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LIVE! Salman takes blame as Jai Ho fails to get bumper start

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January 27, 2014


23:19  Read: Cong tried to stop '84 riots, Modi govt did the opposite in 2002: Rahul:  

Read the full interview report slideshow   #Rahul-vs-Arnab

 

Also, don't forget to register your vote on Rahul's interview. Click here   #Rahul-vs-Arnab

23:08  Salman takes blame as Jai Ho fails to get bumper start:  

Salman Khan says that he is ready to take the blame for his much-talked about film 'Jai Ho' not getting the expected big opening at the box office.        

 

'Jai Ho', the first big-budget release of 2014, could not get a bumper start unlike the recent Salman Khan-starrers such as 'Wanted', 'Bodyguard' and 'Dabangg'.        

 

The Sohail Khan-directed film earned Rs 17 crore on  the opening day. "The overall collections of the film matter. I am not affected by the figures of my film. If the film gets a good opening, it's good. If it doesn't, nobody has failed but me. I could not give the reason for people to perhaps see the film. No one can predict the collections of a film. We have made a beautiful and a good film. It is entertaining film with a dose of action and it also gives a good message," Salman said at an event in Mumbai.  

 

"Perhaps I have failed in bringing in the people. We tried to do something different and may be people did not want to see the film as they expected to see a 'Dabangg', 'Bodyguyard' kind of a film. They wanted to enjoy. Some people understood that this is not that kind of film and that it is a serious film," he said.

22:27  RTI a game-changer: Rahul:  On asked about a clean investment environment and not scams, Rahul says RTI has changed the game. "And we did that," he says.  #Rahul-vs-Arnab
22:25  Shinde's role vis-a-vis AAP was superficial: Rahul:  Were your angry with HM when he gave a face-saver to Kejriwal, asks Arnab. "I liked that people came into the system of the AAP. But we have a structure, they don't. AAP does not have processes,' Rahul says. Shinde's role vis-a-vis AAP was superficial, he adds.    #Rahul-vs-Arnab
22:21  I don't get driven by desire for power: Rahul:  The 'power is poison' remark' I don't get driven by the desire for power. Quest for power is not there in me, says Rahul.  #Rahul-vs-Arnab
22:11  If I don't have a thick skin I'll develop one: Rahul:  Arnab tells Rahul that you don't have a thick skin. "If I don't, I'll develop a thick skin now,' the Congress leader says.  #Rahul-vs-Arnab
22:09  I'll show you my Harvard/Cambridge degrees if you want: Rahul:  Arnab questions Rahul about serious questions raised by Subramaniam Swamy on his educational qualifications. I have given a sworn affidavit with my degrees from Cambridge and Harvard, says Rahul.   #Rahul-vs-Arnab
22:02  Personally I'm against dynasty politics: Rahul:  Rahul admits that dynasty proliferated in the Congress because the system is closed. Personally I'm against dynasty politics, says Rahul.   #Rahul-vs-Arnab
22:00  I didn't choose to be born in the Gandhi family: Rahul:  I never invoke my family name. I've done that a few times, and media reports it. I didn't choose to be born in this family, says Rahul.  #Rahul-vs-Arnab
21:56  I'm always blamed when Cong loses an election: Rahul:  When Congress wins an election, I never get the credit. But when we lose, I'm always the cause, and that's ridiculous, says Rahul. #Rahul-vs-Arnab
21:53  Rahul on charges against Dikshit: 'Law will take its course':  

On asked about the support the AAP, Rahul said the party won an election in Delhi and should be given a chance to prove themselves. "So we wanted to assist them,' he says.   Rahul says the Congress can learn from the AAP how to reach out to the common people. However, he adds that the real power of the Congress is in its depth, even taking a jibe at Arnab that he underestimates the power of the Congress.  

 

When asked about former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit facing charges of irregularity in the CWG scam case, Rahul reiterates that 'law will take its own course, and guilty will be punished'.  #Rahul-vs-Arnab

21:45  Price rise is a reality: Rahul:  When asked has UPA 2 let him down on skyrocketing inflation, Rahul says "price rise is a reality'. #Rahul-vs-Arnab
21:43  Cong allies with parties, not individuals: Rahul:  Rahul when asked about tying up with Lalu, said that Congress is joining hands with parties on their views and not an alliance with an individual. #Rahul-vs-Arnab
21:41  Have made my views abundantly clear on scams: Rahul:  

When asked why haven't he spoken against coal-gate, CWG scams, Rahul says, "I was reporting to the PM, and whatever my stands I made it abundantly clear to the PM'.  

