22:26 Did Kejriwal meet businessmen in Delhi hotel?: A correspondent reports:
Senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari's allegation against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Congress is not mere political rhetoric but it has some substance, said a source in the party.
The source claimed that Kejriwal had met three well-known personalities of the business world at Hotel Aman in Lodhi road.
While one businessman owns a fancy retail chain in Khan Market, another one is involved with the manufacturing of two wheelers, said the source.
The third businessman, said the source, is well-known in the party circuit of Delhi.
Kejriwal has strongly denied charges that he met any interlocutors of the Congress anywhere.
This is the BJP's propaganda to hurt the AAP's credibility, said the party's sympathisers.
He added, ''Kejriwal or anybody in politics can meet businessmen to seek funding for the political party".
22:20 Delhi Jal Board CEO transferred:
Delhi Jal Board CEO Debashree Mukherjee has been transferred to the Delhi Transport Corporation.
Delhi Finance Secretary M M Kutty has been transferred to the Social Welfare Department.
Power Secretary R K Verma has been shifted to the education department.
Three other senior officers have reportedly been transfered
22:04 Quit posts on Delhi govt boards, panels: DPCC chief:
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President Arvinder Singh today appealed to Congress party workers to resign from their posts on the various boards and committees of Delhi government.
"The Aam Aadmi Party has taken its oath of office and, thus, all the (Congress) chairmen and members of boards and committees should resign from their posts so that the new chief minister can constitute those anew the way he wants," he said.
22:03 Kejriwal discusses law and order with Delhi police chief :
Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi today met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and discussed ways of improving the law and order situation, especially women's security.
"We had a talk. I briefed him about Delhi police while he told me about his concerns and his vision. We will work together to create a safe environment for Delhiites in the city. Focus will be on the vulnerable sections of the society, especially women," Bassi told reporters after meeting Kejriwal.
21:00 Fire alarm system yet to be installed in most trains:
Despite repeated fire incidents in trains, the Indian Railway is yet to install an automatic fire alarm system in a majority of long-distance services.
26 passengers were charred to death in an AC coach in the Bangalore-Nanded Express today.
Earlier, a fire in the Tamil Nadu Express had claimed 32 lives.
Seven people were burnt to death in November, 2011 when a coach of the Howrah-Dehradun Express train caught fire.
Later, the fire spread to another coach and both the coaches were badly burnt.
20:59 Ambulance driver rapes minor girl, attempts suicide later:
A 10-year-old girl was allegedly raped by an ambulance driver in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district on December 23, police said today.
The accused, identified as Kiran Kumar, allegedly tried to commit suicide by setting himself on fire after the incident.
"A case of rape has been registered against Kiran, a driver with Sanjeevani 108 ambulance service, last evening on the complaint of the minor girl in Amabeda police station," said Kanker SP RN Dash.
20:57 BJP to 'compete in honesty' with AAP leaders:
Taking a cue from the AAP's success in Delhi by flagging the issue of corruption, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj has asked party men to present a clean image and work honestly without groupism in the three civic bodies under party control.
"The AAP has made corruption an issue and brought it to the centre. That is why those of us in the municipal corporation have a responsibility. In Delhi, there should be a competition of honesty. Who is more honest? Is the government more honest or the BJP-run civic bodies? This should be the fight. Till now there was a competition of corruption in the Congress government," Swaraj said while addressing party workers.
20:33 2 Indians among dead as Saudi oil rig sinks in Persian Gulf :
The bodies of two Indians and a Bangladeshi, reported missing when an offshore oil rig of Saudi Arabia's state-run petroleum giant Aramco sank in the Persian Gulf, have been found, officials said today.
Aramco said in a statement that the bodies of the three workers, missing following the accident in the waters off the coast of al-Safaniya region, have been recovered.
The bodies were handed to authorities, the statement said.
20:32 TN fishermen delegation meets PM :
Expressing concern that the fishing community is facing a serious threat from the Sri Lankan Navy, a delegation of fishermen from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and told him to prevail upon the neighbouring country to release Indian fishermen from Lankan jails.
In a memorandum submitted to the prime minister, the delegation said 227 fishermen and 77 boats were detained by the Sri Lankan navy in the last three months. The family members of the arrested persons are suffering for want of their daily bread winner, it added.
