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LIVE! Ukraine crisis: Viktor Yanukovych decries Crimea 'tragedy'

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April 02, 2014

22:09  Ukraine crisis: Viktor Yanukovych decries Crimea 'tragedy':  Ukraine's deposed President Viktor Yanukovych says Russia's annexation of Crimea is "a tragedy" and he hopes it will become part of Ukraine again.

In an interview with the Associated Press and Russian channel NTV, he also said he gave no orders to open fire on protesters in the capital, Kiev.

Yanukovych fled Kiev after protests in which more than 100 people died.

Read more
21:30  IM men were planning to carry out terror strike in Delhi: Cops:  Top Indian Mujahideen operative Tehseen Akhtar was planning to carry out a terror strike in the national capital with the help of other members of the banned outfit, Delhi Police today told a court here today. 

"After arrest, accused Tehseen Akhtar alias Monu has disclosed that he is a member of IM and has been involved in many terrorist activities in Delhi and other states of India and presently he was planning a terrorist strike in Delhi along with the other members of IM," the Special Cell of Delhi Police said.
21:19  EVMs to be used in all 543 Lok Sabha constituencies:  Satisfied that it has sufficient EVMs, the Election Commission today issued formal directives that the voting machines will be used in all the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies in the nine-phased polling beginning April 7. 

It also said the electronic voting machines will be used in the Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh (294 seats), Arunachal Pradesh (60), Odisha (147) and Sikkim (32) which are being held along with the Lok Sabha polls.
20:02  Sonia, A Raja, filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar file nominations:  Congress President Sonia Gandhi, 2G scam tainted A Raja of DMK and two Union Ministers were among candidates who filed nominations today for the sixth and seventh phases of Lok Sabha elections. 

Gandhi entered the fray from from Rae Bareli on the first day of filing of nominations for the April 30 election in the seventh phase.
20:01  Malaysian police: Jet mystery may never be solved:  A police investigation may never determine the reason why the Malaysia Airlines jetliner disappeared, and search planes scouring the Indian Ocean for any sign of its wreckage aren't certain to find anything either, officials said Wednesday.

The assessment by Malaysian and Australian officials underscored the lack of knowledge authorities have about what happened on Flight 370. It also points to a scenario that becomes more likely with every passing day '" that the fate of the Boeing 777 and the 239 people on board might remain a mystery forever.

Read more
19:40  Thai army chief rules out military takeover of government:  Thailand's powerful army chief today said the caretaker government would not be ousted even if the military disagrees with it, as the Thai capital braced itself for massive rallies by anti-government protesters and the pro-regime 'Red Shirts' on Saturday. 

General Prayuth Chan-ocha said the government can't be ousted "just as employees cannot oust company executives if they disagreed with them," before going in for a four-hour meeting of the military top brass to discuss the country's political situation.
19:24  Referred to RSS in passing, praising it is unthinkable: SM Krishna :  Veteran Congress leader S M Krishna does a quick U-turn on his statement in Bangalore today that the Congress learn from the RSS. "All that I said was a reference about people going to polling booths, in that context I took the name of the RSS, nothing beyond it. I referred to the RSS in passing, praising the RSS is unthinkable."

After maintaining a rather low profile since his exit from the UPA government last year, Krishna hit the campaign trail today.
19:18  The saga of Subrata Roy: From a flamboyant boss to Tihar inmate. Read
19:08  The Mathematics of the 'Modi Wave'. Interesting read.
19:06  LIVE! The Pawar prophecy: BJP will be single largest party :   Sharad Pawar, who has made several startling statements recently, has been quoted by a Marathi newspaper as predicting that the Narendra Modi-led BJP will be the single largest party after the general elections.

Pawar heads the NCP, a prominent partner of the BJP's main rival, the Congress.

He has said in the interview to Marathi daily Loksatta that the Congress will come in second and regional powerhouses J Jayalalithaa from Tamil Nadu and Mamata Banerjee from West Bengal will vie for third position. Read more
19:04  So, who's going to be the next cabinet secretary?:  Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth wrote a circular to 65 secretaries to the government of India, indicating that they should submit the priorities of their ministries, which will be kept handy to brief the new Prime Minister, post May 16, 2014. 

