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MPs absent during voting in trouble: Congress

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March 20, 2012

17:57  MPs absent during voting in trouble: Congress :  The Congress will seek explanation from its members absent in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha during voting on President Address, says Parliamentary Affairs minister P K Bansal.
17:50  Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna's 10-member cabinet has been sworn in.
17:41  Hairdressers can diagnose cancer :  

Hairdressers can and should be trained to check their clients for skin cancer, say health experts. Currently there is no general screening programme in the UK, despite this cancer being one of the most common types. It is estimated that about 100,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the UK every year. Lesions on the scalp and the back of the neck can easily go unnoticed, and experts say hairdressers are the ideal people to spot these.


Read the bbc report.

17:36  UPA allies to meet thrice a week during Parl session:  All UPA allies to meet thrice a week during the Parliament session. The days decided are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The purpose of the meetings is to ensure better coordination. This comes after the NCP and TMC have been insisting on a coordination committee.
17:28  Windstorms kill 1, injure 17 in Kashmir :  

One person was killed and 17 others were injured as storms wreaked havoc in Kashmir Valley today damaging nearly 9,000 structures and throwing normal
life out of gear. Mohammad Maqbool Magray, a resident of Kangan in
Ganderbal district, died after the branch of Chinar tree fell on him, an official spokesman said. 

Seventeen other persons were injured in similar incidents in the rest of the Valley due to the high speed winds, blowing as fast as 30 knots, since last night, the spokesman said. Property worth crores of rupees was damaged by powerful overnight storms, he said.

17:02  Vodafone tax case: SC dismisses govt's review plea:  

The Supreme Court today dismissed the government's review plea in the Vodafone-Hutch tax case. The apex court had ruled in favour of Vodafone in Rs 11,000 crore tax case. 

Read the Economic Times report.

16:59  School bus falls into canal in Andhra Pradesh:  

A school bus in Andhra Pradesh falls into a canal. The bus was carrying students of LV Reddy School. Details awaited.


On February 28, four students were killed and 15 went missing when another school bus fell into a canal in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

16:54  BJP compares Trivedi to student, PM headmaster:  Punj said Trivedi's case is like that of a student who has performed well in exam and is praised by his school headmaster for the achievement. "The next day his headmaster pulls his ears and rusticates him for doing well. What should we make of this headmaster and his role," he said.
16:52  BJP attacks PM for agreeing to sack Trivedi:  

The man who continues to remain in the news -- Dinesh Trivedi.

Attacking the Prime Minister over the removal of Dinesh Trivedi, the BJP today said if the former Railways Minister was sacked due to increase in fares, the role of the Prime Minister and Finance Minister should also be questioned in the whole episode. 


Trivedi, who had presented the Rail Budget on Wednesday, was replaced by Trinamool Congress with Mukul Roy after party chief Mamata Banerjee opposed the increase in rail fares. Taking part in the discussion on Rail Budget, Balbir Punj (BJP) said, "Is it not correct that the Prime Minister and the
Finance Minister had given their blessings to the Rail Budget presented by Trivedi? Should these two not be questioned?" 

16:42  Pakistan boots out Agent Vinod for ISI reference :  More on the Agent Vinod ban: The Islambad censor board feels that the story could hurt Pakistani sentiments. Sales of tickets for the film have been stopped and hoardings of the films have been pulled down in most cinemas across Karachi.
16:41  The Supreme Court has dismissed the government's plea in the Vodafone tax case. The govt had asked the SC to review the petition.
16:38  Pakistan bans Agent Vinod for ISI reference :  Just in: Pakistan bans the Saif Ali Khan-Kareena Kapoor latest Agent Vinod for making a reference to the Pak spy agency, ISI.
16:31  Gita case: Russian court reserves verdict till tomorrow:  

A Russian court today reserved its verdict till tomorrow on the ban on a translated version of the Bhagvad Gita for being "extremist", a case that drew aflurry of criticism from Hindus across the world. "The case has been postponed till tomorrow. The final verdict will be given tomorrow," Sadhu Priya Das of Moscow ISKCON said. 


State prosecutors in the Siberian city of Tomsk, who had filed the petition, have branded the test as "extremist" literature full of hatred and insult to non-believers, which promoted social discord. Das said the ISKCON members are hopeful of a favourable verdict. "However we can't say anything. We have a very strong legal team and our case is strong," he said.

