21:39 Vadra video an act of desperation by BJP: Congress:
Congress today dismissed BJP's allegations of corruption against party president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra saying it was an "act of desperation" by the opposition party which was "panicked" by Priyanka Gandhi's campaign in Rae Bareli and Amethi.
Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said the allegations have already been rejected by various courts of the country and accused BJP of raising the issue out of desperation.
"The BJP is panicking due to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's campaign in Rae Bareli and Amethi. These are old baseless allegations regurgitated at election time as a cheap political stunt by BJP, an act of desperation," he said.
Terming the charges as "baseless", another Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said they have been raised in the High Court and Supreme Court and rejected there.
19:01 Must defeat 'corrupt monsters' Modi, Rahul: Sisodia:
Terming BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi as "corrupt monsters", AAP leader Manish Sisodia today said it was necessary that they were defeated in the Lok Sabha elections.
"Both Modi and Rahul are monsters of a corrupt team. Till the time they are in politics, corruption cannot be ended. Both these monsters are involved in looting the country," Sisodia said at an election meeting in Amethi.
Attacking Priyanka Gandhi, Sisodia said her allegation that AAP did not know Amethi was true. "It's true that we did not know Amethi as the Gandhi family had been looting it since Indenpendence... It's true that common man could not know about this," he added.
He alleged that though Rahul had been talking about respect for women, in his own constituency women were not getting their due.
"Here, AAP representatives are attacked. Even women workers are being misbehaved by Congressmen," he said, adding that this time even Priyanka could not help Rahul win from this seat.
18:20 Jairam not in favour of outside support to third front:
Union Minister and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh today said in Hyderabad that he was not in favour of his party extending support to the third front from outside, rather he wanted the party to be a part of the government.
Asked if the Congress would support the third front if both UPA and NDA failed to win a majority, Ramesh initially dismissed the question as hypothetical, but later said: "I think the Congress party's policy has always been that we will support any political combination that demonstrates commitment to secular values, which means basically the parties not wedded to BJP.
"That's what we did in 1996 (extending outside support to the United Front government). But as of now, I can't say....depends on the relative numbers," he said in an interview to PTI here.
"The ideal situation should be no outside support," Ramesh said. "I believe if you support a government, you must support from within. These are my personal views....to ensure political stability, any alliance must have all its partners in governance," he said.
In UPA-I, Ramesh said, CPM and CPI which extended outside support to the government "made the life miserable for us". Quoting senior CPM leader Sitaram Yechury's reported statement at the time that the left parties "bark but don't bite", Ramesh said, "But sometimes barking is also bad...constantly being barked at. CPM and CPI didn't bite but they bit at the end...they withdrew support on the nuclear deal."
16:59 Cong has lost confidence about winning polls: Naidu:
Stating that Congress was not confident of winning the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu today said the party is now even talking about seeking or extending support to the Third Front. "Union Minister Salman Khurshid and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan have publicly expressed fears about the poll results. As the Congress leaders are not confident of winning the elections, they are now indulging in personal attacks and violating the moral and ethical standards. The party is even talking about seeking or extending support to the Third Front," Naidu told reporters here today.
"All this shows that the next government at the Centre will not be formed by the UPA," he added.
Claiming that the 'Modi wave' has swept the country, Naidu said, "People have decided to teach Congress a lesson for its failure to fulfil the promises it had made during the 2004 elections."
The Congress had promised to pass the Women's Reservation Bill during the 15th Lok Sabha, which is still pending. They also failed to tackle the issue of price rise, he added.
14:25 Not 56-inch chest but a big heart needed to run country: Priyanka:
Taking a dig at Narendra Modi, Priyanka Gandhi today said a 56-inch chest is not needed to run the country but a "big heart" and "moral strength".
The Congress star campaigner was taking a jibe at BJP prime ministerial candidate's 56-inch chest remark during a rally in Gorakhpur recently.
"A 56-inch chest is not needed to run this country, a big heart is needed to run it. To run this country cruel force of power is not needed, but moral strength is needed. It needs an internal strength," Priyanka said while addressing a meeting in Rae Bareli.
