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LIVE! UPA's plan to introduce Telangana bill in RS runs into trouble

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February 10, 2014


23:24  UPA's plan to introduce Telangana bill in RS runs into trouble:  

Anita Katyal reports from New Delhi: The UPA government's original plan to introduce the controversial Telangana Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday has run into trouble following a disagreement between the Union law ministry and Finance Minister P Chidmabaram.   

 

The law ministry, it is learnt, has advised against tabling it in the Upper House on the grounds that the legislation has financial implications. It has suggested that the bill should be introduced and passed in the Lok Sabha first. However, it is learnt that Chidambaram does not agree with this contention.  

 

The government's top leaders brainstormed on the issue till late on Monday night but to no avail. The discussion is expected to continue on Tuesday. Till then, the Telangana bill is on hold.  

 

The UPA government wanted to introduce the legislation in the Rajya Sabha first as there is a better chance of getting it passed here because the number of anti-Telangana opponents in the Upper House is small as compared to the Lok Sabha.

 

Moreover, the bill will stay alive even if it is not passed in the Rajya Sabha.    On the other hand, it will lapse if the Lok Sabha is unable to pass the bill as the term of the Lower House is set to end.

 

This is the last session of the 15th Lok Sabha.

22:25  Marines case: Italian defence minister in Delhi:  Ahead of the hearing of the marines' case in the Supreme Court, Italian Defence Minister Mario Mauro has landed in New Delhi and condemned India's failure to press charges against them even after two years of the incident.

"It is at odds with the rule of law and the fairness of relations between two sovereign democracies... It is good for Italy to make its voice heard in the international community," he told Italian news agency Ansa.

The Italian minister is in India to keep an eye on the legal proceedings against the two marines in the Supreme Court, according to the agency. The Supreme Court after hearing both sides posted the case for final hearing on February 18 and asked the Centre to make its stand clear.
22:23  KCR meets Sonia, thanks her for Telangana:   Ahead of Telangana Bill being tabled in Parliament, TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao today held a significant meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi amid reports that the two parties were contemplating merger.

According to TRS sources, Rao met Sonia Gandhi in the evening and thanked her for taking steps towards the creation of the new state.

Rao, is also understood to have requested the Congress president to ensure that Telangana Bill to be cleared in both houses of Parliament.
22:02  Child dies after consuming soft drink, TN govt orders probe:  An eight-year-old girl died and three of her siblings took ill after allegedly consuming suspected contaminated soft drink in Cuddalore district, prompting the Tamil Nadu government to order a probe and a crackdown during which hundreds of bottles of the beverage with crossed expiry date were seized today.   

Four children, including a three-year old boy, of Anjapuli of Therku Seplanatham village, a contract labourer, developed symptoms of nausea, vomitting, abdominal pain and breathing difficulty last night after consuming the popular brand soft drink in pet bottles he had brought home, police said.   Soon, they were rushed to a hospital in Cuddalore.

Late in the night, Abirami died without responding to treatment.
21:26  President gives nod to Telangana Bill:  Pesident Pranab Mukherjee has given his nod to the Telangana Bill which is likely to be tabled in Parliament tomorrow.

Home ministry officials said tonight that the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, which was approved by the Union Cabinet but rejected by the state assembly, has been sent back to the home ministry with the Presidential approval.

The bill is likely to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow, an official said. The Union cabinet had on Friday approved the draft bill for creation of Telangana by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh, notwithstanding the state assembly's rejection of the legislation.
21:22  India's Haj quota fixed at 1,36,000 in 2014:  India's Haj quota in 2014 has been fixed at 1,36,000, the same as last year when Saudi Arabia slashed it by 20 per cent for all foreign pilgrims citing expansion work at holy sites.

A total of 1,36,000 Indian pilgrims will perform Haj this year, Saudi Haj Minister Bandar Hajjar told an Indian delegation yesterday.

