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Honda says fuel from Shell, Total, PSO harms engines in Pakistan

Thursday, November 2 2017

Honda says fuel from Shell, Total, PSO harms engines in Pakistan

Honda says fuel from Shell, Total, PSO harms engines in Pakistan Honda says fuel from Shell, Total, PSO harms engines in Pakistan 19:23 hrs By Saad Sayeed ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's state oil and gas regulator said on Thursday it would investigate a complaint that fuel suppliers including local units of Shell and Total as well as Pakistan State Oil (PSO) had added manganese to their gasoline. Honda Motor Co's Pakistan subsidiary, Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Ltd., filed the complaint, saying the additive appeared to be damaging engines in its vehicles. Manganese can be added to fuel to make it appear to be of a higher quality but it can reduce fuel economy and potentially harm public health due to emissions. Honda's complaint states Pakistani suppliers used the additive to elevate the Research Octane Number (RON) used to grade petroleum and lower quality fuel up to the RON 92 grade required by regulatory standards. "We have received a complaint from Honda, and the relevant department will look into the issue," said Imran Ghaznavi, a spokesman for the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA). The Honda complaint, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, said tests found dangerous levels of manganese in fuel samples from Shell Pakistan Ltd, Total Parco Pakistan Ltd and Pakistan State Oil Company Ltd. The tests showed levels of manganese of up to 53 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg), while the additive is deemed at a "danger level" at 24 mg/kg, the Honda complaint said. Officials from Shell in Pakistan and PSO had no immediate comment. Total officials could not immediately be reached. Ilyas Fazil, head of Pakistan's Oil Companies Advisory Council, said on Thursday he had not heard of manganese additives being a problem in the industry. "Other refineries are producing 90 RON, which is slightly lower than 92...pure 92 RON, that is imported," he said. Pakistan's petroleum sales have spiked in the past two years, rising 10 percent between 2015 and 2017 and continued growth is expected as Chinese-backed development projects spur the transportation and automotive sectors. A senior industry official said Toyota Pakistan had not experienced the same issues with their engines but said the company was concerned about high manganese levels in petroleum. "Now that Honda has formally complained they may also follow suit," the official who asked not to be identified told Reuters. (Additional reporting by Drazen Jorgic; Writing by Saad Sayeed; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Edmund Blair) SEARCH

China eyes greater U.S. access for its aircraft and parts with new deal

Thursday, November 2 2017

China eyes greater U.S. access for its aircraft and parts with new deal

China eyes greater U.S. access for its aircraft and parts with new deal China eyes greater U.S. access for its aircraft and parts with new deal 19:23 hrs SHANGHAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China's aviation safety regulator expects a recently signed aircraft certification agreement with the United States to boost U.S. market access for Chinese-made planes and aircraft parts. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said in an e-mail to Reuters that an agreement it announced last month with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would widen "mutual recognition" of each country's aviation products. It comes as Chinese planemaker Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) seeks overseas certification for its C919 and ARJ-21 jets to sell more planes abroad. Europe's aviation safety regulator said in April that it was in the process of certifying the C919. The CAAC said the new agreement replaces a 1995 deal in which China had agreed to accept all U.S. aviation products but the United States had agreed to accept only 23 small Chinese aircraft models and some plane parts. The latest agreement fulfils a commitment both countries made in 2005 and follows several years of talks, according to both regulators. "The newly signed Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness realizes the full reciprocal recognition of aviation products between China and the U.S. The scope of the agreement covers all types of aviation products and is meant to be comprehensive," it said. Last Friday the FAA said the agreement, which took effect on Oct. 17, allows "each authority to leverage approvals completed by the other with respect to design, production, and airworthiness". The agreement does not guarantee automatic recognition of each other's certification procedures, the CAAC said, adding that approvals would depend on the products and that some accreditation reviews would still be needed. GLOBAL AMBITIONS The CAAC also said that it actively encouraged and supported Chinese enterprises to apply for FAA accreditation, including COMAC for its C919 and ARJ-21. The narrowbody C919, which will compete with Boeing's 737, is a symbol of China's efforts to become a key player in the global civil aerospace market. A source close to COMAC called the agreement "a significant step". COMAC did not respond to requests for comment. The move towards closer aviation ties comes days ahead of a visit to China by U.S. President Donald Trump, which industry sources and diplomats say could lead to new Boeing aircraft sales to the world's fastest-growing aviation market. The sources say that the country’s state buying agency regularly agrees large-scale aircraft purchases during visits by U.S. or European leaders, especially in the early stages of a foreign presidency. A spokesman for Boeing declined to comment. Almost 30 U.S. companies, including General Electric and Honeywell International, will join the trade mission, which starts on Nov. 8. During a state visit by Chinese President Jinping to the United States in 2015 Boeing announced orders and commitments from China for 300 aircraft valued at about $38 billion at list prices. (Reporting by Brenda Goh in SHANGHAI and David Shepardson in WASHINGTON; Additional Reporting by Alwyn Scott in NEW YORK; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and David Goodman) SEARCH