16:20  Mukul to decide on fare hike rollback, not me: Mamata:  West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today said that the new Railway Minister Mukul Roy would decide on the rollback of hiked fares.

"I can''t say anything. It is a Parliament proceeding. It is the Minister who will say. I said that he has just taken over. You trust him, he will do work for the people," she told the media before leaving for Kolkata.

Banerjee further said she would return to New Delhi next month to attend a series of meetings.

"I will be coming on 10th (April) because we have the State Planning Commission meeting. On 16th (April), I will be coming to attend this NCTC (National Counter Terrorism Centre) meeting," she said.

Roy was earlier in the day sworn-in as Railway Minister.

16:10  Israel car bomb: Mossad didn't question scribe: Cops:  

Just in: Journalist Syed Mohd Ahmad Kazmi arrested in the Israeli diplomat's car bombing case, has not been interrogated by Mossad, the Delhi police tells a court. Mossad has not even made a request to interrogate Kazmi, says police.

The Enforcement Directorate has also begun a probe into the source of alleged foreign funds received in the accounts of Kazmi arrested in connection with the bomb attack on an Israeli embassy vehicle.

The agency is probing the case under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) after Delhi Police recently wrote to the agency to probe the source and use of the foreign remittances in Kazmi's accounts.

15:48  44 killed in Iraq attacks ahead of Arab summit:  Bombings across Iraq killed 44 people today, striking at police and Shiite pilgrims in a torrent of violence that officials had dreaded in the run-up to a Baghdad meeting of the Arab world's top leaders, which the government
hoped would showcase the nation's stability. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, which also wounded nearly 200 people. But authorities have feared al-Qaeda or its Sunni sympathisers would try to thwart next week's annual Arab League summit.
15:39  Slain Maoist leader Kishenji's laptop found:  

Close on the heels of the surrender of Maoists woman leader Suchitra Mahato, the laptop of Kishenji and a printer were found from Kushboni jungle in West Midnapore district today by the security forces. Acting on a tipoff, the laptop and printer wrapped in plastic were found by sniffer dogs of the joint forces hidden under a bush in the jungle, police sources said. 


The spot was about seven to eight km from Burisole jungle where Kishenji made his last stand and was shot dead in an encounter with the security forces on November 24 last year. Suchitra Mahato who had surrendered and met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the state secretariat, Writers' Buildings, on March 9, had been with Kishenji and escaped with bullet injuries after the encounter in Burisole jungle. 


The sources said letters written by top Maoist leaders Akash and Bikash to Kishenji were also found with the laptop and printer. Akash had stepped into Kishenji's shoes after his death.

15:29  Swine Flu claims fifth victim in Pune:  

Swine Flu claimed its fifth victim in the last six days following the death of a 60-year-old man in a city hospital here, civic health officials said today. The victim, one Balasaheb Paigude, who died last night, was being treated in the isolation ward of the hospital for the last three days after being tested positive for H1N1 virus which has claimed fatalities in the city after a year's gap. 

Two more patients are reported to be in a serious condition needing ventilator support.


A 48-year-old woman had succumbed to the virus on March 14 in the first fatal case of the virus in the city since April 2011. About 40 persons were being treated for the infection currently after an apparent revival of the virus due to climate fluctuations and extended winter, officials said.

15:24  Do not disturb: Must-see self portraits :  

Anja Niemi, one of Europe's most exciting young photographers has a new series of photographs, Do Not Disturb, which continues the artist's relationship with interiors, this time in hotel rooms.


15:18  Gunman may have filmed Jewish school massacre:  

The gunman who shot dead three children and a teacher yesterday may have filmed his killing spree. The brute blasted down staff and pupils arriving at a Jewish school, mercilessly executing a language master, his sons aged six and three and a girl of eight.


Cops fear the maniac is one of three former soldiers posing with a Swastika to give Nazi salutes, above. All were sacked from the Army for neo-Nazi activities, reports the Sun.

15:08  DMK embarrasses govt with walkout in RS:  Incidentally, in Parliament today, the DMK walked out of the Rajya Sabha putting the UPA2 in an embarrassing position when Dr V Maitreyan ADMK leader insisted on a division of votes on the amendment which wants clarity on alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lanka in 2009. CPI's D Raja and ADMK had its way in insisting on the division.
15:04  SBI did NOT provide lifeline to Kingfisher: Pranab:  

The government today said that State Bank of India has not extended any lifeline to the cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines this fiscal.

