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LIVE! Congress terms Sanjaya Baru as disgruntled turncoat

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April 12, 2014


23:57  Modi's namesake pulls out of contest in Vadodara:  
An independent candidate called Narendra Babulal Modi today withdrew his nomination from the Vadodara Lok Sabha constituency, leaving eight candidates in the fray including the Gujarat Chief Minister. 

His reason for withdrawing could not be ascertained. Today was the last day of withdrawal.

BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and Congress's Madhusudhan Mistry are the main contestants here. 

Vinod Rao, district returning officer, said that of the 17 nomination forms received, eight were rejected. 

Yesterday, Rao had sought clarification from Sunil Kulkarni of AAP and Narendra Babulal Modi after BJP alleged that both had suppressed some mandatory information in their forms.

Today, Rao rejected the objections after the two candidates provided necessary information but Narendra Modi's namesake eventually pulled out. 
23:49  Modi's namesake pulls out of contest in Vadodara:  
An independent candidate called Narendra Babulal Modi today withdrew his nomination from the Vadodara Lok Sabha constituency, leaving eight candidates in the fray including the Gujarat Chief Minister. 

His reason for withdrawing could not be ascertained. Today was the last day of withdrawal.

BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and Congress's Madhusudhan Mistry are the main contestants here. 

Vinod Rao, district returning officer, said that of the 17 nomination forms received, eight were rejected. 

Yesterday, Rao had sought clarification from Sunil Kulkarni of AAP and Narendra Babulal Modi after BJP alleged that both had suppressed some mandatory information in their forms.

Today, Rao rejected the objections after the two candidates provided necessary information but Narendra Modi's namesake eventually pulled out. 
21:29  Chhattisgarh Naxal attack an 'act of terror': govt:  
The government today termed the killing of poll and security personnel by Naxals in Chhattisgarh as an "act of terror" and attempt to disrupt the democratic process. 

"The CPI(Maoists) have killed poor teachers and other civilians who were part of the democratic process of India. 

This shows that the Maoists are just terrorists. It was an attempt to disrupt the democratic process," a Home Ministry spokesperson said. 

The Home Ministry said the security personnel have laid down their life trying to uphold the country's democratic process and their sacrifice will not go in vain. 

"It is a crying shame that no human rights NGO in India has ever condemned indiscriminate use of IEDs by Maoists," the spokesperson said.
20:51  Venkaiah comes safely out of 9th emergency landing:  
Venkaiah Naidu, the senior BJP leader, is a veteran of emergency landings. 

The Hyderabad-bound Air India (AI 560) flight by which he was flying made an emergency landing after the take-off from Delhi airport today due to some technical snag, he said in Hyderabad. 

"With Lord Balaji's blessings, I am safe here. This is the ninth incident where I happened to be on an aircraft or a helicopter that made emergency landing after taking off," Naidu said, talking to reporters.

Follow the latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections
20:44  Will take 'political sanyas' if Modi gets magic figure: Gowda:  
Former Prime Minister and JDS chief H D Deve Gowda today said he would take "political sanyas" if Narendra Modi-led BJP reached the magic figure of 272-plus seats to form government at the Centre. 

Mentioning that "colourful attire, style and NRI funds" for self-projection could not help a person become a great national leader, he said BJP and Modi's gameplan was to gain voters' confidence by resorting to "unbelievable gimmicks." 

"He can never reach his numbers. If he achieves it, then I will take political sanyas, "Gowda told reporters, 
challenging Modi and his team to prove their claims in the elections.

Gowda said BJP's ideology was aimed at destroying the unity and harmony in the country. The Congress would also eat humble pie in the elections, he said. 

He accused both BJP and Congress of spending money like water in the election with "their huge purse filled by graft and corporate gift."
19:55  It's a feeling of fulfilment: Gulzar on Dadasaheb Phalke Award:  
Veteran lyricist and filmmaker Gulzar, who has been chosen for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award, feels fulfilled and blessed to be named as the recipient of the highest cinematic honour of the country. 

Gulzar, best known for penning memorable hits like 'Tujhse Naaraaz Nahi' and 'Tere Bina Zindagi Se' besides directing critically acclaimed films like 'Aandhi' and 'Mausam', was today named as the 45th Phalke awardee. 

