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LIVE! 26/11 call record issue may suffer under Maria: Vinita Kamte

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February 17, 2014


23:33  26/11 call record issue may suffer under Maria: Vinita Kamte:   Vinita Kamte, the widow of IPS officer Ashok Kamte, killed in 26/11 terror attack, today apprehended the matter surrounding the "discrepancies" in crucial call records of the 59-hours siege in 2008 provided to her would be put on the backburner under the watch of new Mumbai police chief.

Rakesh Maria, who as joint commissioner of police (crime branch) led the probe into the terror strike, took over as police commissioner yesterday.

The call logs were of wireless conversations between the Mumbai police control room and Kamte's van on the day of his death.

Under the RTI, Vinita had sought information on the call records of the police control room on November 26, 2008 attacks. However, she had claimed to have found "serious discrepancies" in the information given to her in November 2009 and February 2010.
23:04  AAP forms unit in Mizoram:  The Aam Aadmi Party today formed a unit in Mizoram with the announcement of its adhoc leaders. Addressing a press conference, AAP national executive member in-charge of the northeast, Habung Payeng, announced the names of Lalthanzami and former IAS officer S L Sailo as the state unit's coordinator and joint coordinator.

Payeng said Mizoram was the last state in the region to form the state unit of AAP and that a membership drive for the Lok Sabha elections would be launched soon.
22:56  Indian student missing in US, family offers USD 15,000 reward:  A 19-year-old Indian-origin student of the Southern Illinois University has gone missing with his family offering a reward of $15,000 for information leading to his recovery.

Pravin Varughese, originally from Morton Grove, was last seen about 11 pm on Wednesday in Carbondale, Illinois, police said. The family is now offering a reward of $15,000 for information leading to the recovery of Varughese, a statement from the Carbondale police department said.

His sister, Priya Varughese, said Pravin, his cousin and a roommate had all gone to a house party in that area that night. His most recent post on Twitter, sent Wednesday night, reads, "Bloody knuckles...guess I was in a fight #backdown." "I'm not really sure what it means," Priya was quoted by the Chicago Sun-Times as saying.
22:28  BJP moves 33 amendments in LS on Telangana Bill:  Our correspondent in New Delhi says: The Bharatiya Janata Party has moved 33 amendments in the Lok Sabha on the Telangana Bill to the secretariat.

The Bill will be taken up for discussion at 12:30 pm tomorrow.

22:10  Probe in Tejpal case sets a benchmark: Parrikar:  

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today claimed the investigation into allegations of sexual assault against journalist Tarun Tejpal was another benchmark after that in the December 16 gangrape case in Delhi.     

 

"This is a benchmark investigation after the (Delhi's) Nirbhaya case," Parrikar said, reacting to the filing of the charge sheet against the founder-editor of Tehelka by the Goa crime branch.     Police had done a meticulous investigation in this case, he claimed.     

 

Within 80 days of registration of the FIR, Goa police today filed a 2,684-page charge sheet against Tejpal, in jail since December 1, under sections 354, 354-A (sexual harassment), 341 and 342 (wrongful restraint), 376 (rape), 376(2)(f) and 376 (2)(k) (taking advantage of official position and raping a woman in custody) of IPC.     

21:07  Cong likely to finalise LS candidates after Feb 21:  

Congress is likely to finalise its candidates for the Lok Sabha elections after conclusion of the Parliament session on February 21.        

 

 The party today began the process in this regard with the first meeting of its Central Election Committee taking place. Party chief Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party Vice President Rahul Gandhi are among the top leaders who are members of the committee which decides the nominations.        

 

Party leaders said that the nominations for those seats will be finalised early which are at present not with the Congress. The party had won 206 seats in the last Lok Sabha polls.        

 

This is being done to avoid any controversy during the session which has a heavy legislative agenda and government is planning to get a number of bills including the one on Telangana passed.        

 

The issue of tainted leaders is expected to figure in seats like Pune, currently being represented by Suresh Kalmadi, who is facing corruption charges in the organisation of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

20:17  Anti-government Thai demonstrators besiege premier's office:  Anti-government protesters today besieged the Government House in the Thai capital to prevent caretaker Premier Yingluck Shinawatra from working there, even as the Election Commission and ministers failed to strike a deal on holding elections to 28 seats in parliament.
19:59  Nepal forms commission to probe air crash:  The Nepal government today formed a commission to investigate the crash of a Nepal Airlines aircraft that killed all 18 people on board.

 The four-member commission, headed by former Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) Director General Tri Ratna Manandhar, was given 60 days to submit its report.
19:40  AAP against crony capitalism, not capitalism: Kejriwal:  Aam Aadmi Party founder and former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said his party is against crony capitalism not capitalism. He also said it is not the job of the government to do business, rather it should focus on governance. 

"We are not against capitalism, but we are against crony capitalism. We are depressed when spectrum worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore is purchased and sold for Rs 6,000 crore within one week. This is not called business, it is called dacoity," he said while sharing AAP's economic plan at a CII event.
19:35  AAP to lauch 'Mission Amethi' tomorrow:  AAP's Kumar Vishwas will unveil his 'Mission Amethi' in front of party volunteers on Tuesday at the Maneeshi Inter College, Gauriganj, Amethi at noon.   

