23:45 Koyal Rana is crowned Miss India 2014:
Delhi model Koyal Ranawon the Miss India 2014 title at the beauty pageant held in Mumbai tonight.She was crowned by and was crowned by former title holder Navneet Kaur Dhillon.
The second runner up is Gail Nicole Da Silva.
22:17 BSP's Ghaziabad candidate breaks down while appealing for vote:
BSP candidate Mukul Upadhyay today became emotional and broke down while addressing a rally in Ramlila ground of Kavinagar area here. The incident took place shortly before BSP supremo Mayawati's arrival at the rally venue.
Addressing the huge gathering, Upadhyay appealed people to vote for the party and suddenly started weeping, saying: "I am working too hard in theses polls. For the last two months I wake up at 5 AM and go to bed by 2 to 3 in the morning."
"Once I slipped in the toilet and my head was hurt badly," he said. Some other party leaders who were present at the dais came to his rescue and consoled him. Later he claimed that his rival candidate of Congress, Raj Babbar, will not get even the second position in the polls.
"I am very confident of my win in the elections. If Congress comes to second number, I would then quit politics," Upadhyay promised to people.
22:09 Modi is a groom in a hurry: Sharad Pawar:
Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today took a dig at Narendra Modi saying the BJP's PM nominee is a "groom in hurry" who has declared himself victorious even before the people's mandate is out. "Modi is a groom in a hurry. He is is behaving as if he has already got elected to the top post," Pawar told a joint rally with Congress president Sonia Gandhi at Chikhli.
Raking up the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat, Pawar alleged "Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was burnt alive in his Gulbarg Housing Society residence in Ahmedabad under chief minister Modi's watch."
He said this was for the first time that a prime ministerial candidate is declared before elections. "Normally, elected MPs pick their leader as prime minister. But here in this election, Modi is in a hurry," Pawar said.
20:56 Third Front will choose PM through consensus: Nitish:
Claiming that he had no knowledge of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav portraying himself as Prime Ministerial candidate of the Third Front, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said the PM would be chosen through consensus after polls.
"I am not aware of this," Kumar told reporters when asked to comment on Mulayam Singh Yadav claiming himself as PM nominee of the Third Front. Kumar, who is the prime mover behind an alternative front of 11 non-Congress and non-BJP parties, said the coalition if it came to power would form the government on the basis of a common minimum programme.
"We will choose a person for the prime minister's post through consensus," he said reiterating that he was not in the race for the PM's post.
19:30 Passenger tries to end life inside plane at Hyd airport:
A passenger today allegedly attempted suicide inside a plane at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad area here, police said today.
The passenger identified as Mohd Imtiyaz slit his throat using a blade in the washroom of the flight which arrived from Dubai at the airport here, they said adding it is not yet clear as to why he resorted to the act.
"He (passenger) has been admitted to a hospital and is still unconscious," RGIA police inspector A Krishnaiah said.
18:47 The most defining general election since 1977:
From Economic Times
: The first phase of polling in what could be the most defining general election since 1977 begins on April 7. In many ways this is a difficult election to call: alliances are still being stitched together, candidates are continuing to migrate between parties and the electoral discourse has plumbed new depths.
Amidst the cacophony, several clear trends are visible. One, the BJP is likely to register its highest Lok Sabha tally.
Read the full article here
18:22 Missing jet: Chinese ship detects pulse signal in Indian Ocean:
A Chinese patrol ship searching the crashed Malaysian airliner today picked up a pulse signal from its black box detector in the southern Indian Ocean, China's official media reported, in a possible breakthrough in the nearly month-long multinational hunt for the jet.
Haixun 01, searching for the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, detected a pulse signal with a frequency of 37.5kHz per second in southern Indian Ocean waters today, state-run Xinhua
news agency reported. It is yet to be established whether it is related to the Boeing 777-200, that went missing on March 8 with 239 people on board, including five Indians.
A black box detector deployed by the Haixun 01 picked up the signal at around 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude, the report said.
18:03 Ramdev defends Shah's remarks:
Yoga guru Ramdev today defended controversial remarks by Narendra Modi's close aide Amit Shah, saying he has only spoken of revenge against those who have looted the country for the last six decades by indulging in corruption.
"What wrong has Shah said? For the last 67 years, those who have looted the country mercilessly by indulging in corruptions and scams and then he talks about change and revenge...definitely there is anger and dissatisfaction among the people of the country," Ramdev said.
He was speaking to reporters after visiting the Rashtrapati Bhawan where he submitted a memorandum in which he demanded that freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev who laid their lives during the freedom struggle in 1931 be given the status of martyrs.
17:48 Advani declares assets of over Rs 7 cr; Rajnath at 2.5cr:
Veteran BJP leader and former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani has declared in his affidavit before the election authority that he and his family possess assets of over Rs 7 crore.
Advani today filed nomination from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency. As per the affidavit, his and his family's assets have doubled since the 2009 general election, when he had declared assets of over Rs 3.5 crore.
