21:38 LIVE! Sharad Yadav takes dig at 'desperate' Modi:
JD(U) President Sharad Yadav today ridiculed Narendra Modi for what he said was his "desperation" to become Prime Minister and advised him to take the oath of office from PA Sangma, whom BJP had fielded as its contestant for the 2012 Presidential elections.
"If he (Modi) has become so desperate, he should place the replica of Lal Qila (Red Fort) behind himself and take oath (of prime ministership) from Sangma, whom BJP had fielded (as its candidate in the presidential elections)," Yadav told reporters.
JD(U), an NDA partner at the time of the last presidential polls, did not support Sangma's candidature for the same and had instead backed UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee, who went ahead to become President.
Modi had last year addressed a rally in Chhattisgarh for which the replica of Delhi's Red Fort was erected in the background. The rally had invited jeers from Congress, which had said that it was the only way in which Modi could fulfil his dream of becoming prime minister.
The annual Independence Day speech is delivered by the prime minister of the country from the ramparts of Red Fort.
20:22 LIVE! Sibal defends Communal Violence Bill:
Under attack from Opposition over the Communal Violence Bill, Law Minister Kapil Sibal today defended it saying the proposed law was not violative of the country's federal structure and was required as several state governments have been accused of shielding those guilty of targetted violence.
He said the Prevention of Communal Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2014 does not either directly or indirectly seek to legislate on public order, police and public services of the state. Therefore, it is not in violation of the federal structure.
He said the Bill, however, enables the National Human Rights Commission to investigate what are defined as 'scheduled' offences only and only if state governments give their concurrence. "In any event, the central government has no role to play in such investigations," he wrote on his website.
Sibal said India has witnessed the targeting of sections of society professing one religion or another. "The country has, he said, witnessed state governments unwilling to investigate offences committed during the course of such targeting.
"In fact, many courts, including the Supreme Court, have been constrained to comment that state investigating agencies have not only been laggard but have willingly misdirected their investigations to benefit the real accused. In this state of affairs, in certain circumstances, with the concurrence of the state, an investigation may be handed over to National Human Rights Commission. How such a Bill transgresses the exclusive legislative competence of the state Legislature is beyond comprehension," he said.
18:30 India needs to retain brilliant students: President:
Lamenting that not a single Indian higher educational institute figures among the top 200 universities in the world, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday suggested that India must have "the capacity to keep the brilliant students and teachers in its system".
The President said this while inaugurating the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Kishinchand Chellaram College of Arts, Commerce and Science in Mumbai. "There is no lack of talent," the President said, referring to scholars like Nobel laureates Amartya Sen, Hargovind Khurana, Chandrasekhar and Venkataraman who graduated from Indian universities.
"But unfortunately, they got the Nobel prize when they were working outside India in some universities of USA, UK or somewhere else. We must have the capacity to keep the brilliant students, brilliant teachers in our system," he said.
The President also expressed concern over poor standards in many higher educational institutions in the country and added that a concerted effort was underway to spread the infrastructure for it.
"There are now over 650 universities and 33,000 colleges in India. The density of educational institutions has increased from 10 to 14 institutions per thousand square kilometre during the 11th Plan period," Mukherjee said in the presence of dignitaries including Maharashtra Governor K Shankaranarayan, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, actor Amitabh Bachchan and industrialist Anil Ambani.
17:38 'Chaiwala' row: Rahul takes a dig at Modi :
Rahul Gandhi today took a jibe at the oft-repeated claim of Narendra Modi's origins as tea vendor, saying all professions should be respected except those who make a "fool" of others.
"People are involved in various professions. Some make tea, others drive taxi, some are engaged in farming. We have to respect all of them.
"We have to respect the tea vendor, the labourer and the farmer. But those who make 'ullu' (fool) of others, should not be respected," Gandhi said addressing a rally in Bardoli.
The comments were seen as a veiled attack on Modi who has been claiming in his public meetings that Indian democracy is a proof of welcoming people of humble origins like him, who had sold tea in railway station as a boy, in top positions.
16:24 Will go to any extent for Jan Lokpal Bill: Kejriwal:
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has told PTI, "I will go to any extent" over Jan Lokpal Bill. Kejriwal writes to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to withdraw order which directs Delhi government to take prior approval before passage of any bill in the assembly.
15:19 PM has ignored Assam: Modi:
At the Guwahati rally, Modi says the Congress will be history. "The PM has ignored Assam."
Addressing the crowds on electing the PM for 23 years as a RS member, he asked, "You made such a big investment but what did you get?"
"This land has tea and timber...and you know my special relation with tea. I sold tea brought from Assam."
Targeting the Congress, Modi said, "Their leaders keep saying we gave NREGA, we gave NREGA. But here has anyone got the jobs?"