20:31 Will not fight next LS polls, says Union minister Dinsha Patel :
Five-time Lok Sabha MP and Union Mines Minister Dinsha Patel today said that he will not contest in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The minister also told reporters that he has already informed the party (Congress) leadership about the decision.
"I have conveyed to my party (Congress) that I will not fight the next elections, they should give a chance to some other person from this constituency. I will help the party win the seat, whoever might be the candidate," Patel said, adding that he had informed the party about the decision nearly six months ago.
20:21 Gadkari's allegations are RUBBISH: Kejriwal:
The new government in Delhi will take a decision on water by Monday and on electricity by Tuesday or Wednesday, said CM Arvind Kejriwal.
He also said that he is looking for house in Delhi and he will shift (from Kausambi in UP) in a few days, said Kejriwal.
He also termed Gadkari's allegations -- about an alleged deal between the Congress and the AAP in a hotel -- as "rubbish".
19:57 Ashram school headmaster among 3 booked for death of girl :
Three people, including the headmaster of Arvind Ashram School in Dadhade in the district,have been booked in connection with the death of a 12-year-old girl last month, police said today.
The victim Akshata Kavte was a student of standard VI and a resident of Ghol village in Thane's Dahanu taluka, said a police official.
The ashram school is located in Dadhade village of Vikramgadh taluka of the district. Ashram schools are residential for tribal children.
19:49 BSF, Pakistan Rangers agree to maintain peace on border:
Pakistan and India today agreed to boost existing mechanisms to ensure peace and tranquility and to control ceasefire violations on the international border.
"Consensus was developed to utilise available communication channels more effectively to control violations at the zero line," said a statement issued after a five-day bi-annual meeting of top officials of the Pakistan Rangers and India's Border Security Force.
19:48 We will ensure there are no more deaths in camps: UP govt:
Uttar Pradesh government today said that it has made adequate arrangements for people at the Muzaffarnagar riot relief camps and there would not be any further deaths due to cold and starvation.
"The state government has made adequate arrangements for cold and starvation and there would be no deaths," state PWD Minister Shivpal Singh said.
Incidentally, the report of a committee appointed by the Samajwadi Party government has found that as many as 34 children from the relief camps have died between September 7 and December 20.
19:46 Industrialist brokered deal between AAP, Cong to stop us: BJP:
BJP leader Nitin Gadkari today alleged that a deal had been brokered between the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress by a reputed industrialist in a hotel to "stop the BJP at any cost" from coming to power in Delhi.
Training his guns at the AAP, which formed the government in Delhi today, Gadkari also termed it as a "right wing Maoist party" which wants to "destroy" the democratic system.
Gadkari said he was told by a reputed industrialist of the country how the deal was brokered at a hotel in Delhi.
18:58 Kejriwal, ministers refuse to stay in govt bungalows:
Delhi's new Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his six ministers have decided not to stay in any government bungalow but instead live in modest flats, setting an unprecedented example of austerity in governance.
A former revenue service official, Kejriwal, who lives in a society flat in Kausambi in neighbouring Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh, has refused to shift to a type seven bungalow he is entitled to.
He is looking for a government flat with a park nearby in Central Delhi to facilitate meetings with people.
18:56 Hindu married to non-Hindu can't get divorce under Act: HC:
The Bombay high court has held that a Hindu married to a non-Hindu in accordance with Hindu rituals cannot seek divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act.
Accordingly, a bench headed by Justice V K Tahilramani upheld a family court order which rejected a petition filed by Niranjani Roshan Rao, a Hindu, seeking divorce from husband Roshan Pinto on the ground that he was a Christian at the time of marriage and was professing the same religion till today.
As the family court rejected her petition, she moved the high court, which, on December 24, rejected her appeal and upheld the lower court's order.
18:09 No need for Maha CM to resign: State Congress chief :
Maharashtra Congress chief Manikrao Thakre today came to the defence of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan over the Adarsh commission report issue, saying that there was no need for him to resign.
Chavan is facing some embarrassment after party vice president Rahul Gandhi expressed disapproval about the state government's decision to reject the report of the inquiry commission on the Adarsh Society scam.
18:08 Bangladesh comes to a standstill ahead of Opposition march :
People across Bangladesh today braced for fresh political violence with the main opposition BNP determined to defy a government ban on its protest march on Sunday to press for the postponement of upcoming polls.
