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LIVE! Kejriwal protest 'theatre of the absurd': Jaitley

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January 21, 2014

22:58  Pawar to file nomination for Rajya Sabha polls on Jan 24:  Union Agriculture Minister and NCP president Sharad Pawar will file his nomination papers for the biennial Rajya Sabha elections from Maharashtra on January 24.

The term of seven Rajya Sabha members from the state expires on April 2. The elections will be held on February 7. Pawar is the sitting Lok Sabha member from the Madha constituency in Western Maharashtra.

He had recently declared that he was opting out of electoral politics and would be in the Rajya Sabha and devote more time to the party. NCP has two retiring members Y P Trivedi and Janardhan Waghmare.

State NCP president Bhaskar Jadhav said Pawar would file his papers on January 24 and the name of the second candidate will be finalised tomorrow.
22:41  Kejriwal protest 'theatre of the absurd': Jaitley:  BJP leader Arun Jaitley today termed as "theatre of the absurd" Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's protest and said by calling it off, Republic Day has been saved though the Republic has been "weakened".

Attacking the Aam Aadmi Party for the protest which was an "absurdly disproportionate" action to the demand, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said the new outfit lost not only its reputation but also its image as a responsible government and the sympathy among its voters.

"This was a theatre of the absurd. AAP had threatened to disturb the Republic Day because of an SHO not being suspended. It is an absurdly disproportionate action to the demand... At the end of the day, we saved the Republic Day and we weakened the Republic," he told PTI.
21:48  INS Sindhughosh embarks on patrolling mission:  The INS Sindhughosh, which had a close shave last week while entering the harbour here, today left the port on a patrolling mission. The submarine left the Mumbai harbour on a patrolling mission, navy sources said, stressing that the vessel was in good condition and had not suffered any damage.

The INS Sindhughosh is a Kilo Class submarine of the Navy procured from Russia. Last week on Friday, the submarine had encountered a situation where there was very less water in the harbour but held to its position using ropes and other means but was not grounded, they said.

In August last year, the navy lost its latest submarine INS Sindhurakshak after an explosion in its torpedo section killing all the 18 personnel on board.
21:47  Narayan Sai's female disciple surrenders before police:  Controversial godman Asaram's son Narayan Sai's close accomplice Jamna today surrendered before the police in connection with a rape case registered against him by one of two city-based sisters.

Jamna, who is said to be mother of Sai's son, had evaded questioning by police since he was arrested on December 4 in connection with the rape case. "Narayan Sai's female disciple Jamna, with whom Sai had fathered a child, surrendered today before Surat police. We will arrest her and produce her before court tomorrow," DCP (Crime) Shobha Bhutada told PTI.

Police said Jamna had been named in the original FIR and her interrogation will strengthen the case against Sai. Jamna had informed police that she was in an ashram in Madhya Pradesh. Sai was apprehended from Haryana-Delhi border after evading arrest for nearly two months in the sexual assault case lodged against him by an inmate of his Surat-based ashram.
20:44  AAP govt should be dismissed immediately: Kiran Bedi:  Attacking the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government here for "promoting anarchy", former IPS officer Kiran Bedi today said it should be dismissed immediately.

"Elected government which practises and promotes anarchy ought to be dismissed by the President of India without further loss of time!," Bedi, a member of Team Anna, wrote on social networking website Twitter.

Training her guns at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, she tweeted, "CM Delhi said he is an anarchist. Dictionary meaning of an anarchist is one who is unruly, lawless, illegal and confused+ Did we want such?"
20:31  Soldier wounded in blast in Poonch:  An Army jawan was wounded in a blast along the Line of Control in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir today.

Naik Khubi Ram accidentally stepped on an unexploded device during patrolling along the LoC in Krishnagati area, a Defence spokesman said.

The device went off wounding him, he said adding the soldier was admitted to the Military Hospital in Rajouri.
19:54  Dabholkar murder: Two accused sent to custody till Jan 28 :  Two alleged firearm dealers, arrested in connection with the rationalist Narendra Dabholkar murder case, were today remanded in police custody till January 28 by a local court here.

Manish Nagori and Vikas Khandelwal, accused of involvement in criminal conspiracy part of the murder, were produced before Judicial Magistrate First Class A B Shaikh with a prosecution plea for 14-day custody for interrogation.

They were taken into custody by Pune police yesterday from a Thane jail where they were lodged in a separate case.