The Cabinet Secretary for the new Government will be chosen from the 1977 IAS batch. There are three top contenders for the post -- two of them have already been lobbying with their batch mates. Stay with us for more on that.
18:54  The Election Commission has directed the Cabinet Secretariat to advise Union ministries to delete all references on politicians and ministers on the official website during the election period. The first to implement it is the Union Shipping ministry.
18:45  Tejpal permitted to meet ailing mother tomorrow:  A local court today allowed Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal, accused of raping his woman colleague, to meet his ailing mother tomorrow.

Fast track court judge Vijaya Pol, while allowing the application filed by Tejpal, put several conditions which he will have to abide to meet his mother at his Moira village residence in North Goa.

Earlier, the court had permitted him to meet her on March 13. Tejpal, 50, had claimed that his mother is suffering from brain tumour and is in the last stage of her life and had sought permission to meet her.
18:29  Sonias assets worth over Rs 9 crore, loan of Rs. 9 lakh to Rahul:   Congress president Sonia Gandhi has assets worth over Rs.9.28 crore though she does not have a vehicle in her name. She has movable assets worth Rs. 2.81 crore and immovable assets worth Rs. 6.47 crore, according to the affidavit submitted along with her nomination papers she filed for the Rae Bareli seat today.

Taken with the declarations made by her in the last elections, Ms. Gandhi's assets show a six-fold increase. Congress sources said it was only because last time the declaration of value of assets was based on the book value while this time it was based on market value.

Gandhi has given a loan of Rs. 9 lakh to her son Rahul and in her income tax returns for 2012-13 she had shown her income of over Rs. 14.21 lakh. Among the movable assets, she has Rs. 85,000 in cash, Rs. 66 lakh in banks, RS. 10 lakh worth bonds and shares worth Rs. 1.90 lakh.

Gandhi has mutual funds worth Rs. 82.20 lakh, PPF amounting to Rs. 42.49 lakh, National Saving Scheme of Rs. 2.86 lakh and ornaments worth over Rs. 62 lakh.

Among the immovable assets, she has declared an ancestral property in Italy worth Rs. 19.90 lakh besides land valued at Rs. 4.86 crore in Deramandi village, another land worth Rs. 1.40 crore in Sultanpur village, the affidavit said.
18:19  Rs 11,000 reward to find those who deface Rahul's posters in Indore:  The Congress has announced a reward of Rs 11,000 to anybody who provides clues against those who defaced posters of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in Indore.

Unidentified persons had blackened the face of Rahul Gandhi in posters displayed at Vijay Nagar Square and also used foul language against Congress and its 'hand' symbol.

After Congress workers learnt about the incident, they staged a protest at the bus stop. Later, they filed a police complaint and demanded immediate arrest of those behind it.

Meanwhile, city Congress spokesman Shailesh Garg has announced a reward of Rs 11,000 to anybody who could provide definite information about those involved in the act.
18:14  If came to power, will check 'misuse' of anti-rape law: SP:  The Samajwadi Party today said that if voted to power at the Centre it will check "large scale misuse" of newly formulated legislations including the anti-rape law that came into existence after December 16, 2012 gang-rape case.

"There is a large scale misuse of laws including anti-dowry, SC/ST (atrocities prevention) act and the new anti-rape law that came into existence after 'Nirbhaya' rape case. ... SP is in favour of implementing them strictly and at the same time will initiate strict action against those misusing them," the party's manifesto said.

The apprehension of Parliament members proved true with increase in misuse of these law, it said "We will stop misuse of these laws and initiate strict action against those doing it," SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said.
17:58  BJP's claims fall flat, UPA states ahead in manufacturing: Cong:  This is what the Congress website says on Narendra Modi and his development claims. "The Bharatiya Janata Party's Prime Ministerial candidate has repeatedly claimed that Gujarat has become India's manufacturing hub under his leadership. His claims might make for good election propaganda, but unfortunately for him, the facts tell a completely different story." Read from the website. 
17:27  MH370 passengers cleared of hijacking, sabotage:  Investigators have cleared all passengers on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 of any role in hijacking or sabotage or of having personal or psychological issues that could have played a role in the plane's disappearance, the inspector general of police, Khalid Abu Bakar, said Wednesday. Read more
17:00  Just in: All MH370 passengers cleared of any role in hijacking or sabotage of missing plane, says Malaysian police. Details in a bit.
16:54  LIVE! Mumbai's BEST bus strike called off, ESMA works :  So, ESMA did work. The BEST workers union has called off its strike with immediate effect. Notwithstanding the Bombay High Court order asking the protesting BEST drivers and conductors to call off their stir, the employees had continued their agitation for the second day today, inconveniencing thousands of commuters in the city and suburbs.

