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BJP to up ante, paint AAP as Congress proxy

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Delhi, Taking a leaf out of the Aam Aadmi Party`s book, BJP has decided to get back to basics as far as campaigning for the 2014 parliamentary elections are concerned. At a meeting of national office-bearers here on Saturday which was attended by BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and party chief Rajnath Singh, the party decided to focus on traditional methods of campaigning rather than through social media. While the thrust was on social media till a couple of months back, BJP seems to have learnt from AAP reaping rich dividends from its face-to-face campaign in the recent Delhi assembly polls. The voter will have to be satisfied, said a party leader. This will be communicated down the line at the national executive meeting to be held over the next weekend which will be the last BJP executive before the Lok Sabha elections. It was decided that traditional campaigning will have to be more aggressive, forceful and the message to the people will have to be crisp and straight, a party source said. At the meeting, BJP`s central leaders discussed the AAP factor even as they feel
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Nothing wrong in Adarsh allotments: Shinde

Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Delhi, Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Friday reiterated that there was nothing wrong in Adarsh society allotments, as the land belonged to the Maharashtra government and there was no reservation in the high-rise for Kargil heroes. He claimed that he had made the recommendations for flats in Adarsh society purely on merit. There is nothing wrong in Adarsh society (allotments). You will have to go into the details of the report (of the judicial panel). The fact is that the land belonged to Maharashtra government and there was no reservation for Kargil heroes, Shinde told reporters here. The report of the two-member commission headed by retired high court judge J A Patil indicted several politicians, including four former chief ministers of the state -- Ashok Chavan, the late Vilasrao Deshmukh, Shinde and Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil -- for blatant violations of the statutory provisions. The state government has partially accepted the judicial panel`s report. However, action was limited to the indicted bureaucrats, while the politicians, barring Chavan, were given a clean chit saying that no
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Had scolded ex- home secretary for failing to do duty: Shinde

Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Delhi, Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Friday joined issue with former home secretary R K Singh over his claim that he had frequent quarrels with the minister during his tenure, stating that it was he who had scolded Singh for failing to do his duty. When asked to respond to the allegations by Singh, who joined the BJP last month, that he would often quarrel with his boss, Shinde was quick to underline that as a home minister, it was his job to run the administration very well. If anybody fails to do his duty, I am bound to take action against him in my capacity as home minister... I have to scold the police and secretary and anybody who fails to do his duty, he said. It is an open secret that Shinde had not taken kindly to failure of the intelligence agencies and police to prevent a security breach at his residence here in April 2013 by a group of Jat protestors. The minister was away on a tour to Russia at the time. Already miffed at the handling of the Nirbhaya protests in December 2012, Shinde, soon after his return, summoned the Delhi Police commissioner and Union home secretary and
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Yes, my hat is in the Lok Sabha ring, Nandan Nilekani says

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Bangalore, Ending months of speculation, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman Nandan Nilekani on Friday announced he is game for contesting the Lok Sabha elections from any Bangalore constituency for which the Congress nominates him. I am interested in doing something for the country. Politics is the biggest change-maker. I want to use my 35 years of experience in both corporate and public spaces to do something for the country, he said while speaking on the sidelines of his address at Christ University here. Launching Ideas for Bangalore, an online platform where citizens can post their ideas, he said: Unless I know what it is that people want me to do, what ideas they have for making this city an international one, how do I collaborate with them? We have started on Twitter, and may go to other social networking channels... to get ideas from citizens, Nilekani said. I hope to be an ambassador of Bangalore and represent the city nationally and internationally. The tagline of Ideas for Bangalore reads: We are all ordinary people. But, together, we can do extraordinary
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Devyani no longer enjoys immunity, may face arrest warrant: US

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Washington, The US has said that Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, who returned to New Delhi, no longer enjoys immunity and an arrest warrant might be issued against her. Prior to her (Khobragade) departure, it was conveyed to her and to the government of India that she is not permitted to return to the United States except to submit to the jurisdiction of the court. Her name would be placed in visa and immigration lookout systems to prevent the routine issuance of any future visa and upon her departure a warrant may be issued for her arrest, state department spokesperson Jen Psaki said. Khobragade`s departure from the US, she said, does not change the charges against the 39-year-old diplomat. On Thursday, Khobragade was indicted in a New York court on two counts of visa fraud and misrepresentation of facts. The charges remain in place. There are processes that are standard processes in each of these cases, which we were abiding by throughout this process, the state department spokesperson insisted. Arrested on December 12, Khobragade was strip-searched and held with criminals, triggering a
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AAP members protest in Sirsa seeking arrest of accused in seed sale scam case

