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LIVE! LG asks DJB to ensure implementation of AAP's water scheme

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February 19, 2014

22:53  LG asks DJB to ensure implementation of AAP's water scheme:  Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today directed the Delhi Jal Board to ensure effective implementation of the water scheme launched by the previous AAP government and also ensure that there is no water crisis in the city.

"The DJB was asked to plan for its (scheme's) effective implementation in metered areas by ensuring meters remain functional and error-free," a press statement issued by the LG said.

The previous Delhi government led by AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had launched the scheme to provide 667 litres of free water daily for domestic consumption to each household having a meter. The LG asked the officials to ensure that the scheme reaches its intended beneficiaries and is not misused by "unscrupulous elements".
22:12  TN govt's decision politically motivated: Sibal:  Law Minister Kapil Sibal today said the government would abide by Supreme Court's decision commuting death penalty of three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and termed as politically motivated Tamil Nadu government's move to free all the killers.

"It is clear that their agenda was political, their thoughts were political. They are not against terrorism. Had they been against terrorism, today they would have said no terrorists should be released," he said. Asked for his reaction about the Tamil Nadu government's decision to release the convicts, he said, "People of India will have to decide who is for terrorists and who is against terrorists, who is for terrorism, who is against terrorism."

Sibal also took a jibe at BJP for not uttering a word on the issue while it had bayed for Afzal Guru's blood. "They (BJP) were baying for the blood of Afzal Guru and I am surprised that when it comes to other assassins, they don't even utter a word. I think BJP has something to answer to," he told media persons, questioning the silence of the Opposition party over the issue.
21:16  Vardhan replaces Goel to become Delhi BJP president:  

BJP today appointed Harsh Vardhan as president of the party's Delhi unit replacing Vijay Goel from the post. Party President Rajnath Singh made the appointment after accepting Goel's resignation who has since been nominated to the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan.    


Harshvardhan was BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate in the previous Delhi assembly elections in which the party failed to get a simple majority by a narrow margin.   

20:31  Nagaland chief minister to contest Lok Sabha polls:  

The ruling Naga Peoples Front in Nagaland today gave the green signal to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio to contest the lone Lok Sabha seat in the state in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.        


The NPF Search Committee had recommended Rio's name as the party candidate for the single Lok Sabha seat in the state on February 1, NPF secretary general KG Kenye told PTI in Kohima after a party meeting.     


Kenye said that Rio's candidature would now be put before a coordination committee meeting of coalition partners of the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland tomorrow. DAN comprised NPF, BJP and JDU.

20:30  Amartya rubbishes report of resigning from Nalanda University:  

Renowned economist Amartya Sen today dismissed as mere rumour the media report that he was contemplating to resign from the post of chancellor of Nalanda University.        


"There is an entire gossip. I never intend to resign, nor I am going to resign. It is a complete construction (planted story). Why should I resign?" Sen wondered.        


Sen, however, conceded that he was having some issues with the government on whether the Nalanda University would follow rules applicable to an international university or a central university.        


The Nobel laureate said he preferred the university to come up as an international university because bringing the university under central rules would be a betrayal of its international partners and Indian Parliament.        


"It would be a complete betrayal of Asian collegues, betrayal of Indian Parliament and Indian people as we are building up an international university," Sen pointed out.

20:20  AAP volunteers protest against Ashutosh's candidature:  

Upset with party declaring Ashutosh's candidature from Chandani Chowk constituency, AAP volunteers today staged protest outside Arvind Kejriwal's residence today.        


Around 50 volunteers from the constituency staged a protest outside Kejriwal's residence on Tilak Lane. The protestors were upset over giving the ticket to an "outsider" and someone who had recently joined the party rather than giving it an AAP volunteer.        


The party, however, said that the protestors were not its volunteers. "Our volunteers wanted a strong candidate to be fielded against Kapil Sibal, which is why we decided on Ashutosh. Those who were protesting are not our volunteers," said party's media coordinator Dilip Pandey.        


After the party released it first list of 20 candidates, there were some resentment against the party's choice.  

20:03  Italy to approach UN, EU over trial of marines:  Miffed over India's handling of the trial of its two marines on murder charges, Italy has said it would again knock on the doors of the UN, the EU and even the Commonwealth to press New Delhi to deal with the case quickly.        

Italy accused Indian authorities of "ambiguous and unreliable" behaviour after India's Supreme Court postponed till February 24 the hearing of the case involving marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone.       

