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BJP’s Kovind seeks support for Presidential poll, Punjab waives loan for small farmers: Top stories to bring you up to date

BJP’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind seeks support from all parties, suspect in London mosque attack named, Punjab offers loan relief for small farmers, Russia to track US planes flying west of river Euphrates. Here is a list of top stories to bring you up to date.

india Updated: Jun 20, 2017 07:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Ram Nath Kovind,President of India,Presidential election
Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind meets BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi on Monday. Kovind was on Monday announced as NDA's presidential nominee.(PTI Photo)

Will seek support of all parties, says NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind

The NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind has expressed the hope that all political parties will back his nomination in the July 17 election. “I appeal to all members of the electoral college who are MPs and MLAs from all political parties. I will appeal to them, I will meet them and take their blessings,” Kovind told the media on his arrival in Delhi. He thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP family for reposing trust and entrusting such a big responsibility on “an ordinary citizen”. Kovind was greeted at the airport by a host of union ministers and BJP leaders including Thawar Chand Gehlot, JP Nadda, Bhupendra Yadav, Kailash Vijayvargiya and Manoj Tiwary. Read the story here.

Who is Ram Nath Kovind, PM Modi’s surprise pick for the next president of India

The Prime Minister’s surprise nominee for President, Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind, spent most of his political career away from the spotlight but shed his soft-spoken manners when he had to fight for the right of Dalits and weaker communities. An advocate with a decade-and-half of experience in the high courts and the Supreme Court, Kovind first gained popularity in 1997 when he joined the movement of SC/ST employees against certain orders of the central government and got them annulled. When Kovind took over as the 36th governor of Bihar in 2015, he was seen as a BJP man whose appointment wasn’t welcomed by the Nitish Kumar government that had just stormed to power. But over the two years, the 71-year-old has got along well with the chief minister despite being seen as a BJP man.

Read the story here.

Delhi on alert after intelligence warning of terror attack

The Delhi Police has been placed on high alert, and has asked its counterparts across India to tighten security after receiving an intelligence tip-off warning of a terror attack on crowded public spaces, a senior police officer said on Monday. “The Delhi Police Special cell has issued an advisory to all security agencies across the country to beef up the security measures at interstate bus terminals, railway stations, five star hotels, malls and markets, religious places, embassies of western countries, metro stations, airports, stadiums, and tourist places or other sites visited by foreign nationals,” the officer.

Read the story here.

London mosque attack: British media name suspect as UK leaders call for calm

British authorities and Islamic leaders moved swiftly to ease concerns in the Muslim community after a man plowed a large van into a crowd of worshippers outside a north London mosque early Monday, injuring at least nine people. British media named the suspect as Darren Osborne, 47-year-old father of four who was living in Cardiff, Wales. British security minister Ben Wallace said authorities were aware of rising far-right activity but the suspect was not known to them prior to the attack. Police are treating the incident as a terror attack.

Read the story here.

Afghan president inaugurates first air corridor with India, bypassing Pakistan

President Ashraf Ghani has inaugurated the first Afghanistan-India air corridor during a ceremony at the Kabul international airport – a direct route that bypasses Pakistan and is meant to improve commerce. Ghani, who thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the air corridor, said the aim of the route is to create more opportunities and make Afghanistan an exporter country. “India is a big market for Afghan goods,” he said. The president’s adviser, Sediqullah Mujadedi, said Afghan agricultural products will for the first time head to India on cargo planes. Mujadedi said the first India-bound flight on Monday included 60 tons of medicinal plants and a second flight will carry 40 tons of dry fruits from the southern Kandahar province.

Read the story here.

Punjab waives crop loan of up to Rs 2 lakh for small farmers

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday announced crop loan waiver of up to Rs 2 lakh for farmers who own up to 5 acres of agriculture land and a flat relief of Rs 2 lakh for all other marginal farmers, irrespective of the loan amount. Making the announcement in the Vidhan Sabha, the chief minister said the move will benefit a total of 10.25 lakh farmers, including 8.75 lakh farmers owning up to 5 acres. It would provide double the relief announced by the states of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, he said.

Read the story here.

Rajasthan lynching: Zafar Hussain died of cardio-respiratory failure, says autopsy report

The autopsy report of Zafar Hussain, who died last week after alleged assault by civic officials for objecting to them photographing defecating women in Pratapgarh, revealed that he died due to cardio-respiratory failure. “According to the postmortem report which was released on Saturday, the tentative cause of Khan’s death was cardiac-respiratory failure,” SHO Pratapgarh Sadar Mangi Lal Bishnoi told HT on Monday. “The final cause of death could only be ascertained after the report from the forensic science laboratory (FSL) arrives,” he added. Read the story here.

Indians won’t need to fill departure cards when flying abroad from July 1

Indians flying abroad won’t have to fill out departure cards come July 1 as the Union home ministry has decided to discontinue the practice to save on time. So far, Indians had to fill in details such as their name, date of birth, passport number, address in India, flight number and date of boarding on the departure card. The order announcing the change noted that this information was available in the system from other sources. However, those leaving the country through rail, seaport and land immigration check posts will still have to fill embarkation cards.

Read the story here.

Russia says US downing of Syria warplane act of aggression

Russia said on Monday it would treat US-led coalition aircraft flying west of the river Euphrates in Syria as potential targets and track them with missile systems and military aircraft, but stopped short of saying it would shoot them down. In a move that will fan tensions between Washington and Moscow, Russia made clear it was changing its military posture in response to the US downing of a Syrian military jet on Sunday, something Damascus said was the first such incident since the start of the country’s conflict in 2011. The Russian defence ministry said it was also scrapping a Syrian air safety agreement with the US designed to avoid collisions and dangerous incidents with immediate effect.

Read the story here.

Opinion: Darjeeling isn’t going anywhere, Bengal must dump emotional opposition to Gorkhaland

Ask any average Bengali and they will tell you that they are dead against Gorkhaland. Their primary objection to the creation of a separate state is essentially the possible loss of the hill resort of Darjeeling to the new entity. Just as we Bengalis are outraged at the very thought of losing Darjeeling, we were equally shocked at the prospect of not being able to visit our favourite holiday destination of Puri on Odisha’s coast. A decade and a half later, our misgivings about Puri have proven to be misplaced. It is about time Bengalis should set aside their emotional opposition and weigh the demand for separate Gorkhaland for whatever its worth.

Read the analysis here.

First Published: Jun 20, 2017 07:37 IST