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LIVE! Modi recalls 'sacrifices' of BJP veterans, hails Atal-Advani

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April 06, 2014

20:40  Boko Haram attack kills 17 in Nigeria:  Boko Haram militants attacked a village in restive northern Nigeria, killing 17 people and setting houses and cars alight, the local government said today.

Among the dead were Muslim worshippers shot as they prayed in the village mosque, said Abdullahi Bego, spokesman for the governor of the troubled state of Yobe. 

"The gunmen are Boko Haram people, it was the same pattern of attacks they are known for," he told AFP.
19:45  China search vessels find no clues for missing flight :  After detecting signals possibly from the black box of the missing Malaysian plane, China's search vessels failed to find any confirmed clues today to conclusively establish that the pings are from the MH370. 

Vessels of China's ministry of transport searching for the missing passenger jet have searched a total of 136,000 square kilometers by midday today, Zhuo Li, an official with the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center, said.
19:38  Modi recalls 'sacrifices' of BJP veterans, hails Atal-Advani :  Accused of sidelining veterans, Narendra Modi today reached out to the elders in BJP, hailing the "sacrifice" of "four generations" of partymen and leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani and said they continue to inspire him.

Addressing workers from over six lakh polling booths across the country through a video conference on the occasion of BJP's 34th foundation day, the party's Prime Ministerial candidate equated them with security forces manning the posts on border and securing the boundaries of the nation.
19:37  Yingluck supporters warn of civil war if democracy stolen:  The supporters of Thailand's embattled government today warned of a civil war if democracy was stolen by ousting Premier Yingluck Shinawatra, raising fears of more violence in the deeply polarised country witnessing political instability for months. 

The pro-government "Red Shirt" supporters issued the warning at a rally outside Bangkok - the first staged by the movement near the capital since violent clashes broke out in November. Tens of thousands of people from across the country joined a pro-government rally.
18:56  Malaysians hold mass prayers for missing jet:  More than 3,000 people held mass prayers here for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 which had crashed in the Indian Ocean with 239 people on board.

Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) president Liow Tiong Lai said everyone wished for the safe return of the airliner as soon as possible.
18:55  New F1 rules 'unacceptable', change needed: Ecclestone:  Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone claimed today that this season's controversial new Formula One rules were "unacceptable" to fans and changes were needed. "

I don't think the way things are at the moment are acceptable to the public," Ecclestone told ahead of today's Bahrain Grand Prix. "People buying tickets to come here expect to see what Formula 1 used to be," he said.
18:15  FIR against Amit Shah for 'revenge' call:  An FIR has been registered against senior BJP leader Amit Shah for his controversial speech  in Muzaffarnagar seeking "revenge" for the riots.

"In Uttar Pradesh, especially western UP, it is an election for honour. It is an election to take revenge for the insult. It is an election to teach a lesson to those who have committed injustice," Shah was quoted as telling a meeting of Jat leaders two days ago in Muzaffarnagar.

The Congress had moved the poll panel seeking Shah's arrest.
17:53  MH370 skirted Indonesia apparently to avoid radar: Report:  Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 flew around Indonesian airspace apparently to avoid detection after vanishing from radar screens on March 8, a media report said today, suggesting the possibility of a more sinister reason behind the jet's disappearance. 

Malaysian authorities, citing expert analysis of satellite, radar and other data available, concluded earlier that the ill-fated flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
17:50  Swamy flays 'The Economist' for editorial against Modi:  Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy today took strong exception to an editorial by London-based 'The Economist' magazine against Narendra Modi, terming it an attempt to "interfere into India's internal affairs". 

The External Affairs Ministry should immediately take up the matter with British High Commission and seek an explanation since "the report by the magazine was an attempt to interfere into India's internal affairs," he told reporters.
17:30  Congress afraid of my popularity: Yeddyurappa:  Hitting out at Rahul Gandhi and Congress for naming him in their speeches while referring to corruption, former Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today said Congress is afraid of his popularity.

 "....if Rahul Gandhi is speaking about Yeddyurappa, it shows how much Congress fears about Yeddyurappa... 
They (Congress) are also aware of the public support and affection I enjoy; they think of affecting my popularity by making such remarks, but they won't be successful....," he told reporters.
17:27  A partnership with few parallels:  If they were a law firm, or chartered accountants, they would be called Jayawardene, Sangakkara & Associates. But, because they are merely a cricket team, they call themselves Sri Lanka. To say this is not to disrespect the other members who walk alongside Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, but rather uplift a duo to their rightful place in Sri Lanka's cricket pantheon.

