Sri Lanka PM Mahinda Rajapaksa To Step Down, Tweets His Son

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s stepping down signals an end to the seven-week long power struggle in Sri Lanka.


Sri Lanka’s strongman leader Mahinda Rajapaksa will step down from his disputed position of premier, his son said Friday, signalling an end to a crippling seven-week long power struggle.

Rajapaksa’s legislator son Namal Rajapaksa said he will quit Saturday “to ensure stability of the nation”, after the Supreme Court ordered that he should not exercise the powers of the office he has claimed since October 26.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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“Will Prove PM Helped Anil Ambani”

Rahul Gandhi also raised questions about the Supreme Court judgement referring to a CAG

New Delhi: 

Though the Supreme Court today said there was no proof of wrongdoing in the Rafale fighter jet deal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi claimed there was corruption in the deal and that he “will prove Prime Minister Narendra Modi helped his friend, Anil Ambani.”

“Our basic question is how price of each aircraft has gone up to Rs 1,600 crore from Rs 526 crore,” Rahul Gandhi asked in a press conference this evening, posting a series of questions for the Modi government.

Hours after the Supreme Court’s clean chit to the government on the Rafale deal, Rahul Gandhi raised questions about the basis of the court’s decision and declared: “Chowkidar chor hai. We will prove that Prime Minister Narendra Modi helped his friend Anil Ambani.”

The Congress president also raised questions about the Supreme Court judgement referring to a CAG or Comptroller and Auditor General report on the pricing of the 36 Rafale jets to be purchased from France’s Dassault.

Mr Gandhi said though the court had mentioned the report and said it was in the public domain, no one had seen it, not even senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who heads the Public Accounts Committee.

“The basic foundation of the Supreme Court judgement is the CAG report. PAC chairman has not seen the CAG report. Yet the court has seen it. I am seriously not able to understand. You are laughing (to the media) but I don’t understand,” said the Congress chief.

The Supreme Court has ruled that there is no reason to doubt the decision-making process behind the Rafale jet deal, clearing the government, which has been repeatedly accused by the Congress of corruption in the Rs 59,000-crore deal. Petitions alleging that the government had gone for an overpriced deal to help Anil Ambani’s company bag an offset contract with jet-maker Dassault also didn’t wash with the top court, which dismissed the need for a probe and said: “There is no evidence of commercial favouritism to any private entity.”

Disclaimer: NDTV has been sued for 10,000 crores by Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group for its coverage of the Rafale deal.

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Onions Of Nashik Farmer, Who Sent Earnings To PM, Of Low Quality, Says Government Report

A farmer had sent Rs 1,064 – earnings from onion sale in wholesale market – to PM Modi. (Representative)


A report submitted to the Maharashtra government by the district deputy registrar office on the Nashik farmer, who had sent his onion sale earnings to the Prime Minister’s Office as a mark of protest, has said that his onions were of “medium to low quality” and “blackish” in colour.

However, authorities of the Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) said the report was “false” as no official of the district deputy registrar office met them regarding the farmer’s case.

Sanjay Sathe, a farmer from Niphad tehsil of Nashik district, had sent Rs 1,064 — his earnings from onion sale in the wholesale market — to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 29 as a protest.

Following this, the PMO sought a report from the authorities to know the ground reality and to verify Mr Sathe’s claims of getting Rs 1.41 per kg rate in wholesale market.

The office of Nashik district deputy registrar of the state cooperation department prepared a report which said: “Lasalgaon APMC has clarified that Sanjay Sathe’s onions were of medium to low quality and blackish in colour. The onion he had sold was harvested in summer and fetched Rs 151 per quintal rate.”

However, Jaydutt Holkar, chairman of Lasalgaon APMC, said the report contained “false” information.

“No official of DDR ever met me or my office regarding Sathe’s case. His onion was certainly not blackish in colour. Onions being blackish in colour indicate low quality of produce,” he told PTI.

“I cannot say how the DDR made such false statements in its report. It seems they do not want to tell the ground reality to the prime minister,” he said.

It is not about a farmer who earned very little, Mr Holkar added. “Every farmer, irrespective of the quality of their onions, is getting lower rates due to the increased supply to the markets in our region,” he said.

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On Ease Of Doing Business, PM Modi’s Advice To Bureaucrats

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the remarks at a high-level meeting.

New Delhi: 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked bureaucrats to improve last mile delivery and focus on streamlining procedures to improve the country’s ‘ease of doing business’ rankings, his office has said.