The assets of BJP national president Rajnath Singh, who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Lucknow seat, have almost doubled since 2009 to over Rs 2.5 crore.
As per the affidavit submitted along with his nomination papers, Singh has declared movable and immovable assets valued at over Rs 2.51 crore.
16:51 Indian envoy to Saudi all set to get a year's extension:
Our correspondent in New Delhi: Indian Ambassador in Saudi Arabia Hamid Ali Rao, a close acquaintance of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, is all set to get a one year extension, according to informed sources in the South Block.
The Lok Sabha poll Model Code of Conduct does not come in the way of such bonanzas,' a former diplomat comments. It is stated that the file for Rao's extension was pending with the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, and that the minister could find time now to propose it to Prime Minister.
16:47 Priyanka's dig at a Union minister:
Our Correspondent reports from New Delhi: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi is reportedly upset with a Union minister who did not turn up at the trustee meeting of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.
At the meeting, Priyanka said, "He is not even contesting the Lok Sabha polls, but must be busy'. This quip could be given thousand interpretations, commented another trustee.
16:31 Dr Singh may move out of 7RCR by early May:
Our correspondent in New Delhi reports: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is planning to move out of 7 Race Course Road by early next month to his new official bungalow in 3 Motilal Nehru Palace, which was until recently occupied by former Delhi Chief Minister Sheela Dikshit.
Family members of Dr Singh visit the new premises very often, it is learnt, and the family might start moving out heavy luggage in instalments by the end of this month. Dr Singh is keen to retain four personal assistants for one year, apart from the sanctioned strength of three.
Dr Singh is entitled to get two bullet proof heavy vehicles for five years from Special Protection Group.
15:56 Modi's promise of stability will be 'disastrous': Karat:
The CPI-M today said the stability being promised by BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, would be 'disastrous' for the country and ruled out the Left supporting Congress after the polls to prevent the saffron party from coming to power.
"In Narendra Modi's type of stability, the country will face disaster", CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat told reporters at meet-the-press programme, organised by the Ernakulam Press club in Kochi.
The BJP, which is claiming to be the successor of this (UPA) government and is 'waiting in the line', has not even released its manifesto, Karat said. "On April 7, the country will go to polls and BJP is planning to bring out the manifesto on that day," he said, adding, in its 2009 election manifesto BJP had promised to build a Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
By fielding Modi from Varanasi, a clear signal was being sent by BJP to Uttar Pradesh and other parts of the country, he said. "Narendra Modi is the manifesto of the BJP and he is being backed by the corporate power and Hindutva," Karat said.
14:39 Lalu welcomes Bukhari's appeal; slams BJP, RSS:
RJD President Lalu Prasad today welcomed Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari's appeal to the Muslims to vote for his party and Congress, and demanded a ban on both the BJP and RSS.
"Imam Bukhari has made a patriotic appeal to save the nation. We are seeing divisive forces gaining in the country and his appeal will help counter it. We must unite against the communal forces," Prasad told reporters here.
"BJP and RSS should be banned. They always speak communal language and stoke fire against peace and harmony," he said.
The RJD chief recounted the demolition of Babri Masjid and subsequent riots in various states and said he had always spoken against the BJP, RSS combine.
13:42 Advani files nomination from Gandhinagar: Just in:
Senior BJP leader L K Advani has filed his nominations from the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency in Gujarat. BJP's PM nominee Narendra Modi was at his side.
13:15 Congress won't get double-digits in any state: Modi:
BJP's PM nominee Narendra Modi, who was beside senior leader LK Advani as the latter filed his nominations from Gandhinagar in Gujarat after initial discord, exuded confidence that Congress would not touch a double-digit figure in any of the states of the country.
Modi also praised the party veteran, saying that it has been a privilege for them to serve BJP, India and Advanijee.
Modi said that it's a very rare occasion that the verdict is out even before the elections have been conducted, appealing to BJP workers to ensure victory for Advani in Gandhinagar with a huge margin.
13:00 Cong complains to EC over Amit Shah's remarks:
The Congress has complained to the Election Commission against BJP's UP in-charge Amit Shah, accusing him of creating animosity between communities.
The close aide of Narendra Modi stoked fresh controversy as he told riot-hit Jats in Muzzafarnagar on Friday, "2014 Lok Sabha elections are about revenge, honour. If you want to take revenge, vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party.'
11:30 Amit Shah to voters: Vote for BJP if you want revenge:
BJP leader and Narendra Modi's close aide Amit Shah has stoked fresh controversy as he told riot-hit Jats in Muzzafarnagar, "2014 Lok Sabha elections are about revenge, honour. If you want to take revenge, vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party.'
11:04 Can Afghanistan hold a credible election? :
The Afghan election will see the biggest security operation mounted in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Around 400,000 Afghan and international troops will be available, although the 55,000 troops of the Isaf force still in Afghanistan will play only a minor role.
