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LIVE! Spectrum auction: Govt gets bids of Rs 39,300 crore on Day 1

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February 03, 2014

23:46  Talibans rise in Karachi must be stopped:  Without a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy, Karachi will remain mired in chaos. And the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan would be the main beneficiaries of unprecedented anarchy, graduating from implicit to overt control of Pakistans largest city and, perhaps soon, the entire country.

Click HERE to read why Pakistan should act to contain violence before it spirals out of control
23:37  Spectrum auction: Govt gets bids of Rs 39,300 crore on Day 1:  
The government has received bids worth Rs 39,300 crore on the first day of spectrum auction with strong interest for 900 Mhz airwaves, which may help it curb the fiscal deficit. 

"Bids worth over Rs 39,300 crore were received today. We are confident of exceeding the budget target," Telecom Secretary M F Farooqui told PTI. 

The budget for 2013-14 has put revenue target of Rs 40,874 crore from spectrum sale in this fiscal. 

The country's fiscal deficit at Rs 5.16 lakh crore has already crossed 95 per cent of budget target in the first nine months of 2013-14. 

Bids for spectrum in 900 Mhz band were worth over Rs 16,000 crore and for that in 1800 Mhz band were about Rs 23,000 crore, a senior government official told PTI.

According to a DoT report, in 900 Mhz band, 16 blocks each have been put under the hammer in Delhi and Mumbai circles, while 14 blocks in Kolkata circle.

For more efficient 900 Mhz airwaves, which drew no takers in the previous auction, the Mumbai circle saw the maximum increase of 44 per cent to Rs 473.24 crore per Mhz against base price of Rs 328 crore per Mhz. 
23:31  Kejriwal to join protests against NE student attack:  
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today assured a delegation of northeast students in the capital that he would join their protest for speedy justice for a student from Arunachal Pradesh who died following an alleged attack by some shopkeepers here. 

The delegation accompanied by Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Ninong Ering submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister in this regard. 

Speaking to reporters after meeting Kejriwal, activist Binalakshmi Nepram said the Chief Minister had assured them of taking up the issue with Lieutenant Governor and press for immediate police action in the case. 

The delegation comprising representatives of the students unions of northeast students said they will sit on an indefinite dharna from today at Jantar Mantar. 

"Kejriwal has also assured us that that he too will join us in the protest," said Nepram, amid reports that he will join the protest tomorrow. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi joined the protesters at Jantar Mantar this evening to express his solidarity with them.
22:15  Sibal supporters protest outside Kejriwal's house:  

Protesting against inclusion of Kapil Sibal's name in "corrupt politicians" list released by AAP, scores of Congress activists today held a protest outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's official residence on Tilak Lane.        


Activists, who mostly belonged to Sibal's constituency -- Chandni Chowk -- gathered outside the CM's house and raised slogans against Kejriwal.         "Without any evidence, how can he (Kejriwal) call Kapil Sibal a corrupt leader? We have come here to protest against the CM's attitude," said a protester.         Kejriwal on Friday had drawn a list of "corrupt" politicians against whom AAP has decided to field candidates.        


Reacting to Kejriwal's remarks, Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal had said: "I am surprised that he dubbed me as corrupt. I give him two days to hand me the proof of my corruption otherwise he should resign from his position."

21:09  TDP, TRS chiefs meet leaders in Delhi on Telangana:  

Regional parties from Andhra Pradesh today held a series of meetings with various political parties over the Telangana statehood Bill.   Even as TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu met leaders of BJP and JD-U in New Delhi, his counterpart and TRS supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao led a delegation to CPI.        


oth the parties held separate discussions with RLD chief Ajit Singh within a gap of three hours on the Telangana bill which has been listed for introduction, consideration and passage in the coming session of Parliament.        


While, CPI and RLD assured support for the passage of the bill, JD-U said the issue would discussed in the party meeting before arriving at a decision.         "Yesterday, we decided to call our party meeting and decide the future course. The situation is so peculiar, we will sit together and decide," JD-U president Sharad Yadav told reporters after meeting Naidu.        