Under the India-Saudi Arabia bilateral agreement on Haj in 2013, the quota for India was fixed at 1,70,025 seats - comprising 125,025 seats for the Haj Committee of India and 45,000 for pilgrims going through private tour operators.
21:09  Police serves notices to MNS workers warning them of action:   The Mumbai police began serving notices to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena office bearers, warning them against committing cognisable offences, after MNS president Raj Thackeray called for a statewide road blockade agitation against toll collection.

Police stations in the city have begun serving notices to MNS workers under Section 149 of the Criminal Procedure Code 1973, which empowers police officers to prevent cognisable offences, police sources said.

The police notice, has asked MNS activists to desist from carrying out any activity that would trigger law and order problems. If activists resort to any illegal activities, action would be initiated against them, the notice read. However, MNS chief Raj Thackeray has not received any police notice.
20:45  Kejriwal slams Delhi Police, refuses to budge on venue:   Refusing to budge from his decision to convene a special assembly session at a stadium, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today rejected Lt Governor Najeeb Jung's call to revisit the decision and said paramilitary forces should be deployed at the venue if the Delhi Police feels "incompetent" to provide security.

Kejriwal said it is the prime duty of the Delhi Police to ensure safety and questioned whether Police Commissioner B S Bassi should continue in his post if he cannot provide security.

"It is the prime duty of the Delhi Police to ensure the safety of the people and if the Police Commissioner considers himself incompetent in doing so, should he continue to be in his post?" said a press statement released by the chief minister's office.
20:44   Congress and NCP finalise seat sharing in Maharashtra for the Lok Sabha polls. They will contest 26 and 22 seats respectively.
20:05  PM congratulates Nepal counterpart Sushil Koirala on election:  Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has congratulated his Nepal counterpart Sushil Koirala on his election. Dr Singh in his message said Koirala's election as the PM represented an important milestone in consolidating the democratic gains in the political transition in Nepal.  

"On behalf of the government and people of India, please accept my warm felicitations on your election to the high office of the prime minister of Nepal. Your election represents one more important milestone in consolidating  and  institutionalising recent democratic gains in the course of the political transition in Nepal."
19:53  BSF to deploy women constables along Bangladesh border:   The Border Security Force will deploy women constables next week along the 856 km long border with Bangladesh to stop smuggling by the women from other side of the border, official sources said today.

"A contingent of 27 women constables have already arrived here two weeks back and are undergoing three weeks familiarisation training, and after completion of the training, they would be deployed along the border," BSF DIG B S Rawat told PTI.
19:50  Dhoni involved in cover up: Lalit Modi on IPL spot-fixing report:  Talking to CNN-IBN about the IPL spot-fixing report, former chairman Lalit Modi said that the Mudgal report is the tip of the iceberg. "Chennai Super Kings should now be scrapped, as per the rules."

Modi also alleged that Indian cricket captain M S Dhoni, who also leads CSK in the IPL, is involved in the cover up.

He said BCCI chief N Srinivasan has gagged every player and every BCCI official. "Srinivasan should be banned from all sports. He has bought disrepute to the game."

On his return to cricket Modi clarified, "I'm not cutting any deal to return to Indian cricket." 

The IPL spot-fixing report submitted by the Justice Mukul Mudgal-led committee has found Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of betting in IPL.

Meiyappan was a team principal of two-time IPL champions CSK, which is owned by Srinivasan.


   

 
18:37  Live! Why was Dawood angle not probed in IPL scam: SC panel asks Mum police:   A Supreme Court panel, inquiring into the IPL spot fixing scam, has come down heavily on Mumbai police for "not willing" to investigate involvement of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim in it and for protecting "lots of persons" involved in the betting syndicate.

Probe by the Mumbai Police in the scandal was sharply cricised by a three-member apex court panel headed by former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and raised questions on why police allowed a Pakistani umpire to leave the country when it knew about his involvement in the scam.

He said that Mumbai police was aware of proposed fixing between Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians three days before the match was played on May 15 last year through intercepted calls of Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf but it did not take any action against him.
18:24  'No evidence that Modi ordered killings':  Lawyer and scholar Vinay Sitapati says the 'Get Modi' strategy largely missed the efforts to prosecute people evidently guilty of violence and murders in the Gujarat riots in favour of 'a narrow quest to stop one man from becoming prime minister.'  Rediff.com's Arthur J Pais reports from New York. Read
18:13  Kejriwal unable to govern, looking for escape route: BJP:   The BJP today attacked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his threat to resign if the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed, saying he is looking for an escape route as he is unable to govern and getting "exposed".

