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India
Modi's fresh salvo on Kejriwal, calls AAP 'Backstabber'
NEW DELHI, Jan 31 (Agencies): In a hard-hitting attack on AAP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called it "backstabber" and asked Delhiites not to repeat the "mistake" of voting for the Arvind Kejriwal-led party. During his over half-an-hour address at an election rally, Modi sought a clear mandate for the BJP, which fell short of majority in the 2013 polls, and asserted that his party will provide such a clean and stable government which people have "never seen" in the past, countering AAP's key election plank. Taking on AAP without naming the party, Modi made fun of its performance in the Lok Sabha elections, saying it "created a world record in forfeiting deposits". "The very people whom you voted for last time stabbed in your back. They shattered your dreams and destroyed Delhi. ...
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AAP releases manifesto for Delhi polls
NEW DELHI, Jan 31 (Agencies): Making a bid to woo all sections to return to power, the AAP today made a host of promises in its manifesto like 24X7 "affordable" power supply, free Wi-Fi across the city, installation of at least 10 lakh CCTV cameras for women security, making water a legal right and slashing VAT significantly. Releasing the manifesto, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said the document was not just another electoral document but the party's "Geeta, Bible, Quran and Guru Granth Sahib" which it will implement point-by-point if voted to power. "We want a Delhi where everyone will be proud of calling himself or herself its resident. Where every class grows equally, irrespective of caste or religion," Kejriwal said adding the manifesto is a product of four months of "intense research...
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Canisterised Agni V test-fired successfully
BALASORE, Jan 31 (Agencies): Marking another milestone in the country's deterrence capability, India today successfully carried out the maiden canister-based trial of its most potent missile Agni-V, which has a strike range of over 5000 kms and can carry a nuclear warhead of over one tonne. The missile was launched from a canister mounted on a road-mobile launcher at Wheeler's Island off Odisha coast. The three-stage, solid propellant "missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch complex-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at about 8.06 hours," ITR Director M V K V Prasad told agencies. Today's launch from a canister integrated with a mobile sophisticated launcher, was in its deliverable configuration that enables launch of the missile with a very short preparation tim...
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PM lauds scientists for successful test-firing of Agni-V
NEW DELHI, Jan 31 (Agencies): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hailed scientists for the successful test-firing of 'Agni V' and said the missile is a prized asset for the country's forces. "Successful test-firing of Agni V from a canister makes the missile a prized asset for our forces. I salute our scientists for their efforts," he tweeted. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also lauded the efforts of scientists and engineers in successful test-firing of Agni-V, a nuclear-capable missile. "Congrats! to the team of scientists and engineers for successfully test firing of Agni-V, the nuclear capable missile and making India proud," Jaitley tweeted. India successfully test-fired the canister version of its indigenously developed, intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballisti...
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Like Mukul, CBI should question Mamata Banerjee: BJP
KRISHNAGAR, Jan 31 (Agencies): BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh today demanded that the CBI should question Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in connection with the multi-crore Saradha scam saying there should not be different yardsticks for two people. "CBI should interrogate Mamata Banerjee because the probe agency can't have two different yardsticks for two people. There was a meeting between Saradha chief Sudipta Sen, Banerjee and Mukul Roy in Delo in Darjeeling district, which Roy had publicly admitted. "If the CBI called Mukul Roy for interrogation, then they should also call Banerjee under the same rule," Singh, who is in-charge of the party's state affairs, told reporters here. Stating that "dissidence in the TMC is growing every passing day," the BJP leader said the pa...
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Sonia Gandhi to campaign in Delhi on Feb 1
NEW DELHI, Jan 31 (Agencies): Congress President Sonia Gandhi will join the high-pitched battleground in Delhi to campaign for the party for the upcoming Assembly elections. Gandhi will address a rally at Meethapur Chowk in Badarpur constituency seat on February 1, Sunday. This will be her first rally of the election season. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has addressed two election rallies in the capital....
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MiG-21 crashes in Gujarat, pilot safe
JAMNAGAR, Jan 31 (Agencies): A MiG-21 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed near Bed village in Jamnagar district on Saturday while the pilot managed to eject safely, police said.“A MiG-21 crashed at Rasoolnagar area near Bed village, 20-km from Jamangar city,” District Superintendent of Police Neeraj Badgujar told agencies. “The pilot safely ejected and landed in tide-pool created by the sea water near the spot,” he said. The pilot, who sustained injuries, was later rescued by an IAF chopper, Mr. Badgujar said, adding police and fire brigade officials had reached the spot. No IAF officials were immediately available for comment. In 2012, two IAF choppers had collided and crashed near the same spot between Bed and Samrath villages and nine personnel had been killed. ...