Naidu said he emphasised on justice for both the regions --Seemandhra and Telangana -- and an amicable solution for the issue. Accusing Congress of playing double game over bifurcation, he alleged it has cheated the people of Andhra Pradesh.

20:56  Civil society slams Moily, PMOs rush for green clearances:  

In a strong show of unity, representatives from social and environmental movements today slammed the newly anointed environment minister, Veerappa Moily and the Prime Minister's Office for ignoring environmental and social concerns and impacts on local communities, while granting speedy clearance to mining and infrastructure projects.


In an open letter to Mr. Moily and the Prime Minister, over 200 organisations have said that such hasty clearances go against the primary mandate of the ministry, which is to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all Indians, a statement said.


The letter signed by a wide variety of human rights, environmental, community and wildlife groups and activists was released at a press conference in Delhi addressed by Samit Aich, executive director, Greenpeace India, Ashish Kothari of Kalpavriksh, Vimal Bhai of NAPM, Shailesh Gandhi, former information commissioner with Central Information Commission, and RTI activist Shekhar Singh.


It states: "The recent measures taken by the minister to grant speedy approvals and relax regulatory procedures has sent a clear signal that environmental protection and people's livelihoods are to be ignored in order to project an industry-friendly image of the government.'  The minister's actions over the last month have undermined the very mandate of the environment ministry, whose performance must be judged on how it protects the environment, and not on the number and speed of clearances it gives for India Inc's big ticket projects. Of course, Moily's predecessors have not necessarily been more responsible towards this mandate, as evidenced by the fact that virtually all projects coming to them have been cleared despite inadequate or fraudulent impact assessments. Over 2.43 lakh hectares of forests have been cleared during the UPA regime from 2004 till the end of 2013, the statement added.

20:24  Trinamool will emerge 3rd largest party in LS: Mukul Roy:  

Claiming that Trinamool Congress would decide the fate of next government at the Centre, party general secretary Mukul Roy today said the Mamata Benerjee-led outfit was all set to emerge as the third largest party after the Lok Sabha elections.        


"TMC will be the third largest party in Lok Sabha after the next general elections," Roy told reporters after addressing partymen in Bhubaneswar.   He claimed TMC would capture at least 32 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.        


As both Congress and BJP along with their allies would fail to form government, TMC as the third largest party would decide who will form the government at the Centre, Roy claimed.        


To a question, Roy said BJP's tally could be below 100 seats as the saffron party had no existence in South India. "Of the 170 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, BJP may take 10 seats," he said, adding that similar was the situation in Assam, West Bengal, Odisha and Bihar.        


BJP could win 30 of the 130 Lok Sabha seats in eastern India, Roy said, adding that the condition of Congress was equally bad as it had been in power only in few states.

19:20  Rahul at NE students' protest: Expect very strict action against culprits:  

Rahul, while addressing mediapersons at the north eastern students' protest venue at Jantar Mantar, says "you can expect very strict action against the culprits'.   "What happened here is completely unacceptable. There is only one India and everyone is a part of it, everyone should get respect,' he says.  

The 19-year-old student Nido Tania, son of Congress MLA and parliamentary secretary in health and family welfare department Nido Pavitra, was allegedly beaten up by some shopkeepers following an altercation sparked by their taunts on his hairstyle which later resulted in his death at Lajpatnagar area of South Delhi.

19:15  Rahul meets protesting NE students over Nido's murder:  

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday evening met north east students who are protesting racial discrimination.   The protests and candle light vigils come in the wake of the murder of Nido Tania, a student from Arunachal Pradesh, in the national capital a few days back.  


Gandhi had earlier met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and urged him to speed up the probe into the incident.

18:57  AAP cabinet clears Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill:   The Aam Aadmi Party government today held a crucial cabinet meeting and cleared the draft of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

The Bill has the office of the chief minister, legislators and bureaucrats under its ambit. It also includes measures like stricter punishments if found guilty of corruption and provision of protection for whistle-blowers and witnesses. 
18:56  Kejriwal is a 'political clown': Mani Shankar Iyer:  Describing AAP leader Kejriwal as a "political clown", Congress leader Mani Shankar Iyer today said the Delhi chief minister was levelling allegations "against all".