He also said that besides improving the ease of doing business rankings, it would also increase the ‘ease of living’ for small businesses and the common man.

PM Modi said this was extremely important for India as an emerging and vibrant economy, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The prime minister made these remarks at a high-level meeting he chaired to review progress of ‘ease of doing business’.

It was attended by senior Union ministers related to economic matters, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal and senior officials from the Centre, and Delhi and Maharashtra governments.

He was briefed on the progress being made on various parameters related to ease of doing business.

Subjects such as construction permits, enforcement of contracts, registering property, starting a business, getting electricity, getting credit, and resolving insolvency came up for discussion.

India’s rise in the World Bank ‘Doing Business’ rankings from 142 to 77, over the last four years, was taken note of, the statement said.

Officials explained the steps being taken to plug shortcomings and resolve bottlenecks in implementing business reforms. 

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Breaking News : Congress might announce CM name for MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Rahul Gandhi, PM Modi, Assembly Elections Result, 13 December 2018

NEWS FLASH: कांग्रेस हाईकमान मध्यप्रदेश, छत्तीसगढ़ और राजस्थान में आज नए मुख्यमंत्री के नाम की  कर सकती है घोषणा

मध्यप्रदेश, छत्तीसगढ़ और राजस्थान विधानसभा चुनाव में जीत के बाद अब कांग्रेस पार्टी मुख्यमंत्री के नाम पर विचार कर रही है. बुधवार को पूरे दिन कांग्रेस हाईकमान इन राज्यों में अपने नेताओं और जीते विधायकों से बात करने में व्यस्त रहे. पार्टी से जुड़े सूत्रों की मानें तो मध्यप्रदेश और राजस्थान में पार्टी किसी फैसले तक पहुंचने से पहले अगले साल होने वाले आम चुनाव को ध्यान में रखकर चल रही है. बता दें कि मध्यप्रदेश में कमलनाथ और ज्योतिरादित्य सिंधिया जबकि राजस्थान में अशोक गहलोत और सचिन पायलट मुख्यमंत्री पद के दावेदार हैं. कांग्रेस इन दोनों राज्यों में अपने सहयोगी दलों की मदद से सरकार बनाने जा रही है. मध्यप्रदेश में उसे 114 सीटें मिली हैं जो बहुमत से दो सीट कम है वहीं राजस्थान में पार्टी को 99 सीटें मिली है. यहां भी पार्टी अपने दम पर बहुमत हासिल नहीं कर पाई है. 

मध्यप्रदेश, छत्तीसगढ़ और राजस्थान विधानसभा चुनाव में जीत के बाद अब कांग्रेस पार्टी मुख्यमंत्री के नाम पर विचार कर रही है. बुधवार को पूरे दिन कांग्रेस हाईकमान इन राज्यों में अपने नेताओं और जीते विधायकों से बात करने में व्यस्त रहे. पार्टी से जुड़े सूत्रों की मानें तो मध्यप्रदेश और राजस्थान में पार्टी किसी फैसले तक पहुंचने से पहले अगले साल होने वाले आम चुनाव को ध्यान में रखकर चल रही है. 

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UK PM Theresa May Vows To Fight Leadership Challenge

Theresa May was talking outside her residence in Downing Street. (File)


British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would fight a leadership challenge launched by lawmakers in her Conservative Party who are angry at her plans for Brexit.

Below is the statement she delivered outside her residence in Downing Street on Wednesday:

Sir Graham Brady has confirmed that he has received 48 letters from Conservative MPs so there will now be a vote of confidence in my leadership of the Conservative party.

I will contest that vote with everything I’ve got.

I have been a member of the Conservative party for over 40 years.

I have served it as an activist, councillor, MP, shadow minister, home secretary and now as prime minister.

I stood to be leader because I believe in the Conservative vision for a better future.

A thriving economy, with nowhere and nobody left behind.

A stronger society, where everyone can make the most of their talents.

Always serving the national interest.

And at this crucial moment in our history, that means securing a Brexit deal that delivers on the result of the EU referendum.

Taking back control of our borders, laws and money – but protecting jobs, our security and our precious Union as we do so.

Through good times and bad over the last two years, my passionate belief that such a deal is attainable, that a bright future lies ahead for our country, has not wavered.

And it is now within our grasp.

I spent yesterday meeting Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Rutte, President Tusk and President Juncker to address the concerns that MPs have with the backstop – and we are making progress.

I was due to travel to Dublin this afternoon to continue that work – but will now remain here in London to make the case for my leadership with my parliamentary colleagues.