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Centre committed to fulfil Mahatma's dream of sanitation
GUWAHATI, Jan 31 (Agencies): Union Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ram Kripal Yadav today asserted that the Centre was committed to fulfil Mahatma Gandhi's dream of providing pure drinking water and sanitation to every household. The state governments would be given all possible support to achieve this goal, Yadav said while reviewing the water and sanitation schemes of Assam at a meeting held at Water and Sanitation Support Organisation (WSSO) campus here. He urged the Assam government to give priority in providing pure drinking water and sanitation facilities in schools, for the economically backward classes, schedule classes, scheduled tribes and minorities. "If we achieve the goal of providing drinking water and sanitation, then we will be able eradicate 70 per ...
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Jayanthi's revelations vindicate BJP stand: Naidu
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Jan 31 (Agencies): Union Minister and senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu today termed as 'stunning' the revelations of former Congress Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, holding that they vindicated his party's charge that an extra- constitutional authority functioned under the UPA regime. Seizing on Natarajan's letter to AICC President Sonia Gandhi and her subsequent statements, Naidu told agencies here that the Congress owed an explanation to the country as to how it allowed this extra-constitutional authority to function. "She has confirmed our worst fears and public perception that Congress party leadership was working as an extra- constitutional authority during the UPA regime and were enjoying power without responsibility," he said. Moreover, there was credence to Nat...
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No political motive behind removal of Foreign Secretary: BJP
NEW DELHI, Jan 29 (Agencies): Defending the move to replace Sujatha Singh as Foreign Secretary, BJP today ruled out any political motive and said the government had acted well within its right to decide on appointment of officers. "I don't see any reason for hue and cry. A government is within its rights to decide how it would like to appoint what officers and with what responsibilities. And this is not the first time..... Preceding governments have taken (such) decisions," BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said. Singh was removed late last night from the crucial post of Foreign Secretary eight months before her tenure was to end and replaced by S Jaishankar, Ambassador to the US. "I do not see any reason that anyone can attribute any political motives. This is the right of the government,"...
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Throat infection hits Kiran Bedi on campaign trail
NEW DELHI, Jan 29 (Agencies): Out to campaign in the BJP strongholds of Karol Bagh and Rajendra Place, the party's chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi today had to keep mostly silent as she was suffering from a severe throat infection. All that Bedi, whom the party has said will hold as many as 70 rallies in Delhi ahead of the Feb. 7 polls, managed to say was that she will be victorious at the hustings and would come out to meet the people thereafter. Bedi canvassed for votes for the party's Karol Bagh candidate Yogendra Chandolia in the congested lanes of Paharganj and on Ajmal Khan Road in Karol Bagh. Her roadshow then moved towards Pusa Road, where she was joined by Sardar RP Singh, the candidate from Rajendra Place. Snaking its way through the narrow lanes of Paharganj market, ...
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Kejriwal to challenge EC order in High Court: AAP
NEW DELHI, Jan 29 (Agencies): AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal has decided to move the High Court after the Assembly polls challenging the Election Commission's order directing him to desist from commenting on the issue of BJP and Congress allegedly distributing money to voters. "We will move the High Court against the Election Commission after the election. But, at the moment, we will fully respect the EC order," an AAP spokesperson said. Taking "serious note" of Kejriwal's repeated remarks asking voters to accept bribe from Congress and BJP but vote for his party, the Election Commission had on Tuesday directed him to desist from making such comments in future and warned of stern action in case of any violation. A senior AAP functionary said the party will approach the HC because it believ...
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Govt to reconstitute Lokpal Search Committee
NEW DELHI, Jan 29 (Agencies): The UPA-appointed search committee to nominate members for the Lokpal will soon undergo an overhaul as the government plans to include new names in the panel. "There is no search committee for the Lokpal at the moment. It will be reconstituted," a senior government official said requesting anonymity. Ahead of the announcement of the general election last year, the UPA government had appointed an eight-member search committee in February in a hurry with Justice (retd) K T Thomas as the Chairperson. The other members were Kaki Madhava Rao (former IAS officer), F S Nariman (legal luminary), Prof Meenakshi Gopinath (educationist), M L Kumawat (former BSF Chief), H K Dua and Prof Mrinal Miri (Rajya Sabha MPs) and S Y Quraishi (former Chief Election Commissioner...