The program shall be attended by lead strategist of AAP from USA, Mumbai, Delhi and other places.   

Aam Aadmi Party will let its volunteers know about the strategy that is to be followed from gram panchayat level to district level. 
19:13  Iran's Khamenei says nuclear talks will 'lead nowhere':  Iran's top decision-maker Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today that while he is not against a resumption of nuclear negotiations with the world's major powers, the talks will "lead nowhere". 

"Some of the officials of the previous government as well as the officials of this government think the problem will be resolved if they negotiate the nuclear issue," Khamenei said in remarks published on his website Khamenei.ir.
19:10  Matteo Renzi to become Italy's youngest PM:  Italy's Matteo Renzi was today nominated to be the European Union's youngest prime minister and immediately outlined an ambitious reform plan, promising "energy, enthusiasm and commitment" to revitalise the eurozone's third largest economy. 

The 39-year-old mayor of Florence said his first priority would be to tackle relentless unemployment levels and pitiful economic growth, promising Italians he would do everything possible to alleviate "despair".
19:09  6 members of anti-polio team abducted in Pakistan:  Six members of a vaccination team, including a doctor working for the WHO and three security personnel, were kidnapped by militants while administering polio drops to children in Pakistan's restive northwest today. 

The incident occurred in Ping area of Frontier Region Tank, a semi-tribal belt bordering the troubled South Waziristan Agency.
19:07  China dismisses Kerry's criticism of internet freedom:  Days after US Secretary of State John Kerry asked Chinese leaders to support Internet freedom, Beijing today retorted by asking why he did not mention whistleblower Edward Snowden in a meeting with its bloggers. 

Dismissing Kerry's call to support internet freedom as "naive", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: "How can there be so-called bloggers in China without the leap forward development of China's internet?"
18:42  Life or death for Rajiv Gandhi murderers? SC verdict tomorrow:  The fate of three death row convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case will be sealed tomorrow when the Supreme Court will pronounce its verdict on their plea for commutation of their sentence to life imprisonment on ground of delay in deciding their mercy plea.

The judgement will be delivered by a bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, which had reserved its verdict on the plea of three convicts--Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan-- on February 4. Their plea was strongly opposed by the Centre which had said that it was not a fit case for the apex court to commute death sentence on the ground of delay in deciding mercy plea.
18:37  Tejpal case: Goa police to request for day-to-day trial:  The Goa police will request the court to hold the trial on a day-to-day basis in the rape case involving Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal.

The state police today charged Tejpal with rape, sexual harassment and outraging modesty of a woman journalist in a lift of a five-star hotel in Panaji in November last year.
18:34  Jagan Reddy detained by Delhi Police, protest stalled:  YSR Congress Chief and Kadapa MP Jagan Mohan Reddy along with his supporters has been detained from Jantar Mantar while he along with his supporters was protesting against the Centre's decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. The protest by Jagan and nearly his 4,000 supporters in Delhi comes ahead of the Telangana Bill that will be up for discussion in Parliament on Tuesday.
18:21  HC quashes case against Salman :  In a relief to actor Salman Khan, the Bombay High Court today quashed proceedings against him in a magistrate's court on a private complaint seeking contempt action for posting court orders on his website concerning his criminal cases.
18:13  Finance Minister's successor will be in trouble: Jaitley :  The finance minister presented the Vote on Account estimates before the Parliament today. It was an electoral imperative for him to attempt to repackage the 10 years of the UPA. He is faced with a harsh reality. He inherited an 8.5 percent GDP growth rate. He exits on a 4.5 percent GDP growth.

Read Arun Jaitley's blog on the budget.
17:56  TDP and Seemandhra MPs have objected to Tamil Nadu Congress MPs JM Haroon, Congress MP S Alagiri and P Viswanathan standing like SPGs near P Chidambaram whenever he enters the House.

They want to know why Speaker Meira Kumar was not taking note of this security ring. 
17:51  And here's PC Harvard quip :   Finance Minister P Chidambaram also used the last budget of the UPA government to take a swipe at BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. "My mother and Harvard taught me the value of hard work," Chidambaram said while presenting the interim budget.

Modi had, at a rally in Chennai earlier this month, taunted the finance minister saying he had failed to revive the Indian economy despite his Harvard background.
17:50  Live! BJP: Chidambaram's budget speech was written as a reply to Modi :  In Parliament today, BJP leader and a former finance minister in the NDA government, Yashwant Sinha, said that the budget speech was written to primarily reply to Narendra Modi.

In an apparent reference to Chidambaram's 2009 victory in Lok Sabha polls from Sivaganga after a recounting of votes, the Gujarat chief minister described him as the "recounting minister" and charged him with displaying 'excessive arrogance' while leaving the country's economy in bad shape.