The families of the two marines were frustrated with a series of delays in the case that has been percolating without charges for two years, Italian media reported today.
20:02  Top Reliance officials meet Delhi Lt Governor:  Days after an FIR was filed against Reliance Industries and its chairman Mukesh Ambani in a gas pricing case, the company's Executive Director P M S Prasad today met Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.        

The meeting follows Delhi's Anti Corruption Bureau filing the FIR against RIL, Ambani and Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily for allegedly creating an artificial shortage of gas in the country and raising prices.        

Neither Prasad nor Jung were immediately available for comments.
19:56  People from any religion are free to adopt: SC:  Irrespective of their religious background, people are free to adopt children, the Supreme Court ruled today, paving the way for adoption of children by persons hailing from the Muslim community, even though it is not allowed under their personal law.        

Holding that Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act is a "small step" towards the concept of the Uniform Civil Code, the apex court held that the law entitles adoption by people belonging to any religion and any person, who does not submit himself to personal law, can adopt a child.
19:56  Now, Maharashtra leaders want separate Vidarbha state:  The passage of the contentious AP Reorganisation Bill in the Lok Sabha to create a separate state of Telangana has spurred parties in Maharashtra to renew the demand for statehood to Vidarbha.        

RPI President Ramdas Athawale today announced that his party will launch an agitation in Vidarbha on February 24, to demand that the region be given statehood.        

"The Centre should have created a separate Vidarbha State, along with the decision on Telangana," Athawale told reporters.
19:54  Goa CM dismisses Tejpal's allegation:  Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today rubbished allegations of political vendetta levelled by Tehelka Founder Editor Tarun Tejpal, who is facing charges of rape, saying that if he is indeed innocent, he has to prove that in the court.     

"If he (Tejpal) is innocent, then he has to prove it to the court," Parrikar told reporters while reacting to Tejpal's statement.      

Tejpal, while alleging political vendetta, had claimed that the exact truth would be known only after viewing the CCTV footage sourced by Crime Branch from the hotel.
19:53  Jaya's decision to free Rajiv's killers unfortunate: Congress:  The Tamil Nadu government's decision to set free all seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case extremely unfortunate, Minister of State, Home, RPN Singh has said.  

"No letter has come from the Tamil Nadu government on its move to release the convicts," said Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
18:56  RJD MLAs go shirtless in UP assembly:  Uttar Pradesh assembly session today began on a stormy note as legislators raised anti-government slogans and two of them took off their shirts protesting over various issues.

The bedlam started as soon as Governor B L Joshi began his address to the joint sitting of the two houses of the state legislature at 11 am.

The session has been called to pass an interim budget for 2014-15. The BSP members climbed on their benches displaying banner and placards, and raised issues from law and order to  farmers plight, besides demanding dismissal of the government.

Pic tweeted by the Indian Express
18:52  Survivor says no wrong in release of Rajiv case convicts:  A deeply maimed survivor in the dastardly suicide attack that killed Rajiv Gandhi today said there was nothing wrong in releasing the prisoners as they had undergone punishment for over two decades.

"Whether they did the alleged crime or not only the God knows, there is nothing wrong in releasing them now after they were put behind bars for 23 years," K K Sulaiman, an elderly Congress functionary of Sriperumbudur who was severely wounded with pellet injuries on the fateful May night of 1991 said.

"I am a pious Muslim, I must only speak the truth. This is what I feel. Also, there are strong allegations that the crimes have not been proved conclusively," he said.
18:29  Rajiv killers 'jubilant like never before':  Update on the TN govt's decision to release Rajiv Gandhi's killers: Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan and Nalini, lodged in Vellore Central Prison, were "jubilant like never before" on being informed about the government decision to release all seven convicts, jail officials said. They also said the convicts would be released once they received the orders from the government.
18:16  CAG pulls Defence Ministry for inducting tanks without ACs:  The Defence Ministry has been pulled up by CAG for ignoring the recommendation of a trial team and inducting Russian-made T-90 tanks without air conditioners, which caused "degradation" in their performance due to long exposure to heat and dust.
18:13  Rajdeep Sardesai tweets: Extended iview with Mamata on India at 9. Always fun and she serves good tea too!!
18:11  CPI-M: Telangana Bill tabled undemocratically:  The CPI-M Polit Bureau has said that the Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation Bill has been adopted in the Lok Sabha in an undemocratic way violating all norms and procedures.