Talking to reporters after inaugurating a water tank constructed from the MP area development fund, the nominated member of Rajya Sabha said "Mr Kejarival is a political clown who is levelling allegations against all."

"The Congress has given Kejriwal an opportunity to form government in Delhi and he should use it properly and do well for the society. I am happy that my name does not figure in the list of "corrupt leaders" issued by him, Iyer said.
18:47  German President on six-day visit from tomorrow:  German President Joachim Guack will arrive here tomorrow on a six-day state visit to India during which he will hold talks with the top leadership and discuss ways to enhance bilateral ties.

Briefing reporters on the visit, German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner said Guack will be accompanied by a 80-member delegation, including 15 business leaders, during his India stay which was "the highest ceremonial gesture between the two sides".

The visiting dignitary will meet his counterpart Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Vice- President, the leader of the opposition and the UPA chairperson will call on the President.
18:40  Rahul meets street vendorsd to discuss manifesto:  Rahul interacted with labour representatives from the organised and unorganised sectors and street vendors in New Delhi. He also appealed to the opposition to support bills on anti-corruption and legislation for street vendors.
18:25  US-bound AI flight suffers tyre burst; all passengers safe:  A US-bound Air India flight from Ahmedabad with 260 passengers onboard suffered a tyre burst after it landed at the international airport here, airport sources said here today.

The incident took place last night when the airline's engineering staff found that three tyres of Boeing 777 aircraft AI-191 were deflated on landing at the airport here," they said.

According to the airline, the (Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Newark) flight was dispatched on schedule after replacing the tyre-burst hit aircraft. The passengers were deplaned safely and another Boeing 777 plane was arranged to enable them to fly on their onward journey, they said.
18:24  Delhi Govt seeks action against Sheila Dikshit:  Opening a new front against outside supporter Congress, Delhi Government today wrote to the President seeking action against former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for alleged irregularities in regularising unauthorised colonies in the metropolis.

The move comes after the President sought Delhi government's comments on the report of the Lokayukta in which Justice Manmohan Sarin in November 2013 had ruled that granting of provisional certificate for regularisation of unauthorised colonies in 2008 by Dikshit was done to gain political mileage in the elections.

During the subsequent hearings, the Lokayukta also had observed that the conditions of the Supreme Court order have not been complied with during the issuance of the provisional certificates prior to the election and sent the report to the President. A complaint regarding the matter was filed by BJP leader Harsh Vardhan in 2010
17:55  Khurshid to visit Sudan, security to Indian interests on agenda:   Protection to Indian interests, especially oil sector, in natural-resource rich Sudan will be high on agenda when External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will meet his counterpart Ali Ahmed Karti here on Wednesday.

Khurshid will also hold talks with other top Sudanese officials and meet members of the Indian community during the day-long visit.

India along with China are major investors in the Sudan-South Sudan oil sector. Several Indian companies like ONGC-Videsh Ltd, BHEL, TCIL, Progressive Construction Ltd and Tata Motors are active in the violence hit North African country.
17:22  Nido Taniam's death: Rahul asks Shinde to act:  Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi met a delegation of representatives from the northeast led by Member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh Ninong Ering to discuss the issue of security of youth from the northeast.

Rahul expressed anguish over the death of Arunachal student Nido Taniam and agreed that a free and fair investigation must be carried out into the incident
16:06  AAP hits back at Narendra Modi:  The Aam Admi Party today hit back at BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for his remark -- that humiliation of the African woman by AAP-led government had brought disgrace to India globally -- saying citizens of all countries living in Delhi were safe. 

"We want to tell Modi ji that citizens of different countries living in Delhi are safe without any doubt. If there is any illegality against them or any racism, there should be strong action," AAP leader Sanjay Singh told reporters. 

