

NCP leader Dilip Walse Patil, who was appointed the pro-tem or interim Speaker for the proceedings, clarified that there won’t be a secret ballot and voting will be telecast live as per the Supreme Court rules and in accordance with law. The BJP, which has become the opposition even after winning the maximum number of seats, was hoping that secret ballot would turn things in its favour.

Fadnavis told the Assembly that correct procedure wasn’t followed for Uddhav’s oath. He also objected to the selection of the pro-tem speaker without an election and said the special session to conduct the floor test is “against rules”.

“Norms are being flouted,” Fadnavis claimed. He demanded to know why was BJP MLA Kalidas Kolambkar was replaced as the pro-tem speaker.

“Never in the history of Maharashtra Assembly a trust vote was conducted without electing a Speaker. What was the fear this time?” he asked.

The pro-tem Speaker told the agitated members that the government has the right to elect a speaker.

“The Governor has given the permission for this session. This session is as per rules. So your point stand rejected,” the Speaker said.

The trust vote was moved by Congress leader Ashok Chavan followed by Shiv Sena’s Sunil Prabhu and Nawab Malik of the NCP.

The Speaker then announced they were going ahead with the floor test.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and six ministers, two each from the three alliance partners, were sworn in at the historic Shivaji Park on Thursday after an eventful month that was full of stunning twists and surprises. The glittering ceremony was attended by top opposition leaders, Devendra Fadnavis, industrialists, including the Ambani family and others.

The Sena chief was the eighth person to take oath as Maharashtra Chief Minister without being an MLA. According to provisions of the Constitution, any leader who is not a member of the Assembly or Council has to become member of the legislature within six months of taking oath of the post.

The Sena had emerged the second largest party in last month’s elections with 56 seats. The BJP, its partners of over three decades, was the largest party with 105 seats. Together they had comfortably crossed the majority mark. But the alliance disintegrated over the Sena’s insistence on rotational chief ministership and an equal division of ministries, which the BJP firmly rejected.

Uddhav Thackeray then approached the NCP and the Congress. Endless meetings and discussions among ideologically contrasting parties followed in Delhi and Mumbai.

Just when the soon-to-be partners were about to seal an alliance with Uddhav as its leader, the BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis stunned them with an unannounced oath ceremony last Saturday. NCP’s Ajit Pawar, who was part of all Aghadi discussions, also took oath as Chief Minister Fadnavis’ deputy after promising all 54 NCP MLAs to the BJP.

The Aghadi immediately approached the Supreme Court which on Tuesday ordered Devendra Fadnavis to prove his majority within 24 hours. Secret ballot wasn’t an option and the trust vote had to be telecast live, the top court said.

By now all NCP MLAs, who had apparently sided with Ajit Pawar, returned to party chief Sharad Pawar. The Aghadi’s majority was on full display at a five-star hotel in Mumbai.

Hours before the crucial floor test, Ajit Pawar exited the two-member government followed by Fadnavis’s resignation leading to the collapse of the BJP-led government in Maharashtra.

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Dust storm, light rain expected in Delhi-NCR today, heatwave conditions to abate

IMD claimed in a tweet that Thunderstorm dust with light to moderate intensity rain and gusty winds with speed of 30-50 km/hr would occur over and adjoining areas of many places of Delhi, North Delhi, North East Delhi, North west Delhi, West Delhi, Central Delhi, East delhi and NCR( Loni Dehat, Hindon AF station, Ghaziabad, Indrapuram, Chapraula) Sonipat, Rohtak, Kharkhoda (Haryana) Baraut, Bagpat, Meerut, Khekra, Modinagar, Kithor , Garhmukhteshwar, Pilakhua, Hapur ,Gulaoti ,Siyana ,Sikandrabad , Bulandshahr ,  Jahangirabad (UP)



Dust storm, light rain expected in Delhi-NCR today, heatwave conditions to abate

On Wednesday, a dust storm with light to moderate rain is expected in numerous locations in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). The India Meteorogical Department (IMD) stated the city’s maximum and minimum temperatures are predicted to be in the range of 40 and 25, respectively.

