|Rahul slams Modi's 'Toffee Model' development in Gujarat|
|KISANGANJ (BIHAR), Apr 16 (Agencies): Congress Vice-president Rahul Gandhi today tore into Narendra Modi's 'toffee model' development of Gujarat saying it was nothing but loot of public money.
"Gujarat model of development can be called toffee model or 'gubbara' (ballon) model, which is nothing but loot of public money to benefit big people like Tata and Adani," Gandhi told an election rally in minority-dominated Kisanganj.
In his 20-minute-long speech, Gandhi cited many instances to 'reveal the truth' of the Gujarat model of development and blamed BJP for selling the idea across the country with the aim to make Narendra Modi Prime Minister.
Elaborating his charge of 'toffee model' development by Modi, the Congress Vice-President said he had given away 45,000 acres belonging to poor fa...|
|US-Based NRIs reach India to campaign for Modi|
|AHMEDABAD, Apr 16 (Agencies): BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has found supporters away from India, as a group of US-based non-resident Indians (NRIs), who had raised funds for Barack Obama during the 2012 US presidential elections, have come to India to root for him.
A team of 650 NRI volunteers led by Bharat Barai under his 'Global Indians for Bharat Vikas' association, is currently in Gujarat to boost the 'Modi for PM' campaign.
"Yes, I had raised funds for Barack Obama during the Presidential elections and now I have come here to support Narendra Modi," Barai, a doctor from Chicago, told PTI.
Showing his email conversations with the US President and first lady Michelle Obama, he said, "Many NRIs in America want Modi to hold India's top post. Hence, we pledged to und...|
|Gujarat court issues notice to Kejriwal for code breach|
|GANDHIDHAM, Apr 16 (Agencies): A local court in Kutch district, Gujarat, today issued a notice to the Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal and asked him to appear before it within ten days for alleged breach of the Model Code of Conduct during his "fact finding" tour last month.
Gandhidham Judicial Magistrate K D Prasad ordered Kejriwal to appear before the court here in connection with the violation of the election code.
The former Delhi chief minister, during his four-day "reality check" tour of Gujarat, had addressed a public gathering using a loud speaker in Rishabh corner of Gandhidham town, Kutch district, without prior permission.
The Gandhidham police on March 6 had lodged an FIR against Kejriwal and five other party workers for allegedly being in breach of the notification is...|
|LS battle between 2 ideologies, says Priyanka in Rae Bareli|
|RASETA (RAE BARELI), Apr 16 (Agencies): Mounting an attack on Narendra Modi and the BJP for practicing an "ideology rooted in communalism", Priyanka Gandhi today kick-started the poll campaign in her mother Sonia Gandhi's constituency here portraying the Lok Sabha polls as a battle between two ideologies.
"You are seeing two opposite kinds of politics in this election. On the one hand there is an ideology of Congress which believes in unity...Which is of the view that everybody should come together."
"On the other hand, there is an ideology to the contrary which is rooted in communalism. They might say anything but the internal truth is that their purpose is to propogate communalism and divide," Priyanka said addressing a public meeting in Raahi village which falls under Rae Bareli town...|
|Under attack over SL Tamils, Sonia raises Rajiv's killing|
|KANYAKUMARI, Apr 16 (Agencies): Dismissing as "false propaganda" that the Congress was not concerned about Tamils in Sri Lanka, Sonia Gandhi today raised husband Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, saying the former prime minister sacrificed his life "fighting" for them.
Addressing her maiden election rally in Tamil Nadu, Gandhi also attacked the Jayalalithaa Government, virtually charging it with adopting a lethargic approach to the initiative taken by the UPA on fishermen level talks to end the recurring attacks on fishermen.
"I am aware that some political parties accuse us that we have not done anything for Tamils in Sri Lanka. I want to ask them is there any party other than Congress which has done more for the Sri Lankan Tamils," she said.
Gandhi said her husband had "sacrificed his li...|
|50 passengers injured as train derails in Assam|
|GUWAHATI, Apr 16 (Agencies): Over 50 passengers were injured, 19 of them seriously, when the engine and 10 coaches of the Dimapur-Kamakhya BG Express derailed at Teghiria in central Assam in the wee hours today.
The derailment damaged 100 mts of railway line leading to cancellation of eight trains on the route. The Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani Express has also been detained at Lumbing, railway officials said.
They said the engine and 10 coaches of the train derailed near Jagiroad in Morigaon district at around 2:AM.
Nineteen passengers were seriously injured and have been admitted to various hospitals including Gauhati Medical College Hospital, police said.
