607

Congress Demands Independent Probe Into Alleged Bribe Paid By BS Yeddyurappa To BJP Leaders

New Delhi: The Congress demanded an independent probe into a media report that alleged former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa had paid bribes running into hundreds of crores of rupees to senior BJP leaders. The report was based on the alleged contents of a diary that it said, had been with income tax department since 2017.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was time the government got the Yeddyurappa diary probed by an independent agency. “If there is no truth in this diary, why isn’t PM Modi ready for an investigation? Now, even the Lokpal is appointed. Why can’t the first independent investigation be on this issue?” Surjewala said.

The Congress spokesperson referred to a report published by news magazine, Caravan as ‘Yeddy diaries’ saying BS Yeddyurappa made payouts to senior BJP leaders during his tenure as Karnataka chief minister.

606

Former Indian Cricketer Gautam Gambhir Joined Bharatiya Janata Party; Likely To Contest LS Polls

New Delhi: With weeks to go for the Lok Sabha elections, former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. He said that he was ‘impressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision’.

“I am impressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision... I have contributed to the field of cricket and now hope to do more for the country”, the 37-year-old cricketer said.

Inducting the former cricketer into the party, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “Gambhir has excelled in his career and the party hopes to utilizes his talent. The BJP will benefit from his talent.”

605

Congress Again Questions Balakot Airstrike By Air Force In Pakistan But This Time Sam Pitroda

New Delhi: Close confidant of Rahul Gandhi and Chairman of the Overseas Indian National Congress questioned the death toll in the Balakot airstrike conducted by the Indian Air Force in Pakistan in retaliation to the Pulwama terror attack.

“If they (IAF) killed 300, its ok. All I am saying is can you give me more facts and prove it,” said Pitroda in an interview.

When asked on his views on the airstrike against the Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, he added that international news outlets had an alternate view of the impact of the air strike and that the people of India deserved to know the facts of the Air Force operation.

604

India Decides To Boycott Pakistan Day Reception After Islamabad invited Hurriyat Conference

New Delhi: New Delhi decided to boycott the Pakistan Day reception after Islamabad did not respond to a message that Indian representatives would stay away if Hurriyat Conference representatives were invited to the event.

The message was conveyed to Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner when he was called in to the external affairs ministry on Wednesday afternoon, people familiar with developments said. The government waited till Thursday and decided not to send any official representative to the reception, held on Friday, after there was no response from the Pakistani side, the people added.

507

Pilots Of The Sinking Jet Airways Now Approach SpiceJet Seeking Employment

New Delhi: The harried pilots of Jet Airways, which is on the brink of shuttering operations, have now approached SpiceJet seeking employment. Jet Airways pilots had earlier been wooed by IndiGo with compensation for their pending salaries and other benefits, leading to murmurs of protests from its own pilots.

The largest airline has been facing acute shortage of cockpit crew, leading to cancellation of hundreds of its flights last month.

Jet pilots along with engineers and senior management have not been paid for more than three months now as the airline is facing its worst existential crisis since its inception a quarter of a century ago.