23:04 'PM said there's no Modi wave, he's right. He can't see anything':
In a jibe at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Narendra Modi today said it was natural for him not to see a wave in his favour as he could not see corruption in his government.
"PM said there is no Modi wave. Manmohan Singhji, you are right because you don't see anything. Did you see inflation? Did you spot so many of your ministers going to jail? You did not see 2G, coal scam and corruption or the country's bad state? Then how can you see the wave?"
After reading 'The Accidental Prime Minister (The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh- a book by Sanjaya Baru)', we know that you did not need to see anything as mother-son (Sonia and Rahul Gandhi) was there to see. You have 10-15 days left, so you can relax. You can also escape from the mother-son storm and feel comfortable," Modi said.
He was speaking at a 3D telecast held at over 125 locations across seven states.
21:24 EC orders repoll in Karnataka :
The Election Commission has ordered repolling on April 29 in 12 polling booths in Karnataka, CNN-IBN r
21:21 After Chavan, Khurshid says Cong could extend support to Third Front:
Union Minister Salman Khurshid today said the Congress could consider extending support to the Third Front or taking its help, if necessary to form the government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls.
He claimed that Narendra Modi was going to emerge as a "big problem" for the BJP and referring to Ram temple movement, said that when "Bhagwan ki lehar" could not stop the Congress, then how can "Modi wave" stop it.
20:09 AAP lodges complaint against Modi's Varanasi rally:
The Aam Aadmi Party has lodged a complaint with the returning officer of Varanasi against Narendra Modi, alleging that the Bharatiya Janata Party has spent over over Rs1000 crore for its campaigning in the temple town and tha tpeople were "bribed".
"According to the statements by leaders of the BJP and media reports at least 2-3 lakh people participated in the rally. Half of them (taking a very conservative estimate on the lower-side) were wearing/carrying one or more of the items mentioned below with the election-symbol of BJP and/or nameand the pictorial representation of BJP's candidate," said a letter written by party's national secretary Pankaj Gupta to the returning officer.
In its complaint, the party has said that Rs 5,75,00,000 were spent on caps, sarees, flags, masks, cutouts and T-shirts when Modi held a roadshow on the day of filing his nomination from the temple town.
19:01 If Lokayukta is formed in Gujarat, Modi will go to jail: Rahul:
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi launched an attack on BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi saying that if Lokayukta was formed in Gujarat then the BJP strongman will be the one to go to jail, CNN-IBN
While addressing a poll rally in Dahod, Gujarat, Rahul said, "Modi says I want to be the 'chowkidar' of the country. Will you trust
such a 'chowkidar' who gave the land of poors to the industrialists at
throwaway prices in Gujarat."
18:45 Repoll in 30 polling stations in Bihar:
Election officials today recommended repoll for 30 polling stations in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections in Bihar held on April 24.
Seven constituencies -- Supaul, Purnia, Araria, Kishanganj, Katihar, Bhagalpur and Banka -- had gone to polls in this phase. Of the polling stations recommended for repoll, 22 are in Katihar parliamentary constituency from where Nationalist Congress Party general secretary and Union Minister of State for Agriculture Tariq Anwar is pitted against Bharatiya Janata Party's Nikhil Kumar Choudhary and Ram Prakash Mahto of the Janata Dal-United.
"Among the rest of the polling stations, six are in Banka and two are in Supaul. The Election Commission will take the final decision and announce the repoll date later on," Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshmanan told reporters.
18:37 Ramdev should be jailed: Mayawati on 'anti-Dalit' remarks:
Condemning Ramdev's controversial remarks targeting Rahul Gandhi on his visit to Dalit houses, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati today threatened to launch a country-wide stir against the yoga guru and the Bharatiya Janata Party after the polls, if the saffron party did not take action against him.
The BJP should take immediate action against him (Ramdev), "otherwise after Lok Sabha elections, the BSP would launch a country-wide agitation against this baba, besides BJP and the SP," she said.
Yoga guru Ramdev was today, meanwhile booked by Uttar Pradesh police for his remarks on the Gandhi scion that has drawn flak from various quarters.