Drivers and conductors of the the city's public bus service, BEST had been on a flash strike since yesterday to protest the new computerised scheduling system.

Bus services continued to remain paralysed today, affecting office-goers and school children appearing for exams.

Autos have been quick to take advantage of the BEST strike with several rickshaws running on share routes for those going on work.
16:50   Maoists sending bulk SMS for poll boycott in Bihar:   In a first, Maoists are sending out bulk SMS to voters calling for boycott of the Lok Sabha elections in six constituencies going to polls in the first phase in Bihar, while also threatening policemen and polling personnel.

"Though they have always been against elections, this is a new method adopted by Maoists. They are now using bulk SMS when earlier they used posters and pamphlets," DGP Abhyanand said.

"But then there is no check on anybody sending such messages. We are trying to trace the root of the SMS. We are doing whatever is needed to be done for smooth polling," Abhayanand said.

Police sources said the SMS are being sent in the name of Maoist spokesperson Avinash. The text messages address people, workers, farmers, intellectuals, besides "patriots and revolutionaries".

"The messages also ask Maoist guerillas to attack policemen on the day of elections and appeal to polling personnel not to travel in police vehicles for their own safety. This seems to be a tactic to create fear among the people," the sources said.
16:23  'Nandan and I are grateful and humbled':  Rohini Nilekani, whose husband Nandan Nilekani -- co-founder, Infosys, and former Chairman, Unique Identity Authority of India -- is contesting the Lok Sabha election from the Bangalore South constituency on a Congress Party ticket, shares her experiences on the campaign trail with Read
16:10  LIVE! Cong's 'cut Modi to pieces' candidate Masood gets bail after just 4 days:  Cong's Saharanpur candidate Imran Masood, who had threatened to kill Narendra Modi, has been granted bail.

Masood, who threatened to chop the BJP PM nominee Narendra Modi into pieces, was arrested early on Saturday morning. He was later produced before a Saharanpur court, which remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days. 

Masood was caught on video saying, "If Modi tries to turn Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat, then we will chop him into tiny pieces... I am not scared of getting killed or attacking someone. I will fight against Modi. He thinks U.P. is Gujarat."
16:06  SM Krishna: Modi wave hype by vested interests:  Former external affairs minister SM Krishna dissed the Modi 'wave' in Bangalore and said there was no such thing. Addressing the media just before launching a campaign for the Congress he said that what Narendra Modi had managed to do was sideline senior leaders such as LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj.

"It is very disappointing to see so much infighting in the BJP. The Modi wave is hype created by vested interests," Krishna said. He said Modi's dominance over the party is the reason that senior leaders are sidelined and that there was a veneer of dictatorship in the BJP.

When asked about the candidature of Adarsh scam tainted former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan, Krishna said mouthed the party sentiment saying there was no conviction against him.

-- Vicky Nanjappa from Bangalore.
15:58  Dynastic politics has no importance in democracy, says Modi:  Narendra Modi took a swipe at all party chiefs today criticised Sonia Gandhi, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, JMM chief Shibu Soren and RJD president Lalu Prasad for practising "dynastic politics" and said it has no place in a democracy.

"The Congress is a party of mother and son, the SP is a father, son and daughter-in-law party, the RJD is a husband and wife party, the JMM is a father and son party," Modi told an election meeting in Palamu district.

"Dynastic politics has no importance in a democracy," he said. Claiming that farmers in Uttar Pradesh were selling their livestock for money to marry off their daughters, Modi said, "The Centre is in pink revolution, exporting meat on subsidy. Modi accused regional parties of being "chowkidars of a corrupt government" in New Delhi and said, "The government at the Centre is a liability. Change it."
15:34  7th phase of polls: The who, what, where...:  Chew over these figures. Makes for informed conversation, even if you'd rather read about Rakhi Sawant.

Notification was issued today for the seventh phase of Lok Sabha polls to 89 constituencies spread across nine states on April 30 to decide the fate of political heavyweights like Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

The Lucknow seat from where BJP President Rajnath Singh is contesting and Amritsar, from where Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley is pitted against former Punjab chief minister Amrinder Singh of Congress also go for polls on April 30.

The fate of BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi, who is contesting from Kanpur, Congress leader Ambika Soni (Anandpur Sahib) and BJP's Uma Bharti (Jhansi) will also be decided on that day.