"What do I say... I am happy and honored. It is national honour. It is a feeling of fulfillment of not one song, screenplay, but the total work one does. I feel blessed to get this honour," Gulzar told PTI. 

"I am thankful to everyone for their love and support. I am thankful to the jury members. It is way of respect which says your work is loved and you are on the right path," he said.
18:37  Manmohan didn't put wife's name in RS affidavit: BJP:  
The BJP today claimed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had not mentioned his wife's name in the affidavit submitted along with nomination he filed as a Rajya Sabha candidate, as the party sought to blunt Congress'attack on Narendra Modi over his marital status. 

"This is Manmohan Singh's affidavit that was put before the Rajya Sabha (Returning Officer). He has not put his wife's name in that affidavit. Why should we talk about such issues?" BJP spokesman Ravishankar Prasad told a press meet in Ahmedabad while waving a copy of what he claimed was the PM's affidavit.

Prasad did not say the affidavit was from which year, but Gujarat BJP leaders claimed it was filed in 2013 when Singh was re-elected to the Upper House of Parliament. 

"This country has been following a tradition that personal issues are not raised in public. His (Modi's) elder brother made a statement that he had left his home and family life to serve the country," he said.
18:26  Congress terms Sanjaya Baru as disgruntled turncoat:  
Sanjaya Baru's book was dismissed as "cheap fiction" and the former Media advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was dubbed as "an out of job, disgruntled turncoat" by Congress today as the Opposition latched on to the book to target the ruling party. 

Congress also accused Baru of serving the political agenda of BJP in the midst of the Lok Sabha elections. 

"Baru is an out of job, disgruntled turncoat who is spreading canards to sell his book and gain cheap publicity... Indian National Congress decisively rejects this cheap fiction lock, stock and barrel," party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

Surjewala dubbed Baru as "a rank opportunist, whom he accused of running away from his responsibilities a few months before the 2009 general elections. 

The Congress spokesman said by Baru's own admission, he wanted the job of Prime Minister's Media Adviser after UPA victory in 2009 - for which he was found "incompetent and rejected." 

"He is now minting cheap fiction bordering on absurdity to regain lost relevance."
18:24  Does Rahul know of Congressmen's illicit relationships, ask Jaitley:  
Accusing Rahul Gandhi of breaching the unstated code of Indian politics by making Narendra Modi's marriage a political issue, Arun Jaitley on Saturday launched a no holds barred counter-attack, saying how can Gandhi be disturbed by a disclosure of a "legitimate" relationship when "many" of his partymen have "illicit" relationships.

"Indian politics has an unstated code of conduct. Ordinarily, we don't drag families and ladies into controversy. Rahul Gandhi is guilty of breaching that code. 

The BJP leader also apparently took a personal jibe at Gandhi, saying he must remember that the disturbed matrimonial relationship of a former prime minister was never a political issue and added that Gandhi had shown his "immaturity and desperation" by raking up the issue of Modi's marriage.

"He must remember that the disturbed matrimonial relationship of a former Indian Prime Minister was never a political issue.
16:33  Jaitley's poll preparations on full throttle:  

Our correspondent from New Delhi reports: Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley's poll campaign is on its peak in Amritsar, and scores of BJP workers are heading towards the holy city after completion of elections in Delhi.  

 

Friends and acquaintances Jaitley's legal network -- some say more than 500 of them -- are camping in various wards and towns of Amritsar, and everything is being coordinated by the Jaitley family.  

 

Ten "information technology" units of Jaitley's officehave opened in Amrtisar to woo social media users.  

 

BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi and yoga guru Baba Ramdev are scheduled to arrive in Amrtisar on April 24 for four rallies.  

"Jaitley's Lok Sabha campaign is equal to organising ten weddings,' an insider commented.

 

Arun Jaitley has recently purchased a four bedroom bungalow in  Amrtisar where he is likely to shift soon

16:23  Modi to meet Rajnikanth tomorrow:  

Our Correspondent in New Delhi reports: BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi will meet Tamil megastar Rajnikanth in Chennai on Sunday evening, as he tours the southern state as a part of his poll campaigning.  

 

The meet is perceived as a political move considered significant for Tamil Nadu politics.

14:59  Gulzar gets Dadasaheb Phalke Award:  JUST IN! Renowned lyricist cum poet and movie director Gulzar has been awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2013. 
14:58  Amethi like a family, will win from here: Rahul:  

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who filed his nominations from the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, said that Amethi is like his family and exuded confidence that he will again win from here.  