The duo told the court they had nothing to do with the murder and their counsel claimed his clients were offered Rs 25 lakh by Maharashtra ATS to confess their involvement in the crime.
19:40  Arvind Kejriwal calls off dharna; SHOs to be sent on leave:  Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called off the ongoing dharna after he was told that the SHOs of Paharganj and Malaviya Nagar wouyld be sent on leave.
19:05  This is pure and simple arrogance of power: Justice Hegde:  
Former Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde says Arvind Kejriwal should withdraw protest as it will affect AAP in Lok Sabha elections. Hegde further tells AAP: You can't take the law in your own hands. Just because Mahatma Gandhi did it, you can't do in the 21st century. 

"I was happy when AAP formed the government, but now I am very disappointed... This is pure and simple arrogance of power, not political immaturity."

Kiran Bedi demands dismissal of AAP government, imposition of President's rule. 

"Elected Government which practices and promotes anarchy ought to be dismissed by the President of India without further loss of time!" she tweeted.

18:08  Army chief requests govt to clear the protest site: correspondent reports: The Army chief has requested the government to clear the area around Rail Bhavan of protestors.

They want secure possession of the huge parking area next to Parliament to park their military equipments
17:59  Aam Aadmi Party leaders hold emergency meet:  Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal meets senior AAP leaders Manish Sishodia, Yogendra Yadav and others at Press Club. 

Meanwhile, AAP spokesperson Ashutosh says, "We have a plan for Republic Day, there will be no disruptions. We are open to dialogue. Kejriwal is a responsible Chief Minister.
17:42  Everyone has the right to protest. We will keep on protesting: Shazia Ilmi:  AAP leader Shazia Ilmi, speaking at an event at the Jaipur Literature Festival, says, "In a democracy, everyone has the right to protest, including the chief minister. We will keep on protesting till our democracy becomes more democratic"
17:31  11 injured in clashes with police at AAP protest site:  Television channels are reporting that at least 11 people injured in clashes with police at AAP protest site
Hundreds of slogan-shouting people in Gandhi caps pushed, climbed and crossed barricades, severely straining the cops who refused to let anyone close to the site of Kejriwal's protest.

Some protesters were injured when the police used batons on those who jumped over barricades.

Four policemen were also injured in the violence. There was also stone-pelting. AAP claimed their protest has been "infiltrated" by people from other political parties.
17:04  Delhi Police chief BS Bassi is meeting Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde at North Block.
17:03  ABP correspondent Ratna Shukla heckled by crowd at AAP protest site
17:02  There is total chaos in Delhi: Jaitley:  
There is total chaos in Delhi, says Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.

The government has no vision, therefore it is creating this anarchy, Jaitley says, adding, It is the matter of regret that a young party is trying to disrupt Republic Day 
16:05  Kejriwal, AAP leaders meet inside Rail Bhawan:  Meanwhile, Kerjriwal is meeting senior AAP leaders inside the Rail Bhawan as clashes with Delhi Police personnel continue outside.
15:49  LIVE! Fresh clashes erupt between AAP supporters and police:  

Now fresh clashes have erupted at Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's protest venue, with AAP supporters clashing with Delhi Police personnel.  


Some AAP supporters have broken police barricades. Even the police have resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the protestors.    Crowds have swelled up, and one policeman is already injured in the clashes.

15:28  'No question of involving army to tackle protestors':  

Army will not be involved to scatter Arvind Kejriwal's protest, sources told NDTV, adding that army is not responsible for law and order around the Republic Day parade venue.  


Meanwhile, CNN IBN quotes its sources and reports that Delhi Police personnel have been ordered to show restraint while dealing with AAP protestors.

14:57  Now BJP activists demand resignation of Bharti:  

A group of BJP youth activists led by Delhi party president Vijay Goel today staged a protest in New Delhi demanding resignation of Law Minister Somnath Bharti for allegedly misbehaving with women in south Delhi last week.        


The protesters began their march from Delhi BJP office towards Kejriwal's protest site at Rail Bhavan but were stopped by police and ITBP personnel at Parliament Street.        


Demonstrators raising anti-AAP and anti-Kejriwal slogans demanded resignation of Bharti and tried to break barricades and jostled with security personnel.         The protesters along with Goel were detained and taken to Parliament Street Police Station in two buses. They were later released.        


Bharti had created a controversy last week when he went to a locality in his constituency of Malviya Nagar, claiming a drug and prostitution ring was being run from a residence and demanded police raid the place.