While Gandhi today filed her nomination from Rae Bareli, Modi is contesting from Vadodara in Gujarat, besides Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Out of the 89 constituencies, 17 are in Andhra Pradesh, 26 in Gujarat, seven in Bihar, one each in Jammu and Kashmir, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, 13 in Punjab, 14 in Uttar Pradesh and nine in West Bengal.
15:17  The General rides into battle:  Will VK Singh become the first army chief to become an MP?'s Archana Masih accompanied him on the campaign trail, to find out if his appeal and message resonates with voters in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Read
15:05  LIVE! Omar: Looks like Smriti Irani's campaign has been shellacked:  Omar Abdullah: Looks like Smiti Irani's campaign has just been shellacked & it didn't even need Rahul to visit Amethi.

That's in response to the Varun Gandhi's praise for Rahul for the implementation of schemes that helped small scale industries in Amethi.
15:00  Why no 'BJPwallah' will comment on this yogi... or his politics. Enjoy!
14:58  Antony claims RSS working behind BJP's poll process:  Defence Minister A K Antony today claimed the RSS is working behind the election process for the BJP and the party has put up candidates as per the advice of the Sangh, even as the Congress leader said Narendra Modi becoming prime minister would be a "tragedy" for the country.

Tearing into the Sangh Parivar, Antony told a meet-the-press programme of the Thrissur Press Club that RSS has taken over the management and conduct of the elections as was done by them in 1977.

Asked about prospects of BJP coming to power and Modi becoming Prime Minister, Antony said chances for Modi becoming PM were very remote as there was no Modi wave as is publicised by "corporates".

If by any chance, Modi became Prime Minister, it would be a "tragedy" for the country and "lead to communal polarisation" besides affecting adversely national unity, he said.
14:43   Madhu Kishwar's response to the flak she has got for the 'interview', basically saying it was nothing but a video recording, and not an interview.

"Horror of horrors: NewsX\ India News claiming exclusive rights over ALL my video recordings of 14 months. Claiming I surrendered to them. Rana of News India literally laid siege to my office while I was lecturing in Bangalore & took away 3 external hard drives frm my office from India. Rana & Kartikeya promised they'd only take agreed on extracts from my videos. Now they're claiming exclusive rights to all footage from India."  
14:43  The interview where Narendra Modi said nothing:   More on the 'big' Narendra Modi interview that predictably was a damp squib. Read: Narendra Modi's first television interview was more like a monologue.
14:35  Malaysia narrows criminal probe to crew of missing flight: report :  Update on the missing MH370 flight that is slowly slipping away from top headlines.

Malaysia today said it would focus its criminal investigation on the cabin crew and pilots of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, after clearing all 227 passengers of any involvement. 
14:27  Varun Gandhi has endorsed what @INCIndia did in Amethi so what for has @BJP4India sent @smritiirani here? @AamAadmiParty is the only answer, tweets Pankaj Shukla.
14:23  BEST bus strike continues on day II:   Notwithstanding the Bombay High Court order asking the protesting BEST drivers and conductors to call off their stir, the employees continued their agitation for the second day today, inconveniencing thousands of commuters in the city and suburbs.

Drivers and conductors of the the city's public bus service, BEST had been on a flash strike since yesterday to protest the new computerised scheduling system.

Bus services continued to remain paralysed today, affecting office-goers and school children appearing for exams. Autos have been quick to take advantage of the BEST strike with several rickshaws running on share routes for those going on work.
14:19  16 live bullets found in parkign lot near Taj Mahal hotel, Mumbai :  Just in: Meanwhile, in Mumbai, 16 live bullets have been found in the parking lot near Taj Hotel in Mumbai. 
14:14  LIVE! Varun Gandhi: Comment on Amethi is not endorsement of party or candidate:  OK, Varun Gandhi seems to have been given a rap on the knuckles after his statement endorsing Rahul Gandhi's work in Amethi. Varun Gandhi has now tweeted saying, "My comment, last night, (was) in a meeting with teachers and NGOs, in response to being asked whether I knew about initiatives in Amethi. Although I had not seen the work done via self help groups in Amethi, I had heard it was fairly decent, and that I would stress,   empowered people towards being self-reliant. It should NOT be seen as an endorsement of any political party or candidate."
14:11  Sonia Gandhi has declared her assets while filing her nomination papers. Her movable assets are worth Rs 2 crore. Other details awaited.
14:05  A diversified Muslim identity:  The voting preference of Muslims in States is not an outcome of any national strategy; rather it is constituted at the grassroots level. Read
14:03  In terms of candidates, AAP first among all debutants:   In other poll news: When the Aam Aadmi Party announced its latest list of candidates, bringing the total to over 400, it made electoral history. If it wins over 30 seats, the party will achieve another milestone, an analysis of electoral data shows. Read

For all the poll updates follow us here @RediffElections
14:00  Bhai bhai sentiment reigns supreme :  So, blood is indeed thicker than water. Varun Gandhi's statement praising his cousin Rahul's work in Amethi, comes just after Smriti Irani's statement yesterday that Rahul had done nothing for his constituency.