18:30 Ramdev apologises for 'honeymoon' remark against Rahul:
reports: Yoga guru Baba Ramdev today apologised for his "honeymoon" remark against Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi that has sparked a major controversy.
"I did not mean to insult Rahul Gandhi or Dalits. Rahul Gandhi indulges in publicity with photos of him sitting in the homes of Dalits. If my statement hurts the Dalits, I regret it," he said.
Ramdev, who was booked for these remarks earlier in the day, said he was misinterpreted. "He (Rahul) goes to houses of Dalits for honeymoon and picnic... His mother told him that if he marries a foreigner, he won't become the PM. He does not want to marry an Indian girl. His mother wants him to first become PM and then marry a foreigner," he had said.
17:39 Going to polls with intention to win, form govt: Chidambaram:
Congress today sought to dispel the notion of propping up a Third Front government to keep Narendra Modi out of power, insisting that the UPA-III would be in place after the polls.
"We are going into the elections with an intention to win and form a government. I do not know what he has said," Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters. He was asked at the AICC briefing whether Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's remarks that Congress could form the next government by joining hands with "the Third Front" was an admission of having lost the polls.
"I don't see any great possibility of Narendra Modi becoming the prime minister. Even if he gets more seats than us, he would not get support of the regional parties...As the other alternative, the Congress and Third Front can form the government. We will try to form a secular government," Chavan had said. Chidambaram feigned ignorance about any remarks by Congress leaders when he was told that many of them have admitted in private that the party could be getting around 120 seats and hence would have to work out some "secular" alternative to stop Modi.
16:19 A day in the life of Modi's parachuted 'professionals':
'Modi volunteers' who introduce themselves as 'professionals' are going door to door in Varanasi to convince Benarasis why 'the country needs Narendra Modi'.
Bearing an uncanny similarity with the Aam Aadmi Party model that clicked in the slums of Delhi, the 'Modi volunteers' are trying to peddle the 'Gujarat model' in this city of pilgrimage.Click HERE to read
16:17 How life in Tihar calmed Raja:
For someone who spent 15 months in jail, A. Raja comes across as surprisingly free of rancour. Rather, he talks about its calming effect, and the discipline prison life has taught him.
I am a simple man with simple tastes and jail life made me disciplined. It also taught me to eat less to remain fit, says the 50-year-old lawyer-turned-politician.
Yes, life in Tihar jail had left a blot on his political career. But personally, it had a calming effect on me, he says.
16:12 Modi criticises Shinde on Dawood issue, Cong brushes it aside:
Narendra Modi today accused Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde of giving media statements instead of acting against Dawood Ibrahim, but the Congress brushed aside the criticism.
In an interview to Gujarati channel Sandesh News, Modi questioned whether a press note needs to be issued to bring back Dawood Ibrahim.
Responding to questions about Shinde's statement that India will bring back Dawood from Pakistan, Modi said, "Can such things be achieved through media. Are these things to be revealed through newspapers. Did Americans talk with bin Laden? Did America hold a press conference on its plans about tracking down bin Laden?
"What has the government done? They don't have mininum maturity. I am ashamed that the Home Minister made such statements."
Congress leader P Chidambaram, a former Home Minister, said the government cannot send commandos to Pakistan to bring back Dawood and wondered whether Modi can suggest something better.
15:35 President gives away Padma Awards:
President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday conferred the Padma Awards on 56 prominent personalities at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhawan .
The awardees included one Padma Vibhushan, eleven Padma Bhushan and forty-four Padma Shri.
Renowned yoga practitioner B.K.S. Iyengar was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan.
Padma Bhushan recipients included tennis star Leander Paes and renowned author Ruskin Bond.
Cricketer Anjum Chopra, Actor Paresh Rawal and Delhi University Vice Chancellor Professor Dinesh Singh were some of the recipients of the Padma Shri award
14:47 Rape case: Actor Inder Kumar remanded till Apr 30:
Bollywood actor Inder Kumar Saraf, arrested for allegedly raping a 23-year-old model on pretext of getting roles in movies, was today produced before a court which remanded him in police custody for four days.
The 40-year-old actor was produced before a Bandra Magisterial Court that remanded him in police custody till April 30.