14:30  AAP protestors lathi-charged:  

NDTV reports Delhi Police personnel resorted to lathi-charge after AAP protestors clashed with them at the agitation venue near Rail Bhawan.


The report also states that a policeman has been injured in the clashes.

14:13  'Rajniti AC kamro se nahi chalegi!':  Meanwhile,'s Sheela Bhatt spoke to agitating Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday on Ground Zero. The AAP leader told, "Rajniti air condition kamro se nahi chalegi' Yeh to bas aise hi chalegi! (Politics will have to step out from AC rooms. Now this is the new way of politics).
14:04  Kejriwal speaking like Maoists, is clueless on governance: BJP:  

Holding Aam Admi Party and the Congress responsible for the "anarchic situation" in the capital, BJP today charged that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is speaking the language of Maoists and is clueless about running the government and keeping his promises.       



"This is a joint operation of AAP and Congress which has led to an anarchic situation in Delhi. Both have reasons for doing this," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.        


He charged that Kejriwal wants to duck questions about the action he had promised to take against corrupt ministers of the Sheila Dikshit government.   "Kejriwal has launched this agitation to save the indicted ministers.


Last year he ran away from Anna Hazare's agitation at Jantar Mantar saying nothing will be achieved by it and we should come to power. Now that he is in power he is saying let us take to the streets. This is just a diversionary tactic," Javadekar said.        


Congress, on the other hand, is aware that it cannot face BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and needs AAP as "crutches".         "AAP is engaging in this drama as it is looking for an excuse to get out of power," Javadekar said.

13:15  LDF stages walkout in Kerala assembly over palmolein case:  

The CPI-M-led LDF today staged a walkout in the Kerala assembly over the UDF government's decision to wind up the two-decade old palmolein import case.        


The opposition alleged that it was a move to pre-empt the possibility of Chief Minister Ommen Chandy being made an accused as he was finance minister when the deal took place.        


Seeking leave for an adjournment on the issue, V S Sunil Kumar (CPI)) attacked the government over its move to go for appeal against the vigilance court order, disallowing the withdrawal petition filed by the government.        


Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, however, defended the decision, holding that the state exchequer did not suffer any loss due to import of palmolein.         Leading his colleagues out of the House after a heated debate, Opposition Leader V S Achuthanandan said the government's stand had no justification.

13:14  Polls heat up Kashmir winter:  

This winter promises to be hot in Jammu and Kashmir politics. All three top parties have gone into "election gear' and are conducting "quiet' and "visible' activities to garner support ahead of the 2014 Parliamentary as well as Assembly elections.


The ruling National Conference's (NC) December 5 rally at Naseembagh, Hazratbal, to mark the 108th birth anniversary of party founder and former chief minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, was effectively the first major "show of strength' by any of the three top political parties.


In the rally'"attended by top party leaders, including Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his father and Union minister Farooq Abdullah'"NC snubbed ally Congress by announcing its candidates for all three Lok Sabha seats from Kashmir.


A senior NC leader said the party recently restructured its youth wing to get them involved in party affairs. The youth brigade along with party leaders will work at grassroots level, listen to the grievances of cadres and people, and try to sort them out. "The party is more focussed on South Kashmir, where PDP president Mehbooba Mufti will contest parliamentary election from Pulwama-Anantnag seat,' he added.


Read more Sunday Standard

12:22  Stage set for a royal wedding:  

The Maharaja of Patnagarh, K.V. Singh Deo, a former minister who heads the state unit of the BJP, is pulling out all stops to make the wedding of his only child, Nivritti Kumari Singh Deo, a grand affair.


Nivritti, 28, who studied hotel management in Switzerland, is set to tie the knot with Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar, 29, of Udaipur here tomorrow. Everything about this marriage seems to be gilt-edged beginning with the invitations replete with honorifics preceding each name. If K.V.

Singh Deo is addressed as Maharaja Saheb Shriman and his wife, Sangeeta, a former MP, as Her Highness Maharani Sahiba, the bride takes the title of Maharaj Kumari Jema Moni Sahiba. In the same vein, the groom, Lakshyaraj, son of Arvind Singh Mewar and Vijayraj Kumari Mewar of Udaipur, is referred to as Baojiraj Saheb Shriman.


Around 5,000 guests, a majority of them representing various royal families of the country, are likely to attend the wedding with most of the star hotels in the city booked for them.


The imposing guest list also includes the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. BJP national president Rajnath Singh, leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, herself a royal, and her Chhattisgarh counterpart Raman Singh are expected to attend along with some other high profile party leaders.