 

"I think I've made my views abundantly clear on CWG, 2G, coal-gate', he says.  #Rahul-vs-Arnab

21:35  Rahul on Ashok Chavan: Cong has never spared the corrupt:  

When asked about former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan's alleged involvement in the Adarsh scam, Rahul says that the Congress has always taken a proactive stand and acted against any member who was indulged in corruption.

 

"I made my position on Ashok Chavan clear. Every person in the Congress who is corrupt gets punished,' Rahul says.

 

"There are six (anti-graft) bills which are yet to passed in the Parliament. Please help in passing them,' Rahul tries to hit back, in a veiled attack on opposition parties.  #Rahul-vs-Arnab

21:29  Twitterati is abuzz over the Arnab-Rahul interview:  

Uma Sudhir (@umasudhir) tweeted at 9:22 PM on Mon, Jan 27, 2014: I strongly suspect RG is speaking in third person bcos he desperately does not want to be in RG's shoes #arnabspeakstorahul  #Rahul-vs-Arnab

 

Karan ?@kerryoN One is tomayto, the other is tomahto. "@timesnow: Rahul says there is a "huge difference" between 1984 and 2002 riots #RahulSpeaksToArnab"

21:27  Open to idea of bringing parties under RTI: Rahul:  Now Rahul Gandhi says that he is open to the idea of bringing the political parties under the RTI. "I'm absolutely for transparency, and has brought fundamental changes to NSUI,' he says. #Rahul-vs-Arnab
21:24  Gujarat riots and anti-Sikh riots different: Rahul:  Rahul says that 2002 Gujarat riots and 1984 anti-Sikh riots are different.. #Rahul-vs-Arnab. Elaborating, he says that although innocent people died in 1984 riots, something which should not have happened, the Congress government was trying to stop it. The opposite happened in Gujarat in 2002, where the state government was allowing the riots to take place. #Rahul-vs-Arnab
21:17  'Modi was CM of Gujarat when riots took place':  

Rahul Gandhi hold Narendra Modi responsible for the 2002 riots in Gujarat. "He was the chief minister then,' he points out.  

 

Arnab asked Rahul for the fourth time about why the Congress was blaming Modi when the SIT and the courts had given him a clean chit, Rahul said, "The riots took place, people died and Mr Narendra Modi was in charge of Gujarat at that point".  

 

Rahul later says that his party is essentially fighting an ideological battle with the BJP. #Rahul-vs-Arnab   

21:12  We will defeat the BJP in the next elections: Rahul:  We will defeat the BJP in the next elections, says the Congress vice president #Rahul-vs-Arnab
21:10  Rahul is dillydallying on a direct question on Narendra Modi, says he and the Congress want to change the system.#Rahul-vs-Arnab
21:08  'I'm not scared of anyone; this system must be changed':  

My father, grand mother were forced to enter politics. I've seen my father die, my grandmother going to jail. I'm not scared of anything.    

 

I've seen that this system took away the people whom I loved from me. I feel this system must be changed.. #Rahul-vs-Arnab

21:05  I'm not scared of a direct contest with Narendra Modi, the BJP's PM candidate. #Rahul-vs-Arnab
21:04  Not avoiding direct contest; Cong lawmakers will choose PM: Rahul:  Rahul denies avoiding a direct contest. The Congress leader says that the party elected lawmakers are the people who will choose the prime minister. #Rahul-vs-Arnab
21:01  This is my first formal interview: Rahul:  This is not my first interview, this is my first formal interview, says Rahul in opening remarks. #Rahul-vs-Arnab
20:58  Rahul all set to 'Face the Nation':  In a matter of minutes, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's first TV interview with Arnab Goswami will begin. Let's see what the Congress leader has to say. #Rahul-vs-Arnab
20:31  'Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo' event:

Families of martyrs of the 1962 Indo-China war are being honoured at the function held at Mahalakshmi Racecourse in Mumbai.    
20:07  Cross-LoC trade stand-off: No breakthrough at India, Pak meet:   Indian and Pakistani authorities today met at Kaman Post to end the 11-day impasse over the arrest of a driver from across Line of Control trade following recovery of brown sugar valued at Rs 100 crore from his vehicle, but a breakthrough remained elusive.

"A meeting took place at Kaman Post today between officials from our side and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir side. However, the situation continues as it was," Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Shailendra Kumar told PTI.

He said the Indian officials stood their ground that the Pakistani driver would not be released before facing the due course of law.
20:00  Lata Mangeshkar, Modi share dais @ 'Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo' event:  Iconic singer Lata Mangeshkar and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi share dais at the Mahalakshmi Racecourse in Mumbai where an event is held to honour the song 'Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo', which has completed 51 years.

