Good Morning, Swarajya Readers!
Here’s what you need to know today.
The results of the five state assemblies – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam and Puducherry will be announced today. We will be live tweeting our analysis of the results as they start coming in. Follow us on Twitter.
India is mulling a proposal for an oil-for-drugs barter with Venezuela which is facing severe shortages of even basic supplies such as food, water and medicines. The South American nation owes millions of dollars in payments to India’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Once the finance ministry and the RBI give their go-ahead, payment can be mediated through State Bank Of India. Venezuela seems to be receptive to this plan but hasn’t made any commitments so far.
Indian naval ships, INS Satpura, INS Sahyadri, INS Shakti and INS Kirch, on Wednesday , sailed for over two months long operational deployment to the disputed South China Sea where they will take part in Malabar naval exercise with the US and Japan. The navy’s eastern fleet will make port calls at Cam Rahn Bay (Vietnam), Subic Bay (Philippines), Sasebo (Japan), Busan (South Korea), Vladivostok (Russia) and Port Klang (Malaysia).
Punjab National Bank on Wednesday posted a net loss of Rs 5,367 crore in the fourth quarter of last fiscal. This is probably the biggest ever loss posted by an Indian bank in a quarter, thanks to higher provisioning for bad loans. Vijay Mallya’s now defunct Kingfisher Airlines owes Rs 800 crore to the PNB.
Gujarat Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) has arrested Farooq Mohammed Bhana, a key accused in the conspiracy to burn S6 coach of the Sabarmati Express at Godhra railway station which led to the death of 60 people and caused widespread riots across the state that claimed more than 1000 lives.
Nine rebel Congress MLAs from Uttrakhand including former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna joined BJP on Wednesday after Party chief Amit Shah green-signalled the move. Though the party said the MLAs have joined unconditionally, it will have to accommodate the new lot as contestants for the assembly polls scheduled for early next year.
London’s newly elected Mayor Sadiq Khan has invited presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump to visit the UK for a meet in a bid to end their ongoing feud. Khan had earlier criticized Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering America. But this move is more of a theatric on Mr Khan’s part rather than a sincere desire for rapprochement since he aired his invitation via a TV channel, instead of directly calling him up.
Op-eds You Shouldn’t Miss
Modi @ 2 – A Path For Steady Reforms: Considering where the economy stood in 2014, the glass seems more than half full as the new government comes close to completing its first innings.
Bank On The Brink: Clean up the sector, create five large, structurally unconstrained government-promoted banks.
Exclusive Interview With Suresh Prabhu: Speed, Reliability, Safety: 3 Pillars Of Prabhu’s Vision For Railways.
Socialism Lays Waste To Venezuela: Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves but “there is almost nothing to buy in shops, with shortages from flour and nappies to medicines and underwear.” Last year, it even ran out of toilet paper. Socialism is a gift that keeps on giving.
We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!