"UPA government has a recounting minister. He lost (the election) but won in recounting. He is from Tamil Nadu. He thinks he was the first in the queue when God was distributing knowledge," Modi said without naming Chidambaram.

17:45  Jagan Reddy courts arrest :  Anti-Telangana politician Jagan Mohan Reddy today courted arrest as he marched towards Parliament to protest against the creation of the new state by dividing Andhra Pradesh.

The Telangana bill will be taken up in Parliament tomorrow and the government is determined to get it passed, even in the middle of protests if it can't be discussed.
17:44  BJP sets conditions for T Bill:  BJP has put conditions to support the Telangana Bill. This comes after Seemandhra ministers visited LK Advani on Monday morning. The BJP is keen that the government takes up the issue with opposition parties and discusses it with stake holders as well.

The BJP wants these addressed:

Why was the confidence motion and an objection to the bill notice not taken up first.
The Bill will not withstand judicial scrutiny especially the issue of the law and order to governor.
The BJP does not want the bill passed in a din. House must be in order to move amendments and pass them.
The BJP is opposed to 'selective' suspension and says all those who contributed to din must be suspended.
17:30  Tavleen Singh: The word from Kejriwal's CII audience is that he sounded more liberal in his economic views than Narendra Modi. Wow!
17:29  Security inside, outside Parliament on high alert :  BJP senior leader LK Advani says that the BJP supports the Telangana Bill. The Telangana Bill will be taken up for debate at 12:30 pm tomorrow for four hours.

Speculation is rife that there will be high drama inside and outside Parliament (near the Gandhi statute).

Apparently, five suspended Seemandhra MPs plan to arrive in one car to Parliament. They will get off near the Gandhi statue and stage a dharna before the TV cameras parked there.

The questions doing the rounds are:
Will they immolate themselves?
Will they set their car alight?
Will they drive their car on the walls of Parliament?
Will they drive it near PM or Sonia Gandhi carcade?
17:17  Narendra Modi's tweet in reaction to Chidambaram's interim budget: I welcome the decision on 'One Rank, One Pension' for our servicemen. Belated wisdom finally dawns on our 'hard working' UPA ministers.
17:11  Kodnani suffering from suicidal impulse, SC extends bail:  In other news: The Supreme Court today extended till February 24 the interim bail to former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani, convicted in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riots case, but made it clear that it won't be further extended if she fails to file an affidavit stating the kind of burn injury she suffered.

The apex court refused the plea of her advocate Ram Jethmalani who pleaded for bail on the ground that she is suffering from suicidal impulse and asked him to file affidavit of burn injury that she suffered recently due to which it extended the interim bail twice.
17:09  Balms and sprays during Chidambaram's speech :  Also seen while the PC read out his speech:

NCP chief Sharad Pawar was seen rubbing a spot on his right hand and applying balm.

Parliamentary Affairs minister Kamal Nath whipped a canister of a spray, while Chidambaram was talking. No, not pepper spray, but some kind of a mouth freshener. Kamal Nath used the spray before PC began his speech, which the finance minister took in with a backward glance.
16:57  PM, Sonia refuse to congratulate Chidambaram after Budget presentation:  After reading out the interim budget, finance minister P Chidambaram had hoped that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh or Sonia Gandhi would come to his seat and congratulate him for the successful presentation of the Budget. Not only did that not happen, the customary handshake or pat on the back was absent as well. It is a Parliamentary tradition for the leader of the house to compliment the finance minister on the budget.
16:53  Mulayam wants suspension order on rowdy anti-Telangana MPs revoked :  SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav apparently wrote a half-page note to Sonia Gandhi in the Lok Sabha when P Chidambaram was reading out the interim finance budget. The note, which was handed over to Sonia by MP Sailendra, asked that the suspension order on the 16 Andhra MPs in the aftermath of the pepper spray attack on Thursday should be revoked.
16:48  Sonia chides Venkaiah on T-Bill:  Our sources tell us that Sonia Gandhi angrily asked BJP's M Venkaiah Naidu why the party went back on its assurance to support the Telangana  Bill. This happened in Central Hall today when they bumped into each other.

Clearly not to one to take a browbeating, Naidu said that the UPA Cabinet did not accommodate 12 amendments on justice to Seemandhra. Sonia walked away after this, say MPs who were listening in. 
16:42  SC refuses to entertain plea on Telangana:   Ten days after refusing to stay the tabling of the Telangana Bill in Parliament, the Supreme Court today once againg dismissed two petitions challenging division of Andhra Pradesh.

The apex court said it cannot take a different stand and different view from what it had taken on February 7 while terming the plea against Telangana as "premature".
16:35  Honesty politics is AAP's economic policy: Kejriwal tells India Inc:  When asked to outline the party's economic policy, Arvind Kejriwal says honest politics is AAP' policy.  "We need to encourage business, we have to simplify the system, Need to move away from representative democracy to direct democracy at the local level." 
16:29  Arvind Kejriwal in defensive mode: Party completely disagrees with Prashant Bhushan's comments on need to nationalise key sectors.