"He is sitting on the shoulder of the corrupt Congress government and trying to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill. It feels they (AAP) are unable to run the government and hence are looking for an exit," BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Kejriwal has threatened to resign if his pet anti-graft legislation is not passed by the Delhi Assembly due to lack of support from other parties.

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said, "It is surprising that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is threatening that he will resign. To resign from Chief Ministership, threatening is not required. He has to just write a letter...Who is he threatening?" He said the Aam Aadmi Party is getting "exposed" every day by their antics.
17:37  Subramanian Swamy tweets his colours: "No genuine Hindu would assault NE students. Does anyone know the religion of these rowdies? Then we can know the motive."
17:32  Olympian Shiva Keshavan: I will come back stronger :  Meanwhile, in Sochi, Olympian Shiva Keshavan, tweets: I am grateful to everybody who was following my race and supporting me from all around the world. It gave me a lot of strength and courage. However I will come back stronger and I will continue to compete to the best of my ability and Never Give In.

Keshavan finished a disappointing 37th in the men's singles luge competition.
17:26   The Kejriwal government now enjoys the support of 35 MLAs, one less than majority number. Last week, expelled AAP MLA Vinod Kumar Binny decided to withdraw support to the Delhi government, terming Kejriwal as being "more dangerous" than a corrupt person.
17:19  Live! Independent MLA withdraws support, AAP becomes minority govt :  The AAP government loses majority in the Delhi Legislative Assembly as Independent MLA Rambeer Shokeen withdraws support. AAP has now been reduced to a minority government. 

Shookeen who is an MLA from the Mundka constituency met Lt Governor Nejeeb Jung today apprising him of his decision to withdraw support to the government. He is likely to hold a press conference later today. Shokeen said he quit after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reneged on his promises to solve the power and water problems in Delhi.
17:07  Lt Gov backs Kejriwal's demand for SIT on 1984 riots :  Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has backed Arvind Kejriwal's demand for a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that followed the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. The SIT will investigate whether evidence was ignored by the police and why over a third of the cases registered after the 1984 riots were closed.
17:05  The Sochi Olympics is haunted by the ghosts of a forgotten genocide. Read
17:03   Celebrated writer, journalist, and man of many seasons, Khushwant Singh turned 99 last week. Here's a picture of the lion in winter.

Read what the Telegraph wrote about his birthday celebrations.
16:58  Not trying to be toppled, but least bothered about our govt: Kejriwal:   "I am not trying to be toppled", Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said amid growing confrontation between him and the Congress party over a key anti-graft legislation.

Kejriwal, who heads the minority Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the national capital, has threatened to resign if he is not able to get his pet Jan Lokpal Bill passed by the state Assembly.

He has refused to get prior clearance of the Union Home Ministry for it as demanded by the Congress on whose support his government survives.

Responding to media speculation that he was itching to quit in order to be a "martyr" ahead of the Lok Sabha polls which AAP is going to contest a large number of seats, Kejriwal said that this impression was wrong.

"I am not trying to be toppled, that impression is wrong. I am doing my work. We are working day and night and working very hard," he said.

At the same time, the Chief Minister said that he does not bother about his government.

"I do not bother about our government. That is the last thing I have in mind. If the government is going to fall tomorrow then it should fall today."

Asked if the fact that the Congress could pull the plug anytime weighed on his mind, he replied, "That is their problem. If they have a problem why did they support us?"

Responding to the perception that some of his actions were calculated to provoke the Congress to withdraw its support, the AAP leader said, "No, no why should I do that?" 
16:22  Live! Accused in Nido Tania death to be charged with murder :  Just in: The accused in the Nido Tania case will now be charged with murder. The post-mortem report of Tania (19), the student from Arunachal Pradesh, has confirmed that he died of injuries suffered on his head and face. While there were preliminary autopsy reports earlier, this is the final report, out today. 