Venezuela's PDVSA $1.2 biliion debt payment to test Socialist Party

Thursday, November 2 2017

Venezuela's PDVSA $1.2 biliion debt payment to test Socialist Party

Venezuela's PDVSA $1.2 biliion debt payment to test Socialist Party Venezuela's PDVSA $1.2 biliion debt payment to test Socialist Party 19:23 hrs By Brian Ellsworth CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA faces a $1.2 billion bond payment on Thursday that will test the ruling Socialist Party's resolve to pay its foreign debt despite a crippling economic crisis that has spurred widespread food shortages and malnutrition among children. Markets remained optimistic that President Nicolas Maduro's government will make the payment, though investors expect delays. PDVSA last week struggled for days to deliver funds for a separate bond payment amid confusion over which banks were charged with transferring the money. However, most economists say a default is increasingly likely in the medium term as Venezuela's collapsing socialist economic model has left the once-prosperous population destitute and led to deterioration of the OPEC nation's vital oil industry. Maduro insists his government will pay all its debts but says it is a victim of an "economic war" led by opposition adversaries and fueled by U.S. sanctions that block Venezuela from refinancing its debt. PDVSA's 2017N bond has rallied in recent weeks on market optimism that it will be paid down, driven by the completion, albeit delayed, of an $842 million principal payment on PDVSA's 2020 bond. PDVSA bonds were down slightly in early trading on Thursday, while Venezuelan bonds were mixed, according to Thomson Reuters data. After Thursday's payment, Venezuela has no foreign bond maturities until the second half of 2018. But in a sign of its financial desperation, Venezuela and PDVSA have been skipping interest payments since the start of October, racking up close to $750 million in pending coupons by repeatedly invoking 30-day grace periods. Even if it scrapes together the funds to pay those down, it faces at least another $800 million in interest payments in November and December. The country is struggling with shortages of basic products such as food and medicine, in part because hard currency for imports is being diverted toward Wall Street investors. INVESTOR PROFIT, CHILD MALNUTRITION Child malnutrition has reached the scale of a humanitarian crisis in four Venezuelan states, according to a May 2017 report by Caritas Internationalis, a Rome-based nongovernmental organization with links to the Catholic Church. Government officials say the report is exaggerated for political reasons. But the situation is a stark contrast to the oil boom years of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, who spent generously on social welfare programs while borrowing profusely to keep spending at full tilt. Venezuela's debt is the highest yielding of emerging market bonds measured by JPMorgan's EMBI Global Diversified Index, paying investors an average of 31 percentage points more than comparable U.S. Treasury notes. That is nearly double the spread on bonds issued by Mozambique, which is already in default, and more than six times the spread on bonds from war-torn Ukraine. Economists say Venezuela needs to lift currency controls, roll back nationalizations and halt the unchecked expansion of the money supply. Maduro's government over the years has floated numerous proposals to create a free foreign exchange market but repeatedly backed down. Short-term solutions to the debt burden have been limited by sanctions imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump, including blocking refinancing operations by prohibiting banks from buying new Venezuelan debt. The sanctions are also likely to severely complicate efforts to restructure debt in the event of a default, as a number of top-ranking Socialist Party officials have been barred from conducting business with U.S. citizens. (Reporting by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Jeffrey Benkoe) SEARCH

