08:42 Now, BJP MLA wants to rename Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar:
The Bharatiya Janata Party would “aim” to rename Hyderabad and other cities in the state after the names of great people if it is elected to power in Telangana in the December 7 poll, party leader Raja Singh said Thursday.
“Our aim is, when our Bharatiya Janata Party government comes to power in Telangana, our first (priority) is development, second is these names should be changed. They should be named after great people, those who worked for our nation, righteousness and Telangana,” he said.
Singh, who was a member of the recently-dissolved legislative assembly, said the Qutb Shahis, who ruled the region during the 16th century, had changed the name of the city, Bhagyanagar, to Hyderabad.
They had also changed the names of other places, he said, adding Secunderabad and Karimnagar were among them.
Singh also found fault with AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi’s comments earlier Thursday that BJP president Amit Shah wants a “Muslim-free” India.
He said Muslims should not believe Owaisi, who had often spoken against Telangana.
Owaisi is Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad.
Telangana goes to polls on December 7. — PTI
08:29 People not interested in names, they want jobs, income security: Congress:
The Congress on Thursday said that people were not interested in changing of names of places but they wanted other things such as jobs, income security, safety of women.
Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma, responding to questions on the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Uttar Pradesh announcing renaming of Allahabad and Faizabad as Prayagraj and Ayodhya, respectively, said: “When the mindset is to distort and rewrite history, then changing names is immaterial.”
Changing people’s life for the better is more important, he said.
“People have no interest in names, the youth of India wants jobs, the farmer wants income security, women and daughters need security, people are burdened with high prices and inflation…
“If these things are going to solve all the problems then the prime minister has the right to change our name also. Never heard of such a discourse,” Sharma said.
His remarks came after the Gujarat government said Thursday that it was considering renaming Ahmedabad as Karnavati. — PTI
08:07 Air India ground handling staff call off strike at Mumbai Airport:
A strike by a section of employees of Air India’s ground handling subsidiary, Air India Air Transport Services Ltd, over non-payment of Diwali bonus and other issues, was called off late Thursday, a senior official said.
The strike was called off after discussion with the management, a senior AIATSL official said.
All other issues have been sorted out and employees are back to work and flight operations are normal now, he added.
The employees of the AIATSL struck work at the Mumbai airport from the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday, demanding payment of Diwali bonus and reinstatement of three of their colleagues whose contracts were not renewed by the company, he said.
The employees whose contracts were not renewed have not been taken back, the official said.
The AIATSL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the national carrier, provides ground handling services to Air India across airports in the country. It has about 5,000 employees, including those on contract.
“Some AIATSL employees at the Mumbai airport are on strike since Wednesday-Thursday (intervening) night over non-payment of Diwali Bonus and reinstatement of the services of some of their former colleagues. This stand-off has resulted in flight operations getting hampered,” the official said.
He said around 37 flights, including international ones, were delayed by 2.5 hours-3 hours till 1500 hours Thursday.
However, no flight has been cancelled so far, the official added.
Air India has pressed into service its permanent employees to handle the ground handling operations at the Mumbai airport, he said.
“The company has already paid the bonus after negotiations but the employees are now insisting that the services of three of their colleagues, whose contracts were not renewed last month, be restored,” he said. — PTI
08:01 Mumbai: Fire breaks out in goods train wagon, 10 long-distance trains halted:
A fire broke out in two wagons of a goods train near Dahanu in Palghar district of Maharashtra late on Thursday night, as a result of which at least 10 long-distance trains were halted, police said.
According to an official, the incident took place around 11 pm between Dahanu Road and Vangaon Railway Stations.
The fire brigade, Railway Police Force and Government Railway Police were rushed to the spot, he said, adding the blaze was doused around 2 am on Friday.
The overhead electric wire melted due to the heat as a result of which at least 10 long-distance trains were halted, the official said.
Work is on to remove the burnt wagons from the tracks and to repair the overhead wires. A probe is underway to ascertain the exact cause of the fire, he said. — PTI
07:49 Trump to celebrate Diwali in Oval Office next Tuesday:
United States President Donald Trump would celebrate Diwali in his Oval Office next Tuesday, the White House has said.
“The president will be celebrating Diwali with a ceremonial lighting of the diya (lamp) in the Oval Office next Tuesday,” deputy assistant to the president Raj Shah said in a statement on Thursday.
A day earlier Trump had greeted people celebrating the festival of lights the world over and said it is a special opportunity to reflect on the bond of friendship between India and the United States.
Trump said First Lady Melania joins him in sending their best wishes for a very happy and memorable Diwali.
He also recognised the “extraordinary” contributions of Indian-Americans in the development of the United States.
“We recognize the extraordinary contributions of Indian-Americans to the strength and success of our nation. Their achievements in business and industry, public service, education, scientific research, and other fields continue to represent the very best of our American virtues and the spirit of the Diwali season,” said Trump, who had celebrated Diwali last year by lighting the ceremonial lamp in the Oval Office.
Asserting that Diwali is a joyous and spiritual time marked by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, Trump said lighting of lamps on the occasion symbolises the true meaning of Diwali, which is triumph of light over darkness and good over evil.
Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said nearly a billion people from around the world will light the lamp “as a reminder that good ultimately overcomes evil, understanding over ignorance, and kindness over animosity”. — PTI