As Smita Prakash tweets: Varun probably never got the memo that India has not changed. Must not praise opposition. Ever.
13:56  'Rae Bareli has given us a lot of love':  Sonia Gandhi was given a rapturous welcome from the Fursatganj airport to the district collectorate office. With Rahul at the steering wheel, Gandhi was welcomed with showering of rose petals all the way.

Before she filed the nomination, a havan was performed at the local Congress office in which Sonia and Rahul participated.

Old family loyalist Satish Sharma along with her lawyer was also present at the time of filing of nominations.

The constituency has been a Nehru-Gandhi family bastion since the 1960s. Indira Gandhi won it for the first time in 1967, taking over after the death of her husband Feroz, who was also an MP from here. Gandhi is a three time MP from Rae Bareli, including once elected in a by-election in 2006, after she resigned over office of profit issue. In 2004 elections she shifted to Rae Bareli from Amethi, leaving it to her son Rahul Gandhi.

In 1999, she won from Amethi and had also defeated BJP's Sushma Swaraj from the Bellary Lok Sabha constituency.
13:52   Sonia Gandh's brief statement in Rae Bareli: Rae Bareli ke logo ne humein bahut pyar se apnaya hai aur umeed karti hoon dobara apnayengey.

For all the poll updates follow us here @RediffElections
13:36  Happy that Varun liked my work in Amethi: Rahul:   Rahul Gandhi speaking at Rae Bareli after Sonia files her nomination. He says he is very happy with Varun Gandhi's comment on the work done in Amethi. Sonia doesn't take questions or address the media.

Varun Gandhi, had praised Rahul for the implementation of schemes that helped small scale industries in Amethi.

Pic: Sonia Gandhi performs a yagna at Rae Bareli
13:22  Drama king Arvind Kejriwal tweets: Media is running baseless news that am ready to join BJP, I will die but never join BJP or Congress.
13:18  LIVE! Amid rose petal shower, Sonia files nomination from Rae Bareli :  And so, Sonia Gandhi has filed her nomination papers from Rae Bareli. No sign of Priyanka Gandhi yet, so it's probably just Rahul accompanying Sonia.

Priyanka, reports says, has virtually taken control of the Congress's election management as Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are mostly away campaigning. Priyanka has been spending most of her time in the war room at her brother's home.
13:14  LIVE! Rahul drives Sonia to Rae Bareli amid rousing rose petal welcome :   Sonia Gandhi reaches Rae Bareli, the constituency from where she is seeking re-election for the third time, in a shower of rose petals. The BJP is fielding a 'weak' candidate Ajay Agarwal.

Rahul and Priyanka are accompanying Sonia here. In 2009, Sonia won by over 4 lakh votes from here, a constituency she has been nurtured with a factory by BHEL. The SP hasn't fielded any candidate from here. Sonia is expected to file her nomination at 2 pm, before which she is expected to attend a yagna.

For all the poll updates follow us here @RediffElections
13:02  Why waves dont matter:   Data analysis for over 40 years shows that national issues or sentiments have a limited impact on votes and seats for a national party. Read
13:00  Book publisher comes under attack in Kerala:  In other news: In a violent reaction to the publication of a book, translated from the English original written by Gail Tredwell, a former resident of the Mata Amrithanandamayi Math in Keralas Kollam district, the outlet of the publishing house DC Books and the home of DC Books managing partner Ravi DeeCee here, came under attack on Monday evening. Read
12:54  Education totally free if non-BJP, non-Cong govt comes to power: SP:  First takes from the Samajwadi Party's election manifesto:

The SP will provide special benefits to Muslims.
The party will set up a commission for poor persons belonging to upper castes.
Education to be made totally free in the country if non-Cong, non-BJP government comes to power at the Centre.

