Fresh row erupts on Rafale after 2015 MoD note on deal surfaces
The Modi government came under fire on Friday as a 2015 Defence Ministry note cited in a media report surfaced, expressing strong objections to the "parallel negotiations" by the Prime Minister's Office in the controversial Rafale jet deal. .
Stepping up his offensive on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi demanded answers to questions raised in the media report, saying it is now "crystal clear" that the "watchman" is the "thief", an apparent reference to Modi's alleged cronyism in the Rafale deal.
Rahul's offensive drew a counter-attack from Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who dismissed the report in The Hindu newspaper on the internal note in the Ministry of Defence(MoD) dated 24 November, 2015 as "flogging a dead horse" and alleged that the Opposition was playing into the hands of multinational companies and vested interests.
As the MoD note led to a ruckus in the Lok Sabha and sparked a fresh confrontation between Opposition parties led by the Congress and the Centre, Sitharaman also maintained that "periodical enquiries" by the PMO cannot be construed as "interference."
CBI to question Rajeev Kumar today
Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar reached Meghalaya's Shillong on Friday to face questioning by the CBI for his alleged role in destroying evidence in the Saradha chit fund scam. The interrogation, which is likely to be held over two days, is scheduled to start at 10.30 am on Saturday.
Kumar will be interrogated by CBI sleuths at two locations " in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) office in the city, and at an undisclosed location, PTI reported. He is accompanied by three IPS officers of the Kolkata Police.
"Kumar has been lodged in a top hotel in the city. The state police is giving security cover to him," the senior Home Department official said.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Kolkata Police commissioner to appear before the CBI and "faithfully" cooperate into the investigation of cases arising out of the Saradha chit fund scam, while making it clear that he will not be arrested.
Narendra Modi to visit three Northeastern states today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit the capitals of northeastern states Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura on Saturday. Modi is likely to lay the foundation stone for Greenfield Airport at Itanagar, Sela Tunnel and the North East Gas Grid.
He will also inaugurate DD Arun Prabha Channel and Garjee-Belonia railway line. He is also expected to unveil several other development projects in the three states.
The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and 70 social organisations announced on Friday that they would show black flags and hold stir against Modi's visit in protest against the citizenship bill.
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) chief Akhil Gogoi, who is at the forefront of the protests against the controversial bill, said Modi's visit on Saturday would be observed as a 'Black Day' across the state and members of 70 organisations would show black flags to him.
"The bill has been brought in to give citizenship to the Hindu Bengalis from Bangladesh and get their votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls", Gogoi said.
RBI slaps 3.5 crore fine on Corporate Bank, Allahabad Bank for flouting norms
The Reserve Bank has imposed a cumulative penalty of Rs 3.5 crore on state-owned lenders Corporation Bank and Allahabad Bank for violation of various norms.
"This is to inform that Reserve Bank of India...has imposed an aggregate penalty of Rs 20 million on our bank due to some lapses in monitoring of end use of funds and exchange of information with other banks in respect of one borrower along with some other banks," Corporation Bank said in a regulatory filing Friday.
The bank has already taken necessary preventive measures to avoid such recurrence, it added.
SBI announces cut in interest rate
Within a day of RBI reducing repo rate by 25 basis points, the country's largest lender State Bank of India on 8 February announced a cut in interest rates by 5 basis points on its home loans up to Rs 30 lakh. In its sixth bi-monthly monetary policy review announced on Thursday, RBI had cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25 percent.
"On the back of the monetary policy announced by the RBI, we have taken the lead to cut interest rates on home loans up to Rs 30 lakh," the bank's chairman, Rajnish Kumar, said in a statement. The new rates are effective from 8 February.
Bollywood has called for trouble by ganging up against me, says Kangana Ranaut
Kangana Ranaut, who is currently riding high on the success of her latest release Manikarnika - The Queen of Jhansi, says the Hindi film industry has called for trouble by ganging up against her.
In an interview, Kangana had criticised celebrities for not turning up for the screening of Manikarnika, but contacting her for the screenings of their films and expecting her to be there.
"Earlier, I used to stand up against sexism, pay disparity and nepotism in Bollywood but now, I will expose everybody. One thing is for sure that they have called for trouble by ganging up against me," she said.
Apple is telling developers to disclose secret screen recordings or face 'immediate action'
After the report which stated that a number of big-name travel apps recode iPhone users screens, Apple has now given a warning to the developers telling them to either delete the code that's responsible or disclose it to users.
Family mourns Emiliano Sala after footballer's body identified
Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala's family grieved after British authorities formally identified his body as the one recovered from the wreckage of a plane that went down in the Channel more than two weeks ago. "We can now begin to mourn our son and our brother," the Cardiff City striker's family said in a statement.
"We would like to thank you for all of your signs of affection and support in the most painful time of our life. "To see everyone doing everything possible to join us in the search has been a precious help to us." Argentine footballing idols Diego Maradona and Gabriel Batistuta also paid tribute to 28-year-old Sala.
With inputs from PTI