"SBI, leader of consortium of lender banks, has informed that no such lifeline has been extended to KFA by them during the current financial year," Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha. He said this in response to a question whether the SBI and other PSU lenders have extended a Rs 1,200 crore lifeline to the Kingfisher Airlines Ltd (KFA) by converting part of loans into equity.

The crisis-ridden airline has a debt of Rs 7,057.08 crore. The financial crunch has hit its operations with dozens of flights being cancelled. Tax authorities have added to its woes by freezing its bank accounts for non-payment of dues.

14:59  Why is China spending $200 mn for Africa HQ:  

When the new African Union headquarters was unveiled in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, earlier this year, the $200 million structure -- now the capital city's tallest building -- caused a splash. But it wasn't just the mammoth building's impressive spec sheet that drew comment, it was also the project's bankroller: China.

Read the report on the Foreign Policy.

14:52  BJP remembers 'Maar diya jaaye, ya chhod diya jaaye' in Parl:  

The shadow of Dinesh Trivedi loomed large in the Lok Sabha today during discussion on the Railway Budget 2012-13 with the opposition taking barbs at the Congress-led coalition in the wake of pressure by its allies. "Since the time the UPA government has been formed, the coalition train in which the Prime Minister is in the engine is being stopped by one and all by frequent pulling of chain and threats of decoupling the compartment," Sumitra Mahajan (BJP) said.


"We are reminded of the song 'Maar diya jaaye, ya chhod diya jaaye" in a Hindi movie during a sequence where the hero was tied," she said, adding the Railway Minister who spoke of the need to "bite the bullet" has himself been "hit by the bullet".

Obviously referring to the induction of Mukul Roy as Railway Minister earlier in the day in place of Trivedi, Mahajan said that she was at a loss to understand as to whom she should address as the Minister. 

14:40  Naxals appoint Narayan Sanyal as mediator :  

Update on the Italian hostage crisis.

A day after the Maoists named three negotiators to talk to the Odisha government on the Italian hostage crisis, one of them showed reluctance to join the process today voicing doubts over sincerity of the administration towards meeting the 13 demands of the ultras.

The Naxals have now said they want CPI(M) politburo member Narayan Sanyal currently lodged in Giridih jail as their representative. They are also looking at civil rights activist Dandapani Mohanty as their representative.

Civil rights activist and lawyer Biswapriya Kanungo, one of the negotiators, said, "Past experience shows the state government has failed to keep its word. It will be pointless to be part of talks if the government backtracks later."

14:28  Car bomb suicide attack leaves 2 dead, 11 injured in Iraq:  

A car bomb set off by a suicide attacker in central Baghdad killed two people and wounded eight, security and medical officials said. Another car bomb in Ramadi, capital of western Anbar province, killed two people and wounded 11, according to police and medical officials. 


Separate gun and bomb attacks in Salaheddin province killed two people, including a city councillor, police said. Bombings in the main northern city of Mosul, the refinery town of Baiji, and the northern towns of Daquq and Al-Dhuluiyah left 20 people wounded. Today's violence was the bloodiest in Iraq since a wave of attacks claimed by al-Qaeda killed at least 42 people on February 23.

14:20  Dr Manmohan Singh @PMOIndia  Rajya Sabha passes vote of thanks to President's address to the house following PM's speech.
14:16  Meryl Streep two-faced, nasty lady: Neighbours:  

Veteran actress Meryl Streep, who recently won an Oscar for her role in "The Iron Lady", has been accused of being a nightmare neighbour. The 62-year-old's neighbours in the small town of Salisbury, Connecticut, say Streep's nickname should be The Nasty Lady. 

"We do call her the 'nasty lady' because it fits. People see her on TV at the Academy Awards gushing about her latest Oscar, but she's two-faced when it comes to interacting with the locals here. She doesn't even want to know your name! 

"I went to grammar school with Meryl's daughter Grace, and we all thought it was really cool that her mom was famous. One day, after school, Meryl came on the playground to pick her up, but she was just mean to people!," a neighbour claimed without revealing her name.

 "At first she wouldn't talk to the other moms. Then, when she did, she snapped at them. You'll see her bike through town in a flowing dress and a straw hat. She even told the local postmaster that she would not accept any mail that was
addressed to 'Meryl Streep' she would only accept mail addressed to Meryl Gummer, her married name," she said.