Specially trained women weapons screeners will be paid $100 (60) for the day to enable women to vote. The government has rejected a claim by the Taliban that they have a full list of the screeners. Polls for the national president and provincial councils in the 34 provinces will be held at the same time; 10% of polling centres have been closed because of security concerns.
Read more on BBC
10:46 Modi to accompany Advani as he files nomination today:
Gandhinagar, Gujarat: Senior BJP leader LK Advani, who courted controversy over the selection of his Lok Sabha seat, will file his nomination from Gandhinagar in Narendra Modi's Gujarat today, where the BJP's prime ministerial candidate has planned a grand show of unity.
After arriving in Gandhinagar in a special aircraft, Mr Advani will head to the BJP's new office, where both he and Mr Modi will address party workers. They will then go to the nomination centre; Mr Modi will be one of those who will propose Mr Advani's name for the Lok Sabha seat that he has been winning for the last 16 years straight.
In the evening, the two will have tea with local leaders and will inaugurate an election office for Mr Advani, before he flies back to Delhi.Across Gandhinagar, massive hoardings give Mr Advani's star billing;
Mr Modi has designated a comparatively smaller place for himself on the posters. He has also appointed two of his closest aides Amit Shah and Anandiben Patel to oversee Mr Advani's campaign and road shows. (In Gandhinagar, Advani gets star billing on massive billboards)
Read more on NDTV
09:44 Afghanistan votes in historic presidential election:
Afghans have begun voting for a new president in what will be the nation's first ever transfer of power through the ballot box. A massive security operation is under way to thwart the Taliban which has vowed to disrupt the election.
Eight candidates are vying to succeed Hamid Karzai, who is barred by the constitution from seeking a third consecutive term as president. The poll has already been overshadowed by the shooting of two journalists.
The biggest military operation since the fall of the Taliban in 2001 has been rolled out for the election, says the BBC's David Loyn in Kabul. Heavy rain was falling in the Afghan capital early on Saturday and BBC correspondents said young voters in particular were defying the conditions and the security threats. In parts of the city voters could be seen queuing an hour before polls opened, correspondents say.
Read more on BBC
01:17 EC declines BJP request for ban on telecast of Cobrapost sting:
The Election Commission has declined the BJP's request for stopping the publication and telecast of a Cobrapost sting operation on Babri demolition, directing the party to approach the courts instead.
"The EC, by precedent, does not intervene to restrain publication and airing of media stings. The aggrieved party is however free to approach the court for an injunction order against airing of such material," a senior EC functionary said.
The BJP's request seeking a restraining order against the Cobrapost sting telecast ahead of Lok Sabha poll was discussed at a full Commission meeting on Friday morning. The Chief Election Commissioner and the two Election Commissioners agreed that the issue was best directed to the competent court.
The Cobrapost sting operation alleges that the Babri Masjid was demolished as a part of a carefully orchestrated plan of the Sangh Parivar and Shiv Sena.
Branding the sting operation as "Congress sponsored", the BJP on Friday asked the EC to stop its publication and telecast. The BJP claimed Cobrapost was being used by the ruling party to divert attention from the issues of price rise, corruption and development, on which the saffron outfit is contesting the elections.The secret recordings show several key figures involved in the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992 admitting that there was elaborate planning, months of training and even creation of a suicide squad for the criminal act.
01:06 Pakistan keeps close eye on vote in its Afghan backyard:
Posters of turbaned Afghan presidential candidates are rolling off the presses in Pakistan, which will be keeping close watch on the election in its strategic backyard.
Helped by cheaper labour and a favourable exchange rate, printers in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, less than 60 kilometres from the border, have been busy making Afghan election banners.
"We have been swamped with work for the past two weeks because of the Afghan elections. One candidate has asked me to print 200,000 posters," said printer Mohammad Sajid. Business links with Afghanistan have grown in recent years and analysts say Pakistan wants a stable northwestern neighbour, shifting from the interference of the past.
Pakistan wants to exert its influence on the Taliban to join a broader peace process, observers say, rather than topple Afghanistan's democratically elected government and create a new power vacuum with a violent spillover effect.
Fear of encirclement by India led generations of Pakistani military thinkers to view Afghanistan as a zone of potential risk -- and thus legitimate space for covert intervention.
This doctrine of "strategic depth" saw Pakistan seek to support groups in Afghanistan it regarded as favourable to its ends, first the mujahideen fighting the Soviet occupation of the 1980s and then the Taliban during their 1996-2001 rule in Kabul.
01:04 EC cautions media houses, political parties on advertisements:
Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer has directed the media houses and political parties not to display any advertisement of political nature during the 48 hours period till the elections conclude.
"No person shall display anything related with election matter through cinematography, television or other similar
apparatus (which may include electronic media, Internet, radio, social media or live etc.) during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll," the guidelines said.
Election matter means any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election.
As per the notice, any person who contravenes the provisions, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.
"You are therefore requested not to telecast any advertisements of political nature related to Lok Sabha elections 2014 by a party or organisation or candidate during the period mentioned above," it said.