The report says that Nido suffered a swelling in the brain, usually a result of violent shaking or injury. The teenager was punched in the head and also repeatedly hit with a stick in two different instances. The report says that severe internal bleeding led to his death. The injury was cased by a blunt object.

The swelling led to accumulation of fluid, or edema, in lungs which blocked the respiratory system, killing Tania. The boy was laid to rest in his village on Sunday.

The three accused in the case had so far been charged under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Three more accused are absconding.
16:09  Eoin Morgan withdraws from IPL 2014 auctions:  Eoin Morgan has withdrawn his name from the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 auctions. He tweeted saying that he thanks the IPL for accepting his request to withdraw from the event. Morgan played for the Kolkata Knight Riders in last year's tournament. He was not retained by the franchise for the seventh edition of the IPL. Morgan now wants to concentrate on winning an England Test place. Read more
15:50  Shilpa Shetty's husband responds to Mudgal report: Retweets June 5 statement :  Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra, better known as Shilpa Shetty's husband, responds to the Justice Mudgal report on the IPL spot fixing case. The report stated that allegations of betting and spot fixing against Rajasthan Royals Raj Kundra need to be further investigated.  

Kundra tweets: "Reminder of my statement on 7th June 2013 it still stands!!!"

Read his statement

15:30  Was Michelangelos fame built on forgery?:  Art historian Thierry Lenain claims Michelangelo frequently forged artworks in order to obtain the originals from their owners by giving them the copies. Read
15:22  Govt can't be run from Ramlila Maidan: Somnath Chatterjee to Kejriwal:   Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee today took a swipe at the Aam Aadmi Party Government, saying the country cannot run on 'Mohalla Sabhas' and a law cannot be decided on the streets.

"The country cannot run with Mohalla politics," he said. Lamenting that there was no cooperation anywhere and observed that confrontation had become order of the day.

"Today everywhere we find confrontation. There is no attitude of cooperation anywhere. Everybody wants to show he or she is better than other," he added.

Coming down heavily on the Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi Government, Chatterjee ticked off the 'Mohalla Sabhas' as danger of non-functioning.

"A law will be decided on the streets? Sorry. I contend there is no need for having a Delhi Assembly," he said, while pointing out that laws cannot be changed because something is disliked. He further doubted their "way of functioning," saying no government can run from Ramlila Maidan.
15:16  Just in: In Kolkata, Chandrababu Naidu has surprise meeting with Mamata Banerjee regarding federal front and Telengana statehood.
15:09  The Hindu on the stalemate in Parliament.
15:04  Arvind Chitra Katha:  "It's the season for us, of the older vintage in the media -- starting with Arun Shourie, teacher to many of us -- to complain endlessly about the juvenility and narrow short-termism in our public discourse. This harms public interest and is also unfair to those targeted in such arguments. My sympathies must, therefore, go out to Arvind Kejriwal on this count."
Shekhar Gupta's raises the red flag on Kejriwal. Read
14:58  Arvind Kejriwal's threat is not an idle one, says Captain Gopinath:  Arvind Kejriwal has sounded the war bugle again. On hearing that the Congress may stall the passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill by invoking some obscure rule of the union Home Ministry, he thundered, "I will go to any extent to get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed.

By now, the Congress and BJP should know it is no idle threat. You can bet every penny that Kejriwal will be as good as his word. He will keep them guessing on his next move and catch them off guard again."

That's AAP member Captain Gopinath on Arvind Kerjiwal's threat to step down as CM over the Jan Lokpal Bill.  Read
14:53  Former JK Health Min moves HC for bail in sexual assault case:  Former Jammu and Kashmir Health Minister Shabir Ahmad Khan today moved the High Court seeking bail in the sexual assault case even as he continued to evade arrest. 
14:51  Indias rising regional military engagement:  New Delhi has been strengthening defense ties with countries across the region, writes Nitin Gokhale. Read
14:41  Why Arvind Kejriwal is unpalatable to the media. Read the column on Rediff.com. 
14:39   Kejriwal meets LG, discusses Jan Lokpal Bill:  Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today met Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and discussed various issues relating to the Jan Lokpal Bill.