14:09  Could you be friends with your burglar?:  On the Daily Mail:  How two men have struck up an unlikely friendship after one broke in and brutally attacked the other. Read
14:07  Pak seeks UNCONDITIONAL apology for Nato killings:  

Pakistani lawmakers have opened a debate on the terms of the nation's re-engagement with the United States after ties were all but severed following deadly American air-strikes on Pakistani troops in November. The session on Tuesday could help determine whether the country's reopens US andNato supply lines to Afghanistan. The parliamentary commission has also demanded an end to American drone strikes inside the country and is seeking  an unconditional apology for the Nato attack that killed 24 soldiers in Pakistan.


Read the Dawn report.

13:52  Maoist negotiator refuses to mediate to free Italian hostages:  

Maoist interlocutor Biswapriya Kanungo has refused to mediate in the ongoing Italian hostage crisis in the state, after the Maoists named him as one of three negotiators to hold talks with the government.


Kanungo today, refused to act as a mediator, alleging the government for violating the agreement last time he acted as a negotiator. "I am not inclined to negotiate the matter on behalf of Maoists, only if the government and the Maoists, both the sides want me to negotiate, I can consider it.


"I would also like to give a clear message that during the time of kidnapping of R Vineel Krishna (district collector) and the persons like Professor Hargopal and Dandapani Mohanty, who were negotiating the matter, after that they had continuously alleged that the government side is violating the agreement,' said Kanungo.

13:44  SC pulls up Centre for 'casual approach' to homosexuality:  In another important judgement, the Supreme Court today pulled up the Centre for its "casual" approach towards the decriminalisation of homosexuality. "This practice is to be condemned and we are going to say it in our judgement," said the court.
13:42  Court calls case rarest of rare :  

The driver Purushottam Borate had reportedly picked up Jyotikumari Chowdhury at 10 pm for her night shift in the BPO, situated at Hinjweadi area in Pune.

According to reports, the driver was joined by his friend Pradeep Kokate in the cab. Jyotikumari  was talking on the phone with her boyfriend and did not realise where they were headed. At 11 pm Jyoti's boyfriend heard her ask the driver why had he stopped the car after which the phone was disconnected and was unreachable, say reports.

Her body was found the next day. She had been raped and strangulated to death.

The court called the case rarest of rare while handing out the death sentence.

13:37  Two get death rap for murder, rape of Pune BPO girl:  Just in: The Pune BPO murder accused gets the death sentence. A Pune court today pronounced the death sentence to be given to two convicts in the 2007 rape and murder of a 22-year-old girl employed with a BPO in Pune.A cab driver and his accomplice were pronounced guilty of raping and murdering Jyoti Kumari Chowdhari by the court on Saturday. Jyoti was allegedly raped and murdered by the driver of company's pick-up car on November 1, 2007.
13:23  Four arrested in Adarsh Housing scam:  

The CBI has now arrested four people in connection with the multi-crore Adarsh Housing scam. They are: Defence estate officer RC Thakur, Brig (Retd) MM Wanchu, deputy secretary urban development P V Deshmukh and former Congress MLC Kanhailal Gidwani.

Gidwani, in fact, is already in judicial custody after the CBI arrested him on bribery charges.

13:13  The CPI now moves an amendment against Sri Lanka's war crimes.

A correction: 82 votes for the BJP's NCTC amendment motion, 105 votes against.


BJP stages a walkout. The deputy chairman says, "Lobbies to be opened". TMC MPs were absent during the voting.

The total house strength is 176.

13:02  So that's 77 votes for BJP's NCTC amendment motion, 99 votes against the motion.
12:59  BJP loses NCTC amendment motion in Rajya Sabha:  It's 77 ayes, 99 noes with nobody abstaining. Parliamentary Affairs minister PK Bansal smiles at the PM. BJP loses NCTC amendment motion in the Rajya Sabha today and the Lok Sabha yesterday.
12:55  The procedure of using the electronic voting in Parliament is being read out.
12:54  Vote on NCTC amendments in RS:  Dr Manmohan Singh on NCTC: Let this House be assured that nothing will be done which harms the federal structure of our country, but the abduction of two foreign nationals recently is a reminder of the challenge to our internal security by Naxals and Left Wing extremism.
12:51  The vote on amendments to NCTC taking place.
12:48  Oppn will withdraw amendments if CMs on board NCTC:  

CPI leader Sitaram Yechury says states were not consulted on NCTC and it should not be allowed without consensus. Without states, India as a nation, ceases to exist.