At a rally in Meerut, Modi had said, "Some days ago, a woman from Africa was insulted," referring to the alleged raid by Delhi's Law Minister Somnath Bharti at her residence.
15:58  Student kills teacher, policeman at Moscow school:   An unidentified student, armed with a rifle, gunned down a teacher and a policeman inside a school in Moscow on Monday.

The student managed to enter the school after threatening the security guard with a rifle.

He then took a group of nearly 20 students, all of them teenagers, hostage.

The student opened fire at police personnel who responded to the security guard's call. One policeman was killed in the gunfire and another one was injured.

The student subsequently released most of the hostages.

He was later forcibly removed from the school by security forces and taken into custody.

Image: Interior ministry members evacuate people after an armed student took hostages at a high school on the outskirts of Moscow | Photograph: Reuters
15:54  AAP should probe charges against BJP: Kamal Nath:  After the Aam Aadmi Party accused the BJP of trying to topple its government in Delhi by bribing its MLAs, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath today asked the party to initiate a probe into the allegations.        

"AAP is not only a party but it also runs the government in Delhi. It should order a probe," Nath, a Congress leader, told reporters.  
15:45  How to stay happy in a marriage -- the secret uncoded:  A relationship expert has listed out some things help in making a marriage a happy one.

Relationship expert Ty Tashiro has said that the more traits that one picks above the average, the lower the statistical odds would be that they'll find a match.

He said that if there is a room of 100 men, and if one chooses mediocrity -- trifecta of average income, looks and height -- one will have, statistically, only 13 suitors, and when the criteria is increased to an attractive man at least 6-feet tall who makes 87,000 dollars, there is only one person left out of the 100.

Add another trait -- funny, kind, even a political affiliation -- it becomes statistically impossible to find him out of 100 men.

Tashiro, a professor at the Center for Addictions, Personality, and Emotion Research at the University of Maryland, said attractiveness should be kept off the table, as looks are not a predictor of sexual satisfaction, nor do they correlate to happier marriages.

He said that even money does not a happy marriage make -- at least over a certain point. Money makes a difference on the low end of the income scale, but there is "diminishing returns" on happiness in marriage above a financially stable 75,000 dollars-a-year.

Tashiro said that the best personality indicator for sustaining a loving relationship is agreeableness, the New York Post reported.

Agreeableness describes someone who is "courteous, flexible, trusting, good-natured, cooperative, forgiving, soft-hearted and tolerant." 
15:14  AIADMK to team up with the CPI-M:  After sealing an alliance with the CPI on Sunday, AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa on Monday announced her party's decision to tie up with the CPI-M -- another key party in the Left Front.

Jayalalithaa had earlier met CPI-M leader Prakash Karat to finalise details of the tie-up.

14:58  UIDAI may be asked to start enrolment in NPR states tomorrow:  The government is likely to allow  UIDAI, which issues unique identification numbers to residents, to start enrolments tomorrow in areas other than the 18 states and Union territories allocated to it for the purpose. 

According to an official source, the Cabinet Committee on Unique identification Authority of India will discuss on Tuesday the proposal of the Planning Commission to allow UIDAI to start enrolments in states and union territories which were not part of its mandated operations.

The Cabinet committee could not discuss the proposal last Thursday in its scheduled meeting due to paucity of time.

The Commission's proposal is based on the view that this is required to speed up collection of biometric details of residents for issuing them Aadhaar numbers as well as a National Multi-purpose Identity Cards.
14:56  Gurudas Kamat writes to Maha CM on power tariff:  After Congress MPs Sanjay Nirupam and Priya Dutt, another party MP from Mumbai, Gurudas Kamat has approached Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, seeking relief for power consumers.

Kamat has written a letter to Chavan and Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission asking them to leave it to the consumers to decide their power providers. 

The MP from Mumbai North-West constituency, has demanded that consumers be provided "Open Access", whereby they have the choice of selecting electricity provider.
13:50  Awami League will win if elections are held today: Poll:  The ruling Awami League would still bag more votes than opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party if elections were held today with the participation of all major parties, according to an opinion poll. 