Many passengers were discharged after receiving first aid in Morigaon Civil Hospital. The cause of the derailment is being invest...|
|2 tiffin bombs found in Chhattisgarh on Poll eve|
|RAIPUR, Apr 16 (Agencies): Two tiffin bombs, suspected to be planted by Maoists to target security forces and polling parties during Lok Sabha elections, were found in the insurgency-hit Kanker district of Chhattisgarh. Kanker is among the three Lok Sabha seats going to polls tomorrow in the second phase of Chhattisgarh elections.
Besides, two Naxals involved in several incidents of crime were nabbed in Narayanpur district, police said.
"Two tiffin-bombs of 10 kg each were found at separate places on Mandagaon-Mendra road under Badgaon police station limits last evening," a senior police official told PTI today.
The joint squad of 127 battalion of Border Security Force and a team of local police was on a demining exercise to ensure security ahead of polls in the region, located around ...|
|Muslim community frightened of Modi's name: Nitish|
|BAGALPUR, Apr 16 (Agencies): A day after BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi held rally in minority-dominated Bhagalpur, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today hit at his rival saying the minority Muslim community are "frightened" hearing his name.
"Minority community are frightened hearing his name. How can he take the country together," Kumar said addressing an election rally in at Garohtiya panchayat in Bhagalpur.
Kumar was canvassing for JD(U) candidate from Bhagalpur Abu Kaisar who is pitted against BJP's Syed Shahnawaz Hussain for the Bhagalpur seat that would go to poll on April 24. RJD has fielded Bullo Mandal on the seat.
The Bihar Chief Minister also hit at his bete noire Lalu Prasad and said that he claims himself as champion of secularism but is in alliance wit...|
|Gujarat at the bottom of human development index: Rawat|
|DEHRADUN, Apr 16 (Agencies): Training his guns on the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat today said the Narendra Modi-ruled Gujarat is one of the worst performing states on the human development index in the country.
The much-touted Gujarat model of development is nothing but an inflated balloon, he told reporters here.
"The BJP-ruled Gujarat, in fact, figures along with 11 other states at the bottom of the human development index," Rawat said.
Even Uttarakhand which saw one of the worst tragedies in its history last year presents a better model of development than Gujarat, he said.
Drawing a comparison between the two states, Rawat said the amount given to widows as pension in Uttarakhand is Rs 800 while it is a paltry Rs 400 in Gujarat.
|10-yr bad governance has decided poll results: Advani|
|AHMEDABAD, Apr 16 (Agencies): Veteran BJP leader L K Advani today said the results of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections are pre-decided because of ten years of UPA's bad governance and corruption.
"In every election there are two adversaries, but it is not so this time. People have made up their mind after ten years' bad governance and corruption (of UPA) before the polls. Even before the results. All the people estimate that this poll is pre-decided," Advani, who is candidate from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat, told reporters at the airport.
After briefing the media, Advani left for a road show in Ahmedabad's Ranip area which falls in his Lok Sabha seat.
This is the second road show of the former Deputy Prime Minister in his traditional parliamentary constituency. He had earlier conducted roa...|
|Empower people through legally backed entitlement: Prez|
|KISANGANJ, Apr 16 (Agencies): President Pranab Mukherjee today said the philosophy of development in recent times is to empower people through entitlements which are backed by legal guarantees.
Mukherjee said this to a group of Probationers of Indian Postal Service (2010-13 batch) and Indian P&T Accounts and Finance Service (2011-13 batch) who called on him at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Addressing the probationers, the President said they were entering government service at a time of great flux and ever increasing expectations of the citizenry from our public machinery.
"The environment today presents myriad challenges and opportunities at the same time. The state is today no longer merely responsible for the maintenance of law and order or the dispensation of justice. Its role today is far m...|
|New slogan of Cong 'Main Nahin Mom': Arun Jaitley|
|NEW DELHI, Apr 15 (Agencies): BJP leader Arun Jaitley today took a potshot at the Congress over the televised messages of Sonia Gandhi, saying that the party had been forced to change its principal communicator since Rahul Gandhi's speeches to the people were "not working".
Taking a jibe in a post on his website, he said the new slogan of the Congress was 'Main Nahin Mom' (Not me, Mom) and claimed that last minute attempts to change the electoral agenda through paid television time would not click.
Jaitley said that an opinion poll by a leading channel had shown the NDA may get an absolute majority and "as the Congress shrinks further, its campaign has resulted in a naught" as it is "too abstract and confused".
"The Congress Party changed track yesterday. Rahul Gandhi-led campaign and ...|
|CBI is like DDT, dept of dirty tricks: Gopal Krishna Gandhi|
|NEW DELHI, Apr 15 (Agencies): CBI was in for some harsh words today when former Governor of West Bengal Gopalkrishen Gandhi said the central probe agency had gained notoriety as "as government's hatchet" and "Department of Dirty Tricks" which was clothed in "opacity" with perfume of "mystery".