Read the story on The Telegraph

12:20  Truth is the best defence:  

All the compassion that we would like to show Shashi Tharoor may not dilute the need to invoke the law of the land with the greatest possible seriousness.


Let all the facts come out, so that political prejudice does not unjustly halt the career of an otherwise eminently likeable, well-meaning and genial individual.


Read former CBI director R K Raghavan's opinion piece on The Hindu

12:15  Rains force 'unwell' Kejriwal to take shelter in car:  

Agitating under the open sky, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal along with his ministerial colleague Manish Sisodia was forced to take refuge in his small blue car as the skies opened up this morning.        


As Kejriwal decided to sit in the four wheeler to escape the rain, his personal staff from the Delhi government told PTI. The staff also said that he was unwell.   "Sahab (Kejriwal) has cold and slight fever. He is resting inside the car. Sisodia sahab and Madam (Kejriwal's wife) are also there with him," said one of his staff members.        


Last night, Kejriwal slept on the road under the open sky while some of his supporters spent the night singing and raising slogans around a bonfire         Some Aam Aadmi Party workers were seen covering themselves with huge vinyl party posters to protect themselves from the rain.        


The Rajpath and its adjoining areas offered an interesting spectacle with Republic Day preparations in full swing in one corner while the other corner was brimming with supporters of AAP who were sitting on a dharna outside Rail Bhavan.        


Though there was a small crowd in the morning as compared to what it was last evening, AAP supporters started thronging the venue gradually and raised slogans against Delhi Police and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

12:03  Rebuilding the rainbow:  

The Congress needs to build coalitions, not across parties, but across social sections.  


On the one hand, there is a disconnect between the imagination of the leadership at the top and the reality of how the Congress behaves locally. On the other, there is also a disconnect between the party and the people. How the Congress party bridges this double disconnect will mostly decide how much damage control it can do in the short time left before the elections.


Read Suhas Palshikar's opinion piece on The Indian Express

12:01  Greed and amnesia: Cricke's ugly future:  

It is the match made in heaven - the meeting of the forces of greed and commerce with amnesia. The lure of those few dollars more can make you forget anything. Yesterday's enemies become today's friends. Those that slighted you repeatedly once are now your brothers in arms. If you follow cricket, you would know this. There has been so much evidence of this celestial partnership over the past few years.


Read Dilip Premachandran's column on The Economic Times

11:59  The dark side of the aam aadmi:  

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi seems to have lost it. Drunk with self-righteousness, it violated all laws and basic decency recently by rounding up and humiliating African women in the middle of the night in south Delhi.

The AAP's defence is that its volunteers stepped in because the police was doing nothing about an alleged drug and prostitution racket. Does that entitle them to enter women's homes without a search warrant and, worse still, at night?


Read A Srinivas' column on The Hindu Business Line

11:51  SC ruling may impact Bhullars case:  

CN IBN: Tuesday's Supreme Court judgementmay impact Devinder Singh Bhullar's case as well.  


Bhullar was sentenced to death by a trial court on August 25, 2001 for plotting terror attacks on Punjab Senior Superintendent of Police Sumedh Singh Saini in 1991 and Youth Congress leader MS Bitta in 1993, in which nine people were killed.



11:27  SC to hear PIL against Kejriwals dharna:  Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the public interest litigation filed against the agitation by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
11:21  'A death convict must be hanged within 14 days after dismissal of his mercy petition':  

Delay in deciding mercy plea is a relevant ground for commuting death sentence to life imprisonment, the SC ruled.    


Death sentence of a condemned prisoner cannot be executed if he is suffering from mental illness and schizophrenia and must be commuted to life imprisonment, the apex court ruled, adding, "Solitary confinement of a death convict and other prisoners is unconstitutional'.  


A death convict must be hanged within 14 days after dismissal of his mercy petition, the top court ruled.  


"Death convict and his family members must be informed after his mercy plea is rejected by the President or governor, the apex court also said.   "Legal aid be provided inside jail to the condemned prisoners', it also ruled.    


The apex court also commuted the death sentence of four aides of forest brigand Veerappan to life term on ground of delay in deciding their mercy plea by the government.

11:12  LIVE! SC commutes death sentence of 15 convicts on grounds of delay:  

The Supreme Court has commuted death penalty of 15 convicts on grounds of delay and mental illness. Commutation only if there's inordinate delay, the apex court has ruled, adding that the government cannot keep mercy petitions pending for years.