The study, conducted by US-based Democracy International a week after the BNP-boycotted the January 5 polls, found that if the elections were fully participatory, 42.7 per cent people would have voted for Awami League, while 35.1 per cent would have preferred the BNP.
13:45  Goa Speaker rubbishes allegations in land deal case:  Goa Legislative Assembly Speaker Rajendra Arlekar today refuted allegations of disproportionate assets levelled against him by a social activist in connection with the purchase of a plot of land.        

Arlekar told media personnel that the money has been paid through a proper source to buy the plot.        

The anti-corruption cell of Goa police has started an inquiry into the matter, based on a complaint filed earlier by social activist Aires Rodrigues against the Speaker.
13:45  How will you make Delhi safe for NE people, asks HC:  The Delhi high court has taken suo motu cognisance of the killing of an Arunachal Pradesh student who was allegedly beaten by some shopkeepers.     

The HC has asked the Centre, the Delhi government and police to file a report on the incident, detailing steps taken for the safety of people from north-east staying in the capital.
13:23  Kanchi seer Jayendra Saraswathi's condition stable:  Kanchi Mutt senior pontiff Jayendra Saraswathi was today shifted to a private hospital from Hyderabad and his condition is stable, hospital sources said.     

"The condition of Sankaracharya of Kanchi Mutt, Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal admitted to Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre this morning is stable," a medical bulletin from the Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Hospital said.     

"The 79-year-old seer is in a private ward and is being treated for exhaustion. He is progressing well," it added.
13:22  LoC bus service resumes after two weeks :  The Srinagar-Muzaffarbad bus service today resumed after remaining suspended for two weeks following a deadlock over the arrest of a driver from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on drug trafficking charges.       

The bus from the Indian side, carrying 28 passengers, reached Kaman Post -- the zero point on Line of Control in Uri sector of Baramulla district -- shortly before noon, officials said.        

They said the passengers including 10 PoK residents, who returned home after visiting their relatives in the Valley, and 18 Indian citizens headed for their relatives' homes in PoK.
12:41  Take note VVIPs! SC may restrict use of cars with red beacon:  
It is not a good time to be a VVIP in India.

The Supreme Court on Monday decided to review the list of 'dignitaries' who owned official cars with red beacons.

"The term high dignitary appears contrary to democratic ethos," observed a bench of the apex court.
12:37  AP Reorganisation Bill, rejected by state assembly, returned to Centre:  The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill-2013, that was referred to the state legislature for expressing its views on the proposed bifurcation under Article 3 of the Constitution, was today returned to the Centre. 

The Bill, which was "rejected" by the state legislature by voice vote on January 30, was returned along with translated copies of the statements given by members of the legislative council and the assembly and also over 10,000 "amendments/expression of views." 

An eight-member team of officials from the state's general administration department took the copies in 60 bundles by an aircraft to New Delhi to be handed over to the Union ministry of home affairs, official sources said.
12:37  Take note VVIPs! SC may restrict use of cars with red beacon:  It is not a good time to be a VVIP in India.

The Supreme Court on Monday decided to review the list of 'dignitaries' who owned official cars with red beacons.

"The term high dignitary appears contrary to democratic ethos," observed a bench of the apex court.
12:31  CNG prices to be slashed by Rs 15 per kg:  Now that the Lok Sabha polls are round the corner, the Congress's largesse knows no end. 

CNG prices will be reduced by about Rs 15 per kg, piped natural gas by about Rs 5 per cubic metre, Oil Minister Veerappa Moily has said. 

IGL and other city gas distribution firms will get cheaper domestic gas, said Moily.
12:28  India wants security architecture in Asia-Pacific: Menon :  India is working with China, Japan as well as with its neighbours and friends to build a "security architecture" in the strategic Asia-Pacific region to help create an environment of development and prosperity, National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon has said.        

Speaking during a panel discussion on Europe, America and Asia at the 50th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Menon said that India finds itself in a situation where it can cooperate with both China and Japan.        