The IMD tweeted an advisory that thunderstorms, dust with light to moderate intensity rain and gusty winds with speed of 30-50 km/hr would occur over and adjoining areas of many places of Delhi, North Delhi, North East Delhi, North West Delhi, West Delhi, Central Delhi, East Delhi and NCR (Loni Dehat, Hindon AF station, Ghaziabad, Indirapuram, Chapraula) Sonipat, Rohtak, Kharkhoda (Haryana), Baraut, Bagpat, Meerut, Khekra, Modinagar, Kithor, Garhmukhteshwar, Pilakhua, Hapur, Gulaoti, Siyana, Sikandrabad, Bulandshahr, Jahangirabad (UP).

For the next two hours, light to moderate intermittent rain is expected over and near Adampur, Hissar, Hansi, and Meham (Haryana).

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On Thursday, May 18, light rain is predicted for in Delhi based on the seven-day prediction for the city. The sky will mainly be cloudy, with the potential of a light  rain or drizzle, according to the weather office.

The air quality will continue to be deteriorated in the city after strong winds with dust swept across the Delhi-NCR on Tuesday. Following this, visibility had reduced to 1000 metres. Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of regional forecasting centre, said the dry atmosphere is one of the reasons for the dust storms.

Following Tuesday’s severe winds and dust storm that blasted across the Delhi-NCR, the city’s air quality had taken an alarming dip.

The monsoons, which are awaited across India, are likely to make landfall in Kerala on June 4. Usually, the monsoon arrives on May 31 or June 1 but the delay will be made up as the phenomenon progresses on its south-west to north-east arc. With extreme temperatures right from a cold sytart to May to dust-laden winds in mid-May, the weather in the country is paying the price for accelerating climate change.

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Security lapse at Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Patiala home, says it will not deter him from raising his voice against Punjab

After his release from jail, he slammed the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for its law and order in the state.



Navjot Singh Sidhu

Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has filed a complaint with the Punjab Police after he spotted a suspicious person wrapped in a grey blanket on his terrace. He alleged a security lapse at his Patiala home. He couldn’t catch him as he fled after his servant raised an alarm.

Taking to Twitter, Sidhu said, Today on the terrace of his residence an unknown suspicious character wrapped in a grey blanket was noticed around 7:00 pm, the moment his servant went out raised the alarm, and called for help, he immediately ran and escaped.

The 59-year-old further said that he has spoken to DGP Punjab Police and has also informed SSP Patiala. He said the security lapse will not deter him from raising his voice for Punjab.

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Punjab Police registered a case in this matter. According to the reports, the Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police Varun Sharma visited his residence after the complaint and is currently investigating the matter. The CCTV footage of the area is also being scanned, reports state.

Cricketer-turned-politician came out of the Patiala Central Jail on April 1 after serving nearly 10 months in a 1988 road rage case. After his release from jail, he slammed the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for its law and order in the state.

He said Democracy is in chains. Punjab is the shield of this country. When dictatorship came in this country, a revolution also came, led by Rahul Gandhi.

Sidhu also slammed the Mann government over the pruning of security of slain singer Sidhu Moosewala and also making it public.

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Air India Delhi-San Francisco flight suffers tech glitch before take-off, returns to stand

The airline has not given any official statement in this matter.



Air India Flight

Air India flight which was en route to San Francisco from Delhi on Monday had to be returned to the stand because of a technical glitch. The San Francisco-bound flight suffered a tech issue before take off.

According to the reports, the aircraft which was carrying over 200 passengers from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) had to be replaced with another aircraft. Later, the passengers were accommodated in another aircraft.

The airline has not given any official statement in this matter.

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Earlier today, another Air India incident occurred where a London-bound flight returned to Delhi’s IGI airport after a mid-air brawl between an unruly passenger and the flight’s cabin crew.

A brawl ensued between a passenger and the crew members shortly after it departed from the airport at around 6:35 am. The onboard ruckus forced the plane to turn around and return to Delhi again where the raucous passenger was deboarded and handed over to the police at the airport.

Air India apologized to the passengers on the affected Delhi-London flight for the delay and inconvenience caused to them due to the incident and assured them that efforts will be made to ensure such incidents do not occur in the future.

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