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16:52  Fire on Indian Navy tugboat INS Matanga:   TV news channels report of a fire on board Indian Navy ship INS Matanga. INS Matanga is an ocean tugboat stationed at the Mumbai dock yard.

The tugboat was at the dry dock undergoing repairs when the incident occurred.  

No casualties have been reported.
16:45  50 dummy EVMs displaying BJD symbol seized:  As many as 50 dummy Electronic Voting Machines displaying ruling BJD's election symbol 'Conch' were seized from a jeep in Kantamal Assembly constituency in Odisha, official sources said today. 

The EVMs were seized at Podapadar near Ghantapada by a flying squad yesterday while being transported illegally in the vehicle requisitioned by an independent candidate contesting from Kantamal assembly seat, they said.
16:44  Afghan presidential hopefuls raise fraud concerns:  Leading candidates in Afghanistan's presidential election voiced concern today that voting was tainted by fraud, a day after millions defied Taliban threats and turned out to choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai. 

World leaders praised the courage of Afghan voters, who cast their ballots in force despite bad weather and the violent campaign of intimidation, and urged patience in the long vote count.
16:17  EC looking into Amit Shah's controversial remarks:  Election authorities in Uttar Pradesh have sent the CD of the controversial remarks by Narendra Modi's close aide Amit Shah along with the report of District Election Officer to the Election Commission here today. 

Sources said the Chief Electoral Officer of UP had yesterday taken cognisance of Shah's statement and had sought the CD along with a detailed report from the district authorities.
16:02  There will be serious consequences if Modi becomes PM: Chidambaram:   In probably one of the strongest attacks on Narendra Modi, Finance Minister P Chidambaram accused the Gujarat CM of being solely responsible for the communal massacre of 2002.

There will be serious consequences if Modi became the next Prime Minister, warned the Congress stalwart launching a scathing attack on the BJP's PM candidate.

Quoting senior BJP leader LK Advani, Chidambaram said that the BJP patriarch was right in describing Modi as a successful event manager. He said the BJP was taken over by a single individual for which the party would have to pay a heavy price in the future.

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16:00  S Korea returns N Korean sailors, bodies after boat sinking:  South Korea sent home today three North Korean sailors who had survived a fatal sinking of a cargo ship in waters off the South, an official said. 

The 4,300-tonne Mongolian-flagged ship carrying 16 North Korean crew sank in the international waters off the South's southern island of Geomun on Friday.
15:55  Shankaran case: UK court criticises sluggish pace of trial:  The British High Court has criticised the "sluggish" pace of proceedings in India in the Naval War Room leak case while rejecting the CBI's request for the extradition of accused Ravi Shankaran. 

Justices Sir Brian Leveson and Blake, sitting in the Queen's Bench Division in London, had dealt a major blow to the CBI last week by ruling against extradition as there was no prima facie case established against the 47-year-old former Indian Navy officer.
15:49  BJP stoking communalism to trap voters: Akhilesh:  Accusing BJP of intentionally raking up communal issues ahead of Lok Sabha elections, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today asked the people not to fall in its "trap". 

"The big leaders of BJP are misleading the people. They are intentionally stoking communalism and raking up such issues so that no one would ask them about the development. "It is easy to be communal, but being secular is difficult," he said at an election rally
15:47  Sri Lanka government ally doubts Indian motives on UNHRC vote:  The National Freedom Front, a key ally of President Mahinda Rajapaksa today expressed doubts over India's motives in abstaining at the UNHRC vote against Sri Lanka. 

"We have to closely examine why India abstained," Mohamed Muzammil, the NFF spokesman told reporters.
15:46  Sri Lanka government ally doubts Indian motives on UNHRC vote:  The National Freedom Front, a key ally of President Mahinda Rajapaksa today expressed doubts over India's motives in abstaining at the UNHRC vote against Sri Lanka. 

"We have to closely examine why India abstained," Mohamed Muzammil, the NFF spokesman told reporters.
14:56  Sonia, Modi, Rahul among top five influential Asians:  Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi have been named among top 5 in the list of 100 influential Asians topped by Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

Xi, also head of the ruling Communist Party of China, heads the list of the 100 Most Influential Asian People of 2014 published by Asian Awards Ltd 2014. 

The Asian Awards honouring Asian Excellence is founded by businessman Paul Sagoo.
14:51  Modi accuses Sonia, Yadav of misleading Muslims:  Narendra Modi today attacked Sonia Gandhi and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav accusing them of indulging in vote bank politics and "misleading" Muslims in the name of secularism. 

