Top news of the day: Anti-BJP party leaders come together at Kolkata Opposition rally, Kerala nuns write to CM seeking protection, and more

Here are the important news stories of the day

At Opposition rally, Kharge says till Opposition unites, Modi and Amit Shah will continue to ‘trample on democracy’

At the mega-gathering of Opposition parties in Kolkata, Congress’s leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge said party president Rahul Gandhi and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi had sent their good wishes for the rally organised by Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC).

Kolkata Opposition rally a summit of conflicting ideologies, says BJP

The BJP described the united opposition rally organised by TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee “a rally of self interest and of conflicting ideologies”, and exuded confidence of forming the next government in the country. Speaking at a press conference at the party office in New Delhi, BJP’s national spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy termed the rally an anti-Modi exercise and said the party was not threatened by such events.

Kolkata Opposition rally | Live: ‘We have a responsibility of removing BJP from power’, says Sharad Pawar

On Saturday, at least two dozen top national leaders participated in a Trinamool Congress-hosted rally at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground. It’s part of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s efforts to bring the anti-BJP parties together on one platform. Follow live updates here.

5 nuns, including one who accused Bishop Franco of rape, write to Kerala CM seeking protection

Four of the five nuns who have been ordered to move out of the St. Francis Mission Home in Kuravilangad, near Kottayam, in Kerala, and the nun who has accused Bishop Franco of Jalandhar of raping her, have written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking his intervention to ensure their safety. In separate letters, the nuns have sought protection as well as a stay on their transfer order so that they are allowed to stay on at the Kuravilangad convent until the trial in the rape case (Cr. No. 746/18) is over.

Box office trackers spark a Twitter war over collections

The simultaneous release of Rajinikanth’s Petta and Ajith Kumar’s Viswasam on January 10 has resulted in a war of words on Twitter between so-called box office trackers, production houses — Sun Pictures and KJR Studios (distributors of Viswasam) — and fans on the vexatious question: who reigned supreme at the box office?

Narendra Modi government playing mischief with statistics: Yashwant Sinha

Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha came down heavily on the Narendra Modi government saying that this was the first government after Independence which has been playing “mischief” with the developmental statistics.

Those stopped from looting public money are forming ‘mahagathbandhan’, says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi targeted the ‘mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) of Opposition parties, calling it a combine of those he prevented from looting India. He also took potshots at the Opposition rally in Kolkata while addressing a public function at Silvassa, capital of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Indonesia to release suspected Bali bomb mastermind from prison

Abu Bakar Bashir, the radical Muslim cleric and alleged mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings, will be granted early release from jail on humanitarian grounds, Indonesia’s president said on Friday. Bashir (81), who is considered the spiritual leader of the Islamist group Jemaah Islamiah (JI), was convicted in 2010 under anti-terrorism laws for links to militant training camps in Aceh province and jailed for 15 years.

Ranji Trophy: Desai’s maiden century guides Saurashtra to record-breaking win

Harvik Desai hit his maiden first-class century to help Saurashtra pull off the highest run chase in Ranji Trophy history, beating Uttar Pradesh by six wickets to enter the semifinals in Lucknow.

Celebrating Andy Murray, the misfit in the Big Four universe

History has witnessed the fall of several empires. For some, the collapse is quick. For others, it is slow but sure. There is no single moment of ultimate doom. The pieces fall one by one. The winds keep shifting and stronger forces threaten to take over.

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