Saraf was arrested yesterday after the victim, who is his girlfriend, alleged that the actor had sexually assaulted her since Wednesday night at his suburban Andheri apartment before she escaped from his flat on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday after being held captive, police said.
The victim also claimed she had been thrashed and hit with a beer bottle by Saraf. She had burn wounds on her body indicating that the actor burnt her with his cigarettes, Versova police said.
The actor has worked in Bollywood movies 'Wanted', 'Maa Tujhhe Salaam', 'Baaghi', 'Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi' and 'Masoom', among others.
During the interrogation, Saraf, however, claimed he had consensual sex with the woman, police said.
13:51 Bali hijack alert passenger 'mistook cockpit for toilet':
An Australian passenger who sparked a hijack alert on a flight to Bali has denied being drunk and claimed he banged on the door of the cockpit after mistaking it for the toilet, Indonesian police said today.
Matt Christopher Lockley also said he was in a state of depression during the Virgin Australia flight yesterday to the resort island, as he was searching for his Indonesian wife with whom he had lost contact, they said.
Security forces rushed to the airport on the Indonesian island when the Boeing 737-800 from Brisbane touched down following a report from the pilot of a hijacking attempt after a passenger started thumping on the cockpit door.
Lockley, wearing flip-flops, white shorts and a T-shirt, was dragged off the plane by heavily armed air force personnel and arrested by police. The alert prompted a shutdown of the airport and the diversion of several flights.
Indonesian officials initially said he had been drunk but police said Saturday the 28-year-old, who is in custody but has been admitted to hospital suffering from fatigue, has denied being under the influence of alcohol.
He told police that before flying he had taken only two pills of Voltaren, four pills of Panadol -- both types of painkiller -- and drank two bottles of Coca-Cola, Bali police spokesman Hery Wiyanto told AFP.
13:38 I feel very sad. I have no control: PM on brother joining BJP:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said he was saddened by the decision of his half-brother Daljeet Singh Kohli to join BJP.
"I feel very sad. I have no control. They are all adults," he said while replying to queries on the sidelines of the Padma awards function in New Delhi.
Kohli on Friday joined BJP at a public rally in Amritsar in the presence of the party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
The entry of Kohli, a local businessman, into the BJP came a day after the prime minister rejected perceptions of a 'Modi wave' in the country.
Dr Singh on Saturday asserted that Congress could again form the government at the Centre.
13:35 Cong could back Third Front post elections: Khurshid:
Congress could consider extending support to the Third Front or taking its help to form the government if necessary after the Lok Sabha elections, Union Minister Salman Khurshid today said.
He claimed that Narendra Modi was going to emerge as a "big problem" for BJP and referring to Ram temple movement, said that when "Bhagwan ki lehar" (God's wave) could not stop Congress, then how can "Modi wave" stop it.
Speaking to reporters at his native village Pitauram, there seemed to be no possibility of BJP forming the government.
"After poll results, if necessary Congress could consider extending support even to the Third Front to form the government. Not only this taking support from the Third Front could be considered," he said.
13:08 Only God can save country from Gujarat model: Sonia:
Launching a blistering attack on BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday said that only God can save the nation if Gujarat model is implemented across the country.
Addressing a rally in Punjab, Sonia said Modi government in has overlooked the plight of Sikh farmers in Gujarat. She alleged that Sikh farmers in Kutch are are being evicted.
Earlier Modi at his Jagron rally in Punjab had assured that no farmer from Gujarat would be evicted.
The UPA chairperson took potshots at Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's family saying that the Badals in Punjab only talk big but do nothing.
The Congress leader also heaped praise on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying that the country has made rapid development under his rule.
12:39 Congress seeks Ramdev apology for "honeymoon" comment on Rahul:
The Congress has condemned yoga guru Baba Ramdev who said in Lucknow yesterday that the party's vice-president Rahul Gandhi visits homes of Dalits "for honeymoon and picnic."
Terming the comment "anti-Dalit", Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh demanded today that the yoga guru must apologise.
"Ramdev's remark Anti Dalit. He must publicly apologise. We would like Modi and BJP to react to Ramdev's anti Dalit remark.(sic), he tweeted.
Upset over Ramdev's remarks, some Dalit activists have also reportedly filed complaints with the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and the National Commission for Women.