Sources said Kejriwal apprised Jung of his government's views on introduction of the bill in the Assembly.

Kejriwal had last night threatened to resign if his pet anti-graft legislation is not passed by the state Assembly due to lack of support from other parties.

The bill has been opposed both by Congress, whose support is essential for the survival of his seven-week-old government, as well as opposition BJP.

"To remove corruption from the country, (I) can sacrifice the CM's seat a hundred times," Kejriwal had said, adding, "The government will fall if the Jan Lokpal Bill and the Swaraj Bill are not passed."
14:27  The Supreme Court says the IPL auctions scheduled for February 12 and 13    will go on as usual. 
14:10  In other news: Robert Fisk on the number of women sentenced to death across the Middle East has very little to do with justice. Read
14:07  Andhra Pradesh should not be divided: Farooq Abdullah:  In an embarassment to the UPA government, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah today spoke against its decision to divide Andhra Pradesh and create Telangana, saying, the state should not be divided when its people do not want it.

"I think it (the issue of Telangana) has gone out of gear, terribly out of gear. You have seen 70 per cent, 80 per cent of people do no want division, yet a division is taking place....The people of the state do not want division. We should not divide," he said as Parliament was adjourned once again over the issue.
13:58  Kiran Bedi attacks Kejriwal on threat to resign:   Team Anna member Kiran Bedi tonight hit out at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for threatening to resign if the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed in the Assembly by questioning whether the anti-graft legislation was drafted just to cause a "major confrontation while blaming others'.

"I wonder if the Delhi Lokayukta bill is drafted to be passed? Or was it to cause major confrontation to walk away while blaming many others!' Bedi tweeted late Sunday evening.

She also claimed that Kejriwal was seeking Anna Hazare's support now, but did not even remember the Gandhian during his swearing-in as Chief Minister. "At swearing-in as CM Delhi, AK completely forgot Anna! There was no expression of gratitude."

She also tweeted: "Lokpal is already a Law! Admi Party is wanting to pass a new law instead of amending Delhi Lokayukta without due process in a threat manner."
13:41  The report also points out the conflict of interest over N Srinivasan holding the post of BCCI chief and ownership of IPL franchisee and says it is a serious issue, needs to be considered by a court.
13:40   In December, the Board of Control for Cricket in India's N Srinivasan and his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan appeared before the Justice Mudgal Committee in connection with the probe into the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal, in Chennai.

It is learnt that former Chennai Super Kings Team Principal Meiyappan handed over a letter to the committee, exercising his right to remain silent.

A criminal case is being heard against Meiyappan in the Bombay high court.

The probe committee's brief covers the corruption charges against Meiyappan, CSK team owners India Cements, and Rajasthan Royals team owners Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Ltd, as well as a larger mandate of allegations around betting and spot-fixing on IPL matches and the involvement of players.
13:38  IPL scam report to SC: Betting charges agains Meiyappan proved, probe Shilpa Shetty, Kundra :   The Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee, investigating allegations of spot-fixing and betting in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has submitted its report to the Supreme Court today. The apex court bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik, upon receiving the report, said that they will pass appropriate order after going through it.

Former Punjab & Haryana Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal says allegations of betting and passing of information against Gurunath Meiyappan stand
proved. Report says allegations of fixing requires further investigation. Meiyappan was the face of Chennai Super Kings, says the report while rejecting N Srinivasan's contention that he was merely a cricket enthusiast.

Allegations of betting and spot fixing against Rajasthan Royals' Raj Kundra need to be further investigated, says the report submitted to SC.

The report also says that retired armed force personnel, police officers be recruited by BCCI to handle cases of corruption and match fixing.