A change of leadership in the Conservative party now will put our country’s future at risk and create uncertainty when we can least afford it.

A new Leader wouldn’t be in place by the 21st January legal deadline, so a leadership election risks handing control of the Brexit negotiations to opposition MPs in parliament.

The new Leader wouldn’t have time to renegotiate a withdrawal agreement and get the legislation through parliament by 29th March – so one of their first acts would have to be extending or rescinding Article 50, delaying – or even stopping – Brexit when people want us to get on with it.

And a leadership election would not change the fundamentals of the negotiation or the Parliamentary arithmetic.

Weeks spent tearing ourselves apart will only create more division, just as we should be standing together to serve our country.

None of that would be in the national interest.

The only people whose interests would be served are Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

The British people want us to get on with it. And they want us to focus on the other vital issues that matter to them too.

Building a stronger economy, delivering first-class public services and the homes that families need.

These are the public’s priorities – and they must be the Conservative Party’s priorities too.

We must – and we shall – deliver on the referendum vote and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

But the Conservatives must not be a single issue party; we are a party of the whole nation.

Moderate, pragmatic, mainstream: committed to re-uniting our country and building a country that works for everyone – the agenda I set out in my first speech outside this front door.

Delivering the Brexit people voted for.

Building a country that works for everyone.

I have devoted myself unsparingly to these tasks ever since I became prime minister.

And I stand ready to finish the job.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Sri Lanka Parliament Demands Sacked PM Ranil Wickremesinghe To Be Reinstated

It was not immediately clear if Wednesday’s resolution would be accepted by Sirisena


Sri Lanka’s legislature voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to demand the reinstatement of prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, as a bitter power struggle headed for a government shut down within weeks.

Members of Wickremesinghe’s party and their allies voted 117-0 asking President Maithripala Sirisena to restore the status quo prior to October 26 when he dismissed his former ally.

“This resolution expressing confidence in me is a vote to defeat the coup of October 26,” Wickremesinghe told parliament referring to his controversial sacking by Sirisena six weeks ago.

Sri Lanka has been trapped in a bitter power feud since the president replaced Wickremesinghe with Mahinda Rajapakse, a controversial former strongman leader who has failed to secure parliamentary support.

Parliament has twice voted against Rajapakse but he has refused to step down. Instead, Rajapakse and his allies are boycotting parliament since they do not have a majority in the 225-member assembly.

It was not immediately clear if Wednesday’s resolution would be accepted by Sirisena who has vowed he will not give the job back to Wickremesinghe.

Courts have prevented Rajapakse and his disputed cabinet exercising the powers they claim until they can prove their legitimacy. A hearing by the Court of Appeal on Wednesday was put off till January 16.

Former finance minister Ravi Karunanayake said the entire public sector will come to a complete stand still from January 1 in the absence of a budget for the New Year.

“Unless this parliament approves a budget for 2019, the government will not be able to spend even one cent from January 1,” Karunanayake told parliament.

Officials have expressed similar fears and urged Sirisena to resolve the crisis at the earliest. Sri Lanka’s credit ratings have already been cut.

Parliament, dominated by Wickremesinghe and his allies, have also blocked the office of prime minister spending any funds.

The parliament chamber has witnessed violence in recent weeks as the power struggle dragged on, with Rajapakse loyalists throwing chilli powder at rivals and smashing furniture.

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Rahul Gandhi says PM Narendra Modi taught me what not to do

खास बातें

  1. राहुल ने कहा कि पीएम ने देश की धड़कन को सुनने से इनकार कर दिया
  2. राहुल गांधी ने कहा कि पीएम ने उन्हें सिखाया कि ‘क्या नहीं करना चाहिए’
  3. उन्होंने कांग्रेस के कार्यकर्ताओं की जमकर सराहना की