Here's a look at the Congress manifesto.
12:36  LIVE! Striking BEST staff slapped with ESMA:  Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act invoked against striking BEST drivers and conductors. This in effect means, any person who continues to remain on strike under the act, can be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with a fine.

Lakhs of commuters in Mumbai suffered for a second day in a row as BEST buses continue to be off roads on Wednesday.

The drivers and conductors, who bunked en masse on Tuesday, have not reported for duty this morning, sources said.

A senior BEST official said that the department may take punitive action against those participating in the strike and refusing to come back.

The Bombay high court too had asked BEST employees on Tuesday to resume work. 

ESMA is an act of Parliament, which was established to ensure the delivery of certain services, which if obstructed would affect the normal life of the people. This included services like public transport (bus services), health services (doctors and hospitals).
12:26  Samajawadi Party releases its election manifesto. Details in a bit. 
12:26  Priyanka takes over war room reins :   Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has virtually taken control of the Congress's election management as Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are mostly away campaigning. Priyanka has been spending most of her time in the war room at her brother's home, the sources said, adding that her say was decisive in matters relating to campaign, publicity and media interactions.  Read more
12:18  SC asks Samsung chief to surrender before a Ghaziabad court in 6 weeks:  The Supreme Court has ordered Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee to appear before a trial court in Ghaziabad in a criminal case and surrender in six weeks. In effect, the SC directs that the arrest warrant against Lee Kun-hee not be executed for six weeks.

This comes after the the Samsung Chairman approached the apex court seeking that a criminal case and non bailable warrants issued against him be quashed.

The complaint against Samsung and Lee Kun-hee is that they failed to honour a payment of $ 1.4 million. The Allahabad High Court, dismissing a similar petition in 2013, had called the Samsung Chairman an absconder and fugitive.

Also read: Samsung chairman wins $4 bn court feud over family fortune
12:01  Varun praises cousin Rahul :  Congress president Sonia Gandhi will file her nomination papers from Rae Bareli today, even as her nephew, BJP leader Varun Gandhi, praises Rahul for the implementation of schemes that helped small scale industries in Amethi.

In Sulatanpur, Sanjay Singh's wife, Ameeta Modi, will take on Varun Gandhi.

If you are in the right side of 30 and haven't heard of Singh or Ameeta, this is a must read.

For all the poll updates follow us here @RediffElections
11:46  Familiar welcome greets Kejriwal in east Delhi -- black flags :   AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, who has been campaigning relentlessly across the country is in Gandhinagar, east Delhi. The former Delhi CM must be familiar with this welcome by now -- black flags and jeers. The sentiment in the aftermath of Kejriwal resigning as the CM, across most of Delhi has been similar -- that he left the battle when the going got tough.   

In Varanasi, last week, apart from black flags, ink was thrown at Kejriwal and his entourage during their road show in the city. Kejriwal is up against Narendra Modi in Varanasi.

For all the poll updates follow us here @RediffElections
11:30  I found the body badly charred: Neelam Katara on her son's death:  To get back to the Nitish Katara murder, this is what his mother, Neelam had to go through.

This is her statement during the investigation into the murder: ''I found the body badly charred and the head had been struck with a hard object. There was a crack on the head and after that the body had been badly burnt. Everything was charred. God forbid that any parent ever have to see the child like that." 
11:25  First Modi, now Advani joins Uma Bharti's 'non-orators' club:  The BJP's Uma Bharti, who has been forced to offer multiple clarifications after saying Narendra Modi is not a good orator, now says she had made the same observation about party patriarch LK Advani.

"I had earlier also said that Advaniji is not a good orator. It should not be taken in a negative way. It was an assessment. My comment on Modi has been distorted by the media," she said in Jhansi, the constituency in Uttar Pradesh from where she is contesting the general election. Read more
11:18  Neelam Katara: Will appeal to SC:  Neelam Katara, who has a fought a long and extremely difficult battle says she is prepared to fight this case to the Supreme Court. Her son, Nitish, was killed in 2002. Her appeal will come up in court on April 25, not April 8, as mentioned earlier.