The report says there is a conflict of interest on Srinivasan holding post of BCCI chief and ownership of IPL franchisee is a serious issue, needs to be considered by court. The committee gives names of people who figured during the probe in a sealed envelope to court. The committee gives ten-point suggestion to SC for making cricket a "cleaner" game and eliminate evil of spot and match fixing.
13:24  'You don't have to be a doctor or a teacher':  When she first entered a cockpit as a child, Archna Tanwar was sure flying an airplane was not for her. In 2001, aged 33, she became one of six female captains flying for Jet Airways. Read
13:12  Backstage in Parliament today:  Parliamentary Affairs minister Kamal Nath took on BJP senior leader Arun Jaitley in Parliament today debating on the adoption of Telangana Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

At the Central Hall, which is brillinatly illuminated, Kamal Nath was heard saying that the illumination on former speaker, PA Sangma's portrait is poor. President Pranab Mukherjee today unveiled 22 portraits of former Speakers of the Lok Sabha today.

In an side, DMK MP Kanimozhi was in Parliament today and had a lot of MPs milling around her.
12:48  Live! MPs deaf to Prez appeal: Papers thrown at chair, placards raised in RS:  President Pranab Mukherjee's appeal to Parliamentarians to not disrupt the house has fallen on deaf ears. Members opposed to the creation of a new Telangana state by dividing Andhra Pradesh, today tore up papers in the Rajya Sabha, broke the chairman's mic and held up placards near his chair, forcing the upper house to adjourn. The Rajya Sabha will no reconvene at 2 pm, while the Lok Sabha has adjourned for the day. 
12:40  The pic that's doing the rounds on social media.

Jokes apart, India's first monorail, which was started in Mumbai on February 2, is a hit, reports the Business Standard.

The ticket sale in the first week itself crossed 100,000 and on the whole, the new mode of transport has run to its optimum best.

A total of 136,865 passengers had travelled in the monorail till Sunday.
12:27   The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 2 pm after papers were thrown at the Deputy Chairperson. The ruckus was about Telangana. Lok Sabha has been adjourned till tomorrow over the same issue.
12:24  Activist Arun Ferreira who spent five years in jail before being declared innocent has done a series of sketches on life in Indian prisons. Take a look.
12:20  Modi's dinner for BJP MPs tomorrow, pep talk on the menu:   Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, will host all the party's Members of Parliament for dinner tomorrow. On the menu is a pep talk.

The dinner party will be held at the BJP's headquarters in Delhi at 8 pm. The party has 117 Lok Sabha MPs, including president Rajnath Singh and top leaders LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj, and 47 in the Rajya Sabha.

Parliament is meeting for its last session before the general elections due by May. Party MPs are expected to go back to their constituencies and dive deep into election campaigning immediately after the session ends on February 20. Read more
12:15  New drug law to relieve pain gor Indias chronically ill:  Thousands of cancer patients suffer because access to morphine, the opium-based drug to treat pain caused by cancer, AIDS and other serious illnesses, is heavily-restricted in India.

That could all change if the Indian Parliament passes amendments this month to the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985.

The bill, expected to be discussed in the ongoing session of Parliament, simplifies procedures to obtain and stock opioid-based medication.

Read more
12:13  The power of one: Sign a petition for Ashok Khemka:  Here's you chance to make a difference. Sign this online petition to stop the harassment of IAS officer Ashok Khemka.

The Haryana government had decided to recommend a CBI probe against the whistleblower IAS officer, who had questioned Robert Vadra-DLF land deals, for irregularities while awarding tender for foodgrain godown roofing to a Gujarat-based firm when he was the Managing Director of Haryana State Warehousing Corporation (HSWC) in 2009.
12:07  Big money backs the wrong man in India :  There is a great, virtual storm blowing through India today, and the most frantic people in the country seem to be those trimming their sails to it.

I refer to the shrewdly concerted campaign to make Narendra Modi seem like Indias natural and inevitable leader -- a veritable miracle worker who, emerging triumphant in elections due by May, will raise despondently low growth rates and restore the countrys pride and international reputation.