PM says steps will be taken on NCTC after consultation with states.

12:44  Three arrests likely in Adarsh scam:  

Update on the Adarsh scam: Defence estate officer RC Thakur, Brig (Retd) MM Wanchu and deputy secretary urban development P V Deshmukh are likely to be arrested.

12:39  BJP opposes NCTC in Rajya Sabha:  

BJP's Venkaiah Naidu says the party is not satisfied with the PM's assurance on NCTC.  The BJP says it will withdraw amendments if PM assures that the CMs will be on board during meetings/decisions on NCTC.  

12:35  PM: Italians' abduction proof India needs NCTC:  In Parliament: The opposition moves amendments on NCTC. The PM cites the abduction of the two Italians as the need for NCTC. Yesterday, another motion on NCTC fell flat with the TMC walking out and the SP voting against the amendment.
12:11  The PM says the Indian economy is facing tough challenges in a difficult global climate.
12:05  In Parliament right now, PM Dr Manmohan Singh is speaking in the Rajya Sabha on the President's address.
12:01  Sri Lanka dealt a blow by Indian change of heart over UNHRC:  

The Sri Lankan media today said the country has been delivered a body blow by India which has said it is "inclined to" vote in favour of US moved resolution
against Lanka at the on-going UN Human Rights Council session. 


In an editorial titled 'Muddying the waters the Indian way', the pro-government The Island daily said, "it was only the other day that the Indian government made it very clear that it was opposed to the any country specific resolution at
the UNHRC.


"We thought India had taken a principled stand on the issue". The paper dubs the Indian decision as endorsement of the US double standards on human rights and questions, "What are India's real objectives that Prime Minister Singh says his government is trying to achieve through its support for the US resolution?".

11:53  CBI detains two in Adarsh scam:  

The CBI has detained two persons, including a retired Brigadier, in connection with its probe in the multi-crore Adarsh housing scam. The two have been identified as R C Thakur, a retired defence estates officer and Brigadier (retired) M M Wanchoo.


They were picked up from their residences early this morning. Thakur's lawyer Saket Mone said that "CBI officials came to his client's residence this morning and took him to their office." 


The two are amongst the 14 people accused by the CBI in the Adarsh housing scam, which cost Ashok Chavan his chief ministership. A CBI spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied the development

11:51  Bangladesh's "teenage" brothels hold dark steroid secret:  

Their faces painted heavy with make-up, teenage girls in short, tight blouses and long petticoats loiter in squalid alleys, laughing and gesturing to potential clients who roam Tangail town's infamous red light area in the early evening.

Read the Reuters report

11:47  The madness of Queen Mamata:  

"What I am saying is there should be some respect..,' said Mamata Banerjee, striking an uncharacteristically subdued note on her damage control tour of Delhi's television studios. But is it too little, too late?


In popular imagination Mamata is looking more likeAlice in Wonderland's Red Queen these days '" arbitrary, hot-tempered and ready to fly off the handle at the drop of a hat. West Bengal's urban middle class, a hesitant convert to the Mamata mantra, seems exasperated with 'that' woman. 


Read the report on

11:43  CBI makes first arrest in Adarsh Society scam:  The CBI has made its first arrest in the Adarsh Housing Society scam. Details awaited.
11:42  On Twitter:  Milind Deora @milinddeora  Will a state funded statue off Marine Drive do justice to Shivaji's legacy? How about a housing scheme for Mumbai policemen named after him?
11:39  Abu Ghraib soldier: Im not sorry:  

Eight years later, abuse soldier Lynndie England tells of her anguish -- but won't apologize to 'enemy'.

Read the story on the Daily Beast.

11:35  The bicycle still rules India:  

"The party gives immense importance to the development of common man and thus adopted the vehicle of the common man -- a bicycle as its symbol.
-- Samajwadi Party (1992.)

That statement was made in Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh, as the Samajwadi Party came into existence. Two decades later, the bicycle remains the party's symbol, and also main mode of transport for the common man, or aam admi.

Read the WSJ report.

11:32  Samajwadi Partys Goonda Raj appears alive and well:  

Widespread reports of violence in Uttar Pradesh since the party won a landslide victory have fuelled fears that, below the surface, little has changed and that the Goonda Raj may be making a comeback.


Read the WSJ report.