Delivering 15th D P Kohli Memorial Lecture today, Gandhi, who was CBI's guest speaker, minced no words while batting for bringing the agency within the purview of Right to Information Act (RTI) and making it "spectacularly" and not "sensationally" autonomous.
"It is seen as government's hatchet, rather than honesty's ally. It is often called DDT -- meaning not the dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane, the colourless, tasteless, odourless insecticide it should be, but the Department of Dirty Trick"," ...|
|Balak Mann' Rahul still in a world of balloons, toffees: Modi|
|BAGALPUR (BIHAR), Apr 15 (Agencies): Narendra Modi today used the book authored by Prime Minister's former media adviser to mock at Manmohan Singh and targeted Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, saying they wielded the real power instead of the PM.
"I used to think why the PM never laughed during the last 10 years. I made some unsavoury remarks against him. But after reading this book, I think I should not have said such unsavoury things about him.
"He was not at fault and was unnecessarily criticised. All the fault lies with the mother and son (Sonia and Rahul)," the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate said addressing a rally here.
He was referring to Sanjaya Baru's book which suggested that the Prime Minister was "defanged" by the Congress and all key decisions were taken at the behest of ...|
|Priyanka slams Varun, says polls not a family tea party|
|AMETHI, Apr 15 (Agencies): In sharp escalation of their war of words, Priyanka Gandhi fired yet another salvo at Varun Gandhi saying the Lok Sabha elections is "an ideological war" and that his actions amounted to "betrayal" of the family.
The passage at arms between the two cousins occurred early in the morning from across nearby towns in the midst of electioneering as Varun filed his nomination from Sultanpur constituency.
Varun also hit back at her accusing her of "crossing limits of decency" and said that one cannot raise one's stature by belittling somebody.
"This is not a family tea party. It is an ideological war. I believe anybody, no matter how close they are, own blood relations...If they are going to be on that side of the ideological divide.
"He had expressed his views in ...|
|Vajpayee-Advani partnership replaced by Modi-Adani: Rahul|
|HINGOLI (MAHARASHTRA), Apr 15 (Agencies): Vajpayee-Advani partnership has been replaced by Modi-Adani one, Rahul Gandhi said today, taking a jibe at Gujarat Chief Minister and his alleged favours to the Adani group.
Addressing a rally here, he said Modi had given land equal to the size of Aurangabad in Maharashtra to Adani just for Rs 300 crore at the rate of Re one per square metre.
"Today there is 'raj' (rule) of Adaniji (in Gujarat). Earlier, there used to be (Atal Bihari) Vajpayeeji-(L K) Advaniji partnership. Now there is (Narendra) Modiji and (Gautam) Adaniji partnership. And that is a 'toffee model'," the Congress Vice President said, attacking the Gujarat Chief Minister.
"Earlier there used to be Advaniji. If you remove 'v' from Advani, it will become Adani," he said.
|Rajnath Singh meets top Muslim clerics in Lucknow|
|LUCKNOW, Apr 15 (Agencies): In an apparent attempt to garner support from Muslims ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, BJP president and party nominee from the Lucknow seat, Rajnath Singh, met prominent Muslim clerics here.
Singh along with sitting MP Lalji Tandon and Mayor Dinesh Sharma last night met vice-president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Kalbe Sadiq and Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, Maulana Hameeudul Hassan, Maulana Yasoob Abbas and Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali, party sources said.
Talking about the meet, Tandon today said, "These are courtesy meetings. Every candidate meets prominent people of different sections of society and seek their support." According to him, there were no political discussions at the meeting in which the clerics discussed problems faced b...|
|SC recognises transgenders as third gender|
|NEW DELHI, Apr 15 (Agencies): In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court today granted legal recognition to transgenders or eunuchs as third category of gender and directed the Centre and all states to treat them as socially and educationally backward classes to extend reservation in admission in educational institutions and for public appointments.
Paving the way to bring the transgender in national mainstream, the apex court directed governments to take steps to remove problems faced by them such as fear, shame, social pressure, depression, and social stigma.
A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and A K Sikri held that discrimination faced by transgenders,also known as Hijras, eunuchs, Kothis, Aravanis, Jogappas, Shiv-Shakthis etc, is "unimaginable" and their rights have to be protecte...|
|FIR against Hema Malini for addressing people in temple|
|MATHURA, Apr 15 (Agencies): An FIR has been filed against actress Hema Malini, the BJP candidate from Mathura Lok Sabha seat, for allegedly violating the model code of conduct by addressing people at a temple in Bera village here.
"Not only flag and banner of the party was put on the building of Alkeswar Temple of Bera village falling under Mat Tahsil, but Hema Malini addressed a meeting on loudspeaker using temple premises as platform on April 7," ADM Dhirendra Sachan said.
Three FIRs have already been filed against the actress for alleged violation of the model code of conduct, he stated.
