Former Maharashtra Minister Kripashankar Singh, who quit the Congress earlier this month, on Saturday said the party had been taken over by “satraps and sycophants“.Mr. Singh was replying to a letter by All India Congress Committee general secretary K C Venugopal who accused him of being an “opportunist” who switched sides ahead of Maharashtra polls to seek “political refuge”.In his letter, Mr. Venugopal had said a true Congress worker would not look the other way while people suffered and their democratic rights were being crushed. Hitting back, Mr. Singh said, “It is sad to know that instead of trying to address the reason behind the series of resignations by party leaders, the party leadership is only wasting its energy to shoot the messenger.” “To my understanding, the Congress party is now served by satraps and sycophants who rule the roost,” he added.Mr. Singh, a former Mumbai Congress chief, said an “elite culture” was prevalent in the party and alleged that voices of grassroot workers were going unheard. Speaking to media immediately after he quit, Mr. Singh had said he disapproved of the Congress’ opposition to PM Narendra Modi’s move to scrap provisions of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
Read Next 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Denver rallied to get back into it, and Jokic drained a jumper from the top of the key to give the Nuggets a 91-89 lead with 1:12 left. Barnes missed a 3-pointer, but an offensive foul was called on Jokic with 12.7 seconds left. After Mason Plumlee blocked Smith’s layup out of bounds, Wesley Matthews missed a 3 at the buzzer. Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, left, of Serbia, tries to work the ball inside as Dallas Mavericks center Salah Mejri defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)DENVER — Nikola Jokic completed his second triple-double with a late jumper to put Denver ahead, and the Nuggets held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 91-89 on Saturday night.Jokic had 11 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists. Gary Harris scored 24 to help Denver rally from nine points down in the fourth quarter for its third straight victory.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ LATEST STORIES Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray was healthy but did not start for an undisclosed reason. After averaging 26.7 points in his previous three games, he struggled early Saturday before scoring all 15 of his points in the second half.The Mavericks were missing guards J.J. Barea (oblique strain) and Devin Harris (personal reasons) but played well without them. They faltered down the stretch, going 4:27 without a field goal late in the game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHarrison Barnes had 22 points and Dennis Smith Jr. had 13 points, six rebounds and six assists for Dallas. The Mavericks have lost three in a row.Dallas trailed by 12 early but quickly erased the deficit and took a three-point lead in the second quarter. The Mavericks went on a 16-1 run to end the third and take a 74-66 lead. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Curry scores 13 points over final 1:42, Warriors beat Celtics Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.Firming up their relationship at a higher level, India and Vietnam on Monday called for a peaceful, unfettered South China Sea, inked seven agreements including for direct Delhi-Hanoi flights and an extended line of credit for purchase of military equipment, as they set a target of $15 billion bilateral trade by 2020 with a focus on tourism, garments and textiles, pharmaceuticals and agriculture.Capping a day of intense engagement, President Pranab Mukherjee told his Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang at a banquet in his honour that India holds Vietnam in high esteem, admires its determination to succeed and the tenacity against even the most powerful adversaries and will always remain its “reliable and all-weather friend”.Earlier, inaugurating the India Study Centre at the Ho Chi Minh National Academy for Politics and Public Administration here, he said India and Vietnam have prioritised enhanced physical, institutional and people-to-people linkages, and both would now like to see intensified exchanges between their universities and institutions.He said he was delighted that the academy has already evolved a cooperation framework with the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore and with the Indian Institute of Public Administration in Delhi.The seven agreements were signed in the presence of Mukherjee and his Vietnamese counterpart Truong Tan Sang.Carrying on the momentum, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is set to visit India in October at the head of a large business delegation to explore further opportunities for economic cooperation.”The value of the visit can be gauged by the fact that the (Indian) president met the entire gamut of Vietnamese leadership – the president, the prime minister, the chairman of the national assembly and the general secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party,” said Secretary (East) in the external affairs ministry Anil Wadhwa at a briefing here.advertisement”In fact, the Vietnamese president gave quite some time. He was present for the one-on-one talks, the delegation-level talks, attended the inauguration of the India Study Centre at the Ho Chi Minh National Academy, and then the banquet,” he said.On the ambitious trade target, Wadhwa said $7 million level was expected by 2015 but has already been achieved this year itself, and it was expected that the new figure would be surpassed too.The joint communique following the talks said the two leaders agreed to strengthen and deepen bilateral cooperation on the basis of the strategic partnership.The focus would be on political, defence and security cooperation, economic cooperation, science and technology, culture and people-to-people links, technical cooperation and multilateral and regional cooperation.The leaders agreed that military and security cooperation was an important pillar of the strategic partnership between the two countries, and expressed satisfaction with the ongoing cooperation in this field.They noted that the signing of the MoU for a Line of Credit of $100 million for defence procurement extended by India to Vietnam would open new avenues for cooperation.Wadhwa said it would primarily be used by Hanoi for offshore patrol vessels while other equipment was yet to be identified and would be decided in talks.India and Vietnam, in the communique, also reiterated their “desire and determination to work together to maintain peace, stability, growth and prosperity in Asia”.They agreed that freedom of navigation in the East Sea/South China Sea should not be impeded, and called the parties concerned to exercise restraint, avoid threat or use of force and resolve disputes through peaceful means in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law.The seven agreements included an air services agreement between Jet Airways and Air Vietnam while OVL, the overseas arm of oil major ONGC, and Petro Vietnam inked an agreement on exploring two additional blocks off Vietnam.Asked if these blocks were in the contested South China Sea, Wadhwa expressed ignorance.”This was only a letter of intent. We will only come to know when they offer us the blocks… in a more concrete proposal,” he said.The other agreements were on agriculture cooperation, animal health, customs cooperation, and on youth affairs and skill development.After the inking of the agreement, Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal said the air services were going “to be very feasible, it is going to be very profitable”.He said the direct flights would start Nov 5, and “booking has already started”.Lauding Goyal’s venture, the Vietnamese president termed him a “giant bridge” between the two countries.Mukherjee who began his four-day state visit to Vietnam Sunday will leave for Ho Chi Minh City Tuesday afternoon and return to India on Wednesday.advertisement