Long-awaited U.S. Republican legislation calls for deep tax cuts

Thursday, November 2 2017

Long-awaited U.S. Republican legislation calls for deep tax cuts

Long-awaited U.S. Republican legislation calls for deep tax cuts Long-awaited U.S. Republican legislation calls for deep tax cuts 20:05 hrs By David Morgan and Amanda Becker WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's drive for the deep tax cuts that he promised as a candidate reached a major milestone on Thursday, with his fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives unveiling long-awaited legislation to overhaul the tax code. The legislation called for slashing the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent and reducing the number of tax brackets for individuals, according to a summary document obtained by Reuters. Largely in line with expectations for the tax-cut plan they have been developing behind closed doors for weeks, the House tax-writing Ways and Means Committee proposed doubling the standard deduction for individuals and families, capping the deduction for state and local property taxes at $10,000 and maintaining the current tax treatment of 401(k) and IRA retirement plans. The bill is the starting gun for a frantic race toward what Trump and Republicans in the House and Senate hope will be their first major legislative victory since he took office in January: the enactment this year of a package with up to $6 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade for corporations, small businesses and individuals. The bill would create new a family tax credit, maintain deductions for mortgage interest for existing loans and newly purchased homes up to $500,000, double exemptions for estate taxes on inherited assets, repeal estate taxes after six years and allow small businesses to write off loan interest, according to the document. Congress has not succeeded on comprehensive tax changes since 1986, when Republican Ronald Reagan was in the White House and Democrats controlled the House. Bipartisan cooperation led to the passage of that plan three decades ago, but Republicans have frozen Democrats out of the process of developing this legislation and passed a budget plan that would enable them to pass it with no Democratic votes. Independent analysts have said that, based on an outline of the plan previously made public, corporations and the wealthiest Americans would benefit the most, and the federal deficit would be greatly expanded over the next decade because of a loss of tax revenue. Trump said at the White House this week that he wanted Congress to pass the tax overhaul by the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 23. The tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee has been drafting the bill, and Republican Chairman Kevin Brady has promised to release it on Thursday. A spokesman for Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said it would be formally announced at 11:15 a.m. (1515 GMT). Trump, House Republican leaders and Republican members of Brady's panel will then meet at the White House on Thursday afternoon. Trump is also meeting separately with Republican senators, who must also unite to pass the tax plan. "This is the beginning of the end of this horrible tax code," Brady told reporters on Thursday as he entered a meeting with Republican lawmakers ahead of the bill's release. "We're going to get it done," added House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy. Still, important issues remain unresolved and Brady himself predicts the initial legislation will change next week, when his panel is due to begin preparing it for an eventual House vote. While Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress, intra-party differences have prevented them from passing major legislation sought by Trump, as exemplified by the collapse of their effort to dismantle the Obamacare law. Any failure to pass tax cuts legislation would call into question Republicans' basic ability to deliver on promises. The bill must also pass the Senate, where Republicans hold a slimmer 52-48 majority and earlier this year failed to garner enough votes to pass a major healthcare overhaul. Senate Republican leaders have said they aim to finish their work on taxes by year-end. Democrats have criticized the proposed tax cuts as a giveaway to corporations and the wealthy that would harm workers and middle-class Americans. (Reporting by Amanda Becker and David Morgan; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey and Susan Cornwell; Writing by Will Dunham; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Nick Zieminski) SEARCH talking point on sify news Latest Features