Meanwhile, notices have been issued against three other candidates from the constituency for alleged violation of model code of conduct.
"While AAP candidate Anuj Garg was found guilty of distribut...|
|Kumar Vishwas declares assets worth Rs 4-cr|
|AMETHI, Apr 15 (Agencies): Aam Aadmi Party nominee from Amethi Kumar Vishwas today declared his assets about Rs four crore in an affidavit filed along with his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha polls.
Kumar has declared assets including that of his wife Manju Sharma. As per the affidavit, while gross total value of Kumar's movable assets is more than Rs 1.28 crore, that of his wife is more than Rs 56 lakh.
The current market value of his immovable properties, including two residential flats in Rishikesh and Vasundhara in Ghaziabad is around Rs 1.29 crore, while that of his wife is Rs 65.07 lakh, which includes agricultural land.
The 44-year-old poet-turned-politician has mentioned lecturer as his occupation.
He has liabilities of Rs 6.73 lakh against him.
The PhD scholar has declar...|
|Modi takes a dig at Sonia for her televised appeal|
|BHAGALPUR, Apr 15 (Agencies): Narendra Modi today took a swipe at Sonia Gandhi for her televised appeal, saying it reflected her realisation that her son Rahul Gandhi had not delivered on the election front.
"All of a sudden Sonia Gandhi has come to the fore to take charge of the (election) campaign. She had thought that her son would do something. But when nothing happened. What could she do? The mother herself had to come to the fore, appear on TV to deliver advertised messages to the nation," the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate said on her message televised last night.
"You must have seen this paid news. They have lots of money, they can buy TV (channels), they can buy time on TV and tell what they want to say," Modi said addressing a rally here.
Sonia Gandhi had last night appeal...|
|Cong does a U-Turn, calls Vajpapee 'India's weakest PM'|
|NEW DELHI, Apr 14 (Agencies): Days after the Congress praised A B Vajpayee to target Narendra Modi, the party did a U- turn today calling the BJP veteran "the weakest PM India ever had", a taunt often directed at Manmohan Singh by the opposition party.
In his tweet, Congerss spokesman Sanjay Jha alleged that Vajpayee was the "weakest" Prime Minister as he had failed to protect India's border and country's interests while dealing with Pakistan.
He said that Vajpayee had even failed to handle Narendra Modi whom he wanted removed as Chief Minister in the wake of Gujarat riots in 2002.
"The weakest PM ever was AB Vajpayee, who wanted to sack Mr Modi for the ghastly Gujarat massacre, but succumbed to BJP bullying," he tweeted.
The Congress spokesman also took potshots at Vajpayee over ...|
|Advani dubs Manmohan Singh as the 'Weakest PM Ever' |
|KATIHAR, Apr 14 (Agencies): Senior BJP leader L K Advani today returned Congress' barb of Atal Behari Vajpayee being the weakest Prime Minister by dubbing Manmohan Singh as such and saying that the party will be swept out of power at the Centre and from some states.
"I have never seen such a weak prime minister. He has been the weakest prime minister ever," he told an election meeting here echoing PM's former media adviser Sanjay Baru's book The Accidental Prime Minister.
Advani alleged that Singh hid his failure to rein in corruption and scams behind compulsions of coalition politics, but he was too weak a Prime Minister to prevent corruption among ministers in his government.
"The Prime Minister should not have allowed corruption and scams to take place in the first place and exer...|
|BJP dancing to tunes of extremist RSS: Sonia Gandhi|
|MORADABAD, Apr 14 (Agencies): Terming the Lok Sabha elections as a battle between two completely different ideologies, Sonia Gandhi today alleged that BJP was dancing to the tune of RSS whose "parochial and extremist" thought was aimed at dividing the society.
Wooing Muslims, she said the Congress government has taken "historical" measures like carving out a separate ministry for the welfare of minorities and launching National Wakf Development Corporation while putting a special emphasis on empowering women from the community.
One one hand, the Congress President said at an election rally, stood Congress which has been led by the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad and other such greats whose sacrifices are there for people to see.
"There is another ideology which dances to the t...|
|Decision not to contest elections is personal: Priyanka|
|NEW DELHI, Apr 14 (Agencies): Priyanka Gandhi today trashed reports that she wanted to challenge Narendra Modi for the Lok Sabha seat from Varanasi and was stopped by the party high command, stating it is a "personal" decision not to contest and that her family would "wholeheartedly support" her if she ever wanted to.
Priyanka came out with a rare statement to journalists following reports this morning that she was keen to be the Congress candidate from Varanasi as she was willing to place a higher principle above the real risk of defeat.
"My decision to not contest is personal. I will only change it when I feel from within that I should," she said.
She went on to reinforce her earlier remarks that she wanted to campaign only in Amethi, from where her brother is contesting, and in R...|