The verdict will impact four associates of Sandalwood smuggler Veerappan, who are convicted of killing 22 people in landmine blasts, NDTV reports. Today's verdict is also likely to have a bearing on the cases of Rajiv Gandhi's assassins Murugan, Arivu and Santhan, whose mercy petitions are also pending in the top court.



10:11  AAP not responsible for chaos, says Sisodia:  

Delhi Education Minister and AAP leader Manish Sisodia has told TV channels that they are not responsible for the 'chaos'.  


"We never asked for the metros to be shut,' he sought to point out. "It was the Central government which is responsible for the chaos as they have taken this decision'.

10:07  Live! Cong may reconsider supporting Kejriwal: Jairam :  

CNN IBN: Union Minister Jairam Ramesh said the Congress party may be reconsidering their support to the Aam Aadmi Party in the wake of the recent protests against the Central government and the Delhi Police.


The AAP was only able to form the government in the national capital with the outside support of the Congress. Ramesh said, "If the governance suffers, if AAP is going to continue in this trajectory of needless and deliberate confrontation, party is going to consider seriously whether we should continue our support or not."

09:20  LIVE! 'Who is Shinde to decide my protest venue; I am the CM':  As crowds continue to swell, Arvind Kejriwal has dared Sushilkumar Shinde saying, "Who is Shinde to decide my protest venue? I am the CM of Delhi'.
09:17  Now Somnath Bharti conducts midnight raid on 24X7 store:  

CNN IBN: Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti has stirred up another controversy as he conducted a midnight raid on a store on January 11. The CCTV footage from a 24X7 store in Saket showed the Law Minister conducting a mindight raid on the shop. B


Bharti reportedly got into an altercation with the store's attendants when they were unable to produce the establishment license on the spot. The manager said the license was with the store's owner and would be produced the next day. Two police constables tried intervening but to no effect. Police have now filed a report on the issue.

08:53  Kejriwal tries to open barricades forcefully, moves to Raisina Road:  

CNN IBN: Arvind Kejriwal tried to open the barricades at the Rail Bhawan forcefully. He then tried to get some supporters on his side of the barricade. Kejriwal is now sitting at Raisina Road.


The crowds at Arvind Kejriwal's protest site have started swelling.

08:36  LIVE! Kejriwal spends night on streets, wonders how can Shinde sleep peacefully:  

After spending a night on the streets, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is wondering how can Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde sleep peacefully at night when rapes occur in Delhi every night?  


"This is an indefinite protest,' he also said, adding, "We will fill the streets with lakhs of supporters'.   "There won't be any negotiations (with the government), this is not a grocery shop,' he also commented.  


Meanwhile, all roads leading to Raisina Hills in Lutyen's Delhi have been barricaded, and four metro stations continue to be shut.  


On being asked about the Republic Day celebrations which will get hampered due to AAP's ongoing dharna, Kejriwal said, "This is the real Republic'.

01:57  Pak police registers FIR against toddler!:  Pakistani police has registered an FIR against a two-and-a-half-year-old boy on dacoity and snatching charges in the most populous Punjab province.

The FIR was registered at the Daulat Gate police station in Multan against the toddler, Saud, on the complaint of a person named Arshad who apparently had a property dispute with Saud's mother, the Samaa TV channel reported.

The matter came to light when the mother approached the court last week and informed it about the incident. The court then sought an explanation from the station house officer of Daulat Gate police station.

"We have suspended the SHO and are investigating the matter," a senior police officer said.

Image for representation only

Photograph: Mohsin Raza/Reuters
01:08  AAP protest: 4 metro stations to remain closed tomorrow:   Four metro stations in the north block area of the national capital will remain closed from tomorrow morning till further notice in the wake of sit-in protest by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party.

In a late night direction to DMRC by the Delhi Police, no services will be available at the four stations -- Patel Chowk, Central Secretariat, Udhyog Bhavan and Race Course -- from 6 am onward till further notice, a DMRC official said.

Also, no interchange will be available at Central Secretariat. Trains on Line 6 coming from Badarpur to Central Secretariat will terminate at Khan Market metro station and this arrangement will be in place till further directions, the official said tonight.
00:22  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  Why Arvind Kejriwal's ambition is also his dilemma 
AAP office ransacked over Kumar Vishwas's remarks on Malayali nurses
MEA rebuts Kejriwal's claim on Ugandan official meeting Bharti
Gangrape again in Kolkata, one arrested
Tough time for Delhi Police personnel at Kejriwal dharna site

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