He also sought to blame Gandhi and Yadav for the communal clashes, saying "700 riots took place right under the nose of Madam Soniaji in the last one year and 250 of them took place right here under Netaji (Yadav) in Uttar Pradesh."
14:50  AAP expels Ashwini Upadhyay for repeated anti-party activities:  The Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday expelled its founding member Ashwini Upadhyay over his repeated involvement in the anti-party activities. He also failed to respond to the show cause notice served to him.

Meanwhile, Upadhyay has denied report of his suspension. "I have not been given a notice, nobody from the party has called me. I have not been expelled. This is a lie," he said.
14:13  LS polls: Only 12 per cent women candidates in fray:  Number of women candidates in Lok Sabha elections seems to be witnessing an uptick with their overall ticket share remaining low at up to 12 per cent even among parties like Congress, AAP and BJP.

According to the lists of candidates announced so far by these three parties, just 133 women figure among more than 1,250 nominations declared by them. The figure is a far cry from almost equal representation for the women voters in the country's population.
13:23  Modi accuses Cong, SP, BSP of stage-managing fights in UP:  Narendra Modi today hit out at the Congress, SP and BSP, saying the three parties indulge in "stage-managed" fights in Uttar Pradesh but come together to grab power at the Centre. 

"The Congress has two soldiers in Uttar Pradesh. These people from Congress, SP and BSP are indulging in WWF (World Wrestling Federation) fights that you see on TV. These people indulge in stage managed fights in Lucknow but they come together to grab power in Delhi," he said while addressing a rally.
13:10  BJP seals tie up with TDP in Andhra Pradesh:  Vicky Nanjappa reports: 

After weeks of bargaining, discussing and protesting, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Telugu Desam Party have come to an agreement on a seat sharing arrangement in Andhra Pradesh.

The BJP will contest 8 parliamentary seats in Telangana out of the 17 and in Seema-Andhra it would fight in 5 of the 25 constituencies. In the assembly, the BJP will fight 45 and 15 seats in Telangana and Seema-Andhra respectively.
13:02  Gadkari ropes in Vivek Oberoi to add glamour to poll campaign:   A day after canvassing votes for his mother-in-law Nandini Alva, a Janata Dal-Secular candidate in Bengaluru,'s Vaihayasi Pande Daniel glimpsed actor Vivek Oberoi in Nagpur campaigning for BJP nominee Nitin Gadkari on Sunday morning.

12:41  Missing jet: Search effort continues after new discovery :  Multinational search teams today rushed ships with high-tech equipment to the area in southern Indian Ocean where a Chinese vessel detected "encouraging lead" of electronic pulse signals possibly linked to the black box of the missing Malaysian jet. 

Two naval ships carrying sophisticated deep-sea black box detectors are being sent to the area off western Australia where the pulses were reported to try to confirm or rule out whether they were from the missing plane's flight recorders, Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston told reporters.
12:39  N Korea slams South's missile test 'farce' :  North Korea has slammed the South's recent ballistic missile test, calling it a "farce" aimed at showing off Seoul's military strength in the face of threats from Pyongyang. 

Seoul said Friday it had successfully test-fired a new ballistic missile capable of carrying a one-tonne payload up to 500 kilometres (310 miles), suggesting it could hit any part of the North.
12:37  US defence chief warns China over territorial claims:  United States Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel today warned China against unilateral action to resolve a territorial dispute with Japan or other Asian countries, drawing a parallel with Russia's incursion in Ukraine. 

"All nations deserve respect, no matter how large or how small," Hagel said during a visit to Tokyo.
12:09  US sending 2 warships to Japan to counter North Korea:  US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered a two-pronged warning to Asia Pacific nations Sunday, announcing that the US will send two additional ballistic missile destroyers to Japan to counter the North Korean threat, and saying China must better respect its neighbors.

In unusually forceful remarks about China, Hagel drew a direct line between Russia's takeover of Ukraine's Crimea region and the ongoing territorial disputes between China, Japan and others over remote islands in the East China Sea.
11:47  Can Chamling break Jyoti Basu's record?:  Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling is set to become the country's longest serving Chief Minister transcending the late Communist patriarch Jyoti Basu if he wins this year's Assembly polls, for the fifth time in a row. 

Leading the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) government since December 12, 1994, Chamling has completed 20 years as the CM of the Himalayan state, which had merged with India in 1975.

Basu had created a record of the longest serving chief minister by holding the post in West Bengal for more than 23 years from June 21, 1977 to November 5, 2000 when CPI(M) replaced him with Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
11:21  Modi has transformed himself deliberately:  
In an in-depth interview with Gulf News, Sardesai shares his views on the hottest topic at the moment in India '" the upcoming general elections. 