Taking a dig a Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, he said, "Naam Tarun hone se soch Tarun nahi ho jaati
15:08 Chinese, Afghan presidents bond at Sochi, agree to promote ties:
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, agreed in Sochi to further advance the relations between their countries.
The two leaders are in this Russian resort city for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games.China, Xi said, attaches great importance to its relations with Afghanistan, and stands ready to maintain high-level exchanges and promote communication and cooperation between them, so as to push forward the development of bilateral ties.
15:06 Congress leaders have small hearts, small dreams: Modi:
BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi continues to woo the northeast. After a rally in Imphal, he is now addressing one in Guwahati.
"The mind, thoughts and dreams of the Congress people are very small. Their vision is narrow and limited. They never remembered Sardar Patel and nor did they remember Gopinath ji."
"Congressmen ask Modi ji you are from RSS and the BJP but you are building Statue for Sardar Patel. Aapke liye Sardar Patel dal ke neta honge humare liye woh desh ke neta hain."
The Congress leaders have small hearts, small dreams."
The Congress leaders will not understand our feelings for Sardar Patel. Even those who do not want to remember Sardar Patel have to take his name. This is our success. "
"When I come to Assam I have a concern. Such a rich land yet there is poverty here."
14:27 RSS behind Mahatma Gandhi's murder: Rahul @ Gujarat rally:
Attacking the RSS, Rahul Gandhi said, "Sardar Patel said that the RSS is a poisonous entity. The RSS ideology was behind Mahatma Gandhi's murder."
Further slamming the Gujarat CM, Rahul said, "Modi ji speaks whatever comes to his mind, even if it's not true.The Congress brought RTI to the entire nation. Modi did not let the Lokyukta pass in Gujarat for nine years. According to RTI Act, there should be 10 information commissioners in every state. Gujarat has just one, that too after a court order."
14:03 Rahul in Modi's turf: 'Guj leaders don't know anything about Gandhiji, Patel':
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is addressing a rally in Bardoli, Gujarat.
Taking a dig at Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, Rahul says, "The leaders of Gujarat do not know anything about Gandhi and Patel. They haven't read anything on them. But Modi just wants to make a Patel statue. He (Modi) doesn't know what Patel stood for."
13:09 Manipuri teen raped in Delhi:
A 14-year-old girl from Manipur was allegedly raped in Delhi's Munrika area by her landlord's son last night.
The matter came to light after she filed a complaint this morning. An arrest is expected soon.
The girl has been taken for medical examination. She has not suffered any major injuries.
Last week, Delhi witnessed protests by students from the northeast after the death of Arunachal teen Nido Tania and the assault of two other Manipuri girls.
12:56 N Srinivasan to chair ICC board:
From July this year, Board of Control for Cricket in India president N Srinivasan will become the first chairman of the International Cricket Council as the game's governing body will see a new set of rules related to governance, competition and financial models, reports NDTV
However, the ICC Board will continue to be the primary decision-making body.
12:41 Modi promises infrastructure development in Imphal:
Promising infrastructure development, Modi said, "The national highway has not been developed foe years. Do you think they can do it? No, we will do it."
"We will work on Silchar-Imphal Road and Dimapur-Imphal Road. Today they are in bad shape," he said.
Promising development, job and equality, Modi ended his speech in Imphal.
12:37 Further slamming the Centre for focussing on the northeast Narendra Modi said, "Everyone needs an opportunity for development. We cannot trust the government in Delhi. There is no neta, niti and niyat."
"The state and central government have played with issues of national security. Border pillars are missing with Myanmar. Without taking approvals from Parliament, the CM of Manipur signed agreement with Myanmar and said he consulted PM and the home minister."
"The development and administration has totally collapsed here. The much hyped NREGA has failed in Manipur. The panchayati system is not working here and there is no job creation as well."
"Over 6.5 lakh are registered for employment exchange but 100 people have
got jobs only. Why are you playing with the future of youth," he said slamming the government.
12:24 'PM has done nothing for people of NE' :
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Modi said, "The PM represents this region in the Rajya Sabha but has he done anything in
the northeast. The CM makes him inaugurate incomplete projects."
"You gave the Congress 60 years but 'aapka bhala gua'? The 60 years were ruined now please give us 60 months," he said.
"Five years is enough to change the world, but what has the PM done for the 23 years in which he has represented northeast," he said.
12:20 NE falls into divisive forces due to lack of attention: Modi :
At the Imphal rally, Narendra Modi said, "Because of lack of attention and lack of governance, the north-east fell into hands of divisive forces. Extremism and infiltration are threats. Drug trafficking is a problem."
The Congress feels only solution to insurgency is fake encounters. They do not know such steps will further ruin the atmosphere," he said.
