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  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi blames previous UPA government for huge Non Performing Assets in banks;Calls it a bigger scam than 2G, CWG and Coal Allocation.
  • Election Commission issues notice to Congress President elect Rahul Gandhi over his interview to a Gujarati TV channel; Directs Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer to file FIR against poll code violators in connection with the interview aired on TV channels.
  • Government extends deadline to link Aadhaar with PAN, other financial services till March 31 next year.
  • Polling for 93 assembly seats in the second and final phase of elections in Gujarat to take place tomorrow; All arrangements in place.
  • Organisation of Islamic Cooperation rejects United States' decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
  • In Cricket:India thrash Sri Lanka by 141 runs in the second ODI match at Mohali; Skipper Rohit Sharma hits unbeaten 208.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hit out at Congress on the issue of huge Non Performing Assets-NPAs in banks. Addressing the Annual General Meeting of FICCI in New Delhi today, he said, the previous UPA government forced banks to give huge loans to industrialists. Mr Modi alleged it was a bigger scam than 2G, CWG and coal allocation.

Mr Modi said, government is creating a system which will not only be transparent but sensitive towards the needs of the people. He said, the government is also taking steps to address the needs of the youth. Mr. Modi said, the government is continuously taking steps to strengthen the banking system. The Prime Minister said, rumours are being spread about the Financial Regulation and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill. He asserted that government is working to put more safeguards for public deposits in banks as well as protecting the interests of account holders.

The Prime Minister mentioned that over 30 crore poor have got bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana. Mr. Modi said  that a study has found that inflation had come down in rural areas where such accounts have been opened. He said 87 important reforms in sectors including in defence, financial sector and food processing have been taken up in the last three years. He said, more than three crore women have been given free cooking gas LPG connection. He said, under the Mudra scheme, over four lakh crore rupee guarantee-less loans have been given to about 9.75 lakh youth for business, leading to three crore new entrepreneurs being created since its launch. Mr Modi said his government is formulating policies keeping in mind the need of businesses, abolishing archaic and obsolete laws.


Election Commission has issued notice to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his interview to a Gujarati TV Channel. The Commission has asked him to reply by 5 PM till 18th of this month as to why action should not be taken against him for violation of model code of conduct. The Commission found that by giving interview after the end of the poll campaign, he had prima facie violated the poll norms

Meanwhile a Congress delegation led by party in-charge of Gujarat Ashok Gehlot is meeting Election Commission in New Delhi  in a short while from now.

Earlier, the Commission directed Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer to  file an FIR against those Channels who had telecast the interview of Mr Gandhi for violating poll norms. The channels which displayed election matter  have also been asked to stop  it as they can not display election matter within 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in poll bound areas.

The commission in a press note said that it has received reports and complaints that some of the TV channels in Gujarat have displayed interview  of Mr.  Gandhi. In the interview, Mr Gandhi has been talking about election to Legislative Assembly of the State for which second phase of poll is scheduled to be held tomorrow. The Commission said, such display falls within the definition of election matter and its display amounts to violation of the Representation of Peoples Act.
Talking to media,  Chief Electoral Officer B B Swain said the poll body has collected DVDs of the interviews and is looking into the matter.


Former prime minister Manmohan Singh today accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of spreading falsehood to score political points. In a video message, Dr Singh reiterated his previous statement over Mr Modi remarks about collusion of Congress leaders with Pakistan on Gujarat polls. He said it is unfair to question the nationalism of public servants.

BJP President Amit Shah has asked Congress why it concealed  the meeting of its leaders with a delegation from a neighbor country like  Pakistan and did not apprise the Government of it. In a series of tweets, Mr Shah also wanted to know from the Congress why  there was a denial from its side initially about the meeting, but later former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh admitted that he attended the meeting. He alleged that both  Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh are only maliciously attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi just a day before polling.


The second and final phase of Gujarat assembly elections will be held tomorrow in 93 constituencies. Polling will begin at 8 in the morning and will continue till 5 PM. Over 2 crore 22 lakh people, including one crore 7 lakh women, are eligible to vote. The fate of 851 candidates will be decided in this phase. BJP has fielded 93 candidates, and Congress has fielded 91. Prominent candidates include Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel who is contesting from Mahesana, Alpesh Thakor, who is the Congress candidate from Radhanpur, and Jignesh Mewani, who is an independent candidate from Vadgam. Leader of Congress Legislative Party Mohansinh Rathva is contesting from the tribal constituency of Chhota Udaipur.

Meanwhile, repolling will be held tomorrow in two booths of Jamjodhpur constituency, two booths in Una, one in Nijjar, and one in Umargam. Repolling has been necessitated due to technical snags in the EVMs.