Prashant Bhushan had said that their political party would adopt a "socialist-type' economic policy, but would not be totally against private sector participation.
16:26  How can development take place amid corruption: Kejriwal:   Kejriwal says:

-- We have possibly the best economist leading the country today. But are people happy?

-- The best of economic policies simply remained on paper. They never got implemented. There was no honesty.

-- The government claims they've brought about development. Development is done by people, not by governments.

-- The government has to provide a safe and secure environment for development to take place. A clean, honest environment.

-- How can development take place amidst rampant corruption?
16:06  'Business should be left to the pvt sector':  Kejriwal says business should be left to the private sector.
The government can't give jobs to all. Jobs must come from the private sector.
Govt policies driving business away.
16:04  Live! Kejriwal at CII: AAP against crony capitalism, not capitalism:   Former Delhi CM addressing a CII meet at a five-star hotel in Delhi.

The meet is basically to put forth the AAP's economic agenda. Quick look at what he has said so far:

Kejriwal says that if corruption ends prices will come down.
Centre didn't bother to look into issues of industries in Delhi
The government has no business to be in business. Business should be left to private players.
A small segment of industrialists is looting the country.
We're first class citizens, but victims of third class governance.
We are against crony capitalism, not capitalism. 

15:52  The spray that was neither pepper nor chilli:   Contrary to the common belief, Vijayawada MP L Rajagopal's spray can did not contain either pepper or chilli powder.

What he used in the Lok Sabha in an act that left fellow MPs in tears and the entire House red-faced is a chemical substance banned in war.

The chemical is called capsaicin, derived from the fruits of plants like capsicum or chilli. What goes into the can, as sold in India, is capsaicin converted into a resin, mixed with an emulsifier and water, and then pressurised.  Read more
15:48  Inside Delhi's diplomatic enclaves :  A new coffee table book offers a rare look inside the well-guarded, high-walled complexes that house New Delhi's diplomatic community.

German author Gladys Abankwa-Meir-Klodt spent two years researching and seeking permission to access the embassies of Chanakyapuri -- the Indian capital's diplomatic enclave created after independence from British rule in 1947. Her book "Delhi's Diplomatic Domains' is the result.

Read
15:27  Mamata calls interim budget election gimmick:  West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today criticised the central government on the interim budget, saying it was an election gimmick.

It was possible to fool some people, but not all the people, Banerjee said replying to the debate on the governor's address in the Assembly.

Noting that the outgoing UPA government would not be able to implement the budget, she said it was an election gimmick in a vote-on-account budget where the purpose was only to seek permission of Parliament for incurring expenditure for the coming four months.
15:15  Does Sex Really Distract Olympians?:  Olympians are reportedly taking their Tinder use to the next level at the Sochi Games. Does having sex hurt their performance? Read
15:11   Left Front to announce LS candidate list in February:  The Left Front in West Bengal would announce its candidate list for the Lok Sabha election in the state this month, LF chairman Biman Bose said today.

Bose said the names of all 42 candidates would be announced shortly.

Reacting to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's remark that opposition members who boycotted the Assembly today would be rejected by the masses, he said, "...She is not a queen and how can she make such statements after witnessing the Brigade rally on February 9? In democracy it is the people who speak the last word."
15:04  Kejriwal to outline economic policy at CII meet today :  Former Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to address a CII meet today where he will be outlining AAP's economic policy. In the 49 days in power, Kejriwal has largely been seen as anti big industrial houses. 
14:58  Govt accepts 'one rank, one pension' for defence forces:   The long-standing demand of ex-servicemen for 'one-rank, one-pension' was accepted by the government today with Finance Minister P Chidambaram making an announcement in this regard in the interim budget.

Presenting the interim budget, Chidambaram said the government would transfer Rs 500 crore to the defence pension account for implementing one rank, one pension scheme.

The decision, likely to benefit around three million defence pensioners, will come into effect from 2014-2015.

The two UPA governments, he said, had made changes in the pension rules for defence services on three occasions but some gaps remained in the ranks of 'Sepoy' and 'Naik' among non-officers and 'Major' and above among officers.
14:56  Live! 'NO criminal wrongdoing in Schumacher's skiing accident':  French prosecutor rules out any criminal wrongdoing in Michael Schumacher's skiing accident. Formula One legend Michael Schumacher's catastrophic skiing accident may have been made worse by the camera attached to his helmet at the time of impact. French investigators are looking into the theory that the helmet have been weakened by the camera, according to the Mirror.
14:42  Metal detector in front of RS Chairman's Parliament office:  A metal detector was today installed in front of Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari's office in Parliament today after he wondered why is he exempt from usual checks that all others are subjected to.

The Chairman made the remark as he walked into his office this morning.

The Secretary General then directed the security wing to instal the door frame metal detector at gate number 11 at Parliament House building, through which the Chairman and Deputy Chairman enter Parliament.