Baba Ramdev, who has often declared that he supports BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, made the comments while he was in Lucknow.
"He (Rahul) goes to houses of Dalits for honeymoon and picnic," Ramdev said in Lucknow and added, "His mother told him that if he marries a foreigner, he won't become the PM. He does not want to marry an Indian girl. His mother wants him to first become PM and then marry a foreigner."
12:15 Five-member committee to decide on new Andhra capital:
The Centre has constituted a five-member expert committee to study various alternatives available to it to decide on a new capital for Andhra Pradesh.
This committee has been tasked with the responsibility of making the appropriate recommendations under Section 6 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
The committee will chaired by former IAS officer K C Siva Ramakrishnan, who is currently a Research Professor and Chairman, Governing Board, CPR.
The other four members are Dr.Rathin Roy, Director, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi, Aromar Revi, Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bengaluru, Prof.Jagan Shah, Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi and Prof. K T Ravindran, Former Dean School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.
10:49 Restaurants in Delhi's Connaught Place to remain open till 1 am:
CNN-IBN reports: Restaurants and bars in the heart of Delhi, Connaught Place, will soon remain open till 1 am.
Even the shopping outlets will remain open till 11 pm. The decision was taken by the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to promote night shopping in Connaught Place.
The decision is, however, awaiting the Lieutenant Governor's approval.
For the time being this proposal is only for Connaught Place and if it is successful, it may be implemented at other places too.
10:13 G-7 to impose additional sanctions on Russia:
Expressing deep concern at continued Russia-backed efforts to destabilise eastern Ukraine, leaders of the G-7 countries said they have decided to impose additional sanctions on Moscow.
The G-7 comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US.
The President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission also signed the joint statement issued by G-7 countries, hours after US President Barack Obama spoke with leaders of Germany, France, Britain and Italy.
"We have now agreed that we will move swiftly to impose additional sanctions on Russia. Given the urgency of securing the opportunity for a successful and peaceful democratic vote next month in Ukraine's presidential elections, we have committed to act urgently to intensify targeted sanctions and measures to increase the costs of Russia's actions," the joint statement said.
In the statement, the leaders expressed their deep concern at the continued efforts by separatists backed by Russia to destabilise eastern Ukraine and their commitment to taking further steps to ensure a peaceful and stable environment for the May 25 presidential election.
09:58 Manmohan's stepbrother joins BJP; PM's family 'shocked':
Just a day after PM Manmohan Singh rejected all talk of a 'Modi wave', saying it is just a creation of media, his stepbrother Daljeet Singh Kohli joined the BJP in the presence of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Friday.
Kohli, an Amritsar-based businessman, joined the BJP when Narendra Modi came here to address a rally in favour of senior party leader Arun Jaitley, who is contesting from the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat.
At the rally, Kohli shared the dais with Modi and other senior BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal leaders.
"Today, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's brother Daljeet Singh has joined the BJP. This will further strengthen us. We are not a membership party. We form blood relations," Modi said while welcoming Kohli into the BJP fold.
Kohli was also welcomed into the BJP by Jaitley and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
The BJP and the Akali Dal are ruling partners in Punjab, as well as the constituents of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
Kohli had remained apolitical even after his elder brother Manmohan Singh became prime minister in 2004 and got a second term in 2009.
According to the PMO sources, Dr Manmohan Singh's family was "shocked" at the turn of events involving Kohli. "His intentions are not known but he is free to pursue his political career," they said, adding the prime minister and Kohli have not been keeping in touch since long.
Prime Minister Singh is the only son and has six sisters while Kohli is his step-brother, the sources said. The prime minister's mother died at an early age.
09:53 Russian jets cross into Ukraine airspace:
US officials today said that Russian fighter jets flew into Ukrainian airspace a handful of times over the last 24 hours, in what one called a continued provocation of the heightened tensions in the region.
The officials said it's not clear what the intent was, but the aircraft could have been testing Ukrainian radar or making a show of force. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk publicly about the issue.
The flights come as Russia increases military exercises along the Ukraine border, including moving a broad array of fixed wing and rotary aircraft, infantry and armored troops. The exercises inflame worries about a potential Russian military incursion into Ukraine.