"No debate took place on the Bill and it was adopted in the din by  a "voice vote".  The demand for a discussion made by some opposition parties was denied. All this was done in collusion between the Congress and the BJP," the statement read.
18:06  Just in: All reasonable options are open, says Congress about possibilities of alliance with or merger of TRS.
18:03  Robert Vadra shares his thoughts on Indian handicrafts. Watch
17:56  If a PM's killers are released, how can the common man get justice: Rahul :  Rahul Gandhi today said he was sad that seven people convicted of killing his father, former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, were being released by the Tamil Nadu government.

"My father became a martyr. We are against the death penalty. (But) If a Prime Minister's killers are being released, what kind of justice should the common man expect?" Gandhi said, hours after the Jayalalithaa government announced that all the convicts would be freed, a politically significant decision ahead of the national election, due by May. -- NDTV
17:46  Telangana Bill tomorrow, Sonia wants special status for Seemandhra :  Sonia Gandhi asks the PM to grant special category status to Seemandhra. 
17:45  Rajya Sabha to take up Telangana Bill tomorrow :   The Telangana bill will not be taken up in the Rajya Sabha today, the House has been adjourned for the day. Late in the afternoon, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reached out to the BJP over the bill to create a new Telangana state by dividing Andhra Pradesh.

Dr Singh met BJP's Rajya Sabha leaders Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu a day after the bill was passed under controversial circumstances in the Lok Sabha, with live telecast cut off.
17:27  T-bill passed in LS in violation of all norms: CPI(M):  The CPI(M) today attacked the BJP for "colluding" with the Congress in getting the controversial Telangana bill passed in Lok Sabha by "violating all norms and procedures." "The way the UPA government has conducted itself in the matter poses a threat to democracy and the federal principle," the party Politburo said in a statement.
16:54  Rahul: PM of the country was killed, sad that killers are being released:   Rahul Gandhi reacts to the Tamil Nadu government's decision to release Rajiv Gandhi's killers: PM of the country was killed.. am sad that the killers are being released.
16:30  Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 5 pm. 
16:28  MHA: Tamil Nadu has no authority to grant remission to Rajiv killers :  Just in: The home ministry says the state has no jurisdiction to grant remission to Rajiv Gandhi's killers. The MHA says there has no been communication yet from Tamil Nadu over the issue. However the state cabinet said earlier that the Centre would get three days to respond over the issue. 
16:25  PM meets Jaitley, Naidu on Telangana :  PM reaches out to BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu on the Telangana Bill. 
16:10  Telangana Bill to be tabled in Rajya Sabha shortly:  Telangana Bill to be introduced in the Rajya Sabha shortly. The house has already been adjourned thrice after ruckus when the bill was being discussed. 
16:07  LIVE! Maha CM backs Sanjay Dutt's parole: No rules were broken:   Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan backs Sanjay Dutt's parole saying no rules were broken while granting him bail.

Mumbai blast convict Sanjay Dutt's parole was extended by 30 days by the Maharashtra Government on Tuesday.

Dutt, convicted in the Mumbai serial blasts case, has been out on parole since December 21. He was scheduled to return to the Yerawada Central Prison on February 21. This is the third extension in his parole since he started his second stint in the jail in May 2013.
15:54  Those were the days. Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi during an election campaign trail. 
15:48  Only MM Joshi spoke before LS passed finance bill :  Lok Sabha today passed the Interim Budget for the financial year 2014-15 without much discussion. Finance Minister P Chidambaram introduced the Appropriation Bill and the Finance Bill amid din in the House by a voice vote. The Bills were passed without much discussion and only senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi spoke.
15:42  Mamata says the PM candidate will be declared after the elections. 
15:34  In the RS now: Street Vendors Bill being passed.
15:27  Anna: Will never support Kejriwal or AAP :  Anna Hazare says there is no question of supporting Arvind Kejriwal or his Aam Admi Party, which lays bare Kejriwal's claims that the relationship between the two was fine.

Anna says he will campaign for all TMC candidates in the 2014 polls.
15:24  O Maria! Raj meets Mumbai police chief :   Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, who recently led state-wide protests against toll collection, today met newly-appointed Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria at his office.

Thackeray visited Maria's office at the Police Headquarters in South Mumbai at about 11.15 am, police sources said adding the meeting between the MNS chief and city's top cop lasted for about 30 minutes. "It was a courtesy visit by Thackeray," Deputy Police Commissioner (spokesperson) Mahesh Patil said.
15:18  Karuna lauds Jayalalithaa for nod to release Rajiv killers :  DMK chief M Karunanidhi today lauded his arch political rival Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for her decision to release the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi Assassination case as the state cabinet move came in for praise from leaders cutting across party lines.