The development took place hours before the Committee on Security in Parliament complex was to discuss measures in the wake of the pepper spray attack by a Congress MP inside Lok Sabha on Thursday.
14:31  Working on the 'God particle' saved my life, says Peter Higgs:  The Nobel prize-winning physicist Peter Higgs has described the fame he has endured since the discovery of his 'God particle' as "a bit of a nuisance' -- but admitted that it his was his work that "kept him alive' during the breakdown of his marriage. Read
14:25  Co-pilot hijacks Ethiopian Airlines, flies to Geneva, seeks asylum:  A co-pilot on an Ethiopian Airlines flight bound for Rome hijacked the airliner early Monday morning and flew it to Geneva looking for asylum.

The man, an Ethiopian man in his early 30s, was arrested when the plane landed at Geneva International Airport, police said.

Passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 767-3002343 were not harmed.

It was a welcome outcome from the last time an Ethiopian Airlines was hijacked.In 1996, 125 people died after a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines crashed in the Indian Ocean after running out of fuel.- CNN.
14:12  Rahul Gandhi asks opposition parties to fix a date to pass bills on which there is general consensus.
14:03  First voices of dissent from AAP members after ambitious Lok Sabha plan:   In Nagpur, where AAP has chosen to air-drop prominent leader Anjali Damania of Mumbai to contest against former BJP president Nitin Gadkari, a local supporter called Rupa Kulkarni said, "The AAP cabinet of Nagpur had approached me over the last two months to convince me to contest elections from this seat. Finally, I made up my mind and agreed."She did not oppose Ms Damania's nomination but added, "The claims that have been given by AAP that the candidates will be selected on the public mandate within several local districts have not been done. This first list does not have common people in it."

In Pune, where the party has picked a candidate called Subhash Vaare to contest the seat currently represented by "tainted" Congress leader Suresh Kalmadi, another local, Arun Bhatia, has reportedly threatened that he will contest as an Independent.  Read more
13:46  Breaking news at this hour:

Supreme Court extends by one more week interim bail of former minister and a convict in Gujarat riots case Maya Kodnani.

Supreme Court refuses to interfere with Telangana Bill, says let Parliament decide first.
13:44  Chidambaram makes veiled attack on Modi, Kejriwal:  Finance Minister P Chidambaram today made a veiled attack on Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal, telling them "neither populism nor individualism" is an alternative way of governance and expressed confidence that people will entrust responsibility to a "hand" that works for equity.

Chidambaram also hit back at the BJP's PM candidate telling him "among other mentors, my mother and Harvard taught me the value of hard work".

Modi had last week tried to take a dig at Harvard-educated Chidambaram saying that the growth in Gujarat was due to hard work and not Harvard.

The Finance Minister noted that Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen have pointed out that India was the first non-Western country and also the first poor country in the world to commit itself to a resolute way of governance.
13:31  'AAP may emerge as 'third force' in MP' :  Narmada Bachao Aandolan (NBA) leader Alok Agarwal, who has been named as the AAP nominee from Madhya Pradesh's Khandwa constituency for the Lok Sabha election, has said that there is a strong possibility of his party emerging as a "third force" in the state.

"Be it the BJP or Congress, both the parties indulge in politics of loot. People of this region are fed up with them. There is a strong possibility of Aam Aadmi Party emerging as a third force, as the voters are now looking for a better alternative," the 46-year-old leader said yesterday.

AAP can provide a strong alternative to the voters of the state, claimed Agarwal, who is a 1989 batch graduate in chemical engineering from IIT Kanpur. He said the entire organisational network of NBA is supporting AAP.
13:26  Step-by-step: How the Sindhurakshak will be salvaged:  With the navy having contracted a US-based firm to salvage its submarine that sank last August in Mumbai, the defence establishment is now watching the technology that will play out in the Western Naval Command to recover the boat. Read
13:24   Nepal plane crash kills all 18 people on board:   All 18 people, including an infant and a foreigner, aboard a Nepal Airlines plane that crashed into the side of a snow-clad mountain in the country's west have been killed, authorities said today. The 19-seater Twin Otter carrying 15 passengers and three crew members lost contact with air traffic controllers shortly after taking off from the popular tourist town of Pokhara yesterday.
13:17  Story of an end foretold:  Sometimes, the end is foretold at the beginning. Arvind Kejriwal was quite reluctant to assume office as Chief Minister of Delhi, and the lack of a majority of its own for his Aam Aadmi Party seemed only part of the reason. Read
13:03  Congratulate FM for well-balanced vote on account: PM:  Dr Manmohan Singh's first statement after P Chidambaram's budget speech.

"I congratulate the FM for presenting a well balanced vote on account portraying a realistic picture of the economic situation in the country. The Finance Minister has aptly summarised the economic and social achievements of the last 10 years which our Government is proud of.

The issue of One Rank One Pension has been addressed comprehensively and I'm confident that our Forces,Officers & Jawans will welcome this."
12:59  Nirbhaya Fund gets additional Rs 1,000 crore in budget:   Finance minister P Chidambaram on Monday allocated an additional Rs 1,000 crore to the Nirbhaya Fund for the safety and empowerment of women.