नई दिल्ली: कांग्रेस अध्यक्ष राहुल गांधी (Rahul Gandhi)ने पांचों राज्यों में हुए विधानसभा चुनावों में कांग्रेस के शानदार प्रर्दशन पर कहा कि प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी (PM Narendra Modi) ने उन्हें सिखाया कि ‘क्या नहीं करना चाहिए’. साथ ही उन्होंने कहा कि 2014 के लोकसभा चुनावों में मिली करारी हार से भी उन्होंने काफी कुछ सीखा है. राहुल ने यह भी कहा कि प्रधानमंत्री को विशाल जनादेश मिला था, लेकिन उन्होंने देश की धड़कन को सुनने से इनकार कर दिया. हिंदी भाषी राज्यों राजस्थान, मध्य प्रदेश और छत्तीसगढ़ में कांग्रेस के फिर से उदय के बाद एक प्रेस कांफ्रेंस को संबोधित करते हुए राहुल ने कहा, ‘‘मैं कल अपनी मां से बात कर रहा था और मैं उनसे कह रहा था कि मेरे लिए सबसे अच्छी बात कुछ हुई है तो वह है 2014 का (लोकसभा) चुनाव. मैंने उस चुनाव से काफी कुछ सीखा है.” राहुल गांधी ने कहा कि 2014 के चुनाव से उन्हें जो सबसे अहम चीज सीखने को मिली, वह ‘विनम्रता’ है. उन्होंने कहा, ‘‘यह एक महान देश है और इस देश में सबसे अहम चीज है कि लोग क्या मानते हैं.” कांग्रेस अध्यक्ष ने कहा कि एक नेता के तौर पर यह समझना होता है कि लोग क्या महसूस कर रहे हैं और वह जिस चीज को महसूस करते हैं, उससे जुड़ाव पैदा करना होता है. 

यह भी पढ़ें: Elections Results 2018: PM मोदी ने जनादेश को स्वीकार किया, कांग्रेस को जीत पर दी बधाई

उन्होंने कहा, ‘‘बेबाकी से कहूं तो नरेंद्र मोदी जी ने मुझे सबक सिखाया कि क्या नहीं करना चाहिए.”  राहुल ने कहा, ‘‘पांच साल पहले उन्हें (मोदी को) इस देश में बदलाव लाने का बड़ा मौका दिया गया. दुखद चीज यह है कि उन्होंने देश की धड़कन सुनने से मना कर दिया.” उन्होंने आरोप लगाया कि मोदी ने युवाओं और किसानों की आवाज सुनने से इनकार कर दिया. राहुल ने जोर देकर कहा, ‘‘थोड़ा अहंकार आ गया है. मेरा मानना है कि यह किसी नेता के लिए घातक होता है. उनके काम करने के तरीके से मैंने यह बात सीखी है. मेरे लिए इस देश के लोग ही सबसे अच्छे शिक्षक हैं.

यह भी पढ़ें: मध्य प्रदेश में ‘पिक्चर अभी बाकी है’, इनके पास होगी कांग्रेस की सत्ता की चाबी!

वहीं, छत्तीसगढ़ और राजस्थान में कांग्रेस के सरकार बनाने को तैयार होने और मध्य प्रदेश में कड़ी टक्कर के बीच राहुल ने कहा कि तीनों राज्यों में मुख्यमंत्रियों का चयन काफी सुगमता से किया जाएगा. उन्होंने कहा कि हमने भाजपा को मध्य प्रदेश, राजस्थान और छत्तीसगढ़ में हराया है. मुख्यमंत्रियों के चयन को लेकर कोई मुद्दा नहीं रहेगा. राहुल गांधी ने यह भी कहा कि पार्टी ने चुनावों से पहले विभिन्न राज्यों में पार्टी के अंदर नेताओं के बीच तनाव को प्रभावी तरीके से दूर किया. उन्होंने कहा कि सभी नेताओं ने एकजुट होकर काम किया, जिसने पार्टी को हिन्दी पट्टी के तीन राज्यों में विजेता बनकर उभरने में मदद की. 

यह भी पढ़ें: राहुल ने बताया कि कैसे चुने जाएंगे राजस्थान, मध्यप्रदेश और छत्तीसगढ़ के मुख्यमंत्री


उन्होंने कहा, ‘‘यह जीत कांग्रेस पार्टी के कार्यकर्ताओं, किसानों, युवाओं और छोटे कारोबारियों की जीत है. अब कांग्रेस पार्टी पर बड़ी जिम्मेदारी है. राहुल गांधी ने इस मौके पर कांग्रेस के कार्यकर्ताओं को बब्बर शेर करार दिया.

