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LIVE! Modi sells his Gujarat model to BJP and co

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August 18, 2013

21:02  Modi sells his Gujarat model to BJP and co:  
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is also the Bharatiya Janata Party election campaign committee chief, on Sunday told the party leaders that efforts should be made to take all the sections of people together.

He was addressing the party leaders at the BJP's national campaign committee in New Delhi.

Modi reportedly told the party leaders that Muslims in Gujarat voted for the BJP not only in the assembly elections but also in the local body elections and if efforts are made, the model can be replicated in General Election too.

"Modi spoke on how the BJP campaign in the run-up to the elections should be conducted. He emphasised on how it is important to bring the voter to the polling booth and said the party workers should meet this challenge. He also said there is a need to strengthen the support base and increase it further," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
18:49  ISI protects Dawood: Tunda:  
Abdul Karim Tunda, Dawood Ibrahim's close aide who was arrested by Delhi Police has revealed certain facts which point towards the complicity of Pakistan's ISI and India's most wanted man in 26/11 Mumbai attacks, as per reports on Sunday. 

Tunda has also revealed that Dawood was being protected by the ISI and that the Pakistani Army has deep rooted links with the mafia don, as per Delhi Police sources. Tunda has also told interrogators that he had met Dawood several times in Karachi.

Tunda is proving to be a minefield of information for the security agencies. Throwing lingh on the Mumbai attacks mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, Tunda has apparently said that the man called the shots as far as terror outfit Lashker-e-Taiba's (LeT) was concerned. He has also talked about his differences with Lakhvi. 

He has also claimed that he had not been included in LeT's 'bleed India' policy strategy, despite being one of the founders of LeT's pan-India operations, which had virtually left him and his family on the streets. The reason for him being overlooked was because he was considered a spent force once he arrived in Pakistan from Bangladesh in early 2000. 
17:40  Vadra land deal: Khemka defends action:  
Defending his action in the controversial land deal in Gurgaon involving Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka has said morality demands one starts at the top and that requires guts and courage.

"If you have to take action, the morality should start from the top, right at the top. It is very easy to take action with the people who are downtrodden, but it takes courage and guts to call a bluff a bluff when it happens at the top," he told Karan Thapar in CNN-IBN's Devil's Advocate programme.

He was asked whether he did it because he knew that he was targeting the Congress President's son-in-law and that would make his career.

Khemka, who had cancelled the land deal mutation between Vadra and real estate giant DLF Universal Ltd last October, however, admitted that a criminal investigation was required to establish the truth.
17:39  Divers gain access to front compartment of submarine: Navy:  
The Indian Navy on Sunday said that they have gained access to the forward compartment of the ill-fated submarine INS Sindhurakshak by breaking open the jammed hatches. 

However, there were no reports of any more bodies being located in the vessel till now.

Battling difficult conditions, the rescuers from Indian Navy had till Saturday extricated six bodies of victims from the submarine.

A release issued by the Indian Navy said that professional salvers from reputed companies have commenced preliminary survey activities.

The present state of the submarine and various options for salvage are being assessed.

The naval command in Visakhapatnam has also established a similar family support cell, as in Mumbai, to interact with the family members of the crew who could not travel to Mumbai, the release said.
15:42  The 'bhoots' of Bhunzwah:  
Delivering a sermon after a tragedy is what most people do. But Kishtwar incident merits an in-depth and serious study to ascertain what went wrong, why, when, where and how. 

Therefore, instead of suggesting measures to prevent such flare-ups in future, it is important to hear the unheard voices, muffled by the debris of the devastated town. 

Click HERE to read more
14:59  Protests for united Andhra continue in Seemandhra:  
Protests continued unabated in the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh today against the proposed division of the state. 

The pro-united Andhra supporters held rallies, sit-ins, fasts, road blockades, human chains across the two regions. 

Some outfits organised protests in a novel way like performing karate, organising community kitchen, enacting historical plays and 'homam' at roadside junctions. 

The indefinite strike by Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association, which begun on August 13, and also joined by the state-run APSRTC employees, continued. 