"In order to make it clear that the (Nirbhaya) fund will be a prominent fund, I intend to declare the grant of Rs 1,000 crore as non-lapsable and in order to support more proposals, I propose to contribute to the fund another Rs 1,000 crore next year," Chidambaram said while presenting the interim budget in Parliament.

In last year's Budget, Chidambaram had announced the Nirbhaya Fund with a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore as a tribute to the gangrape victim. Nirbhaya (fearless) was the pseudonym given to the victim.
12:56  The Goa police filing the chargesheet says there is sufficient evidence on record to show that Tejpal had evaded arrest following the complaint.
12:51  Tejpal chargesheet divided into 12 volumes :  The chargesheet has taken cognizance of the victim's statement and Tejpal's apology letter to her as the primary evidence, along with emails between the victim and the Tehelka management. Divided into 12 volumes, it has over 400 pages on the CCTV footage obtained from the premises of the hotel where the victim was allegedly assaulted.
12:49  Live! Tarun Tejpal charged with raping female colleague :   Former Tehelka chief Tarun Tejpal charged by Goa police with rape of a woman colleague. Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal, who has been accused of sexually assaulting a junior colleague, was chargesheeted for all offences that he has been booked for, including for rape under the new Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, in a 2,900-page chargesheet filed by the Goa Police on Monday.
12:39  At Chandragupta Maurya's mela where you could buy elephants:  The Sonepur cattle fair's main 'nocturnal attractions' were racy shows. Thousands queued to see dancing girls. Read more
12:33  'When Westerners make fun of our gods, they're inviting trouble':  'In theory, yes, Hindus are very open. I'm one of them. I've coined the phrase 'open architecture'.

''But I think the Wendy Doniger group is not allowing open architecture. They are closing this architecture.

'They are bringing a point of view in such a heavy-handed way that it tends to dominate and it tends to suppress the alternative points of view. So some kind of counteraction is necessary and using the law is a decent thing to do."

Rajiv Malhotra, one of Wendy Doniger's most vociferous critics, speaks toRediff.com's Arthur J Pais about the prejudices created by American scholars about Hindu gods and Hinduism. Read
12:26  Don't miss the Arvind Kejriwal chat at 11 am tomorrow:  So, why did Arvind Kejriwal really quit the CM's post? At 11am tomorrow, Kejriwal will take questions in a live chat on Rediff.com. Be there. 
12:19  Hijacked Ethiopian plane lands in Geneva, one hijacker arrested :  It's confirmed. An Ethiopian Airlines plane en route from Addis Ababa to Rome has been forced to land in Geneva after being hijacked, Swiss police say.
One hijacker has been arrested. The airline said in a statement that all passengers and crew were safe.There are no injuries, and the police say the situation is "under control". Read more
12:15  Hijack? Ethiopian Airlines plane diverted to Geneva :   An Ethiopian Airlines plane en route from Addis Ababa to Rome has been forced to land in Geneva, after unconfirmed reports of a hijacking.A spokesman at Geneva airport told Reuters news agency a hijacked aircraft had arrived at the airport.

The airline said in a statement all passengers and crew were safe at Geneva airport.Flight 702 was scheduled to leave Addis Ababa at 00:30 local time and arrive in Rome at 04:40 local time.  Read more
12:07   I will campaign for Mamata if she endorses nationalist agendas: Anna :   Social activist Anna Hazare on Monday said he would campaign for Trinamool Congress in the Lok Sabha elections if West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee agrees to work on a 17-point nationalist programme suggested by him.

"I wrote a letter to every party asking them whether they are ready to work on 17 issues that India is facing today. No political party is thinking about changing the economic system. Only Mamata Banerjee agreed to implement those 17 agendas if voted to power. I will campaign for her party if she commits to these issues in written,' he said.
11:57  Arvind Kejriwal's next: AAP leader makes Narendra Modi his rival No 1:  There was a dull predictability to Arvind Kejriwal's resignation last week. The man had never wanted to become chief minister of Delhi. But when the Congress offered unconditional support, he had no choice but to form a government. Otherwise the BJP's slogan, 'A vote for AAP is a wasted vote' would have stuck. 
Read Vir Sanghvi's column on the Hindustan Times.  
11:53  Kavita Krishnan tweets: Modi's 'single so can't be corrupt' falsely implies that corruption is to benefit families. Worst corruption has been to benefit corporates.

Here's the reference.
11:49   Union ministers from Seemandhra meet Advani:  Some Union ministers from Seemandhra region of Andhra Pradesh today met L K Advani seeking BJP's support for a package for the region following the decision to create a separate Telangana state. The Congress ministers were accompanied by BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu in their meeting with Advani at his residence this morning.
11:46  Goa High Court to hear Tarun Tejpals bail application tomorrow:  The Goa High Court will hear Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal's bail application on Tuesday. Tejpal has been accused of sexually assaulting a junior colleague during a fest in Goa and has since been in jail. A court has allowed him to be present physically in the high court during the bail plea hearing tomorrow. Read more
11:39  Live! President accepts Cabinet's suggestion of central rule in Delhi:   President Pranab Mukherjee accepts the Union Cabinet's recommendation of Central rule in Delhi after Arvind Kejriwal's government resigned last week. The Union Cabinet decided on Saturday to impose President's Rule in Delhi and keep the assembly in suspended animation, accepting the two recommendations of Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung after Arvind Kejriwal resigned as chief minister on Friday.
11:35  I am single, so best man to fight graft: Narendra Modi:   BJP's prime ministerial pick Narendra Modi on Sunday underlined his de facto single status, saying such a person alone can effectively take on corruption.