 

The Nehru Gandhi scion has won from Amethi in 2004 and 2009 general elections with huge margins. This time around he is facing AAP's Kumar Vishwas and BJP's Smriti Irani.  

 

After filing his moninatiosn, Rahul said, "I did not get personal against Narendra Modi; only pointed out a fact that he had not mentioned wife's name in affidavit.' 

 

"Opinion polls will be proved wrong like in 2004 and 2009,' he added.  

14:40  Ch'garh: 13 people, including 8 civilians, killed in twin Naxal strikes :  

As many as 13 people including eight civilians have reportedly lost their lives in twin Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh on Saturday. Naxals ambushed a bus carrying a team of poll officials in Bijapur.

 

There were 12 occupants in the vehicle, amongst whom seven were killed in the attack. The officials were accompanied by security personnel and had started their journey from Ketulnar polling booth. In another attack, Naxals blew up a government ambulance van killing five CRPF personnel and the driver.

 

The incident took place in Darbha Gahti of Sukma. There were nine people in the ambulance. IG, GB Singh told reporters, "In Jagdalpur an ambulance was blown up. We are fearing casualties in this attack." In the second strike, a polling party was targeted in Bijapur. A bridge was blown up to ambush the bus carrying the officials, said Singh.

 

Read more on CNN IBN

14:03  3 CRPF jawans killed in separate Naxal attack in Darbha:  In a separate incident, three CRPF personnel have been killed, four injured in a Naxal attack in Darbha Valley of Chhattisgarh.
13:37  6 polling officials killed in Naxal attack in Ch'garh:  

Six members of a polling party had been killed in a Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district, PTI reports.  

 

More soon.

13:20  Rahul Gandhi set to file his nomination from Amethi shortly:  Rahul Gandhi is on his way to file his nomination papers from Amethi today. He is being accompanied by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The Nehru Gandhi scion will file his papers after attending a road show.
11:59  'Sonia was super PM, Manmohan was made an object of ridicule':  

Sanjaya Baru, in the eye of a storm after his latest book 'The Accidental Prime Minister' made startling claims about the top echelons of the Congress, including PM Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on Saturday defended himself saying his book was not a criticism of the leaders, but had a balanced viewpoint.

 

"The media has picked up only specific portions from the book. The book is very balanced. It has some criticism as well as some appreciation," Baru said.

 

Baru, while explaining details and excerpts from his book, also claimed that Sonia Gandhi was the super Prime Minister during UPA 2 regime and Manmohan Singh had been reduced to being an object of ridicule.

 

"It is no secret that Sonia Gandhi was the super Prime Minister. (...) The files went to her. My book is because of what was happening to Dr Singh in the last two years, the way he became an object of ridicule. I want to tell the people the facts," Baru said. Baru also denied having any specific motive behind the book. "I have no political intentions. It is a book that is honest. I am not trying to say things to support PM or criticise the PM," he said.

 

Read more on CNN IBN

10:21  The citizen is angry, but not as disconnected as before:  

When a Desi 'Selfie' of an ink-stain can show the finger '" in this case literally '" to the Oscars and Ellen DeGeneres, winning on sheer coolness quotient, you know that democracy has arrived. In a country once notorious for the political apathy of its urban middle class, even Delhi has recorded the highest voter turnout in 25 years.

 

Much like how lighting up in public came to be viewed with derision in the West, today in India the single most unfashionable thing you can do is to not vote. The Citizen is Angry, but not at all disconnected as she once was. Irrespective of outcomes and political preferences, this should have been a celebratory moment for India. Yet, it is a time for circumspection and concern. While electoral rhetoric by definition thrives on abrasive attacks, this has been an especially contradictory and ugly campaign. Overtly, questions of governance, economics and leadership have prioritised the development debate over identity politics. But where it's needed, Religion has been used '" with impunity and ruthlessness '" as a weapon of divide and rule.

 

Read Barkha Dutt's column on HT

10:11  Amit Shah to reply to EC notice on revenge speech today:  

Bharatiya Janata Party's Uttar Pradesh in-charge Amit Shah is likely to respond to the Election Commission's notice on revenge speech on Saturday. The Commission had on Monday issued a notice to BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's close aide for violating the model code of conduct for the "revenge" remark he made in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, reports said.