India has been working with China, Japan as well as with its neighbours and friends to build a "security architecture" in the Asia-Pacific region, which "functions well for all of us" and helps "create an environment in which India can further develop and prosper," he said.
12:15  Patience is wearing thin: US warns Lanka:  Nisha Biswal, the Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia, has clearly stated that the Obama administration was "frustrated" by the slow pace of the reconciliation process initiated by the Lankan government.

"I will say that while our strong preference has always been for a Sri Lankan process to unfold, I have also very clearly noted that lack of progress in Sri Lanka has led to a great deal of frustration and skepticism in my government and in the international community. And as I have said, patience is wearing thin," Biswal told a group of Lankan journalists during her visit to Colombo.

Click here to read the full transcript of her interaction with the media
12:12  Jan Lokpal Bill can turn into a success if...:  
Activists may believe that the Jan Lokpal Bill has fallen short on various points, but the legislation marks a significant step forward for India. 

Whether the Bill will actually turn out to be effective in curbing the menace of corruption depends on the partnership by Indian citizens in the process. The Right to Information Act has become a stellar success story due to tremendous public participation.

How can make the Jan Lokpal Bill a success story? Click here!
12:09  BJP offered me Rs 30 cr to topple Delhi govt: AAP MLA:   AAP MLA Madan Lal claimed that the BJP had offered him Rs 30 crore to topple the ruling government in Delhi.

"A person claiming to be close to Narendra Modi said he will make me the CM of Delhi if I can get 9 MLAs on my side," said Lal.
12:05  S Gurumurthy has some questions for Arvind Kejriwal:   S Gurumurthy first met Arvind Kejriwal in August 2011, before the famous Anna Hazare fast demanding the Lokpal Bill. Spilling the beans on that meeting, which was not a confidential one -- unlike another one he had years ago with a Bofors payoffs accused -- the chartered accountant turned anti-corruption activist says this of the Delhi chief minister in the New Indian Express

'Kejriwal always took Anna's name and said Anna would not agree for this or that. Next, he said that he could never cross Anna's apolitical line. When I told him finally that he might himself have to form a political party to fight the issue politically, he asserted that he had no political ambition at all. I wished him well and the meeting ended.'

But since then, watching the contortions the AAP government has been going through, Gurumurthy is forced to ask this of the reluctant politician: 

'Was apolitical IAC just a strategy to lure guileless Anna and throw him out later? Would Kejriwal have deliberately used Anna knowing that a truly apolitical and undoubtedly innocent Anna would be useful but irrelevant if Kejriwal and his ambitious colleagues morphed IAC into the AAP? Where is the IAC agenda now, will he tell the nation? Was the political AAP always incubating in Kejriwal's mind even as he was espousing apolitical IAC?'

Kejriwal needs to come clean with the nation, Gurumurthy writes. 

'Kejriwal needs to tell the nation why and when did he think of snuffing out the IAC and giving birth to AAP. Unless he takes the country into confidence and explains what made him ditch Anna and why he formed the AAP after promising a million times that he would not enter politics, his political morality will barely equal that of any Aam politician.' 

Read his rivetting account here.
12:02  Bangladeshs Nuremberg moment? Not really!:  India cannot afford to get too involved in the turbulent internal politics of Bangladesh. At the same time, Delhi cannot ignore the unrest plaguing its neighbour and close ally by putting on a wishful blindfold.

Click here to read more
11:39  BJP is scared of us: AAP:  AAP leader Sanjay Singh claimed that the Delhi government led by the party had done more work for the people than any state government so far.

He further stated that certain statements by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had been "misunderstood".

AAP member Ashutosh claimed that the BJP was apprehensive about the the newbie party's rising popularity.

"BJP is scared of us," he said.

He stated that Modi, Jaitley etc were hatching a conspiracy against the party.
11:33  Modi, Jaitley trying to destabilise Delhi govt: AAP:   Leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party on Monday morning accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to destabilise the Delhi government led by the fledgling party.

The party claimed that BJP's Delhi unit chief Harsh Vardhan, Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and senior leader Arun Jaitley were acting together to defame the AAP.