"This is not a quick decision. When I made this opinion [seeking release] in 2011, she did not accept it. However, today, I appreciate her for taking the same stance," Karunanidhi told reporters when asked if the decision could be considered a quick response.

The DMK chief also hoped that the Centre would concur with the state government's decision, saying if that happened "we could be more happy."
15:13  The Rajya Sabha debates the Telangana Bill over continued ruckus.
The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha yesterday in controversial circumstances, with live telecast cut off. The BJP today moved 20 amendments to the bill, which include a compensatory package for Seemandhra, the non-Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh which fears a smaller share of water, power and revenue from Telangana once the new state is created. 
15:10  Anna Hazare says the right to reject has not been created yet, even though we have achieved independence. We need laws for 'Right to Reject' & 'Right to Recall to be able to function as a democracy.
15:08  TMC MP Derek O'Brien tweets: At 4pm today tune into RS TV... It just might become Reality Shame TV
15:05  Mamata has assured me that all 17 points will be met: Anna :   Anna said Banerjee has accepted all the 17 points he had suggested in a letter spelling out pro-people policies. In the missive, Hazare had asked the West Bengal CM about her stand on implementing the policies if she came to power. Banerjee was the only leader to reply to Hazare's letter, sent to all political parties. "Mamata has assured me that all 17 points will be met," said Anna.
14:57  Anna-Mamata joint presser: I support her ideology, not party:  At the joint presser which is being held in New Delhi, Anna says he is supporting Mamata Banerjee's ideology, not her party. "Mamata has not taken a car or a house even after becoming CM. She still lives in a one-room house. She has been working tirelessly for the society and the nation," sid Anna. 
14:53  Anna, Mamata joint presser :  The Anna Hazare-Mamata Banerjee joint presser on now. Hazare is set to announce his support to Banerjee as the most suitable prime ministerial candidate of India and will share his reasons for supporting her.
14:50  LS passes finance bill :  Lok Sabha passes the Finance Bill completing the process of passage of the interim budget 2014-15. 
14:43  LIVE! 2012 Dwarka gang rape: Death sentence for all three convicts :  The Dwarka fast-track court has given the death sentence to three men convicted of gang-raping a 19-year-old woman in 2012.

After a two-year long trial, all three accused in the brutal gangrape and murder of the woman were convicted by a fast-track court on Thursday.

Rahul, 26, Ravi and Vinod, both 22, were convicted under section 302 with section 34 (attempt to murder with common intent), section 376 (g) (gangrape), section 363 (kidnapping) and section 201 (destruction of evidence) under the Indian Penal Code.

Read more: No mercy for my daughter's killers, says Delhi gangrape victim's mother
14:37  North Korea's storytelling autocrats:  North Korea's leaders are often thought of as ruthless, secretive autocrats but rarely as popular children's authors. However, between issuing instructions about prison camps and the development of nuclear weapons, Kim Jong-un's father and grandfather apparently found time to write stories for the young. n Read
14:30  Signposts to the path of determined resistance:  "The Ramanujan and the Doniger cases are signposts on the path to determined resistance." Gopal Gandhi's take on the Telegraph. Read
14:28   No request to US to track down Dawood Ibrahim:  Government today said it has not made any request to the US to track down the country's most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim.

"No formal request has been made by this Ministry to the US government," Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran informed Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

The government's response came in reply to a question of Shiv Sena member Anil Desai, who asked whether it is a fact that government has made a request to the US government to track down the wanted terrorist.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had recently said that Dawood is in Pakistan and joint efforts with the US were being made to nab him
14:24  Had MPs shown parl skills, democracy would've been stronger: Digvijaya:   Reacting to the passage of the Telangana Bill in Lok Sabha amid din and chaos, Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh has said if the MPs had shown "parliamentary skills" the democracy would have emerged stronger. "T-Bill passed by Voice Vote in a din.

Only if MPs had shown Parliamentary Skills and not Muscle Power Democracy would have emerged stronger," Digvijaya said in a tweet today.