The employees are demanding that Centre withdraw its decision to form separate Telangana state. 

The employees union leaders at some places condemned the state government's move to invoke provisions of Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA). 
14:09  29-hour countdown begins for GSLV-D5 launch:  
A 29-hour countdown began today for the crucial launch of India's GSLV-D5, powered by indigenous cryogenic upper stage engine-- which is being tested after a failed attempt over three years ago -- and carrying communication satellite GSAT-14, from Sriharikota spaceport.

The rocket carrying the 1,982-kg satellite would be launched at 4.50 pm tomorrow from the second launchpad at Indian Space Research Organisation's Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

India needs cryogenic engines for GSLVs for carrying heavy payloads of up to five tonnes which are crucial for future telecommunication and space exploration as its current successful PSLVs can carry only payloads weighing up to 1.5 tonnes in geosynchronous transfer orbit.

"After the launch authorisatioin board gave its clearance, the 29-hour countdown started at 11.50 am. Everything is going on as per schedule," ISRO officials said.
12:57  Hard political reality is that Modi can't be PM:  
Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, chose Independence Day, August 15, to launch his campaign to become prime minister. He is not formally the BJP's official candidate, but makes no bones about his ambition. Even as Manmohan Singh made one more tepid Independence Day speech from the Red Fort, Modi lambasted him in a rival speech that had his cohorts cheering wildly.

Modi declared contemptuously that Singh was so busy acting as a servant to the Gandhi family that he had forgotten about serving 1.2 billion Indians. He attacked Singh for being soft on Pakistan, for the crash of the rupee, for inflation and unemployment and misgovernance. He challenged Singh to a one-on-one debate on how to run the country. Given his oratorical skills and Singh's lack of them, it would be a one-sided contest.

The BJP party cadres love Modi, and are delighted with his offensive. The media are agog with Modi's speech. Many are analysing the next election as a Modi versus Rahul Gandhi affair.

Sorry, but such talk is idle rubbish.

Click HERE to read more
12:56  Truth vs Hype: The 'Talented' Robert Vadra:  
Robert Vadra is back in the headlines after a report by Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka found multiple violations in land deals by Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law. Those in defence of Mr Vadra claim there was nothing illegal about these deals. 

But a closer look at these transactions, both those contained in the Khemka report and beyond, suggest that property traders, Congress politicians, state governments and business houses appear to do extraordinary favours to Mr Vadra to ensure that he becomes a multi-millionaire without spending a penny. 

Click HERE to read more
12:55  Who's afraid of the RTI Act?:  
The move to amend the Right to Information Act to keep political parties outside its ambit has raised a storm. 

Shuma Raha on why the pitched battle between parties and information activists over the law has only just begun

Click HERE to read more
12:54  In deepwaters:  
The Indian Navy has always let lethality take primacy over safety. 

But, says Sujan Dutta, India's biggest peacetime military loss will now lead to introspection on safety

Click HERE to read more
12:53  Unquiet on the front:  
India's contested borders with China and Pakistan are seeing more frequent military tension. The UPA government's failure to effectively manage these borders has pushed India into crises of the kind that followed the recent Chinese intrusion in Ladakh and the violent incidents on the Pakistan frontier.

The military character of India's borders with China and Pakistan has significantly changed in the last couple of decades. Yet, the political instruments to maintain peace on these borders have not evolved.

Click HERE to read more
12:33  Melting ice caps can lead to devastating tsunamis:  
A new study suggests that the melting ice caps could trigger tsunamis. 

The research suggests that if melting ice caps trigger rapid sea level rise, the strain that the edges of continents could experience might set off underwater landslides. 

Submarine landslides happen on every continental margin, the underwater parts of continental plates bordering oceanic plates. 

These underwater avalanches, which can happen when underwater slopes get hit by earthquakes or otherwise have too much weight loaded onto them, can generate dangerous tsunamis. 

A staggering half of all the Earth moved by submarine landslides over the past 125,000 years apparently happened between 8,000 and 15,000 years ago. 