12:15 At Imphal rally, Modi condemns death on Arunachal youth Nido :
At a rally in Imphal, Narendra Modi rakes up the death of Arunachal Pradesh teen Nido Tania. Condemning the Delhi incident, he said, "There is no place for such acts in our country. It is shameful and sad incident."
Talking about women's issues, Modi said, "There is a collapse of governance in Delhi. This can be seen in many areas including atrocities on women."
He further said, "With a lot of conviction and commitment to do something, with a promise that will take processes forward that Atalji
started. I promise to bring this region at par with other regions of India."
12:09 Addressing the rally in Imphal, Narendra Modi said, "Unfortunately, central government policies are not aligned to development of
this region. It was Atalji who made a ministry for the north-east."
"Atal ji gave a special package for the economic development of the north-east. He made a 20-point programme for economic development for this region. It was monitored closely by the Centre," he said.
12:03 Four security men injured as insurgents ambush paramilitary patrol minutes before arrival of Narendra Modi in Manipur.
12:03 Modi's 2014 pitch in north-east:
BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi makes his poll pitch in north-east. Donning a traditional headgear, addresses a rally in Imphal, speaking in both English and Hindi.
"Vastu says north-east should be cared the most. The policies of the Centre have ignored the development of north-east," he says. "India will only gain if the northeast gains."
11:13 Tehelka sexual assault: Tarun Tejpal moves Bombay HC for bail:
editor Tarun Tejpal, who is jailed in Goa on charges of sexually assaulting a junior colleague, has moved Bombay high court for bail.
The bail hearing is scheduled for next week.
The sessions court had earlier dismissed his bail plea.
10:09 I was misquoted, no pressure to indict Amit Shah in Ishrat case: CBI director:
CBI Director Ranjit Sinha has now said that he was misquoted by The Economic Times
. He told CNN-IBN
that there was no pressure on the CBI to indict Narendra Modi aide Amit Shah in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
"The chargesheet has been filed after due diligence. The CBI found no evidence against Amit Shah in the case."
In the ET
report, Sinha has been quoted as saying, "The UPA government would "have been very happy" if Narendra Modi
confidant and former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah had been nailed in
the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case..."
09:46 Attempt to hijack Turkish plane to Sochi foiled: BBC
reports: A passenger announced yesterday "that there was a bomb on board" his
plane and wanted it diverted to Sochi -- the Russian city hosting the
Winter Olympics amid terrorism fears -- Turkish officials said.
The Pegasus Airlines' crew sent a hijacking alert that Turkey's Air Force Control Center. Twenty minutes later, the same
report claimed two F-16 fighter jets scrambled to intercept the Boeing
737-800 and escort it over the Black Sea.
Eventually, the airliner
landed safely at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport, where video shot soon
thereafter showed police and security officials converging on it.
Istanbul's governor tweeted around 10 p.m. that "the air pirate has been neutralised".
09:38 Charging Amit Shah in Ishrat case would have made UPA happy: CBI boss:
In an exclusive interview to The Economic Times
, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha said, "The UPA government would "have been very happy" if Narendra Modi confidant and former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah had been nailed in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case as he sought to underline the fairness of his agency's investigation into the politically sensitive matter."
"There were political expectations... The UPA government would have been very happy if we had charged Amit Shah...But we went strictly by evidence and found there was no prosecutable evidence against Shah," he said.
On Thursday, the agency had charged former Intelligence Bureau special director Rajinder Kumar and three others for being part of the conspiracy that resulted in the deaths of Jahan and three others in Gujarat in 2004.
Read the full report on ET
CBI Director Ranjit Sinh
03:01 'Independent' Indians march under Olympic flag:
India faced the ignominy of witnessing three of its athletes march without the national flag during the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics on Friday night.
With the Indian Olympic Association suspended by the International Olympic Committee due to ethical and administrative reasons, luger Shiva Keshavan, Alpine skier Himanshu Thakur and cross-country skier Nadeem Iqbal walked behind the IOC flag.
The Indian athletes will compete under the "independent athletes" category and will be represented under the Olympic flag.
It was an embarrasing situation for India as billions of people all over the world tune in to witness the opening ceremony to be held at the Fisht Olympic Stadium.
The IOA was suspended by the IOC in December 2012 due to its failure to comply with the Olympic charter. It has resulted in Indian athletes, including boxers, participating in events under the flag of world body.
'We are proud to be marching under the Olympic flag. It represents the highest levels of ethics, fair play and sportsmanship. I would like to thank the IOC for this opportunity, Shiva was quoted as saying in a release issued on his behalf.
02:46 Ex-French first lady sues magazine for end-of-affair bikini beach pix:
French President Francois Hollande's dumped ex, Valerie Trierweiler, is to sue Closer magazine after the French glossy published pictures of her getting over her break-up on a tropical beach.