"Such type of strength is needed, which could even sacrifice life to save the culture of the country," she said.
12:56 Queue management system to help voters of Burdwan district:
In a first of its kind initiative in the country, the district Election Authority has introduced a queue management system to help voters ascertain the level of crowd in the polling booths.
According to the 'Election Queue Management System', voters in Burdwan wanting to know the number of people in queue at a booth could do so by sending a text message from a mobile phone.
"The Election Queue Management system will give you the information," Burdwan District Magistrate and District Election Officer Saumitra Mohan told PTI
An SMS with the Electoral Photo Identity Card number to 9230085005 would provide the information. Information about part number and serial number in the voter list would also be provided, Mohan said. The information was also available on the website Burdwan.nic.in and PSQueue Info.
12:32 Ramdev's meetings banned in Lucknow after 'honeymoon' remarks:
NDTV: The administration in Lucknow has banned all public meetings by yoga guru Baba Ramdev who had controversially remarked that Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi visited the homes of Dalits for "honeymoon and picnic".
Two separate cases were filed against Mr Ramdev yesterday, including one by the Uttar Pradesh police, over the comments which sparked a major row.The 43-year-old later apologized for the comments, saying his remarks were not directed against Dalits and had been misinterpreted.
12:17 Blast at Farooq Abdullah's rally in Srinagar:
NDTV reports of a blast in Union minister and senior National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah's rally at Khanyar area in Srinagar.
Reports suggest that the blast occurred the moment Abdullah reached the venue. The leader is continuing with his speech now.
11:42 Strange bedfellows:
Everybody loves sleeping with the kith and kin of the enemy but does it help reap gains the morning after?
Ever since Ravan's brother Vibhishan switched sides before the Ramayan war, poaching from the enemy's family has been a perennial feature of politics from the Cold War to Indian politics.
History suggests that such defections hardly bring any lasting gain beyond an initial flutter and short-lived bragging rights, but the trend continues. When Amritsar businessman Daljeet Singh Kohli joined the BJP on Friday, he gained his 15 minutes of fame by waking the country to the realisation that their Prime Minister had a brother.
A gloating Narendra Modi hugged Manmohan Singh's half-brother to declare his entry would "further strengthen' the party. But within a day, the BJP claim of netting a prize catch has met with scorn. The BJP claims Manmohan has weakened the UPA, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted, "yet somehow we are to believe that his unknown brother will strengthen BJP.
Read more on The Telegraph
11:40 CBI has disposed of 12,000 'unwanted' files:
The Central Bureau of Investigation has launched a drive to get rid of "unwanted files", as part of which the agency's various zonal offices have disposed of more than 12,000 documents till date.
CBI director Ranjit Sinha asked his officers a few months ago to clean up the agency's "malkhana" (record rooms). Malkhana is the place where the CBI keeps all the documents its finds during a search.
Every zone has its own malkhana. Cleaning up the malkhanas was one of the agency's "focus areas" said a note sent by Sinha to the HoZs (heads of zones). According to the note, "urgent attention and concerted effort is required over the next three months, by the HoZs in their respective jurisdiction".
Subsequently, the HoZs were asked to complete the inspection and physical verification of all "case properties" (documents) in the malkhana by February 2014 so that "unnecessary" documents could be got rid of.
Read the full report on The Sunday Guardian
00:14 All's well with TDP-BJP alliance: Chandrababu : CNN-IBN
reports: All is well with the Bharatiya Janata Party-Telugu Desam Party
alliance, says N Chandrababu Naidu claiming the combine will sweep Lok
Sabha as well as assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
He, however, said that TDP remains a secular party despite it joining hands with the BJP. "TDP remains a secular party," he asserted.
Read the full report
00:10 Afghan election set for Abdullah-Ghani run-off: BBC
reports: The Afghan presidential election will go to a second round, after no candidate reached the 50 per cent needed for an outright win, preliminary results show.
Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah won most votes with 44.9 per cent. Former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani came second with 31.5 per cent. They are now expected to face a run-off vote on May 28.
00:07 '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 yesterday 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.