11:27  CBI detains Adarsh Society prez MM Wanchu:  

The CBI has detained Brigadier MM Wanchu (Retd) in connection with the Adarsh scam. Wanchu, who is president of the society had said that "no defence land has been grabbed, not even an inch has been encroached upon by Adarsh Society.


The defence has nothing to do with the land in question." A controversy had erupted over how the Adarsh Society in Colaba, originally meant to be a six-storey structure to house Kargil war heroes and widows, got converted into a 31-storey building.

11:22  BJP demands answers on poverty line:  

In Parliament right now, BJP gives suspension of Question Hour notice in RajyaSabha to discuss denial of rights to PoK migrants in Jammu. The BJP also raises the poverty line issue in the RS and demands a debate.

The Planning Commission on Monday released the latest poverty estimates for the country showing a decline in the incidence of poverty by 7.3 per cent over the past five years and stating that anyone with a daily consumption expenditure of Rs. 28.35 and Rs. 22.42 in urban and rural areas respectively is above the poverty line.

11:18  Roy parries questions on rail fare hike:  

Widely expected to roll back the lower class fare hike proposed by his predecessor Dinesh Trivedi, Mukul Roy today parried questions on what he plans to do about the hike.


"Whatever I have to say I will say in Parliament as the Railway Budget is the property of Parliament," Roy, who was today elevated to cabinet rank to take over as the Railway Minister, said. 


He was asked if there will be any roll back in the hike in passenger fares. "Since I am the Railway Minister, I will reply to the debate," he said "Safety, security and punctuality will be my priority as the Railway Minister," he said shortly after being sworn in as a minister.

11:16  Adarsh scam: Six arrest warrants issued last night:'s Toral Varia who is covering the Adarsh Housing Society scam says the first arrests in the case are expected some time today. Sources have told that as many as six arrest warrants have been cleared late last night to execute the arrests. RC Thakur, promoter of Adarsh Society was picked up early this morning. Unconfirmed reports say that two IAS officers were also picked up for questioning. 

In the past, on several occassions, the Bombay High Court had come down heavily on the CBI for lack of proper investigation and action. 


Also Read: 4 ex-CMs of Maharashtra face Adarsh heat

11:05  Massive manhunt for Jewish kids, rabbi killer:  A massive French police effort is underway to find a shooter believed to be responsible for the killing of four people outside a school Monday, as well as two deadly shootings last week. The bodies of a rabbi and three Jewish children killed in the barbaric shooting Monday will be transported to Israel for burial, according to the Israeli foreign ministry, reports the Daily Beast.  
11:01  Afghan killings suspect remembers very little: Lawyer:  

Meanwhile, the Army staff sergeant accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians in a nighttime shooting rampage has a sketchy memory of the night of the massacre, his lawyer said yesterday after meeting his client for the first time.


Lawyer John Henry Browne said Robert Bales remembers some details from before and after the killings, but very little or nothing of the time the military believes he went on a shooting spree through two Afghan villages. 


"He has some memory of some things that happened that night. He has some memories of before the incident and he has some memories of after the incident. In between, very little," Browne said.

10:59  Yeddy go-ahead for Gowda's budget presentation:  

The BS Yeddyurappa camp, which claims support of about 70 MLAs says the former Karnataka CM has agreed to the budget presentation by Sadananda Gowda government tomorrow.

However, the Yeddyurappa camp will boycott the assembly session today. Only two ministers and two MLAs loyal to the former Chief Minister will attend the session, says Basavaraj Bommai.

10:51  TMC MP's guard urinates on passenger, pulls out gun:  

A bodyguard of Trinamool Congress MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar allegedly urinated on two passengers on the Rajdhani Express early on Monday. He then pulled out his service revolver and threatened them into silence. 


Read the Times of India report.

10:42  DMK skips Mukul Roy's coronation:  Meanwhile, the DMK skipped Mukul Roy's swearing the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Four Union Ministers and five DMK MPs including Kanimozhi are present in New Delhi, but intentionally stayed away to send a strong signal to UPA2. Mamata Banerjee and Dinesh Trivedi skipped the ceremony as well.
10:38  Norway couple in children row: Parents to split:  

The father of the Indian couple who lost their children to Norwegian child welfare services has compounded the quandry for Indian and Norwegian authorities by now alleging that his wife had a serious psychological problem which he had concealed earlier to get custody of the children. Anurup Bhattacharya has alleged that his wife attacked him over the weekend. Anurup said he will be seperating from his wife Sagarika after she struck him multiple times all over his body and clawed at his face.