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sirsa, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members in Sirsa sat on a dharna at the district headquarters to protest the non-arrest of Haryana Seed Development Corporation (HSDC) officials, who were booked for fraud in a seed scam exposed by AAP leaders in December 2013. A case involving siphoning of wheat seed meant for farmers had come to light on December 4, 2013 where over 1,000 quintals of seed found way to private dealers. Officials of HSDC responsible for ensuring distribution of seed to farmers in various parts of Sirsa had allegedly sold off wheat seeds worth over Rs 20 lakh. The case was exposed by activists of Haryana Kisan Manch and AAP leaders by carrying out a sting operation and they had approached the district administration with proof, seeking action against erring HSDC officials and seed dealers. Police had booked an HSDC district manager Ompal Singh and three others for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy on a complaint made by Sirsa additional deputy commissioner (ADC). The other accused included corporation`s marketing officer Duni Chand Chhapola, assistant store-in-charge Devraj and a seed
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Devyani flying back to India, transferred to New Delhi: Ministry of external affairs

Friday, January 10, 2014

New Delhi, Devyani Khobgragade, the Indian diplomat at the centre of a row with the United States, has been transferred to New Delhi from New York, the ministry of external affairs announced on Friday. Khobgragade has reiterated her innocence on charges filed against her of visa fraud and underpaying her nanny, a ministry statement said. She was flying back to India to take up duties at the ministry of external affairs in New Delhi, but for now her children remained in the United States, it
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Full text of ministry of external affairs statement on Devyani

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dr. Devyani Khobragade, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York, was accorded on 8th January 2014 the privileges and immunities of a diplomatic envoy under the terms of Section 15 of the Headquarters Agreement between the United Nations and the United States. At the same time, the U.S. Government requested the Government of India to waive the immunity of Counsellor Khobragade. On 9th January 2014, the Government of India declined to do so and transferred Counsellor Khobragade to the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. At the time of her departure for India, Counsellor Khobragade reiterated her innocence on charges filed against her. She affirmed her gratitude to the Government of India, in particular to the External Affairs Minister, and the people of India, as also the media, for their strong and sustained support during this period. She also affirmed her determination to ensure that the episode would not leave a lasting impact on her family, in particular, her children, who are still in the United States.
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Beni Prasad dismisses AAP, says poll surveys are managed

Friday, January 10, 2014

Lucknow, Union steel minister Beni Prasad Verma on Thursday said there was no threat to the Congress from the Aam Aadmi Party phenomena. Addressing a news conference at his Lucknow residence, Beni said, All surveys can be managed these days, referring obliquely to TOI-Ipsos poll. In the survey, conducted across eight major cities, 44% respondents said they will vote for AAP in Lok Sabha elections. Another 27% said their decision will depend on the candidate. Taking potshots at the Samajwadi Party government, Beni criticised the sheer extravagance at Saifai Mahotsava, especially in the wake of Muzaffarnagar riots. He said, Children are dying in Muzaffarnagar and the SP leaders are enjoying in Saifai. The government has spent crores from the state coffers, instead of helping relief work. Nothing can be worse. Referring to Mulayam as two-faced, the minister said it is not surprising that law and order is deteriorating in UP. When governments are formed with the assistance of hooligans, they must pay back by protecting them. Mulayam may claim he will initiate action against any rouge elements in the
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Congress going through tough times, Sonia Gandhi says

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Delhi, The worry gnawing at Congress in the wake of the debacle in assembly elections found expression on Wednesday with party chief Sonia Gandhi acknowledging that they were passing through trying and challenging times. We are meeting in trying and challenging circumstances. The results of the recent assembly elections have been deeply disappointing, she told party MPs. Sonia also tried to lift the spirits of her troops. Let us all go from here mindful of the challenges ahead but also mindful of the fact that no odds are insurmountable for a party such as ours, for a party with our legacy, with our history and with our track record of achievement, she said on the concluding day of the penultimate session of the 15th Lok Sabha. But the emphasis seemed to be on acknowledging the party`s failure to market its welfare politics, as well as to meet the aspirations of the people. We are going into the causes of the defeat. There are many, but it is obvious that we have not been able to convince the people of our policies, programmes and achievements. We have not, it seems, been able to fulfill their
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Crores spent to create rift with Anna: Kejriwal