The Bill to carve out Telangana, the 29th state, by splitting Andhra Pradesh was yesterday passed by the Lok Sabha with Congress and BJP coming together on the issue, amidst din, chaos and an unprecedented black out of television coverage.
14:22  Are single politicians really less corrupt?:  It is a truth often acknowledged in India that a single man with no familial ties must be incorruptible.

That widely-held opinion was backed by Narendra Modi, the man who wants to lead India after the next election, when he told a crowd that as a bachelor, he was best placed to tackle graft. Read
14:14  TDP MP apologises for manhandling RS secretary general:   Rajya Sabha reconvenes after an adjournment. TDP MP CM Ramesh apologises for manhandling the secretary general during the morning session, but ruckus continues in the house. The house drops action proceedings against Ramesh after his apology.

Ramesh had tried to snatch papers from the Secretary General, whose spectacles were dislodged in the scuffle.

The MP would have been suspended for the day but for his apology.

"You can't attack the staff. Very unfortunate," said PJ Kurien, who was presiding over the Rajya Sabha.
14:03  So long, farewell Mr Rajagopal:   Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar accepts resignation of Seemandhra MP L Rajagopal, who splashed pepper spray last week.
13:56  Kolkata's Rs 814 cr squatter :  The Calcutta race course is on illegal turf as it owes Rs 814 crore to the defence authorities -- the custodians of the Maidan -- as rent. Read
13:51  India recalls 1999 Kandahar humiliation:  Within two days of the Kabuliwallah making it to Kandahar, Maulana Masood Azhar resurfaced in Pakistan after years in hibernation.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid rubbed in with a touch of triumphalism during his speech at Kandahar on Saturday that after the 'Kandahar hijacking', an Indian minister was returning to the heartland of the Taliban movement. Whether Azhar's return to the arena on Monday could be a Pakistani riposte remains unclear.

Read the full blog by MK Bhadrakumar.
13:41  The full textof the Andhra Pradesh reorganisation bill or the Telangana Bill. 
13:36  RS to debate Telangana Bill at 4 pm, session may be extended:  The Telangana Bill will come up in the Rajya Sabha at 4 pm. The government says the RS sitting can be extended to pass the bill with discussion. 
13:32   Kiran Reddy had no option but to resign: Shinde:  Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today said Kiran Kumar Reddy was opposed to the division of Andhra Pradesh and was left with no other option but to resign as Chief Minister after the Centre's decision to split the state.

"A decision to create the state of Telangana by dividing Andhra has been taken. He was opposed to it. What other option did he have?," Shinde said.

Reddy today quit the Congress and resigned as Chief Minister and MLA, a day after the Lok Sabha passed the Telangana bill. He had been relentlessly opposing the Centre's decision to carve out a separate state of Telangana.
13:29  The BJP has also demanded a compensatory package on Seemandhra. 
13:27  LIVE! BJP moves 20 amendments to Telangana Bill in Rajya Sabha :  The Telangana Bill is being debated in the Rajya Sabha. The BJP tells the chair that there should be enough debate on the bill by all parties. The BJP has moved 20 amendments to the bill in the house. 
13:23  Above politics and passion:  It is a sign of the expanding vision of the Indian judiciary that it has reaffirmed the law relating to the correct and constitutional use of sovereign clemency powers without being weighed down by the political and high-profile nature of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. Read
12:59  Broken: Rahul Gandhis T Vinci code:  In an interesting read on the Telegraph, Calcutta. Rahul Gandhi took the name 'Rahul Vinci' when he studied for a year at Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1994-95, it was confirmed today. After his father's assassination in 1991, those closest to Rahul were paranoiac about his safety. Read
12:52  HC halts implementation of ex-AAP govt's waiver on powerbills:   The Delhi High Court today directed the city government not to implement the 50 per cent subsidy announced by it to people who did not pay their power bills from October 2012 to December 2013.

The court, meanwhile, directed the standing counsel for the Delhi government to seek instructions and file an affidavit indicating the actual position regarding the proposal of then AAP government.

The court passed the order as there was "no clarity" on whether the Delhi cabinet had taken a decision to implement the subsidy as claimed by the petitioner Vivek Sharma.
12:47  Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm after a TDP member protesting against Telangana snatches papers from the Secretary General.
12:36  Chidambaram: Kiran Reddy should have stepped down as CM sooner :  Chidambaram on the Telangana issue:

Congress has been too tolerant in dealing with dissent on Telangana.

I believe Kiran Reddy should have been asked to step down much sooner as Chief Minister.