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Delhi Polls: No manifesto for BJP but a 'Vision Document'
NEW DELHI, Jan 29 (Agencies): BJP today announced that it will not come out with any manifesto for the Delhi Assembly polls and instead will release a vision document for the city in a day or two which will feature a roadmap for development and welfare of the people. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by BJP President Amit Shah during which various aspects relating to election campaign were discussed. "We will not release a party's manifesto for the Delhi Assembly election this time. Instead, we will come out with a vision document. The party has set a target to win the upcoming polls," senior party leader and Union Minister Ananth Kumar said after the meeting. He said the party will field 120 MPs, including a number of Union ministers, to campaign for the Delhi polls in the n...
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2 MLAs disqualified from UP Assembly after Lokayukta probe
LUCKNOW, Jan 29 (Agencies): Uttar Pradesh MLAs Bajrang Bahadur Singh of BJP and BSP's Uma Shankar Singh were disqualified by the Governor from state Assembly today on the recommendation of Lokayukta which indicted them for irregularities. Bajrang Bahadur Singh was elected from Pharenda in Maharajganj and Uma Shankar Singh from Rasra in Ballia district in the 2012 Assembly elections. Lokayukta N K Mehrotra had recommended their disqualification as it was found during probe that they had been working as contractors even after being elected to Uttar Pradesh Assembly. A Raj Bhawan statement said the Governor took the decision on the basis of the Lokayukta recommendation. Governor Ram Naik had sought a report from the Election Commission on Lokayukta's recommendation to disqualify Bajrang ...
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Govt under fire for debate talk on Sena's preamble demand
CHENNAI, Jan 29 (Agencies): The NDA government today came under attack from ally PMK over its willingness for a debate on whether the words "socialist and secular" should be in the Preamble to the Constitution after a demand by key ally Shiv Sena's for its removal that was dubbed as "worrying". The Sena's demand also drew flak from Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and Mahatma Gandhi's great grandson Tushar Gandhi who described it as "destructive", "reprehensible" and "contemptuous statement made out of ignorance and bigotry" while Samajwadi Party said it is "unfortunate" and would send a wrong message to the world. PMK expressed shock over the Government's suggestion for a debate on the Preamble after the Sena demand in the wake of its controversial advertisement and sought to remi...
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Maoists strike again, vandalise NHAI office
KOCHI, Jan 29 (Agencies): Suspected Maoists attacked the office of National Highway Authority of India at nearby Kalamassery and vandalised it this morning, police said. Some files were found strewn on the floor and others found burnt, police said. The incident is said to have occurred at around 9 AM. Some pamphlets of Maoists were also found from the spot. Kochi Police Commissioner K G James, who visited the office, confirmed there was an attack and said they suspected it to be the handiwork of Maoists. A forensic team also visited the office. This is the second attack by Maoists in Kochi after the one on the corporate office of Nitta Gelatin India Ltd at Panampilly Nagar in November last year. Today's attack comes close on the heels of the attack by maoists on a tourist resort at ...
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NDFB(S) militant shot dead in encounter
GUWAHATI, Jan 29 (Agencies): An NDFB-Songbijit 'sergeant major' involved in the killing of a teenage girl that shook the state last year, was shot dead in an encounter in Kokrajhar district tonight, a police officer said. At about 9.15 PM the militant exchanged fire with the police in the deep jungles of Ripu Reserve Forest under Kochugaon police station, 5 km north of Nabhi Nagar, IGP L R Bishnoi told agencies. The slain insurgent was identified as 'sergeant major' Jorneluish Narzary alias Jankla and a 7.65 pistol with a live magazine of four rounds of ammunition, two fired cases and two hand grenades were recovered from him, Bishnoi said. The other extremists who were with Narzary escaped under the cover of darkness in the dense forest, the IGP said. Narzary was directly involved in...
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VHP to organise 'Ram Mahotsava' for building temple in Ayodhya
LUCKNOW, Jan 29 (Agencies): Seeking to "mobilise Hindus" and "remind them of their resolve" for construction of a Ram temple, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is planning to organise 'Ram Mahotsava' for the first time on the lines of Durga Puja aross the country. "We will celebrate Ram Mahotsava from March 21 or March 22 and it will continue till April 1. This will be for the first time that such an event is being organised by the organisation," VHP Media incharge Sharad Sharma said today. This programme would be organised in every village in the country, he said. "It will give strength to Ram Janmbhoomi movement. The programme will not only be organised in villages where temples are located, but at those places also where there is no such arrangement," Sharma told PTI here. "During the Ma...