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Delhi, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said crores of rupees have been spent to create a rift between him and Gandhian activist Anna Hazare. But Kejriwal told TimesNow news channel that Hazare was his guru and he lives in my heart. Annaji is my guru and he can say anything to me, whatever he wants. But political parties are spending money to create differences between us. And crores have been spent, Kejriwal said. Pressed to identity those allegedly conspiring against him, Kejriwal smiled and replied that all the bad people of various parties had ganged up to create differences between him and Hazare. Kejriwals comments came as Hazare ended a nine-day fast in his village in Maharashtra after parliament passed a Lokpal bill which the AAP leader feels is toothless - a view not shared by Hazare. Hazare has distanced himself from Kejriwal in recent times after jointly launching an anti-corruption campaign in 2011.
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Air force to mount BrahMos missile on Sukhoi-30 fighter jets

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mumbai, The Indian Air Force has chosen its frontline Sukhoi-30 fighter jets to mount BrahMos missiles the first test launch of which will be carried out by 2014-end. We have chosen Sukhoi-30, a deep penetration aircraft being made at Nashik, BrahMos Aerospace managing director and chief executive A S Pillai said on Thursday. The first production order of 40 sets of BrahMos missile air-frame assemblies, a key component of the projectile, was handed over to BrahMos Aerospace Private Limited (BAPL). The components were manufactured at Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Co Ltd in Vikhroli. Godrej said their association with BAPL dates back to August 2000. The second serial production order of another 100 sets has also been awarded to Godrej Aerospace. We have been committed to the cause of indigenous manufacturing of advanced weapon systems, said Jamshyd N Godrej, CMD of Godrej and Boyce. We have crossed another milestone, Pillai
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Criminal case against Bemloe company

Friday, November 22, 2013

Shimla, State vigilance and anti-corruption bureau finally registered a criminal case against Bemloe Development and Infrastructure Company Private Limited in Shimla on Thursday. A criminal case under section 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, 120-B of IPC and Section 33 of Indian Forest Act has been registered. Vigilance bureau has already approached the enforcement directorate to probe money laundering angle in the case. The development holds significance as while in opposition, Congress had accused previous BJP regime of providing undue benefit to the company. While in opposition, Congress had questioned the decision of permitting construction in the forest area. Following registration of the case, vigilance bureau officials have not ruled out arrests of people involved in hatching the conspiracy to benefit builders. In the investigation conducted so far, we have found vast irregularities and public servants who facilitated the company by going against the rules would be booked, said a senior officer. The officer further said that the issue of forged signature has also cropped up during the investigation and
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Cyclone Helen to cross Andhra Pradesh coast near Machilipatnam

Friday, November 22, 2013

Machilipatnam, The severe cyclonic storm, Helen, lay centred about 35 km southeast of Narsapur in West Godavari district and 85 km east-northeast of Machilipatnam in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh as per the observations of Indian Mateorological Departement (IMD) in the early hours of Friday. Based on these observations, IMD predicted that Helen would most likely move westward and cross Andhra Pradesh coast near Machilipatnam by Friday afternoon. After the landfall, the system would turn into a deep depression on Friday night and subsequently a depression on Saturday morning. The system is likely to weaken on Saturday night. Helen is likely to trigger heavy to very heavy rainfall in coastal Andhra Pradesh districts like Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam Vizianagaram, Guntur, Krishna and West Godavari districts during the next two days. Moderate rainfall would also occur at many places over south Odisha during the next 24 hours. Gale with wind speed reaching 100-110 kmph, gusting to 120 kmph would prevail over Prakasham, Guntur, Krishna, East and West Godavari districts besides Visakhapatnam
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Winamp ending 15-year run on Dec. 20

Thursday, November 21, 2013

It will be the end of an era for music lovers who got their sound fix on their computers in the late 1990s via a free music player called Winamp. Winamp this week announced that by Dec. 20, it will no longer make its player available for download and it would be shutting down its services. Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013. Additionally, Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download. Please download the latest version before that date, it said. Thanks for supporting the Winamp community for over 15 years, it added. Since 1998, Winamp had offered users the ability not only to play their favorite mp3 music files, but also customize the players with skins and plugins. The skins allowed the Winamp players to resemble various items, from iPods to mobile phones. AOL mismanagement? A report on Ars Technica said former Winamp employees blamed AOL, which acquired original Winamp maker Nullsoft in 1999, for mismanagement. AOL bought Winamp in June 1999 for over $80 million. The Ars Technica article quoted
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Ball now in Cong court on poll ties with JD(U): Shivanand