"Arun Jaitley is writing anti-AAP blogs. He, with help from his friends in the media, will claim to make some stunning revelations against the party in the forthcoming days," they said. 
11:26  Another accused in Delhi's Lajpat Nagar heist arrested:  An accused in the sensational daylight heist in which around Rs 8 crore was looted in south Delhi's busy Lajpat Nagar area on January 28, was arrested by the police today. 

Ajay, who was one of the mastermind of the loot, was arrested this morning, the police said. Ajay is a relative of the juvenile, who had scripted the entire loot. 

The juvenile has already been detained in the case, while three henchmen were arrested in the case from Chandigarh.
11:22  To apologise or not to apologise, is the question:  At a time when claims and counter-claims for apology (be it for the 1984 riots or the 2002 ones) are being made, journalist Rahul Pandita writes an anguished piece in The Hindu, why an apology cannot be absolution as there is no concept of absolution in the modern criminal justice system. 

So, he suggests, 'let us stop asking for apologies. Let us begin by demanding that those accused of involvement in the 1984 killings be brought to justice. Let us begin from the other end of 2013 as well. Let us put the nails of Muzaffarnagar in Mr. Akhilesh Yadav's path; let us force him to get down from his Mercedes cycle.' 

Read him here.
11:18  End logjam over Italian Marines issue: SC:  The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to end the logjam over the Italian Marines issue within a week.

The court asked the government to make its stand clear by February 10 on invoking anti-piracy law against the two marines.
11:05  Enrico Piperno fails to get Kazakh visa for tennis tourney:  The Indian Fed Cup team captain Enrico Piperno has failed to get a visa from Kazakhstan for the Asia-Oceania group II tennis competition that is on in Astana from February 4 to 8. 

The Hindu reports that apart from Piperno, two other players in the Indian side -- Prerna Bhambri and Shweta Rana -- have also not got a Kazakh visa. 

Efforts to secure a visa-on-arrival for them did not work out, leaving the team a little lost.

The original team named by AITA comprised Sania Mirza as captain, and Ankita Raina, Prarthana Thombare and Rishika Sunkara, but the selectors who met in Mumbai on January 11 named Piperno as the captain and included the two other players.

It is possibly this that led to the visa not being granted to the new additions, since the original team members were given a Kazakh visa.
10:40  India is not alone, China is facing a bigger economic crisis:  Writing in The Telegraph, London, Harry Wilson says former Fitch banks analyst Charlene Chu has warned of the impending collapse of China's debt-fuelled bubble.

'In a country where the banks, even the largest, are not known for openness, Chu has warned since 2009 about a rapid expansion in lending that has seen something close to $15 trillion (9.1 trillion) of credit created, fuelling a property and infrastructure boom that has no equal in history,' says Wilson.

For her analysis, Chu, born and raised in America, has been feted by the world's money managers, while being derided back home, where she works out of Beijing. 

Now with Autonomous, an independent research firm of repute, the Yale alumna has spoken up for the first time since leaving Fitch, saying that 'the banking sector has extended $14 trillion to $15 trillion in the span of five years. There's no way that we are not going to have massive problems in China'. 

Perhaps it will help P Chidambaram to read what she has to say, here.
10:31  Why 1984 won't end, or for that matter 2002:  And in Indian Express over the weekend, editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta argues why 1984 won't end, in the light of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's recent interview to Arnab Goswami in which he didn't quite come clean on his party's role in the anti-Sikh riots. Nor will 2002 end, he says, until we have the courage to admit culpability and seek closure. Read his article here.
10:30  Chiki Sarkar, publisher of Penguin India, tweets: Just back from paying khushwant singh a visit on his 99th bday. He reads a bk a week!

Perhaps that, more than the beloved editor's other indulgences, is the secret to his longevity?

10:18  Spectrum auction begins, 8 telcos in fray :  The third round of spectrum auction started today with eight telecom companies in the fray. 

The government expects to garner at least Rs 11,300 crore from the auction.        

"The auction started at 9 am today," official sources said.

The department of telecom has put on block around 385 MHzof radiowaves in the 1800 MHz band, and 46 MHz in the 900 MHzband.     