The country was under a virtual siege as transport services shut down overnight following a government advisory and paramilitary troops patrolled city streets amid a face-off between the Awami League and the BNP-led 18-party alliance.
17:55 Anna Hazare congratulates CM Kejriwal :
Anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare today congratulated his onetime protege Arvind Kejriwal on becoming the seventh chief minister of Delhi with a message that the "ultimate aim of politics is to serve the country".
He said he could not attend the swearing-in ceremony because of ill-health.
Hazare also wrote a letter to Kejriwal congratulating him and his Cabinet colleagues on taking charge of Delhi.
"We have worked together for many years.... I congratulate you for taking the oath of chief minister today. I also congratulate others taking oath with you today," he told reporters at his village Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra.
17:36 Thank you but no thanks, Musharraf tells Pakistan government:
Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf has rejected "with thanks" the government's offer to bring his ailing mother to Pakistan from Dubai, one of his aides said today.
"Thank you very much but don't try to fool people," Aasia Ishaque, Musharraf's spokesperson, said when she was asked about his reaction to the offer made by the government.
The government said it was willing to bring Musharraf's 95-year-old ailing mother from Dubai in a special aircraft or an air ambulance as a humanitarian gesture so that the two could be reunited. The government also offered to provide her medical treatment.
17:34 Nitish hits out at Congress over special status issue :
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today accused the Congress of having applied 'a sudden brake' on the grant of special category status to the state under the influence of its 'natural ally', apparently hinting at the RJD.
"Things were moving in the right direction for grant of special category status to Bihar ... but all of a sudden the Congress-led Centre started applying the brake under the influence of its natural political ally," Kumar said in an apparent reference to the Rashtriya Janata Dal while addressing a political rally.
16:39 No AAP minister will use the red beacon: Kejriwal:
No minister or official in the Delhi government will use the red beacon, as per the decision of first meeting of the Cabinet presided by CM Arvind Kejriwal.
Other decisions taken at the meeting include: No PSO and escort vehicle will be provided to officials. Security will be allowed only based on a threat perception.There will be no witch hunt against bureaucrats.
16:35 Dr Singh calls up Kejriwal, wishes him the best:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today called up Arvind Kejriwal to extend best wishes and support as he undertakes new responsibilities as the Delhi chief minister.
BJP President Rajnath Singh also conveyed his best wishes to the AAP leader.
"I would like to congratulate him and wish him luck. I just want the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress to give Delhi a stable government. I hope Kejriwal is able to live up to the expectations of the people," he said.
16:31 Polio vaccinator shot dead in North-West Pakistan :
A polio vaccinator was gunned down when militants today attacked a hospital in northwest Pakistan, ahead of a 90-day campaign against the crippling disease in the restive region.
Militants entered Matni Hospital in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, and fired indiscriminately.
Polio vaccinator Zahid Gul was killed instantly and two others sustained severe injuries.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident bu the Taliban has been blamed for a spate of attacks on polio vaccination workers, accusing them of being Western spies and part of a plot to 'sterilise' Muslims. Dozens have died in these attacks.
16:29 AAP will lead the country to fundamental change: Bhushan :
Terming the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi as 'historic', AAP leader Prashant Bhushan today said the party's mission is to bring about a complete transformation in the country to ensure democratic and legal rights to the common man.
"Today is a historic day. We have embarked on a journey, and our mission is to lead the country to a fundamental change," he said.
14:18 In Arvind Kejriwal's ministry, Saurabh Bhardwaj will be in charge of food and supply, environment, transport and election. Girish Soni has been given the charge of development, employment, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
13:58 CM Kejriwal keeps crucial power, finance, home portfolios :
Arvind Kejriwal to keep the crucial power, finance, home, planning and vigilance portfolios. Manish Sisodia gets public works department and education. Rakhi Birla to head women and child development ministry, social justice and languages. Somnath Bharti given charge of tourism, law and administrative reforms.
12:43 Kejriwal ends his speech with a song. He sings 'Insan Ka Insan Se Ho Bhaichara' from 1959 film 'Paigham'. The song was sung by Manna Dey and its lyricist was Pradeep.