The Lok Sabha telecast blackout is nothing to do with the government and we should not call it censorship as the press gallery was full and had access to the proceeding.
12:30  Chidambaram: Don't agree with Mani's tea vendor jibe at Modi:  Chidambaram tells NDTV that he disagrees with Mani Shankar Aiyar's jibe on Narendra Modi's background, that of a worker in a tea stall.

Manishankar Aiyar today mocked Narendra Modi's Prime Ministerial ambitions and said a place will be identified for the Gujarat Chief Minister to distribute tea here. "I promise you in 21st Century Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country. ...But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him," Aiyar said at the venue of the AICC meeting here.

Read more at:
Manishankar Aiyar today mocked Narendra Modi's Prime Ministerial ambitions and said a place will be identified for the Gujarat Chief Minister to distribute tea here. "I promise you in 21st Century Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country. ...But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him," Aiyar said at the venue of the AICC meeting here.

Read more at:
Aiyar had mocked Narendra Modi's Prime Ministerial ambitions and said a place will be identified for the Gujarat Chief Minister to distribute tea at the AICC session in New Delhi. "I promise you in 21st Century Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country. ...But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him," Aiyar said at the venue of the AICC meeting in New Delhi.
12:09  BJP condemns blackout of LS TV coverage:  The BJP today condemned the blackout of Lok Sabha TV coverage when the crucial Telangana bill was taken up in Lok Sabha and passed a resolution against it.

The blackout was planned and not a technical glitch as has been claimed by the Lok Sabha Secretariat yesterday, the BJP Parliamentary Party said.

The Parliamentary Party meeting, chaired by L K Advani, demanded that the proceedings be shown live when the bill is taken up in Rajya Sabha.
12:04  Chidambaram: Grief at Rajiv's loss will always be irreparable :  P Chidambaram on the Tamil Nadu government's decision to release Rajiv Gandhi's killers. Our grief at Rajiv Gandhi's loss is irreparable, but I don't see the decision to release them as cynical politics or mockery of justice. The decision to free them was taken by the courts and not a political party.
11:55  Tehelka case: Court allows Tejpal to get copy of CCTV footage:  A court in Goa today allowed Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal to get the CCTV footage of the five star hotel at Bambolim in north Goa, where he had allegedly raped his junior journalist colleague.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Anuja Prabhudesai ordered the court staff to hand over the copy of the CCTV footage to Tejpal by 5 pm today. Tejpal, who is currently lodged in Sada sub jail in Vasco town, had moved an application, seeking the CCTV footage, one of the crucial evidence produced by the crime branch in the charge sheet.

Tejpal, in a statement issued last night, had accused the crime branch of hiding the crucial CCTV footage which he said could give the accurate version of the events.
11:35  LIVE! TN govt gives Centre three days to decide to Rajiv killers :  The TN government has given the Centre three days to give its decision on the release of the Rajiv Gandhi killers. After three days, the Jayalalithaa government will go ahead and release all the seven people. 
11:31  AP CM Kiran Kumar Reddy resigns:   And so, Andhra Pradesh CM Kiran Kumar Reddy resigns as chief minister, MLA and a member of the Congress party. He will now be heading to the governor's office to give his resignation letter. His decision comes in the wake of the Telangana Bill being passed in the Lok Sabha yesterday. The bill is expected to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow.

On Tuesday, Kiran Kumar Reddy cleared files relating to the promotion of Hyderabad police commissioner Anurag Sharma and senior IPS officer SV Ramana Murthy to the director general rank. He also cleared the file appointing his press secretary A Satya Rao as chairman of the AP Press Academy.
11:22  A total of seven convicts to be released in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case:  A clarification: The number of convicts the Tamil Nadu government has decided to release in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case are seven, not four as reported earlier.

The other three are Robert Pious, Jayakumar and Ravichandran.
11:13  LIVE! MPs react to TV blackout yesterday: Parl adjourned :  Meanwhile, Parliament has been adjourned till noon after uproar over the blackout of LS TV during the Telangana debate in Lok Sabha and other issues.
11:09  Kapil Sibal wants to know...:  First reactions from Kapil Sibal, who says why is the BJP silent on the Tamil Nadu government's decision to release Rajiv Gandhi's killers when it was baying for Afzal Guru's blood. 
11:08  Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's cabinet met this morning and decided to free the four convicts a day after the court had left it to the state government to grant them remission. Murugan's wife Nalini Sriharan's death sentence had been commuted earlier on the intervention of Rajiv Gandhi's widow, Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
11:06  Bandh in Seemandhra region to protest against AP division:   Meanwhile, a bandh has been called by YSR Congress, TDP and other political parties is being observed in Seemandhra region of Andhra Pradesh today to protest against passage of the AP Reorganisation Bill-2013 in the Lok Sabha.
11:03  The decision to set free the seven Rajiv Gandhi killers was taken at an emergent cabinet meeting chaired by Jayalalithaa today.
10:48  TN govt to release all four Rajiv killers :  Yesterday, in a major relief to three condemned prisoners in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday commuted their death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground of 11 years delay in deciding their mercy plea by the Centre.