Since these prehistoric disasters coincided with changes in climate, previous research suggested natural global warming might have been their cause, but what exactly the link might be was unclear. 

The rapid sea level rise that happened between 8,000 and 15,000 years ago was due to melting ice caps, which were originally hundreds to thousands of feet high. 

These glaciers placed weight on the planet's rocky surface, building stress on faults in the Earth for millennia. 

The later thinning and retreat of these glaciers raised sea levels by about 395 feet, increasing the amount of pressure these critically stressed faults experienced across their entire length by an amount similar to that of the average human bite. 

This would be enough pressure to set off the faults, triggering underwater landslides, the models showed. 

The scientists added that such underwater landslides could have helped release vast quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas, from the seabed. 

This could have, in turn, driven profound changes in the oceans and the atmosphere, such as the warming of the climate. 

The findings are published online in the journal Geology. 
12:32  Pak trying more border attacks:  
Amid heightened tension along the LoC, which has witnessed a spurt in ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Army on Sunday said it has inputs about Pakistan trying to engineer more Border Action Team (BAT) attacks along the borderline. 

India has blamed BAT, which is a mix of Pakistani special forces personnel and terrorists, for the brutal killing of its two soldiers in January, one of whom was beheaded, and killing of its five personnel along Line of Control in Poonch sector. 

"There are inputs of such (BAT) actions. In this area they have not done anything so far. There are inputs that they are going to try something (engineer BAT attacks on the forward posts along LoC)," Brigade Commander, 120 Infantry Brigade, A Sengupta told reporters in Bhimbher Gali in Poonch sector along the LoC. 
12:32  India creates 23 new border posts along Nepal, Bhutan:  
India has created 23 new border posts and deployed additional troops along its frontiers with Nepal and Bhutan in order to effectively check entry of criminals and curb smuggling of arms. 

The proposal was in the pipeline for sometime and the decision on it has been prompted by the July 7 bombings in Bodh Gaya in Bihar, sources said. 

While five new border outposts have been created along the Indo-Nepal border, 18 new BoPs have been established along the Bhutan frontier last month, sources said. 

"A fresh contingent of armed paramilitary personnel drawn from the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) have been deployed at these new posts," the sources said. 

India shares a 699 km open border with Bhutan while the corresponding length along Nepal is 1,751 kms. The total troops strength at both these borders is approximately 21,500 personnel which is about 22 battalions. 
12:31  Lokpal may come up for discussion in Monsoon session:  
Government is pushing for consideration of the contentious anti-corruption Lokpal Bill during the ongoing Monsoon session of Parliament. 

"I have a given a notice for discussion on Lokpal in the Rajya Sabha. The Business Advisory Committee will decide on the date for discussion," Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions V Narayanasamy told a news agency. 

He said the government wants the legislation to be passed and it may be taken up by the Rajya Sabha during the current session which closes this month end. 

The Lok Pal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 was passed in Lok Sabha on December 27, 2011. The bill was then referred to a Rajya Sabha Select Committee, which was set up in May last year, amid sharp differences among various political parties and civic society. 
12:30  Boy drowns, four others missing in boat tragedy in Bihar:  
An infant boy drowned and four others went missing as a boat capsized in river Ganga in Bihar's Munger district on Sunday, official sources said. 

Nineteen other passengers swam to safety, Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) Kundan Kumar said.

The mishap took place near Babua Ghat when the boat carrying 24 flood-affected people from Sitacharan riverine area lost control and capsized in the river apparently after some cattle on board got frightened and moved in wayward manner creating panic among the passengers, Kumar said.

While a one year-old boy, identified as Ajit, drowned, four others, including two women were feared drowned. 
00:11  LIVE! News As It Happens:  Top Headlines In the Last 24 Hours: 

Do your homework before taking on Congress: Modi to BJP

Delhi Police's massive catch: LeT's 'bomb expert' arrested

Submarine accident: Russia questions safety rule violations

Do I look like a cockroach: Khurshid on BJP's barb 

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