Morning Brief: AgustaWestland Middleman Christian Michel Was Also Lobbying Against Rafale; M&A Deals Double, Hit A Record High Of $129 Billion; And More

by Swarajya Staff - Jan 7, 2019 09:12 AM +05:30 IST
Morning Brief: AgustaWestland Middleman Christian Michel Was Also Lobbying Against Rafale; M&A Deals Double, Hit A Record High Of $129 Billion; And MoreChristian Michel, the alleged middleman in the multi-crore AgustaWestland chopper deal, at a CBI court in New Delhi, India. (Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images) 

Good Morning, dear reader! Here’s your morning news brief for today.

Middleman Christian Michel Was Also Lobbying Against Rafale Deal

AgustaWestland middleman Christian Michel, who had access to the top leadership of the Congress and the Cabinet Committee of Security's proceedings, was also lobbying against the Rafale deal, India Today has reported. According to the magazine, Michel was working with another VVIP chopper deal middleman, Guido Haschke, to seal the deal in favour of Eurofighter. Papers found during a raid on Haschke’s home and office talk about lobbying the politicians, Air Force officials and others to put Eurofighter in the "win zone".

The Eurofighter had emerged as Rafale’s only competitor in the last stage of the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft competition. The fighter has been developed by a consortium of defence and aerospace companies from the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. Interestingly, 21 per cent shares in this consortium are held by Finmeccanica, the company which owns AgustaWestland.

Indian Companies Log Record $129 Billion In M&A Deals In 2018

The value of merger and acquisition (M&A) deals doubled in 2018 to reach $129.4 billion, Mint has reported, citing data compiled by Thomson Reuters. According to the daily’s report, the value of domestic M&A deals increased from $26.7 billion in the year 2017 to $57.3 billion in 2018. Similarly, the value of cross-border M&A deals more than doubled to $69.2 billion in the year 2018.

A 17.2 per cent growth was seen in the number of deals announced. The average size M&A deals increased to $127.8 million in 2018 from to $82.8 million in 2017. At least five deals above $5 billion, which had a combined value of around $40 billion, were reported this year. Only one such deal was reported in 2017.

Bihar's Mahagathbandhan Meets Today For Seat Sharing Talks

Leaders of Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and other parties will meet today to arrive at a formula to share 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, RLSP’s Upendra Kushwaha, Jitan Ram Manjhi and Congress’s Madan Mohan Jha are likely to participate. The six-party conglomerate is likely to give Lalu Yadav's RJD, which had won 80 of the state's 243 seats in the assembly elections, the most seats.

This meeting comes just days after the National Democratic Alliance declared that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's party and the BJP will contest on 17 seats each and Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janashakti Party will get six seats.

Nine To Ten Phase Lok Sabha Polls Jointly With Maharashtra, Haryana?

The 2019 Lok Sabha elections might be held in nine or ten phases as the Election Commission (EC) is likely to club assembly polls in six to seven states with the big political battle, The New Indian Express has reported. As assembly terms in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh will end in May and June, these states will have elections along with the Lok Sabha polls. The government is also planning to hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir at the same time. The terms in Maharashtra and Haryana end in the first week of November and the polls in these states could be clubbed with the Lok Sabha elections if the BJP-led governments in these states decide to dissolve assemblies six months before the scheduled end of their terms.

According to the daily, the EC may announce the election schedule around the last week of February, and polling may start from 8 April. “The template would be the schedule of the 2014 polls, when voting began on April 7, and over nine phases, going on till May 12,” the daily quoted an officer as saying.

IAF To Build Modern Shelters For Fighters

Amid reports that China is improving infrastructure at its air bases in Tibet, the Indian Air Force has got the approval to build 108 modern shelters to house fighter aircraft in forward areas on India’s northern borders. These shelters, which will mostly house Su-30 MKIs, will be capable of protecting fighters from 2,000- pound bombs. The existing shelters can withstand a blast from a 1,000-pound bomb. Rs 5,500 crore have been sanctioned for the project.

In October 2018, Hindustan Times reported that China is building underground bomb-proof shelters at Lhasa airport in Tibet to the station and secure fighter jets there. These shelters can hold about 36 aircraft.

From Swarajya

No Rahul Gandhi, Congress Did Not Create India’s Growth Story: Based on track record, incompetence is a charge more easily attached to the leadership of the previous Congress-led UPA government.

Why Exactly Should Bengal Honour A 19th Century Wahhabi Radical? No, Titumir was not a ‘freedom fighter’. He was an Islamist radical who propagated and practised jihad against Hindus.

Why Rahul Gandhi’s Parliament Gaffe Is An Ironic Self-Goal On India’s Jet Crisis: The irony is, the Congress government in the eighties did precisely what the Congress party now accuses the Narendra Modi government of doing.

We hope you enjoyed reading our morning brief. Have a great day ahead!

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