12:42 Delhi takes oath with CM Kejriwal: I will never take, give bribe:
Arvind Kejriwal said let's not let those who take a bribe get away. "If anyone asks for bribe, don't say no. Set it up and alert us. We will give you a phone number...and we will catch the officer red-handed."
He asked the crowd to take an oath with him. He said, "Please take an oath with me...''I will never take bribe, I will never give bribe'
12:36 'Dr Harsh Vardhan is a good man, can't say that about his party':
Arvind Kejriwal says, "I appeal with folded hands to all of us -- let us never become arrogant. I know that we have a huge responsibility today.Whether we succeed is not up to us, but we can ask God to guide us so we don't make mistakes. I admit we are scared because of the huge task ahead of us. I am sure if we will walk in the right path...and we will never make any mistakes."
He said that there should never been a day when another party has to rise to get rid of us.
Kejriwal praised BJP's Dr Harsh Vardhan. "He is a good man, can't say the same about his party."
Talking about the trust vote he said, "If we don't clear the trust vote, we will face re-election, the people will support us. We are not worried if we pass or fail the confidence motion...other parties are worried of it."
12:31 In his first speech as Delhi CM, Kejriwal remembers Santosh Koli, who died in a hit-and-run mishap. "Santosh Koli was martyred but Hindu religion says that the soul is immortal. The body dies, but the soul remains. Today, she will be happy at our victory."
"I have met a few officials of the Delhi government in the past few days and I won't hesitate to say that majority of them want to work for the nation," he said.
12:29 I have joined politics to clean the system: Arvind Kejriwal :
Arvind Kejriwal remembers mentor Anna Hazare in his first speech. "This is where we met two years ago and Anna fasted, demanding an end to corruption
Anna used to say politics is filthy, but I used to respond that we will have to step into it and clean the system."
12:26 The victory of the aam aadmi is a miracle: Kejriwal:
Arvind Kejriwal adds, "We never even thought that there will be such a revolution in Delhi and swaraj will be established.We did not achieve this by ourselves. I want to thank God for this. The victory seems miraculous. There is no problem that we cannot solve if we unite. We don't have a magic wand, but Delhi's 1.5 crore people can find a solution to anything."
12:25 "This government will be run by the people of Delhi. This government will not be run by bureaucrats, the police or politicians," says Kejriwal.
"This is real democracy: for the people, by the people," he adds.
12:17 Arvind Kejriwal delivers first speech as Delhi CM:
Bharat mata ki jai! Inquilab zindabad. These are the first words Arvind Kejirwal spoke as he was sworn in as Delhi's chief minister. He asks the people in the front row not to break the barricades and inconvenience the police he said.
12:08 Rakhi Birla takes oath as a Delhi minister. She chants Vande Mataram before taking the oath.
Somnath Bharti and Satyendra Jain also take oath as ministers.
11:46 "It feels like 15th August!" This is a tweet from Mayur Milan, who is gathered at the Ramlila Maidan to witness the oath ceremony of Kejirwal.
10:48 Cong has fought corruption, look at our record: Sonia:
The Congress has fought corruption. The media should look at our track recotd and at corruption in some other states ruled by opposition parties, said Congress President Sonia Gandhi defending her party hours before the swearing in of Arvind Kejriwal,"
"We have big challenges but we are determined to be together and to fight and to win. Look at us by all means and point out our mistakes but do look at others as well," Sonia tells the media.
She adds, "We are determined to win the next election."
09:23 Actor Farooq Sheikh dies of heart attack in Dubai:
Veteran actor Farooque Sheikh died of a heart attack in Dubai in the early hours of Saturday. He was 65.
Best known for his work in brilliant films like Chashme Badoor
and Shatranj Ke Khiladi
, Sheikh has worked with some of the best directors like Satyajit Ray, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Sai Paranjpye.
A National Award winner (for his 2010 film Lahore), Sheikh was recently seen in films like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewana
and his last film, Club 60
09:14 23 killed as Nanded Express catches fire in Andhra Pradesh :
At least 23 are dead and eight injured in Nanded-Bangalore Express fire accident in Anantpur district in Andhra Pradesh in the wee hours today.
The fire broke out in the D1 AC coach of the train numbered 16594 which was headed to Nanded from Bangalore. There were at least 64 passengers in the bogie.
Those injured have been shifted to the Dharmavaram Hospital in the district.