The former first lady announced the move in a statement to AFP.
The pictures of Trierweiler, 48, and two girlfriends relaxing in bikinis on the island of Mauritius hit newstands on Friday, four weeks after Closer revealed Hollande's affair with an actress, Julie Gayet.
According to Closer, the trio rented a luxury beach villa that costs upwards of $2,000 a night shortly after Trierweiler's return from a charity trip to India, which she made the day after Hollande ended their relationship.
Trierweiler's companions on the trip, journalist Valerie de Senneville and actress Saida Jawad, are also suing Closer under France's privacy law, with the latter also bringing a case related to image rights.
During her trip to India, Trierweiler told journalists she had not ruled out writing a book about her time with Hollande.
The Socialist leader left the mother of his four children, Segolene Royal, for Trierweiler in 2005. According to Closer, his affair with Gayet began two years ago but it is unclear whether the relationship is continuing.
02:40 US would not spend $50 billion on Olympics: Obama:
President Barack Obama said that the United States would not need to match the huge $50 billion shelled out by Russia if it wanted to host another Olympic Games.
The massive operation to transform the Black Sea resort of Sochi for the Winter Games, which opened today, has been plagued by cost overruns and accusations of corruption and cronyism in President Vladimir Putin's Russia.
But Obama said financial issues should not put Americans off from hosting more Games -- partly because America would not need to splash so much cash.
"I am not sure that spending 50 billion dollars is necessary in order for us to be successful partly because the infrastructure that we already have in place probably would allow us to do it a little bit cheaper," Obama said in an interview with NBC.
While advising any city that bids for the Games to employ a good accountant, Obama said America knew how to put on a big event -- referring to last weekend's Super Bowl American football championship Game.
02:38 Alleged Silk Road mastermind pleads not guilty:
The accused mastermind of the online black market Silk Road pleaded not guilty to a host of criminal charges today in federal court in New York.
Ross William Ulbricht, 29, wearing a blue prison suit for his arraignment, has denied all charges against him that he created and managed Silk Road.
Authorities claim Ulbricht is the infamous "Dread Pirate Roberts" who operated the underground site, an encrypted network that allegedly sold drugs, weapons, hacker tools and "hit" services to kill people.
US District Judge Katherine Forrest set a trial date of November 3 in the case.
The government arrested Ulbricht in October on a criminal complaint charging him with drug trafficking and related offenses.
An indictment unsealed Tuesday charged Ulbricht with money laundering and conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and with running a criminal enterprise, which carries a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.
As part of the operation, US authorities seized a large cache of Bitcoins, a virtual currency used in Silk Road transactions.
02:36 5.1 magnitude quake near Japan's Fukushima:
A 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan's Fukushima prefecture today, the United States Geological Survey said.
The moderate quake hit 34 kilometres (21 miles) east of coastal Namie city in Fukushima prefecture, where a devastating quake-tsunami in March 2011 sparked a nuclear disaster and caused massive damage.
Today's earthquake occurred at 2:18 am local time (1718 GMT) off the east coast of Japan's main Honshu island, at a depth of 63 kilometres, US geologists said in a preliminary report.
No tsunami warning was issued after the tremor, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, according to Kyodo news agency.
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02:08 Michael Schumacher is NOT dead: Hospital:
The French hospital treating Michael Schumacher has denied rumours that the Formula One legend has died.
Grenoble University Hospital put an end to wild speculation circulating on the internet, including social networking site Twitter.
A statement read: The hospital denies that Michael Schumacher has died.
Schumacher, 45, was put into an artificial coma after suffering traumatic brain injury in a near-fatal skiing accident on December 29. Shutting down function can give the brain time to heal.
Last week his manager Sabine Kehm confirmed that he was being brought round from his coma.
02:05 Turkey F-16 forces down hijacked airliner told to fly to Sochi:
Turkey scrambled a jet fighter today to force down an airliner from Ukraine after a would-be hijacker on board brandishing a detonator ordered it to Sochi where the Winter Olympic opening ceremony was underway, Turkish officials said.
A Turkish F-16 made the plane, from Turkey's Pegasus airline and carrying 110 people, land in Istanbul.
The hijacker was believed to be a Ukrainian man, according to Turkish media. Outlets reported that he was overpowered and security forces were on the plane.
Habib Soluk, deputy Turkish transport ministry, said that the man was holding a detonator as he tried to get to the cockpit and claimed there was a bomb on board.
"We are sure that he didn't enter the cockpit. We know that the aircraft was hijacked before it entered Turkish airspace," Soluk said.
The Pegasus pilot managed to sound the alert and the Turkish F-16 military jet was scrambled.