 

Shah said, "I respect Election Commission and I have not taken out any rally ever since I was given a notice. I will give a written explanation to the Commission with the context in which I gave the speech. The EC has given me time till today evening and I will request the EC to review its decision."

 

Read more on CNN IBN

09:41  US not to issue visa to Iranian UN envoy:  

The US has said it would not issue a visa to Iran's newly appointed ambassador to the United Nations Hamid Aboutalebi, who has been linked to the 1979 hostage crisis.       

 

"We have informed the United Nations and Iran that we will not issue a visa to Abutalebi," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday.        

 

His remarks came after the Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill barring Aboutalebi from US soil.  "We certainly share the intent of the bill passed by Congress, as we have already told the UN and Iran that we will not issue a visa. We'll review the legislation; we're doing that now. And we will work to address any issues related to its utility and constitutionality," he said.        

 

The bill expands upon a 1990 law for which President George Bush issued a signing statement expressing constitutional concerns.

02:08  Oscar Pistorius: I didn't hear Reeva scream:  Oscar Pistorius has told his murder trial that girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp did not scream or shout as he grabbed a gun and fired shots that killed her.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said it was "improbable" that she would stand in the bathroom saying nothing while Mr Pistorius was just 3m (10ft) away shouting at her to call the police.

Pistorius said he could not explain why she had not shouted out.

Read more
01:58  Ukraine's PM offers concessions to separatists in Donetsk:  Ukraine's acting prime minister has offered concessions to regional leaders and pro-Russian protesters, after Kyiv's deadline passed for separatists to vacate state buildings they had seized.   

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and other top Ukrainian government officials traveled to the city of Donetsk, where they met Friday with eastern Ukrainian governors and mayors, as well as other influential eastern Ukrainian figures, including tycoon Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine's richest man.
01:46  US government says hackers trying to exploit 'Heartbleed' bug:  The US government warned banks and other businesses on Friday to be on alert for hackers seeking to steal data exposed by the "Heartbleed" bug, as a German programmer took responsibility for the widespread security crisis.

On a website for advising critical infrastructure operators about emerging cyber threats, the Department of Homeland Security asked organizations to report any Heartbleed-related attacks, adding that hackers were attempting to exploit the bug in widely used OpenSSL code by scanning targeted networks.
00:33  EC rejects 134 nominations in Gujarat LS poll fray:  The Election Commission has found papers of BJP stalwarts L K Advani, Narendra Modi and senior Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry to be in order after scrutiny, even as it rejected the nomination papers of 134 candidates in fray for April 30 Lok Sabha polls in Gujarat. 

While Modi and Mistry are contesting from Vadodara seat, Advani is seeking a fresh term from Gandhinagar. They are among the prominent candidates in the State, which will have single-phase polling for the 26 Lok Sabha seats.
00:31  India successfully conducts maiden night test of Agni missile:  India tonight successfully conducted maiden night test of its indigenously developed nuclear-capable Agni-I ballistic missile with strike range of 700 km from a test range off Odisha coast as part of a user trial by the Army. 

The surface-to-surface, single-stage missile, powered by solid propellants, was test-fired from a mobile launcher at 2310 hours from launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Wheeler Island, Defence sources said.
00:29  Azam Khan defends himself after EC ban:  SP leader Azam Khan, who was banned by the Election Commission from addressing public meetings over his controversial remarks on Kargil war, today defended himself saying he had not said anything other than facts. 

"Expressing oneself is within the framework of law and it is my right to speak the right thing. I have only talked about sacrifices. Whatever injustice happened, I have only spoken about that.
00:28  Top headlines in that last 24 hours:  

Modi hid facts about his marriage, broke law: Congress complains to EC
Case of treason filed against Azam Khan over Kargil remark
EC bans Amit Shah, Azam Khan from holding rallies
PMO attacks former media adviser Baru on his book
Mizoram registers 60 per cent turnout in Lok Sabha polls
India, Russia finally ink deal on Kudankulam 3, 4 units 
Justice R M Lodha next Chief Justice of India 
Attack on EC staff: WB minister's son-in-law among 4 arrested 
Modi has never lied on his marital status: BJP 
Bijapur: Two CRPF jawans injured in Naxal blast 
Women are equally guilty for rape: Abu Azmi 

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