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Patna, One-sided love is dangerous, said senior JD (U) leader Shivanand Tiwari while answering a question whether the JD (U) would enter into an electoral alliance with the Congress for the coming Lok Sabha elections. He said the Congress, too, has to take a decision on the issue. He said any decision on electoral alliance or formation of the Third Front would be taken after the winter session of Parliament. Addressing a presser here, Tiwari felt BJP prime ministerial pick Narendra Modi would be injurious to democracy in the country as he followed the principles of RSS. He feared a civil war in the country if Modi became the PM. Modi has become greater than his party but is intellectually poor. He talks in an aggressive language and wants to bulldoze all parties except the BJP. He talks of liquidating the Congress, Tiwari said. According to the JD (U) leader, Modi has no vision for the development of the country, to curb militancy, Maoism or international ties. He wants to achieve everything by force, which is dangerous. The JD (U) leader said even by mistake the electorate should not make Narendra
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Three killed, 50 injured in roof collapse in Uttar Pradesh

Friday, November 15, 2013

Unao (UP), Two children were among three persons who were on Friday killed and nearly 50 others got injured when a roof on which they had gathered to see Muharram lighting on Imambara collapsed, police said. The incident took place in the wee hours this morning when the roof of a building, on which large number of persons were gathered in Sursaini village in Bangarmau area, collapsed they said. The people had gathered on the roof to see lighting on Imambara, police said, adding that those killed on the spot included Shahnawaz (22), Faheem (10) and Fatima (8). Over 40 injured have been rushed to different hospitals, they
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Nine people arrested for salt shortage rumour in Bihar

Friday, November 15, 2013

Patna, Nine people were arrested Friday for allegedly spreading rumours of an acute shortage of salt in Bihar due to which its prices shot up to Rs 150 a kg in a day, police said. Salt normally sells for Rs 8 - Rs 16 depending on its quality. Nine people were arrested for alleged blackmarketing of salt from Darbhanga, Champaran`s Bettaih, Barauni in Begusarai and Danapur in Patna districts since Thursday night, an officer said. I have asked district authorities to lodge FIRs against the hoarders selling salt at rates above the maximum retail price under section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, Bihar`s food and civil supply minister Shyam Razak told IANS here. Principal secretary (Food and Civil Supplies) Sishir Sinha asked the people not to buy salt in panic as Bihar had adequate stocks. The state government alerted officials and police on Thursday after it was reported that salt was being sold at an exorbitant Rs 50 to Rs 150 per kg in parts of state amid rumours of its acute shortage. Rubbishing the rumours, Razak said that reports of a salt shortage in the state were baseless.
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Philippines typhoon: Official death toll reaches 1,744

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Manila, The government has raised the official death toll from the Philippines typhoon disaster to 1,744 people, with the final number expected to be much higher. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council also said in a statement Tuesday that 2,487 people had been hurt after Typhoon Haiyan struck the eastern Philippines four days ago. But both figures are expected to climb drastically, with authorities estimating that the storm killed 10,000 or more across a vast region of the country, and displaced about 660,000 others. On Thursday, thousands of survivors were swarming airports seeking flights to safer
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Subhash Goswami takes over as ITBP chief

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Delhi, IPS officer Subhash Goswami on Monday took over as the new director general of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). Goswami took charge from ADG Mahboob Alam who was officiating as DG in the absence of a regular chief. A 1977 batch officer of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre, Goswami has served in Assam in various capacities as SP NC Hills and Morigaon, commandant of battalions in Assam Police, DIG (Central Western Range) Guwahati, DIG (Western Range) Kokrajhar, DIG (security), DIG (border), director, Assam State Fire Service Organisation, Guwahati and IGP (Bureau of Investigation and Economic Offences). Goswami also served as IGP of CRPF from February 2001 to February 2008. He served the Assam Police Housing Corporation Ltd as chairman-cum-managing director from November 2009 to February 2013. He has been decorated with the Indian police medal for meritorious service in 2001 and the President police medal for distinguished services in 2007. Before joining ITBP, he was at National Police Academy at Hyderabad as its
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