Mamata, Uddhav meeting a 'courtesy call': Shiv Sena

Thursday, November 2 2017

Mamata, Uddhav meeting a 'courtesy call': Shiv Sena

Mamata, Uddhav meeting a 'courtesy call': Shiv Sena Mamata, Uddhav meeting a 'courtesy call': Shiv Sena 18:45 hrs [India], November 2 (ANI): West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee, who is in Mumbai, met with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday. Uddhav Thackeray's son, Aditya Thackeray, was also present during the meet. The Shiv Sena later said that the meeting was a "courtesy call". "The meeting between Mamata Banerjee and Uddhav Thackery was just a courtesy call and there was no other meaning to it. Mamata Banerjee is a very strong chief minister of West Bengal," Shiv Sena leader Manisha Kayande told ANI. Reportedly, party MP Sanjay Raut recently said that the Uddhav Thackeray-led party had started preparations for the Lok Sabha and assembly polls of 2019 and that the party was ready to contest elections whether or not there was an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Andhra CM to attend 'World Food India-2017' conference

Thursday, November 2 2017

Andhra CM to attend 'World Food India-2017' conference

Andhra CM to attend 'World Food India-2017' conference Andhra CM to attend 'World Food India-2017' conference 18:44 hrs [India], November 2 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will participate in the inaugural session of international conference 'World Food India (WFI) 2017' on November 3 in Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the three day international event 'World Food India-2017', being organized by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India in association with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) from November 3-5, Chandrababu Naidu will participate in the inaugural session of the event. The event will be the largest gathering of investors, manufacturers, producers, food processors, policy makers, and organizations from the global food ecosystem. Andhra Pradesh being one of the partner states for the event will hold a special session on November 3 to showcase the potential and advantages of Food Processing sector in the state to the global community. It is noted that Andhra Pradesh is one of the leading agricultural states in India, popularly known as "Rice Bowl of India". Andhra Pradesh, under the leadership of Chandrababu Naidu is marching towards the goal that no citizen should have to face hunger by 2030. Recently, on World Food Day on October 16, Andhra Pradesh Government signed a record of 108 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with food processing and agro companies to rope in an investment worth Rs. 855 Crores and create 9477 jobs. It also signed 23 Memorandum of Co-operations (MoCs) with premier government institutions in the country in post-harvest management to support Food Processing sector in the state for a period of five years. As another initiation of the Chief Minister, the state government is pursuing to setup a separate corporation for developing cold chain infrastructure in Andhra Pradesh. The guidelines are being formulated and the corporation is expected to be operational by January 2018 which will solve lack of cold storage facilities for farmers before taking their produce to markets.

Two-day Sagar Kavach exercise starts on November 8 in Goa

Thursday, November 2 2017

Two-day Sagar Kavach exercise starts on November 8 in Goa

Two-day Sagar Kavach exercise starts on November 8 in Goa Two-day Sagar Kavach exercise starts on November 8 in Goa 18:45 hrs [India] Nov. 2 (ANI): The two-day Coastal Security Exercise 'Sagar Kavach' is scheduled on November 8 and 9, 2017 to provide seamless seaward cover along the Goa Coast jointly by all security agencies from coastal belt area line to the limit of territorial water i.e 12 nautical miles. The exercise will also assess the effectiveness of coastal fishing community in serving as 'Eye and Ears' for early warning of seaward threat. This time the service of Drishti lifeguards, present at the beaches of Goa, will also be utilized for same purpose. The Coastal Security exercise is being conducted and coordinated by Indian Coast Guard, District Headquarter at Goa. Various agencies like Indian Coast Guard, Indian Navy, Goa Police, Goa Coastal Security Intelligence Agencies, MPT, Ports Administration Department, CISF and Customs etc. will take part in this exercise. Intelligence and infiltration will be induced and the alertness and preparedness of the entire stakeholder including people of Goa will be tested. This exercise provides all stakeholders and opportunity to fine tune standard operating procedure and test new operation concepts for coastal security.

