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Urmila Matondkar, Kripashankar quit Congress

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Mumbai: Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar and former Maharashtra minister Kripashankar Singh on Tuesday announced their resignations from the Congress.

Urmila, who unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha election in April from Mumbai, said she was quitting owing to “petty in-house politics” in the party. Singh said he was leaving the Congress as he did not agree with party’s stand to oppose the reading down of Article 370.

The resignations come as another setback to the Congress, which has already seen the exit of many functionaries ahead of the next month’s Maharashtra assembly elections.

The announcement by Matondkar, who had bagged 2,41,431 votes in the Mumbai North Lok Sabha seat, came as a huge embarrassment for the Congress, which is struggling to keep its flock together ahead of the Maharashtra assembly polls, slated to be held next month.

In a statement, Matondkar observed that the key functionaries of the Mumbai Congress are either unable to or are not committed to transforming the party.

“I have resigned from the Indian National Congress. My political and social sensibilities refuse to allow vested interests in the party to use me as a mean to fight petty in-house politics instead of working on a bigger goal in Mumbai Congress,” she said.

Matondkar said the first thought of resignation came to her mind when she realised that “no action” was being taken despite her “repeated efforts” on her letter dated May 16 addressed to the then Mumbai Congress president Milind Deora.

Singh, a former Mumbai Congress president, told PTI that he will reveal his political stand at an “appropriate time” and added that he is not joining the BJP. “I quit the Congress because I do not agree with the party stand to oppose reading down of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Singh served as Mumbai Congress chief and was also a minister in the Congress-NCP coalition government for 15 years.

A Mumbai court last year discharged Singh in a disproportionate asset case for want of sanction to prosecute him. He had come under ED and CBI scanner in the case.

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Nasa finds Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram with help of Indian engineer

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New York: NASA has found the crash site and debris of India’s Chandrayaan-2 Vikram moon lander following a tip from an Indian space enthusiast who examined pictures of the area of the moon taken by a US orbiting camera.

The site was located by Shanmuga Subramanian, who on his own scoured the pictures taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbital Camera (LROC), NASA and Arizona State University announced on Monday confirming the find.

The first mosaic image of the likely crash site made from pictures taken by the LROC on September 17 was downloaded by several people to look for signs of the Vikram, NASA said.

One of them, Subramanian, contacted the LROC project with a positive identification of debris, it said.

Arizona State University (ASU), where the LROC project is located, said: “After receiving this tip, the LROC team confirmed the identification by comparing before and after images.”

When the images for the first mosaic were acquired on September 17, the impact point was poorly illuminated and could not easily be identified, it said.

But two image sequences were acquired on October 14 and 15, and on November 11 were better.

The November mosaic shows best the impact crater, ray and extensive debris field. The three largest pieces of debris are each about 2×2 pixels and cast a one pixel shadow.

The three largest pieces of debris are each about 2×2 pixels and casts a one pixel shadow.

The university said that based on Subramanian’s tip, the LROC team scoured the surrounding area in the new mosaics and found the impact site and the debris field.

The impact site is located at 70.8810 degree S, 22.7840 degrees E, at an elevation of 834 metres, it said.

“The debris first located by Shanmuga is about 750 metres northwest of the main crash site,” ASU said.

Vikram lost contact with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) following its launch from Chandraayan-2 moon orbiter on September 6 when it tried to make a softlanding near the moon’s south pole.

In a statement NASA said: “Despite the loss, getting that close to the surface was an amazing achievement.”

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