In a recent blog post, you said that Narendra Modi's real role model in the 2014 election is Indira Gandhi. Both the Congress and the BJP, for different reasons, may find that offensive.Narendra Modi is running a presidential-style campaign, wherein the campaign is about Modi's personality. It is not about any specific issue. 

It is largely about Modi claiming that he has the answers to all the crises and problems facing the country. In my view, the last time an individual positioned himself/herself in this manner in an election campaign was Indira Gandhi in 1971. In that sense, I see a similarity. I also see a similarity in force of personality '" 

Mrs Gandhi was also in many ways seen as an authoritarian, very much as someone around whom power was concentrated. She was seen as building a personality cult. I see the same thing happening with Modi.There are positives to that and negatives as well. On the positive side, it means that the voter has someone clear and identifiable; someone who can provide him leadership. Modi is making the 2014 election about 'who do you think is best placed to lead India'. Which individual, not which party. Mrs Gandhi did the same in 1971. As a result, Modi has been successful in changing the terms of the election debate. So that is the strength.

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11:18  First phase of Lok Sabha elections in Assam tomorrow:  The battle lines have been drawn for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls in five seats in Assam tomorrow. The Congress, BJP, Trinamool Congress, AIUDF, AGP, AAP, SUCI, CPI(M), AIFB and SP are contesting in the five seats in Tezpur, Koliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur in the Congress ruled state. 

Among the 51 candidates, are union ministers Ranee Narah and Paban Singh Ghatowar, former union minister and sitting MLA Bijoy Krishna Handique, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's son Gourav Gogoi and Bhupen Kumar Bora for the Congress.
11:13  US to deploy 2 more destroyers to Japan by 2017:  The US will deploy two additional ballistic missile defense destroyers to Japan by 2017 as part of an effort to bolster protection from North Korean missile threats, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said today. 

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Japan Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, Hagel said their talks revolved around the threat posed by Pyongyang. He said the two ships are in response to North Korea's "pattern of provocative and destabilizing actions, including missile launches" that violate UN resolutions.
11:13  Obama congratulates Afghans on historic elections:  US President Barack Obama has congratulated people of Afghanistan on the historic elections which he said promise to usher in the first democratic transfer of power in the war-ravaged country. 

"On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the millions of Afghans who enthusiastically participated in the historic elections, which promise to usher in the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history," Obama said in a statement yesterday.
11:11  Afghan women defy Taliban to vote:  Lines of blue burqas marked Saturday's Afghan elections as women turned out in large numbers to vote in several cities -- unthinkable under the Taliban, who would not allow women to work or study, let alone cast their ballot. 

In the eastern city of Jalalabad, three women posed for photographers outside a school turned into a polling station for the first round of the presidential election.
11:04  Wake up and respect your inner Queen:  The only other time a Bollywood movie has inspired this column is when I wrote about Cocktail. In that film '" a modern, London-based love triangle '" the free-spirited hero finally chooses a girl because she is more traditional. 

Of course, filmmakers have a right to make what they want. But, the fact that our films needed to pander to such conclusions saddened me. It made me write a column about Indian men's inexplicable love for phulkamakers. I appealed to them to forsake hot phulkas and celebrate our working women in the interest of the nation.

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11:03  Peter Matthiessen, lyrical writer and naturalist, is dead at 86:  Peter Matthiessen, a roving author and naturalist whose impassioned nonfiction explored the remote endangered wilds of the world and whose prizewinning fiction often placed his mysterious protagonists in the heart of them, died on Saturday at his home in Sagaponack, NY.

He was 86.His son Alex said the cause was leukemia, which was diagnosed more than a year ago. "He continued to fight gallantly to the end and was surrounded by his family,' Alex said. "He was terrifically brave.'

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00:08  Many BJP leaders are non-vegetarian, alleges Nitish:  Taking a jibe at BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's remarks on cattle slaughter in the name of 'pink revolution', Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today alleged that most of BJP's leaders were non-vegetarian.

"I myself is a pure vegetarian. But, I know majority of BJP leaders are non-vegetarians and prefer to kill animals to satisfy their belly," Kumar said in his reaction to Modi's 'pink revolution' remarks.

Kumar said that the BJP leader from Nawada seat Giriraj Singh, is himself a meat lover. "He was Animal Husbandry minister in my NDA government and I know his love for meat," he said.
00:07  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.
00:06  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  Congress renominates most MPs for Telangana region
India denies US cop's arrest linked to diplomat case
BSP's Ghaziabad candidate breaks down while appealing for vote
Indian priest faces deportation for molesting girl in US
Man in US sentenced to 12 yrs in jail over Indian's death
Raje reacts to Imran Masood; says election will decide who will be cut to size

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