BJP slams K'taka govt for showing enthusiasm for Tipu Sultan's birth anniversary

Thursday, November 2 2017

BJP slams K'taka govt for showing enthusiasm for Tipu Sultan's birth anniversary

BJP slams K'taka govt for showing enthusiasm for Tipu Sultan's birth anniversary BJP slams K'taka govt for showing enthusiasm for Tipu Sultan's birth anniversary 18:45 hrs [India], November 2 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah on Thursday slammed the Karnataka government for showing enthusiasm on the birth anniversary of 18th century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan and claimed it to be 'votebank' politics. While addressing a rally here, the BJP chief said, "Karnataka Mahotsav was supposed to be grand but the state government was not enthusiastic about it, instead they are about Tipu Jayanti." "This shows votebank politics which will not benefit the people of Karnataka," Shah said. He accused the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government of breaking all records of corruption. "Siddaramaiah ji, under your government over 10 BJP-RSS workers have been killed, do you have an answer for it?" Shah asked. The BJP chief kick started the state party unit's 'Nava Karnataka Nirmana Parivarthana Yatra', a 75-day yatra, aimed at 'exposing' the alleged misdeeds of the Congress Government. It will go through all the 224 assembly constituencies in the state. During the yatra, the BJP leaders will hold public meetings in each of the assembly constituencies and present alternative agendas for development. The rally will culminate in Bengaluru on January 28 and be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Corruption is the only identity of Congress: PM Modi

Thursday, November 2 2017

Corruption is the only identity of Congress: PM Modi

Corruption is the only identity of Congress: PM Modi Corruption is the only identity of Congress: PM Modi 18:45 hrs [India], November 2 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that corruption was the only identity of the Congress. The prime minister said that due to the Congress, corruption has spread like termites, making India hollow. "Corruption is the only identity of the Congress. The corrupt wanted to get rid of the NDA Government. The country cannot expect anything from the Congress as it has become a non-serious group. They don't know what they say, why they say or where they say anything. Because of the Congress, corruption has spread like termites and has made India hollow. It was time to get rid of the termites of corruption," Prime Minister Modi said, while addressing a rally at Dhaula Kuan in the Paonta Sahib constituency of Sirmaur district. The prime minister further said that some people were complaining about the demonetisation drive, because they lost their black money. "They lost their wealth; that is why, they are crying. Those who earlier used to keep their money at home are now going to the banks," Prime Minister Modi said. The prime minister also claimed that the Congress knew that they'd be wiped off in the upcoming Himachal Pradesh assembly polls and asserted that even the public knew that the BJP Government was going to be in power. Prime Minister Modi further said the Centre linked the government schemes with the Aadhar. "The receipts for the government schemes were issued for 10,000 people, but in reality, beneficiaries were 5,000-6,000, money was released on fake receipts. We linked the government schemes with the Aadhar, started direct transfer to bank accounts and now Rs. 57,000 crore that was being siphoned off is saved," he added. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi took a jibe at the state's ruling party, by saying that the Congress had become a laughing stock. "The Congress has now become a laughing stock. They need to introspect why people are turning away from them across the country," the prime minister said, while addressing a public meet in Himachal's Kangra.

VVIP chopper scam: CBI seeks middleman's extradition from Italy

Thursday, November 2 2017

VVIP chopper scam: CBI seeks middleman's extradition from Italy

VVIP chopper scam: CBI seeks middleman's extradition from Italy VVIP chopper scam: CBI seeks middleman's extradition from Italy 18:46 hrs [India] November 2 (ANI): Extending their probe in Agusta Westland chopper scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday submitted the request for extradition of middleman Carlo Valentino Gerosa to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). According to CBI sources, Gerosa can provide important clues in connection with the scam. He is said to be an important link in Rs. 3,727 crores VVIP chopper scam. The CBI sources also said that they are hoping Italy will extradite Gerosa to India so that probe can be carried forward. Gerosa was arrested by the Italian agencies in October first week on the basis of an Interpol red corner notice. CBI sources said that Gerosa can provide important clues about his immediate associates - Guido Haschke, UK-based middleman Christian Michel and the complete money trail since he maintained 'the account of bribery'. The CBI has listed several payments received in several companies owned by these middlemen over a period of time.