A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam rejected the Centre's submission that there was no unreasonable delay in deciding their mercy plea and the condemned prisoners did not go through agonising experience as they were enjoying life behind the bars.

The bench, also comprising justices Ranjan Gogoi and S K Singh, said they are unable to accept the Centre's view and commuted the death sentence of convicts -- Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan -- to imprisonment for life subject to remission by the government.

The fourth person also set to be released is Nalini. Nalini is serving a life sentence in the Vellore Central Prison.
10:45  LIVE! Jaya govt to release all four Rajiv Gandhi killers :  The Tamil Nadu government has decided to release all the four people who killed former PM Rajiv Gandhi. 
10:44   Sushma to take up Parl TV blackout :   The BJP's Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, has said she will take up with the Speaker today the TV blackout on Tuesday while the lower house hurriedly discussed and passed the controversial legislation that creates a Telangana state by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh. Read
10:34  Plea against AAP for giving power subsidies likely to be heard today:  
A public interest litigation challenging the subsidy granted by the Aam Aadmi Party government to those who did not pay their electricity bills from October 2012 to December 2013, is likely to be heard on Wednesday. 

Keeping with party leader Arvind Kejriwal's request during his campaign against high electricity bills in the capital, the AAP government in Delhi had granted a Rs 6 crore subsidy.

The PIL, filed by advocate Vivek Sharma, has been filed against Delhi government's announcement of 50 per cent waiver on electricity bills of people who defaulted in payment, saying it will "spread chaos and anarchy by rewarding defaulters instead of penalising them."

The PIL, which has also made Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleague Manish Sisodia a party to the case, claims it is on their advice that over 24,000 consumers stopped paying their power bills. "These people have not paid their bills from October 2012 to December 2013," the PIL has said.
09:37  Andhra Pradesh CM Reddy likely to resign today:  
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy may finally put in his papers on Wednesday after Telangana Bill got Lok Sabha's nod on Tuesday. 

Speculations were brewing up since day before yesterday that Reddy would resign soon after discussion on AP Reorganisation Bill would begin in the Lok Sabha. However, Reddy continued in his office and later confirmed that he will resign from the CM's post today. 

Reddy's resignation could pave way for imposition of President's rule in the state.
Reddy's aides had earlier shifted his personal belongings from his office at the secretariat and also from his official residence. Moreover, he shuffled some key vacancies in the government. 
09:14  Andhra Pradesh shutdown today on Jagan's call:  
Protesting against the Telangana Bill which was passed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy has called for Andhra Pradesh Bandh on Wednesday. 

Calling the Lok Sabha's approval on the bill 'undemocratic', Reddy on Tuesday termed it a black day in the history of the country. 

"The way the proceedings took place, the way the ayes, the way the noes were called by the Speaker, all of them very clearly showed how democracy could be killed in broad day light. It's a black day in the history of this country and we are declaring a bandh on Wednesday in Andhra Pradesh in protest," he told reporters outside Parliament.
Reddy has been protesting against the bifurcation of the state for a long time. Furthermore, he had also accused Congress president Sonia Gandhi of dividing the state for political gains. 

He has charged the ruling party with dividing the state with the sole aim of making Rahul Gandhi PM as it hoped to win some seats by aligning with TRS in Telangana. 
09:12  Sanjay Dutt gets parole extension for the third time:  
Sanjay Dutt has reportedly got his parole extended by one more month. 

The actor, who was out on parole owing to his wife Manyata Dutt's illness, was supposed to get back to the Yerwada jail in Pune on February, 21. However, the actor`s request for a further extension was approved yet again.

Dutt had secured the parole on December 21, 2013 from Pune's Yerawada Central Jail, which was extended to February 21 as Manyata was to undergo a surgery. This time again, Dutt requested the parole to be extended for another month in order to be by his wife;s side- who is recovering from the surgery.

