288

India Offers The US Importing More Oil And Gas And Defence Firms Setting Up Shop

New Delhi: During a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US vice president Mike Pence in Singapore, India has offered to import more oil and gas from the US and highlighted the potential for American defence firms to set up shop in the country.

The two leaders also discussed counter-terror cooperation, with Modi saying the mainstreaming of people involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in Pakistan’s political process should be a matter of concern for the world community.

Modi referred to contributions of the Indian-American community in the economic, cultural and political spheres over the decades and expressed the hope this would be considered when the US “looks at the whole issue of the H1B visa”, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale told a media briefing after the meeting.

287

Government May Push Triple Talaq Bill During Winter Session Of Parliament

New Delhi: Winter session of Parliament will have the maximum chances of getting the government pushing key bills including the legislation making instant triple talaq a punishable offence. The winter session of Parliament is from December 11 to January 8.

The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) met on Tuesday night to recommend the schedule. The first day of the month-long session will coincide with the counting of votes cast in the assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram.

The last full session of Parliament before the next Lok Sabha polls will take place amid a raging debate on the Rafale jet fighter deal with France and an agrarian crisis the Opposition is expected to use to target the Narendra Modi government.

286

Government To SC, Had Rafale Been Used in Kargil, More Casualty Could Have Been Avoided

New Delhi: Amid ongoing controversy over Rafale Jet deal with France, the Central government told the Supreme Court of India, had Rafale fighter jets been used during the Kargil war in 1999 against Pakistan infiltrators making base on Indian peaks, the number of casualties would have been much less while justifying the acquisition of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.

“Soldiers lost their lives in the Kargil war. Had Rafale been used during the war, it could have hit the hilltops from 60 kilometers away,” Attorney General K K Venugopal told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

He said that all due procedures were followed while entering into the inter-government agreement with France for acquisition of 36 Rafale jets, and all decisions were approved by the Defence Acquisition Council.

272

IMD Issues Warning Recommending Authorities To Move Coastal Dwellers To Safe Places

New Delhi: The India Meterologocal Department (IMD) has issued a “red warning” recommending that local authorities should take action and move coastal dwellers to safe places as heavy to very heavy rain is predicted in some districts of Tamil Nadu when Cyclone Gaja makes landfall on November 15.

As per the warning, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram districts are likely to receive “extremely heavy rainfall” (in excess of 20 cm) on Thursday.

A statement by the ministry of earth sciences, under which the IMD works, has clarified that a “red warning” has been issued, not a “red alert”.

271

Jaitley Accuses Rahul Of Spreading Falsehood To Make Rafale Purchase Controversial

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s failed politics is compelling him to resort to ‘falsehood’ to make the sensitive Rafale purchase defence deal controversial.

Jaitley also said that it was the Congress-led UPA which delayed the purchase of the Rafale aircraft which was necessary to improve the combat ability of Indian Air Force.

He was responding to allegations made by Gandhi that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has admitted to “theft” in the Rafale deal before the Supreme Court and to changes in the contract without asking the Air Force.