Read the report on

10:35  Parliament Schedule today:  


General discussion on Railways Budget 2012-13


Reply to Motion of Thanks on the President's Address

10:32  So who is Mukul Roy (apart from being rail minister):  

Mukul Roy, Mamata Banerjees trusted lieutenant, has been with the Trinamool Congress since its founding, particularly during the partys movements
against land acquisition at Singur and Nandigram, but has always preferred keeping a low profile. 


Roy (57), who was not into politics initially, was the non-executive director of the United Bank of India from 2002 to 2005. He became a member of the Rajya Sabha from West Bengal in April 2006 and in August the same year was appointed member of the Committee on Urban Development as well as a member of the Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Home Affairs. 


In April 2008, he was appointed his partys all India General Secretary and in May 2009 became Minister of State in the Shipping Ministry. When Mamata Banerjee resigned as the Railway Minister after becoming Chief Minister of West Bengal, Roy was handed additional charge of the Railway Ministry. 


On July 11, 2011, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh directed Roy to visit the site of derailment of the Guwahati-Puri Express in Assam, he openly defied him. He was relieved of the Railway portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle on July 12 the same year. 

10:22  Yeddy digs his heels in, refuses to go to Delhi:  

The other story is that BS Yeddyurappa has defied orders of the BJP leadership asking him to come to Delhi. The former Karnataka CM is adamant about not leaving Bangalore.

Yeddyurappa is digging in his heels, closeted with at least 50 legislators at a resort in the outskirts in Bangalore. The BJP central leadership might be forced to reinstate him as the Karnataka chief minister, for which the BSY-mandated deadline ends today. 

Though party chief Nitin Gadkari counselled  Yeddyurappa to be "patient' and abandon pressure tactics, other BJP leaders said a decision could not be delayed further.

10:14  Prohibitory orders at Kudankulam, 100 protestors held:  

Two other stories that need to be told...    


One, is that scientists and workers have resumed work at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant amid tight security and prohibitory orders. More than 100 protesters were detained overnight yesterday. The convenor of the protest SP Udayakumar others protestors have begun a fast unto death after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's U-turn on the nuclear power plant. Jayalalithaa began crackdown on anti-nuclear activists at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant on Monday, reports CNN IBN.

The government has imposed section 144 in the area.

10:07  Roy to debate rail budget in Parliament:  

When Parliament convenes, Roy will debate on the railway budget in Parliament. The hike in fares for IInd class travel is likely to be rolled back.  

10:05  Mukul Roy sworn-in as union railway minister:  

The swearing-in ceremony is attended by almost the entire cabinet at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Sudip Bandopadhyay gives Roy a pat on the back.  

The irony is that Mukul Roy took the oath promising to work without fear or favour.  

10:03  TMC's Mukul Roy sworn-in as rail minister:  President Pratibha Patil administered the oath of office as Cabinet minister to Trinamool Congress MP Mukul Roy, who took charge of the Union railway ministry. The President, as advised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had accepted the resignation of Dinesh Trivedi from the Union Council of Ministers, on Sunday, a statement said. Trivedi, also a Trinamool Congress MP, resigned as the railway minister Sunday night.
10:00  Mukul Roy all set to become union railway minister:  

Good morning. President Pratibha Patil is all set to administer the oath of office to Trinamool Congress MP Mukul Roy, who took charge of the Union railway ministry. He will replace Dinesh Trivedi, who was forced to quit after he presented a rail budget that had fare hikes across the board.

09:55  Headlines this morning:  

15 killed in train mishap in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh (The Times of India)

At least 15 people were killed when a passenger train rammed into a jeep in Hathras in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday morning. Read



BJP in a fix as BS Yeddyurappa's deadline ends today (Hindustan Times)
With BS Yeddyurappa digging in his heels, closeted with at least 50 legislators, the BJP central leadership might be forced to reinstate him as the Karnataka chief minister. Read



With regret, PM hands over Trivedis head to Mamata (Indian Express)
TMCs Mukul Roy to be sworn in, Banerjee hints she may agree to AC-class fare hike. Read



Kasab kick from Trivedi: I was not given a chance to defend myself (The Telegraph)

 Dinesh Trivedi today claimed that even Pakistani gunman Ajmal Kasab had been luckier than him in one respect. Kasab was given a chance to defend himself but I was not, the former railway minister said while taking a walk on the grounds of his MPs bungalow. Read

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