Manyata was reportedly suffering from multiple ailments of the heart and liver and was admitted to Global Hospital in Parel, Mumbai, in January.

Apart from the parole on the grounds of his wife's sickness, the actor had earlier taken his first parole in October as he had fallen sick. The parole period was for 2 weeks which was extended for 15 days. 
09:11  Delhi HC to decide on removal of Gurgaon toll plaza today:  
Massive traffic snarls on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway may soon become a thing of the past as Delhi High Court will take a decision on removal of Gurgaon toll plaza on Wednesday. 

If the court allows the removal of toll plaza then a large portion of the expressway road will be left open for free traffic movement, as assured by National Highway Authority of India earlier. 

In a plea, NHAI,operator DGSCL and project financier IDFC had asked the court to order removal of the toll plaza. On the other hand, South Delhi Municipal Corporation had raised concerns over the collection of entry tax from all commercial vehicles entering Delhi. 

NHAI along with operator and financier had also agreed to make an alternate facility for SDMC to collect entry tax from commercial vehicles. 

Lakhs of commuters will be relieved from hours long traffic snarls which are quite common during the peak hours at Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway.
09:10  Earth just had another close shave... :  
An asteroid estimated to be the size of three football fields whizzed close to Earth on Monday, roughly a year after one exploded over Russia and injured 1,200 people. 

Slooh Space Camera tracked the approach of the asteroid as it raced past the planet at about 27,000 mph (43,000 kmph), starting at 9 pm EST (2 am GMT, February 18), the robotic telescope service said in a statement on 

The Dubai Astronomy Group provided Slooh photos of the part of the sky where the rock was expected to be seen, but its motion could not be picked out immediately in a live webcast against the backdrop of night-time stars.

The 295-yard (270-m) asteroid was streaking past Earth at a distance of about 2.1 million miles (3.4 million km) little more than a year after another asteroid exploded on February 15, 2013, over Chelyabinsk, Russia. That asteroid injured 1,200 people following a massive shock wave that shattered windows and damaged buildings. 
09:09  Whistle-blower fired from US nuclear site:  
A whistle-blower who raised safety concerns at the most polluted nuclear weapons production site in the US has been fired from her job at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. 

Donna Busche's complaints are part of a string of whistle-blower and other claims related to the design and safety of an unfinished waste treatment plant at Hanford, created by the federal government in the 1940s as part of the top-secret project to build the atomic bomb. Today, it is the nation's most contaminated nuclear site, where cleanup costs about $2 billion each year. 

Busche, 50, said she was called into the office yesterday morning and told she was being fired for cause. 

"I turned in my key and turned in my badge and left the building," Busche told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Richland, where Hanford is located. 

Busche worked for URS Corp., which is helping build a $12 billion plant to turn Hanford's most dangerous wastes into glass. Construction of the plant has been halted over safety concerns. Busche has filed complaints with the federal government, alleging she has suffered retaliation since filing her original safety complaint in 2011.
02:31  PoK, Pak refugees have occupied 5,808 acres of land in J&K:  Refugees of Pakistan occupied Kashmir and West Pakistan have occupied 5,808 acres of land in Jammu and Kashmir since their migration to this side of LoC.

"These families (of PoK and West Pak refugees) occupied 5,808.25 acres of land and since then they continue to occupy such land," Minister of State for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Ajaz Ahmed Khan told the Legislative Council today.

The minister was replying to a clubbed Calling Attention Notice by Congress members Ravinder Kumar Sharma, Naresh Kumar Gupta and B R Kundal.
00:18  Journalist-turned-militant Khurasani wants to seize nukes, topple govt:  Thenews reports: Umar Khalid Khurasani, the ameer of the Mohmand Agency chapter of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan is a journalist-turned-jehadi commander whose declared objectives as a staunch follower of bin Laden are to overthrow the government of Pakistan, impose Shariah, seize nuclear weapons and wage jehad until the Caliphate is established.

Read the full story here
00:10  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  N D Tiwari moves HC for 'amicable settlement' of paternity case
MP who used pepper spray in Parliament 'quits' politics
Sonia Gandhi's grim resolve created Telangana: Jaipal Reddy
More trouble for Congress! Chiranjeevi threatens to stall Telangana Bill in RS
Power tariff subsidy, other AAP govt initiatives to stay
Bitter Chandrababu Naidu: Congress played a game on T-Bill; BJP didn't do its duty

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