"Mere liye na koi aagey, na peechhey. Kiske liye bhrashtachaar karunga? (I've no familial ties. Who would I ever try to benefit through corruption?)," said Modi, claiming only those free of mundane worries - who aren't hobbled with filial responsibilities - can bring corruption to an end.

Incidentally, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is a bachelor. Read
11:31  Shiv Aroor tweets: Not even by mistake does Lok Sabha TV cut to the Telangana hecklers in Parliament. Obedient chaps.
11:29  AAP ki sarkar's bonanza for power defaulters a hogwash?:  The Arvind Kejriwal government's bonanza to about 24,000 consumers who defaulted on power bills in response to AAP's 'Bijli-Paani Andolan' may turn out to be an empty promise. The Rs 6 crore needed for the 50% waiver was not accounted for in the appropriation bill passed by the Delhi assembly. Read more
11:26  Will support Modi if he helps keep AP united: Jagan Mohan Reddy:  YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, in Delhi today to protest against the creation of Telangana, has told NDTV that his party will support Narendra Modi if the BJP helps keep Andhra Pradesh united. Read
11:19  In a change of plans, the finance minister is reading out his budget from the Parliament. Details here
11:07  The finance minister will make his budget speech from the Lok Sabha studio. 
11:06  Power stocks gain after Arvind Kejriwal quits as Delhi CM:  Shares of power companies gained after activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal resigned as chief minister of Delhi on Friday, frustrated by obstacles put in the way of an anti-corruption bill. Reliance Infrastructure rose 0.4 per cent, while Tata Power Company traded up 2.6 per cent.
11:04  Chidambaram to make his speech outside Parliament :  This is the first time in the history of the Indian Parliament that the finance minister has not read out the budget. Chidambaram will make his speech outside Parliament. 
11:02  Live! Chidambaram tables budget, will NOT read it out :  The finance minister has tabled the budget on the floor of the house, which means he will not read out the budget speech. 
10:57  Live! 'PC may make budget statement to TV channels if Parl is disrupted' :  Finance Minister P Chidambaram will present an interim budget for the coming fiscal year today. Parliamentary Affairs minister Kamal Nath says that even if the house is disrupted, the finance minister can make the statement to a TV station. Chidambaram is presenting his ninth budget today, just one short of Morarji Desai's 10.
10:51  Massive bandobast inside Parliament :  Huge security inside the Parliament complex today after Thursday's pepper spray fiasco. At least 250 plainclothes policemen have been deployed inside the corridors of Parliament. 
10:49  Will the Telangana Bill lapse?:  Sources in the government tell us that the Telangana Bill will lapse since the government is not keen on a debate. A union minister, who did not wish to be named, said that the BJP has ditched the bill and reneged from its promise to support the Telangana Bill. The UPA wants the new government to take a decision on Telangana.  
10:03  Telangana war on Delhi streets: 2 Metro stations shut from 9am-5pm:  
Two metro stations Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhawan -- will remain shut from 9 to 5 pm on Monday, in view of the protests and demonstrations by the Seemandhara and Telangana activists in Delhi, an officials said.

"Due to security reasons, as advised by the Delhi Police, two metro stations will remain closed between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. due to a snap dharna likely to be organised by pro-Seemandhara and Telangana activists near VVIPs residences," a Delhi metro official said.

However, interchange and controlled exit would be allowed at the Central Secretariat station.
09:30  Chidambaram's Interim budget: 10 things to expect:  
Finance Minister P Chidambaram will present an interim budget for the coming fiscal year on Monday. 

He will also seek Parliament's approval for expenditure through vote-on-account, which will allow the government to cover its expenditure beyond the current fiscal. 

By tradition, the interim budget does not contain proposals seeking to tinker with direct taxes, nor are there any policy announcements, although there may be some sops for the common man and sectors that need help.

CLICK HERE to read about 10 things to expect from Chidambaram
09:27  Naroda Patiya riot case: SC to hear Maya Kodnani's bail plea today:  
The Supreme Court will on Monday hear the bail plea of former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani, convicted in the 2002 Naroda Patiya riots case. 

A bench of justices H L Dattu and S A Bobde on February 13 asked her to file an affidavit stating the kind of burn injury she had suffered following which it will decide on her bail plea. 

The bench then posted the matter for hearing on Feb 17 and exempted her from surrendering till date as her bail expired on February 12. 

Kodnani had filed the petition challenging the February 8 order of the Gujarat High Court declining to extend her three months temporary bail granted on medical grounds on November 12 last year. 

She had sought extension of bail by 180 days. 