Our correspondent reports,  three tier security arrangements have been put in place to ensure smooth conduct of polls.

"More than 100 companies of paramilitary forces, apart from state police, have been deployed. The cities in which tomorrow’s polling will be held include Ahmedabad, Vadodara, capital Gandhinagar and Milk town Anand apart from the vast rural areas of North and Central Gujarat. Voting will be held in over 25,000 polling stations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, BJP president Amit Shah, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley among others will cast their votes in Ahmedabad. Polling for the first phase was held on the 9th and the results will be declared on the 18th of December. With Yogesh Pandya, Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Ahmedabad".


The Government has extended the deadline till 31st of March next year  for submission of Aadhaar number, and Permanent Account Number or Form 60 by client for certain financial transactions like opening of a bank account. It has amended rules requiring mandatory quoting of Aadhaar and PAN.

A new rule modifying the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002 has been notified to replace the requirement of submitting the Aadhaar number and Permanent Account Number by 31st December, 2017 with the Aadhaar number, and Permanent Account Number or Form - 60 by the due  date.

On 7th of this month, the deadline for linking PAN with Aadhaar was extended by three months to  31st of March next year. Under the PMLA, Aadhaar, PAN and other official documents are required to be obtained by banks and financial institutions from anyone opening a bank account as well as for any financial transaction of  50 thousand rupees and above.

The notification issued yesterday stated that banks accounts, where Aadhaar and PAN are not furnished by the date notified by the government, will cease to be operational till the time the Aadhaar number and Permanent Account Number is submitted by the client.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has said that a five-judge constitution bench will hear tomorrow pleas against mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various government schemes and welfare measures.


The domestic stock markets fell for the second straight session, today, and the rupee also weakened for the second straight day against the dollar:

"The Sensex at the Bombay Stock Exchange declined 175  points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 33,053, after volatile trade. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange fell 47 points, to 10,193. At the forex market, the rupee depreciated 4 paise, to 64.44 against the dollar. Gold ended six straight days of losses, gaining 35 rupees, to 29,435 rupees per ten grams in Delhi.  Pradeep Kumar, AIR News".


The External Affairs Ministry today said, the issue of Doklam was raised during the meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj  and her Chinese counterpart  Wang YI on Monday in New Delhi. Responding to the media query, External Affairs Ministry's spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar said, during the meeting, both sides noted the challenge it had posed to the relationship and expressed satisfaction that it was resolved with the disengagement of troops at the face-off site through concerted diplomatic communications.


The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC has rejected the United States' decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Speaking at the opening of an extraordinary OIC summit in Istanbul today, the group's secretary general, Yousef al-Othaimeen, urged Muslim leaders to work together to present a united response to the move. He said, the OIC rejects and condemns the American decision which  is a violation of international law and it will create a situation of instability in the region and the world. Speaking at the summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged leaders of Muslim nations to recognise Jerusalem as the "occupied capital of the Palestinian state". He said, the US decision to recognise the city as Israel's capital was "null and void".

Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas, in his address, called the decision of US President Donald Trump a flagrant violation of international law.


In Nepal, counting of votes for 110 seats of House of Representative and 220 of state assemblies under proportional representation is underway. Around 65 percent votes have been counted so far. Left alliance is leading. As per the latest reports CPN (UML) has got more than 23 lakh votes.

Meanwhile all results of 165 seats of parliament and 330 provincial assemblies under direct election have been declared. Left alliance has won 116 and 241 seats. Nepali Congress has begged 23 parliament seats and 41 in state assemblies.


In Cricket, skipper Rohit Sharma's record breaking third double hundred guided India to a series-levelling 141-run win against Sri Lanka in the second ODI at Mohali today. Rohit smashed an unbeaten 208 off 153 balls to fire India to a mammoth 392 for four. The chase proved to be too much for Sri Lanka as the visitors ended way behind at 251 for 8 with Angelo Mathews' unbeaten 111 going in-vain.Yuzuvendra Chahal claimed 3 wickets for India.  India's score of  392 for 4 in today's match is the highest  by any team at Mohali.  Shikhar Dhawan scored 68 off 69 balls  and Shreyas Iyer hit 88 off 70 balls.  For Sri Lanka,  Thisara Perera took 3 wickets.  After winning the game, skipper Rohit Sharma attributed the victory to the collective effort of the team.

"As a group, we are looking forward to that one, we know what we need to do as a team. As a batting unit, yes! we were challenged in the first ODI but I thought we responded really well here. If we keep our game to our strength, I don't see anything wrong there.


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