Read writer Pankaj Mishra's column for Bloomberg.
12:06  Choppy first ride home for INS Vikramaditya:  India's largest and most-expensive warship, the INS Vikramaditya, faced embarrassing glitches during its home-bound voyage from the north Russian shipyard of Sevmash to the Karwar naval base in Karnataka, causing jitters in the defence ministry.  Read more
11:49   Until now, three accused Farman, Sunder Singh and Pawan have been arrested in connection with the case and have been booked under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. During the hearing, the police apprised the court that the test identification parade of the accused will be done on February 13.
11:44  Live! Nido Tania's final post-mortem report: Death due to severe internal bleeding :   The post-mortem report Nido Tania (19), the student from Arunachal Pradesh, has confirmed that he died of injuries suffered on his head and face. While there were preliminary autopsy reports earlier, this is the final report.

The report says that Nido suffered a swelling in the brain, usually a result of violent shaking or injury. The teenager was punched in the head and also repeatedly hit with a stick in two different instances. The report says that severe internal bleeding led to his death. The injury was cased by a blunt object.

The swelling led to accumulation of fluid, or edema, in lungs which blocked the respiratory system, killing Tania. The boy was laid to rest in his village on Sunday.

The three accused in the case may now be charged with murder; they have so far been charged under the SC/ST Act. Three more accused are absconding.
11:35  Verbal fisticuffs have broken out with Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram taking umbrage at the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate referring to him as 'recounting Minister' at a public rally in Chennai on Saturday evening. PC retaliated that Narendra Modi had staged a 'fake encounter' and put forth facts.

Claiming that there was no recount in the Sivaganga parliamentary constituency in 2009, Chidambaram said the Returning Officer had rejected the request of RS Raja Kannappan (AIADMK) for a recount.
11:31  J-K Assembly Speaker Mubarak Gul gives go ahead to police for arrest of former minister Shabir Khan, accused of molesting a woman. The chief judicial magistrate of Srinagar on Saturday issued an arrest warrant against Shabir Khan, who resigned as Jammu and Kashmir minister of state for health after being booked on charges of molesting a woman doctor in his office cabin.
11:29  Asaram remains in jail, no bail :  Just in: The Rajasthan HC has turned down Asaram Bapu's bail plea.  Asaram, 72 is curently lodged in Jodhpur jail since September 2 in a sexual assault case.  Asaram was brought to Jodhpur on September 1 after he was arrested from his ashram in Indore, Madhya pradesh.
11:26  Bihar CM Nitish Kumar meets Left leaders at JDS chief H D Deve Gowda's residence to discuss a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative.
11:25  Telangana ministers boycott Andhra Pradesh cabinet meeting:   Ministers from the Telangana region today stayed away from the Andhra Pradesh cabinet meeting which has been convened for approving the vote-on-account budget for 2014-15.
11:15  SC to hear Italian marines case on Feb 18:  Italian Ambassador to India Daniele Mancini and Special Envoy of the Italian government Staffan De Mistura arrived at the Supreme Court to attend the hearing of the case involving two Italian marines accused of killing fishermen off the Kerala coast, an incident that has soured otherwise good relations between New Delhi and Rome.

Rome harshly criticised an Indian decision to try the accused Italian marines under an anti-piracy and anti-terrorism act.

The SC will now hear the case on February 18.

The marines dub as "misconceived" the fresh sanction against them in fishermen killing case Italian marines claim death penalty clause is still applicable. 
11:08  Live! Pranab raps MPs: Parl is Gangotri of democracy, don't pollute it :  President Pranab Mukherjee sent out a strong message to Parliamentarians over frequent disruptions. He said that the Parliament is the Gangotri of democracy, if the Gangotri is polluted, how can Ganga be clean.

This seems to have fallen on deaf ears, however, with both houses of Parliament adjourned till noon over the Telangana issue.