NTPC blast: UP Power Minister announces Rs 20 lakh ex-gratia for kin

Thursday, November 2 2017

NTPC blast: UP Power Minister announces Rs 20 lakh ex-gratia for kin

NTPC blast: UP Power Minister announces Rs 20 lakh ex-gratia for kin NTPC blast: UP Power Minister announces Rs 20 lakh ex-gratia for kin 18:46 hrs [India], November 2 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Power R K Singh on Thursday announced Rs 20 lakh ex-gratia to the next of kin of those killed in the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plant explosion here. Speaking to media, the minister said, "We will give ex-gratia of Rs 20 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased. Rs 10 Lakh will be given to those with serious injuries and Rs 2 lakh for those with minor injuries." Singh informed that a committee has been formed to probe the cause of the blast and to decide on prevention mechanism. "We will ensure that those mechanisms be implemented. The investigation will be completed in 30 days," he said. Earlier in the day, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visited the NTPC's Unchahar plant in Uttar Pradesh's Raebareli where a boiler exploded on Wednesday killing 26 people and injuring 66 others. Gandhi met the families of the deceased and visited the injured admitted in the district hospital. Rae Bareli is the parliamentary constituency of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each for the next of kin of those killed in the explosion. Hours after the incident, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the kin of deceased, Rs 50,000 for critically injured and Rs 25,000 for those with minor injuries.

Rahul-Hardik bonhomie to hoodwink people of Gujarat: Jitendra Singh

Thursday, November 2 2017

Rahul-Hardik bonhomie to hoodwink people of Gujarat: Jitendra Singh

Rahul-Hardik bonhomie to hoodwink people of Gujarat: Jitendra Singh Rahul-Hardik bonhomie to hoodwink people of Gujarat: Jitendra Singh 18:47 hrs [India] Nov. 2 (ANI): Union Minister of State Dr. Jitendra Singh said that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) convenor Hardik Patel bonhomie is to hoodwink people of Gujarat. Hardik Patel on Thursday said that the PAAS will extend its support to the Congress in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections only if their reservation demand is met. Talking to ANI, Singh, "Few days back when I was asked about Hardik and Rahul bonhomie, I made an observation that one loser trying to clutch on the other loser which might ultimately spell the dome. Now, the nation must question the Congress party that what is their stand on what Hardik says; what is their stand on the OBC quota. And therefore just hoodwinking the people of India, particularly the people of Gujarat on the eve of elections, is not going to work." He further added, "India 2017 and Gujarat 2017 has population below 40 and majority of voters ask for evidence and reasoning. This is the reason that PAAS committee has in fact questioned the stand of Hardik, Rahul and Congress. This vindicates what the BJP stands for." Six social organisations of the Patidar community have slammed Hardik Patel's demand seeking reservation for Patidars under the OBC category. The heads of the six organisations have come on the front foot against the Patidar leader's demand to include the Patels in the OBC and give reservation to the community for education and jobs. The organisations that are opposing Hardik's demand, include Umiya Mata Sanstha from Unjh, Khodaldham Kagwad in Rajkot, Vishwa Umiya Foundation, Samast Patidar Samaj in Surat, Umiya Mataji Mandir in Sidsar and Sardar Dham in Ahmedabad. Earlier in the day, Hardik told ANI that "if the Congress takes steps in support of our issue (reservation), we will directly or indirectly support the party... The andolan is still on". He informed that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi came to meet him on Diwali. When asked if he is going to join the Congress to pursue the reservation issue, the PAAS convenor said, "I am not going to join any political party for the next two and a half years. Rahul visited to wish me during Diwali like any other people who come to meet me," said Patel. Hardik's reservation demand has come in the wake of the upcoming assembly election in Gujarat, wherein the Congress party is trying to woo the Patidar community. The Congress is counting on the Patidar votes to sway the election results of Gujarat polls in their favour and uproot the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been in power since 1995 in the state. The polls will be conducted in Gujarat in two phases. The polling for the first phase will be held on December 9 and for the second phase on December 14. The counting of the votes will be held on December 18.