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7 Must Reads: Al Qaeda announces Indian branch, Australian PM Tony Abbott, BJP's Amit Shah in Mumbai on separate visits, and more

Thursday, 4 September 2014 - 11:22am IST | Agency: dna webdesk

#1 Al Qaeda snubs Islamic State? Announces India branch; reaffirms loyalty to Taliban chief Mullah Omar
Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahri on Wednesday announced the formation of an Indian branch of his militant group he said would spread Islamic rule and "raise the flag of jihad" across the subcontinent. In a 55-minute video posted online, Zawahri also renewed a longstanding vow of loyalty to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar, in an apparent snub to the Islamic State armed group challenging al Qaeda for leadership of transnational Islamist militancy. Read more

#2 Why did lobbyist Deepak Talwar meet CBI chief Ranjit Sinha 63 times?
Controversial corporate lobbyist Deepak Talwar, who was named in one of the CBI preliminary enquiries registered in Nira Radia tapes case, has visited the official residence of agency chief Ranjit Sinha at least 63 times in the last 15 months. Talwar, known for brokering telecom and aviation deals, has made 29 visits to 2, Janpath between May 2013 and December 2013, when the CBI was investigating the Nira Radia tapes, on directions from the Supreme Court. The visitors entry register maintained at 2, Janpath, accessed by dna, reveals that in 2014 till August, Talwar made 34 visits to the CBI director’s residence . Read more 

#3 BJP's master strategist Amit Shah arrives in Mumbai to set poll game plan
Going against the tradition of party biggies going on tour only towards the last leg of campaigning, BJP chief Amit Shah arrives in the city today to meet the state's party workers in order to gauge the ground level situation and chalk out a strategy. The state BJP has decided to go all guns blazing right from the start for the upcoming assembly elections. Shah will be meeting the party's core committee members in a symbolic move that is aimed at pumping enthusiasm into local leaders. Read more 

#4 Australian PM Tony Abbott arrives in India; to meet Narendra Modi over key civil nuclear deal
Amid indications that a nuclear deal could be in the offing, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrived in Mumbai this morning on a two-day India visit during which the two countries would look at ways to deepen strategic ties and strengthen two-way trade and commerce. Prime Minister Abbott landed in the financial capital, his first port of call, on a day-long visit during which he will interact with business leaders and select Indian CEOs. Read more 

#5 Indian Navy to commission largest indigenous patrol vessel INS Sumitra today
The Indian Navy will, on Thursday, will commission its Offshore Patrol Vessel INS Sumitra. To be commissioned by Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral RK Dhowan, the ship will help enhance India's offshore surveillance capabilities. "The induction of INS Sumitra in the Eastern Naval Command and her basing at Chennai will enhance the offshore surveillance and maritime patrolling capability on India's eastern seaboard in addition to giving a fillip to anti-piracy operations actively being undertaken by the Indian Navy," a Defence release stated earlier this week. Read more 

#6 Congress Young v/s Old: Rahul Gandhi loyalists warn seniors against blaming him
Congress young generation leaders have come out in support of their vice-president Rahul Gandhi to shield him against the barbs of senior party leaders, many of whom privately and some publicly attribute defeat of the party to the leadership deficiencies of Rahul, who was also a chief poll campaigner. A group of 16 secretaries met here at an undisclosed place twice during past 24 hours to take on party general secretaries asking them to shoulder blame of the defeat as they were part of every decision making process. If this revolt was not enough, the party over past one week has thrice, distanced itself from the statements of its three senior leaders Digvijay Singh, Janardan Dwivedi and Manish Tewari and snubbed them, for airing views on public forums rather using internal party mediums. Read more 

#7 #100AccheDin? The hypocrisy of the Narendra Modi government has come to the fore
As we look back at the Narendra Modi government’s 100 days in power, one thing becomes palpably clear: this government has the stamp of Narendra Modi all over it. Modi’s most impressive attribute is his oratory skills. We experienced this during the election campaign where he went on a spree of speeches. Even after becoming prime minister, Modi has held on to this. Whether it was the emotional speech in Parliament in front of his MPs or the Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort, he has mastered the art of striking a chord with the electorate. He knows his audience well and is astute enough to say the right thing at the right time. His speeches are like gushing water in the desert, especially after we have had a prime minister in the ‘Pushpak’ mode for the last 10 years. Modi has been using social media to his advantage as well and his ministers too, are following his example. Read more

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