The West has threatened additional sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean region in March and the ongoing escalation of military operations along the border.
Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke with his Russian counterpart, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, yesterday, but officials were not able to provide details of the conversation.
09:53 'The Big Bang Theory' coming to an end in 2017:
Hit American sitcom The Big Bang Theory is likely to come to an end in 2017.
Showrunner Steve Molaro has revealed that he expects the 10th run to be the last, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"I'm going to move forward (on the assumption) that ten is the end unless we're told otherwise," he said.
Molaro insisted that there is no "official" end-date set for the show but said that he "would be okay" if the show had only three more seasons left in it.
"My concern is that we do it right and we end this show in a way that is as befitting of these characters that we respect and love," he said.
"As long as we can have the opportunity to end it in a way that serves them all properly, that's my concern -- more than the number of seasons."
'The Big Bang Theory', which stars Johnny Galecki Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Indian-origin actor Kunal Nayyar, was recently been renewed for three more seasons.
09:52 Hamster-sized deer born in Spain:
The latest specimen of the world's tiniest deer, a rare species no bigger than a hamster, has been born in a nature park in southern Spain, conservationists said today.
The baby 'deer-mouse' became just the 43rd living member of this species in Europe when it was born on April 9 in the Fuengirola Biopark near Malaga.
Originating in southeastern Asia, the deer is so called because its tiny dimensions and big eyes make it look more like a rodent, despite its tiny hooves.
At birth the baby which has not yet been named because it is still too small to determine its sex, weighed about 100 grams (nearly four ounces).
But "it is growing very fast", a spokeswoman for the nature park, Asun Portillo said today.
The deer-mouse typically grows to about the size of a rabbit and weighs about a kilo (about two pounds) when fully grown.
09:51 Ecuador orders 20 Pentagon employees to leave: US embassy:
Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has ordered 20 Pentagon officers and staff to leave the country, a United States embassy official said today.
Correa ordered the US Department of Defense personnel out of the country on April 7, said Jeffrey Weinshenker, a spokesman at the US embassy in Quito.
The Pentagon staff have until the end of April to leave the country, Ecuadoran officials said.
In a statement released, Weinshenker said the United States respects Ecuador's right as a "sovereign" nation to expel the US military staff, but regrets that the move "will severely limit our bilateral cooperation on issues related to security."
"The Ecuadoran government has made it clear that it no longer wants this security assistance," Weinshenker added.
"The US government is reducing our security cooperation programs and moving those assets to another location," the diplomat said.
The expulsions make good on a months-old threat by Correa to drastically pare back the presence of US military officers and staff in Ecuador, over concerns about US "espionage" and "American imperialism."Z
09:51 Eggs thrown at Chiranjeevi after anti-Modi comments:
Some BJP supporters allegedly hurled eggs at Union Minister and AP Congress election campaign committee chief K Chiranjeevi during a public meeting at Machilipatnam on Friday after his remarks against Narendra Modi calling him a "Hitler" and "tyrant", police said.
Chiranjeevi, who was addressing a rally at Koneru Centre here, stopped his speech for some time after the incident. However, police managed to bring the situation under control and the minister continued his speech.
Police later said they nabbed two suspects in this connection.
During his speech earlier, Chiranjeevi said, "Modi is a tyrant. He is a Hitler. He had been deliberately sidelining a number of senior BJP leaders, including former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and party veteran L K Advani."
"BJP is a communal party and YSR Congress Party has roots in criminal ideology," the actor-turned-politician alleged.
00:20 BJP promises to extend Seemandhra's special status to 10 years:
The BJP today promised to extend from five years to 10 years the special status to Seemandhra region after bifurcation, senior leader M Venkaiah Naidu said here.
"If our prime ministerial candidate and BJP win the elections and Modi is elected the prime minister, the special status to the residuary Andhra Pradesh will be extended to 10 years," Naidu, who is campaigning for BJP-TDP candidates in east Godavari district, said during a road show.
Everybody has equal right over Hyderabad and not any person. It was built and developed by all sections of people, the former BJP chief said. Residuary Andhra Pradesh has a bright future, he said, adding that BJP has mentioned several steps to develop residuary Andhra Pradesh.