VIDEO: NDTV से बोले नवजोत सिंह सिद्ध, बुरे दिन जाने वाले हैं और राहुल गांधी आने वाले हैं

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Breaking News: Rajasthan Assembly Election Result, Congress wins Majority in Rajasthan, Rahul Gandhi, MP Assembly Election Result, PM Modi, Amit Shah, Kamal Nath, 12 December 2018

NEWS FLASH: राजस्थान में सरकार बनाने और मुख्यमंत्री के नाम तय करने को लेकर आज होगी कांग्रेस विधायक दल की बैठक

राजस्थान विधानसभा चुनाव में अपने सहयोगियों के साथ मिलकर बहुमत का आकंड़ा छूने के बाद कांग्रेस पार्टी अपने जीते हुए विधायकों के साथ बुधवार को बैठक करने जा रही है. सूत्रों के अनुसार इस बैठक में पार्टी की अगली रणनीति के साथ-साथ मुख्यमंत्री के नाम पर भी चर्चा हो सकती है. बता दें कि कांग्रेस पार्टी को राजस्थान को 99 सीटें मिली हैं. वह अपने सहयोगी दलों के साथ मिलकर राज्य में सरकार बनाने जा रही है. चुनाव परिणाम में बीजेपी 73 सीटों पर ही जीत दर्ज कर पाई है. मंगलवार को चुनाव परिणाम की घोषणा होने के बाद राजस्थान कांग्रेस के वरिष्ठ नेता अशोक गहलोत और सचिन पायलट ने एक प्रेस कांफ्रेंस कर इस जीत को जनता की जीत बताया था. उन्होंने कहा था कि जनता बदलाव चाहती थी, इसलिए उन्होंने हमें मौका दिया है. ध्यान हो कि कांग्रेस पार्टी को राजस्थान के अलावा मध्यप्रदेश और छत्तीसगढ़ में भी बीजेपी की तुलना में ज्यादा सीटें मिली हैं. पार्टी छत्तीसगढ़ में पूर्ण बहुमत के साथ जीती है तो मध्यप्रदेश में पार्टी बहुमत के आंकड़े के बेहद करीब है. 

राजस्थान विधानसभा चुनाव में अपने सहयोगियों के साथ मिलकर बहुमत का आकंड़ा छूने के बाद कांग्रेस पार्टी अपने जीते हुए विधायकों के साथ बुधवार को बैठक करने जा रही है. सूत्रों के अनुसार इस बैठक में पार्टी की अगली रणनीति के साथ-साथ मुख्यमंत्री के नाम पर भी चर्चा हो सकती है. बता दें कि कांग्रेस पार्टी को राजस्थान को 99 सीटें मिली हैं. वह अपने सहयोगी दलों के साथ मिलकर राज्य में सरकार बनाने जा रही है. 

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Accept People’s Mandate, Says PM Modi After Election Results

PM Modi referred to the assembly election results in a series of tweets.

New Delhi: 

The counting of votes in Madhya Pradesh far from over, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his congratulations for the Congress, Telangana’s K Chandrashekar Rao and the Mizo National Front for their victories in the assembly elections this evening. “We accept the people’s mandate with humility,” his tweet read.

The BJP has lost two of the heartland states it ruled – Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh – to the Congress. But in Madhya Pradesh, the two parties are locked in a close tussle. In Telangana and Mizoram too, its performance has been dismal despite high hopes of a good showing.

“Victory and defeat are an integral part of life,” PM Modi said in a series of tweets. “Today’s results will further our resolve to serve people and work even harder for the development of India”.

In another tweet, the Prime Minister said:

This last round of assembly elections in five states were seen as dress rehearsal for the national elections that will be held next year. But various leaders of the BJP said the results will not affect the BJP’s chances, since state elections are contested on local issues. 

“The 2019 fight will be about who is up against PM Modi,” said Raman Singh, the BJP’s three-time Chief Minister from Chhattisgarh, who stepped down this evening.  The BJP suffered a shock defeat in the state, where the Congress is ahead in 68 of the 90 assembly seats.

Union minister Arun Jaitley said, “We have done reasonably well. We have to introspect. The cadres will have an honest analysis “.

The party, he said, has performed “exceedingly well” in Rajasthan, where “it was predicted that we will be way behind”.  The Congress is ahead in 101 seats – one above the majority mark – in the state that for the last two decades has voted out the incumbent government. But the Congress score has not been the sweep it expected. The BJP, under the leadership of Vasundhara Raje, is ahead in 73 seats. Elections were held for 199 seats in the 200-member assembly. 

In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress is in a close race with the BJP, which is hoping for a fourth term for three-time Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.  “In MP the final jury is still out. We will wait for the last vote to be counted,” Mr Jaitley said.

The Congress triumph comes as Rahul Gandhi completes a year at the helm of the party. The results are expected to boost his leadership quotient and help the party get a key position at the frontlines of the opposition’s grand alliance that is being planned.

For the latest News & Live Updates on Election Results from each assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for updates.

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