The president also said that ll stakeholders must introspect on Parliament's functioning and follow convention and rules. Parliament's function is to debate, dissent and decideand not get disrupted, he said. 
10:53  Road tolls and resentments:  This is what the Hindu has to say on the MNS protests over road toll tax: The recent attacks by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists on toll booths in Maharashtra are to be condemned. However valid their protest against paying road toll may appear, it does not legitimise violence. Read
10:52  NCP using road-toll tax to raise election fund in Maharashtra: Raj :  MNS Chief Raj Thackeray alleged at a rally in Pune on Sunday that the road-toll tax collected in Maharashtra was being used by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) as an election-fund and the road-toll in the state is one of the biggest scams the country has ever seen. In protest of toll collection Raj called for a transport closure in Maharashtra on 12th February.  Read more


10:43  The PM has invited BJP leaders to dinner on February 12. 
10:42  One is a dynast, other is communal: Kejriwal targets Rahul, Modi:   Arvind Kejriwal has explained why Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi find a place on his list of politicians who must be defeated.

"One is a dynast, the other communal," he alleged in an interview to NDTV, but did not elaborate.

Kejriwal had about 10 days ago released what he calls a list of "corrupt people."

He named many prominent leaders of major political parties and, prompted by the audience, had included Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

He later attacked both Gandhi and Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, for spending massive sums of money on their election campaigns.  Read more
10:27  Parliament's function is to debate,not get disrupted: Pranab:  Parliament's function is to debate, dissent and decide and not get disruptedm, President Pranab Mukherjee said today.

Mukherjee reminded Parliamentarians of their responsibility, and do "some introspection" over Parliament's functioning.
10:16  Delhi police to submit Nido Taniam's autopsy report in HC today:  The Delhi police is likely to submit the post mortem report of Arunchal Pradesh student Nido Taniam in the high court on Monday.

The post mortem report so far has remained inconclusive as to whether he died of the violent assault on him or not.

The division bench of Delhi high court had also asked centre, state and Delhi government to take measures to decrease such racial attacks in the last hearing.
09:37  Won't let Kejriwal quit and 'run away': BJP:  BJP leader Harshvardhan has said that his party won't let Keriwal quit and 'run away'.His party has accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of staging a drama, saying that it will support the Jan Lokpal Bill.

"The BJP will not allow Kejriwal to resign and run away. We are committed to fight corruption and support Jan Lokpal. Send a copy to us. Arvind Kejriwal ji, you have made such a hue and cry about Jan Lokpal everywhere but have not sent a copy to members of assembly. Stop drama. BJP has never opposed the Jan Lokpal Bill but the way political drama is being enacted by Kejriwal by insulting constitution and the laws," Harshvardhan tweeted.
08:50  Kejriwal to meet Najeeb Jung today at 12:30 pm:  Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal threatens to resign if the Jan Lokpal Bill drafted by his government was stalled.

Chief ministership can be sacrificed to remove corruption, said the Aam Aadmi Party leader.

The Delhi chief minister will meet Lt Governor Najeeb Jung at 12.30 pm today.
08:15  NCP, Cong likely to meet over 2014 Lok Sabha polls:  The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party leaders are now likely to meet today to discuss their seat sharing strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The talks are expected to be held between NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel, and Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Defence Minister AK Antony.
08:12  Raj Thackeray dares Maharashtra govt to arrest him:   Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Sunday announced a statewide "rasta roko" agitation on February 12 to press for abolition of the levy and dared the Maharashtra government to arrest him.

Raj said he was determined to continue his stir until the government has made collection of road tax "transparent".

"Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan is Manmohan Singh without the pagdi (turban). He has no answers for our queries, and if only the courts give dates, then what are we expected to do?  The red and orange beacons on the police vehicles can be easily purchased in shops at a mere Rs 100,' he had said yesterday.

He is facing multiple cases for instigating his party cadres to vandalise toll booths on various highways a few days ago
08:06  Al Qaeda cell active in Karachi university campus: Reports:  The Federal government today directed Pakistani authorities to investigate the existence of an Al Qaeda affiliated organisation in the University of Karachi.

The interior ministry has written letters to paramilitary rangers and police to investigate the existence of the organisation called "Ashab" on the university campus, GEO news reported.

The report said the group was a cell of the terrorist network, Al Qaeda. The Interior Ministry had directed the law enforcement and investigating agencies to seek help from the vice chancellor of the Karachi University.

"The VC should be asked to investigate and pinpoint the persons involved in the distribution of some objectionable material on the university campus," the report said.

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