As per the rules of the auction, every company has been given quota of 240 minutes to extend bid round. This means throughout the auction, each company can extend the auction round by total of 4 hours.
09:46  BJP holds 'NaMo Tea Party'!:  The BJP on Sunday organised a 'NaMo TeaParty' which saw party leaders holding an interactive session with the people in a bid to popularise the message and aims of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. 

"With the tea party, an interactive initiative has been taken to promote Modi as the PM candidate and bring about constructive change," said a BJP official.        

The event, organised at Safdarjung Club, was attended by senior leader Balbir Punj, Gopal Kotwala, Manoj Arora and Pankaj Wadhawan, among others.
09:45  Aam Aadmi Party MLA slapped by woman:   Aam Aadmi Party MLA Dinesh Mohania was today allegedly slapped by a woman in his Sangam Vihar constituency when he had gone there to study the problem of water scarcity in the area.        

Mohania, however, described the entire episode as being part of a conspiracy against him.        

"There is a water mafia operating in the area... I went to see the problem after receiving complaints. The mafia did not come in front, instead they sent a woman," Mohania said.
09:41  Congress asks Modi to resign for 'manipulating' poverty figures :  The Gujarat Congress has demanded the resignation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly manipulating numbers related to Below Poverty Line families.        

State Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia today highlighted the difference in figures released by the state government.        

"On one hand, Gujarat's food and civil supplies department says that there are 24.3 lakh BPL families in the state, while, on the other hand, the state's health department in its advertisements put the families constituting the BPL category at 38 lakh," he said, adding that the BJP should demand Modi's resignation for the rise in the number of poor during his rule.
09:40  Navy warship runs aground off Vizag coast:  In the ninth mishap involving Indian navy warships in the last seven months, an amphibious vessel was damaged when it ran aground off the coast of Vishakhapatnam.     

An inquiry has been ordered by the Navy to ascertain the reasons for the mishap last week, sources in the navy said today.        

The incident was the eighth involving a Naval warship since the sinking of the submarine INS Sindhurakshak in Mumbai harbour in August last year in which all 18 personnel on board were killed.
09:39  Cannot revise BPL criteria: Gujarat government:  The Gujarat government today clarified that it had not issued any new guidelines for the identification of Below Poverty Line families, saying it could not take such a step unilaterally without involving the Centre.        

Reacting to a media report which claimed that the Gujarat government had come up with new criteria for identification of BPL families, the state's Food and Civil Supplies Secretary R P Gupta said that they had merely reiterated the guidelines issued by the Centre in 2004.
09:38  What about the other perpetrators of Gujarat riots?:  The focus on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's alleged complicity in the 2002 riots has relegated to the background the murderous role played by hundreds of others who attacked, killed and raped with impunity during the communal carnage.

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09:35  Janice Pariat recounts being beaten up in Delhi:  People from the North-East India face discrimination on a daily basis in Delhi.

What makes the national capital spew so much violent hate for outsiders, wonders author Janice Pariat.

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09:30  Why isn't Pawar contesting polls: Munde:  Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde today sought to know why Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar decided not to contest the Lok Sabha polls this time, when the UPA was facing difficult times.        

"Pawar took a decision to contest the Rajya Sabha polls instead of working with the Congress when the UPA is in a difficult situation," Munde told reporters at a press conference today.        

"When Rahul Gandhi has taken up a bigger role in Congress, Pawar should remain part of UPA and work with party president Sonia Gandhi. However, he has gone to Rajya Sabha. The NCP leader should explain why he has taken this decision," the Deputy Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha said.
09:00  Delhi Cabinet to take up Jan Lokpal Bill:  The final draft of the Jan Lokpal Bill, the flagship scheme of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, is expected to be approved by the Delhi Cabinet today.

The Bill has kept the Chief Minister's Office under its ambit.
08:58  UPA calls all-party meet to clear pending Bills:  The UPA has called an all-party meet today in a last-ditch attempt to pass anti-graft bills that are pending in Parliament.

The Parliament's session -- presumably the last one before the Lok Sabha polls -- will start on February 5. 

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