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Kerala asks Centre to help nurses stranded in Kuwait
THIRVANANTHAPURAM, Jan 29 (Agencies): Kerala government has asked the Centre to help nurses from the state "practically stranded" in Kuwait without job and income due to "foul play by unscrupulous" recruiting agencies. In a letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, state Minister for Culture and Non Resident Keralites Affairs K C Josph said large number of nurses from the state recruited by various agencies were now practically stranded in Kuwait as they were not given employment as per terms and agreement. More than 300 nurses were without job and income and such a situation has arisen "due to the foul play by the unscrupulous recruiting agencies", the minister said in the letter. It was also stated that these nurses had paid substantial amount for getting visa. Joseph wante...
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Jaya has asked to include Srirangam under HRIDAY: Naidu
CHENNAI, Jan 29 (Agencies): With two cities already in the list of 12 nationwide selected for the National Heritage city Development and Augmentation Yojana project, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has requested that Srirangam also be added to it. "Under HRIDAY scheme, two of the total of 12 cities identified for heritage status are from Tamil Nadu - Kancheepuram and Velankanni. Now former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has requested to consider Srirangam also to be identified for heritage status," Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said here today said. Addressing a seminar on 'Tamil Nadu Smart Cities,' organised by CII here, he noted that that every major city in the state has a history of heritage (ruled by) the Pallavas and Pandyas. "If you take any city in Tamil Na...
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Sunanda murder case: No question of resigning as MP, says Shashi Tharoor
New Delhi, Jan 28 (Agencies): Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has hit out both at media and a section of his own party for demanding his resignation as Member of Parliament. Tharoor was recently quizzed by the Delhi police concerning his wife Sunanda Pushkar’s mysterious murder case after which some members of the Congress party felt that Tharoor should resign from the party. Speaking to a news channel, Tharoor defended himself and said that no one can decide his fate except the law of the land. "As far as I am concerned, if we are going to become a country in which any charges in the media however unfounded, however false should lead a politician to give up the trust of the voters that he has won the hard way, then what kind of democracy is this? We have rules in our democracy, we have rule...
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NCC days taught me valuable lessons: PM Modi
New Delhi, Jan 28 (Agencies): Walking down memory lane, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today recalled his days as a young NCC cadet, saying his stint there taught him a lot, including values such as patriotism and way of life. Modi said that the annual National Cadet Corps Republic Day Camp was like a mini India and said unity in diversity is the country’s beauty and strength. “My childhood memories have been refreshed because I have also been an NCC cadet,” he said addressing the PM’s Rally at the NCC’s annual Republic Day Camp here. He said it was a privilege for him to come back to an atmosphere where he learnt the patriotism and way of life. Modi also tweeted a picture of him as a young NCC cadet. The Prime Minister, however, rued that he was never selected to come to Delhi for t...
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National Cadet Corps a 'mini-India': Narendra Modi
New Delhi, Jan 28 (Agencies): Calling the National Cadet Corps (NCC) a "mini-India", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said it displays the unity in diversity that is India's strength. Speaking at the NCC rally, the prime minister said it brought back memories of his childhood when he was a cadet of the NCC. The prime minister revealed that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, BJP's Delhi chief minister candidate Kiran Bedi and actor turned MP Jaya Bachchan were all NCC cadets. "I was also an NCC cadet but was never selected to come to Delhi," he said. "I am standing in front of a mini-India, a miniature of India's future... Our country is full of diversities, and unity in diversity is the...
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Malyalam actor Mala Aravindan is dead
Thrissur, Jan 28 (Agencies): Malayalam film industry's popular comedian Mala Aravindan, who acted in close to 400 films in the last 37 years, died Tuesday morning, his family said. He was 76. He suffered a cardiac arrest Jan 19 and was hospitalised. He breathed his last at a private hospital in Coimbatore. A noted theatre personality, Aravindan acted in his first film in 1968. Since then he has been an integral part of the film industry in the state, working in popular films such as "Meesha Madhavan", "Tharavu", "Patalam", and "Thadavara". Aravindan worked with three generations of Malayalam actors, from Prem Nazir, Jayan, Soman, Mammootty, Mohanlal to Dileep and now the younger actors. He was the president of the AMMA, the association of Malayalam film artistes. Chalakudy Lok Sabha ...
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