The trial court had in August 2012 awarded life imprisonment to Kodnani, Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and 29 others for Naroda Patiya incident of 2002 riots in which 97 people were killed. 

The trial court had dubbed Kodnani, a sitting BJP MLA and former minister in Narendra Modi government, as "kingpin of riots" in Naroda area and sentenced her to 26 years imprisonment. 
08:28  Radiation leak detected at New Mexico nuclear plant:  
US investigators have been taking samples at a New Mexico underground nuclear waste site where airborne radiation was detected, though authorities stressed they had found no contamination. 

Officials monitoring the possible radiation leak said there was no danger to people or the environment at the the Department of Energy's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the nation's first repository to seal away radioactive waste, mostly plutonium, used for defence research and the production of nuclear weapons.

The waste is dumped 655 meters underground in disposal rooms excavated in an ancient, stable salt formation. 

No employees were underground when the continuous air monitor at WIPP near Carlsbad, New Mexico detected underground radiation at 1200 IST Saturday, an agency statement said. 

It said no staffer was found to be contaminated by the radiation. 

Employees on the surface were told to shelter in place as a precautionary measure and were cleared to leave the site starting at 0630 IST yesterday. 

"We are continuing to monitor and we are emphasising that there is no danger to human health and the environment," WIPP spokeswoman Deb Gill told AFP.
08:27  Govt fears Telangana storm may hit Chidambaram's Budget:  
However, the government is also worried about the Telangana-triggered interruption in the House. 

While the Railway Budget was reduced to a mere 14-minute show, people across the country await Congress-led UPA's last minute attempts to woo the voters ahead of polls.

By tradition, the interim budget does not contain proposals seeking to tinker with direct taxes, nor are there any policy announcements, although there may be some sops for the common man and sectors that need help.
08:27  Chidambaram to present UPA-II's last budget today:  
Finance Minister P Chidambaram will present the interim budget for 2014-15 in Parliament on Monday.

Along with the budget, the Finance Minister will present a vote-on-account to seek Parliament's sanction for spending till July.

Also, unlike a regular budget, the interim one does not have any new proposal on the revenue side -- that is, no taxation measures are proposed and status quo is maintained. Such a budget only lists an estimate of the income generated and the expenditure incurred during the previous year, as also the likely expenses during the period for which the vote on account is sought. 

However, there may be some sops for the common man and sectors that need help.

Government has indicated that it may tinker with the excise duties and service tax rates in the interim budget in an apparent bid to boost economy but may not pursue key reforms legislations due to lack of political consensus.

Earlier, Chidambaram had indicated he may tweak excise duties and service tax rates in the interim budget in an apparent bid to boost the economy, but he may not pursue key reform legislation due to lack of political consensus.
08:27  Renzi to be picked as Italy's youngest PM:  
Italian leftist leader Matteo Renzi is to be nominated Italy's youngest-ever prime minister today after a daring power grab that has been welcomed by investors but has left many Italians sceptical.

As head of the Democratic Party, Renzi engineered the ouster of his predecessor Enrico Letta- a member of his own party- accusing him of failing to live up to reform pledges in his stormy 10 months in government. 

The 39-year-old will have to move quickly to form a new government once he gets the mandate from President Giorgio Napolitano as expected at 0930 GMT, and then deliver his promise to lead Italy "out of the quagmire". 

The previous coalition of the Democratic Party, the centrists and the New Centre-Right party is expected to remain intact even though the leader of the latter, Angelino Alfano, has warned this is "not a given". 

The New Centre-Right is a minor partner in the coalition but its votes would be critical for Renzi as all other parties say they are staying in opposition and he does not have a majority in parliament.
08:06  Jagan Reddy to take Telangana battle to Delhi streets today:  
As the UPA government gears up for the passage of Telangana Bill in Parliament this week, the two sides of the regional divide in Andhra Pradesh have stepped up efforts in support of their respective agendas. 

Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress will hold a dharna in Delhi on Monday against the division of Andhra Pradesh. The party leaders and supporters have already arrived in the national capital in two trains from different parts of the state. 

The YSR Congress will hold its protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi against the division of Andhra Pradesh. 

"The dharna would be a battle between Delhi's arrogance and Telugu self-pride and the latter will be the winner eventually," YSRC spokesperson Vasireddy Padma told reporters recently.
08:04  Goa Police to file chargesheet against Tarun Tejpal today:  
The Goa police will file a chargesheet today against Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal who was accused of sexually assaulting his woman colleague last year.

Tejpal (50) has been accused of raping the woman in a lift at a hotel in Goa during Tehelka's ThinkFest in November 2013.

The high-profile journalist was arrested by the Crime Branch of Goa police on November 30 after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by a local court.

Tejpal is currently in judicial custody at the Sada sub-jail in Panaji.

When contacted, a senior police official refused to divulge details of the chargesheet.

Tejpal had been booked under sections 354-A (sexual harassment, physical contact, advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures or any other unwelcome physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature), 376 (rape), 376(2)(k) (rape by a person of a woman in his custody taking advantage of his official position), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code.
08:03  Good Morning.

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