If you want to read up on the murder, try this.
11:01  The High Court says the Katara murder was a case of honour killing. It will hear the arguments on the quantum of sentence on April 25.
10:58  Nitish Katara's mother had wanted the death sentence:   Nitish Katara's mother, Neelam Katara, had sought the death sentence for the brothers, the plea will be heard on April 8. Apart from the Kataras, the court also upheld the life term of contract killer Sukhdev Pehalwan, all of who are at Tihar jail.
10:47  LIVE! Nitish Katara murder: Court upholds life sentences for Yadav brothers :  The Delhi high court today, has upheld the life sentence in the Nitish Katara murder case. The three accused in the case had appealed to the HC challenging their conviction and imprisonment for life by a lower court.
The Delhi HC has upheld the life sentences for the brothers, Vikas and Vishal Yadav.

A bench of justices Gita Mittal and J R Midha had reserved the verdict on appeals of Vikas Yadav, son of UP politician D P Yadav, his cousin Vishal and Sukhdev on April 16 after final arguments.
10:16  Sensex hits new high of 22,576.50; Nifty reaches 6,740.05:  The benchmark BSE Sensex gained over 130 points to hit a fresh high of 22,576.50 in early trade today on continued capital inflows by funds and retailers, tracking firm global cues.

Hitting a new record-high for the eighth straight session, the 30-share barometer surged by 130.06 points, or 0.58 per cent, to hit 22,576.50, surpassing its previous high of 22,485.77 reached yesterday.

All the sectoral indices, led by consumer durables, capital goods, auto and banking were trading in the positive zone with gains up to 0.98 per cent.
09:56  5 killed in Chile quake :  
CNN reports: At least five people have died in an 8.2-magnitude earthquake that struck off Chile's coast.

Four men and one woman died -- two due to heart attacks and three crushed to death, said Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo.

About 300 prisoners escaped from northern port city of Iquique in the immediate aftermath, he said.

09:39  TDP-BJP to finalise Andhra deal today?:  Talks between N Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party for a poll alliance in Andhra Pradesh are in the final stages and they are expected to close to a deal.

Naidu has denied rumours of stalking talks over seat sharing. According to sources, TDP refused to cede too many seat to BJP in the Seemandra region.
08:42  Chile evacuates coast as 8.2 earthquake sparks tsunami:  An 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern Chile generating a tsunami, authorities said, CNN reports.

The quake caused a small landslide, but there were no reports of deaths or major damage, Chilean Deputy Interior Minister Mahmud Aleuy told reporters.

USGS reports at least nine significant aftershocks in the wake of an 8.2-magnitude earthquake off Chile's coast.

Read the full report here
02:59  ICJ orders Japan to end Antarctic whaling:  
The International Court of Justice has ordered Japan to immediately stop its whaling programme in the Antarctic.

But there is still more to do to protect the giant of the sea.

Read more HERE 
02:49  British sniper kills 6 Taliban with 1 bullet:  
A British sniper in Afghanistan killed six insurgents with a single bullet after hitting the trigger switch of a suicide bomber whose device then exploded, The Telegraph has learnt.

The 20-year-old marksman, a Lance Corporal in the Coldstream Guards, hit his target from 930 yards (850 metres) away, killing the suicide bomber and five others around him caught in the blast.

The incident in Kakaran in southern Afghanistan happened in December but has only now been disclosed as Britain moves towards the withdrawal of all combat soldiers by the end of the year.

Lt Col Richard Slack, commanding officer of 9/12 Royal Lancers, said the unnamed sharpshooter prevented a major attack by the Taliban, as a second suicide vest packed with 20kg (44lbs) of explosives was found nearby.

Read more HERE
02:47  Afghan ballot papers are a buffet of symbols:  
Parachute or laptop computer? Sunrise or binoculars? Five days before polling, Afghan voters are spoilt for choice as they prepare to make their selection from an odd array of candidates symbols.

The designs help illiterate voters differentiate between hundreds of contenders standing in presidential and provincial council elections on April 5, a decade after the first polls of the countrys post-Taliban era. Ballot papers have options ranging from the humble kettle and the sacred prayer mat to an office chair, a fearsome lion, an elegant butterfly and an unexpected basketball net.

Other eye-catching designs include paint brushes, naan bread, a calculator, a ladder, parrots, a pencil sharpener and, in land-locked Afghanistan, a sailboat in full rig.

The symbols are decided through a mixture of candidate preferences and allocation by the Independent Election Commission (IEC), which is organising the vote.

Click HERE to read further
02:44  Driving in Saudi Arabia as a woman:  
Since October 26 of last year, dozens of Saudi women have taken the wheel, defying the ban on female drivers. It's a movement that, while modest in size, garnered new attention this weekend when Barack Obama came to visit.

There's no official law in Saudi Arabia that bans women from driving. But its Interior Ministry won't issue licenses to women. 

When pulled over, women have to sign a pledge saying that they won't drive again. 

A second violation means signing another pledge and waiting for a male relative pick them up. Whoever picks them up has to also sign a pledge saying they won't let the women drive.

Click HERE to read more
02:41  With MH370 still missing, legal moves for payouts start:  
For 10 days, Monica R Kelly and her American law firms aviation lawyers have stalked the dim hallways of the Lido Hotel here to make their pitches to relatives of passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

They tell the families that a court in the United States could potentially award millions of dollars per passenger in a lawsuit against the Boeing Company, which built the missing jet, a Boeing 777-200. 

In a hotel suite, Kelly uses a model of a Boeing 777 to show families how the plane might have malfunctioned.

Click HERE to read

02:40  Dick Cheney's private speech leaks:  
What do former US Vice President Dick Cheney, billionaire megadonor Sheldon Adelson, and Republican activists and funders talk about -- and applaud -- when they're behind closed doors at a Las Vegas hotel? Bombing Iran.

Read more HERE

02:35  Washington, DC decriminalizes marijuana:  
District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray has signed a bill that decriminalizes possession of up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana in the U.S. capital, a spokeswoman said.

The law makes possession a civil violation with a penalty of $25, lower than most city parking tickets. Possession had been a misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Proponents had backed the measure as an issue of fairness. 

A study by the American Civil Liberties Union had shown that blacks in Washington were eight times more likely to be arrested for pot than people of other races.
02:27  The numbers Vladimir Putin doesnt want you to see:  
Russians prefer alternative reality.

Vanity Fair's Maureen Orth assesses Russias numbers. And they do not make a pretty picture.

Click HERE to read
02:23  How Gmail Happened:  
Google's email breakthrough was almost three years in the making. But it wasn't a given that it would reach the public at all

Click HERE to read
02:19  Babul Supriyo denies entering temple in drunken state:  
Singer Babul Supriyo, BJP's candidate from Asansol constituency, is denying that he had entered a temple to offer puja in a drunken state. 

The Asansol Citizen's Forum, a local grievance cell, lodged a complaint with the Asansol (South) police station on Monday that the popular singer went into the Kali temple in the Damra area in a drunken condition.

The singer said, "I am a teetotaller. I never drank even a beer in my life, let alone wine. Tea is my only favourite drink. The complaints are baseless." 

Babul Supriyo is pitted against Trinamool Congress' Dola Sen in the prestigious seat in Burdwan district. 
02:17  NATO suspends cooperation with Russia, sees no troop pullback:  
NATO said today it has suspended all cooperation with Russia over the Crimea crisis and questioned Moscow's claim to have withdrawn troops from near the Ukrainian border, saying it could not confirm any pullback.

The Western alliance's latest statements came as Moscow heaped even more pressure on Ukraine's teetering economy with a painful gas-price hike, undermining what had been tentative signs of a calming in the worst East-West standoff since the Cold War. 

Ukraine's parliament met one of Moscow's key demands by voting unanimously to disarm all self-defence groups that sprang up across the country during its political crisis, which first erupted in late November over the then-government's decision to ditch a landmark EU alliance.

But tensions remained high more than two weeks after Moscow formally annexed Crimea, and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance was "suspending all practical cooperation with Russia, military and civilian". 
02:15  Bahrain opposition calls F1 Grand Prix protests:  
Bahrain's influential Shiite opposition bloc Al-Wefaq and a more radical group have called separate rallies for Friday to protest the weekend staging of the Formula One Grand Prix in Manama. 

Demonstrations have been held during the three-day Grand Prix event every year since 2011 by opponents of the ruling Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty in an attempt to highlight pro-reform demands. 

The protests, which first erupted in the wake of a Shiite-led uprising in February 2011, have at times been marred by violence but the race has never been affected. 

They are mainly staged in Shiite villages surrounding Manama and away from the Sakhir F1 circuit in the capital's south.

The Bahrain Grand Prix practice sessions begin on Friday ahead of Sunday's race.
02:14  Top headlines at this hour::  End Mumbai bus strike now, HC orders BEST workers

DGCA asks SpiceJet to immediately stop Re 1 ticket offer

Reserve Bank gets EC approval to grant new bank licences

Sensing conspiracy, BJP takes Modi flight delay issue to EC 

West Indies romp into semis with thumping win over Pakistan

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