The crowd has poured in filling up the empty chairs in the VVIP stand.

On the stage more than a dozen top ranking retired defence services officials are present including General V P Malik, who was the army chief during the Kargil War.

Mangeshkar and Modi have arrived but the programme has not yet started.

The announcement  is made to policemen to allow ' thousands of people' in.

The volunteers have been complaining that the heavy security is not allowing people to occupy empty chairs in the VVIP area. The police bandobast in south Mumbai is tight. 
19:35  Jiah Khan death: Mother meets US authorities:  A week after the United States authorities expressed willingness to help probe actress Jiah Khan's death case, they have assured her mother Rabiya Khan that a reminder would be sent to Indian officials offering their assistance, her lawyer said today.

Rabiya had on Wednesday said she would move the Bombay high court seeking a reinvestigation of the case by the Central Bureau of Investigation or a Special Investigation Team from the angle of possible murder after Mumbai police charged actor Suraj Pancholi with abetting the British-American actress's suicide.

Rabiya, a British passport holder, had also written to US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell seeking FBI's assistance in the reinvestigation as her daughter was an American citizen.

A communication was received from the US embassy that while the FBI was willing to support the investigation in an advisory role, it cannot do so unilaterally, without Indian law enforcement agencies agreeing.
19:34  The Congress as picked Madhusudan Mistry from Gujarat for the Rajya Sabha. K V P Ramachandra Rao, M A Khan and T Subbarami Reddy from Andhra Pradesh have been re-nominated.
19:30  Hundreds and thousands thronged Mumbai's Mahalaxmi Racecourse to attend a function in honour of Lata Mangeshkar's famous song 'Ae mere watan ke logon', which completed 51 years.

"The atmosphere is electric; one can feel the spirit of nationalism," said our correspondent present at the event.

Stories of the soldiers' bravery during the 1962 war were being narrated. 

 
19:22  Event to felicitate Lata's 51 yrs of 'Ae mere watan ke logon' a crowd-puller:   At the 'Shreshta Bharat Divas', at Mumbai's Mahalakshmi Race Course's polo grounds, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will felicitate singer Lata Mangeshkar on the completion of 51 years of her famous patriotic song 'Ae Mere Vatan Ke Logon'.

The event has attracted huge crowds. The event has been organised by real estate developer Mangal Prabhat Lodha along with the Shahid Gaurav Samiti and Citizens for Accountable Governance.
19:17  Cong's Digvijay Singh nominated for Rajya Sabha :  The Congress today has nominated Digvijay Singh to the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh.   
18:33  Lalu meets Rahul for forging alliance in Bihar:  Lalu Prasad met Rahul Gandhi today for the second time this month amid indications that RJD and the Congress were working out the nitty-gritty of forging a "secular alliance" in Bihar.

The RJD chief's meeting is significant as it took place a day after senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh met LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan to discuss the issue. Singh is a strong votary of secular alliance and had spoken to Prasad in last few days as well.

Both the LJP and RJD have been praising the Congress and making it clear that they want the ruling party to be an integral part of the "secular alliance" in Bihar, having 40 parliamentary seats. Senior Congress leaders have said that a decision on alliance is expected "very soon".
18:12  Jiah Khan case: Mother meets US authorities :  A week after the US authorities expressed willingness to help probe actress Jiah Khan's death case, they have assured her mother Rabiya Khan that a reminder would be sent to Indian officials offering their assistance, her lawyer said today.       

Rabiya had on Wednesday said she would move the Bombay high court seeking a re-investigation of the case by CBI or a Special Investigation Team after Mumbai police charged actor Suraj Pancholi with abetting the British-American actress's suicide.        

Rabiya, a British passport holder, had also written to US Ambassador to India Nancy Powell seeking the FBI's assistance in the re-investigation as her daughter was an American citizen.
17:38  Majority in UK want Charles to take over Queen's roles: Poll:  A majority of Britons want Prince Charles to take over Queen Elizabeth II's current roles while she retires and prefer that the crown is passed to him than to Prince William, according to a new poll.        

According to the poll for The Sunday Times by YouGov, 42 per cent Britons want the 87-year-old Queen to let Prince Charles take on her duties after 62 years as heir apparent, compared with 36 per cent who want her to continue.        

For the first time in a decade, opinion has also swung decisively in favour of the crown passing to the Prince of Wales (53 per cent) rather than skipping a generation to Prince William.
17:32  We are likely to win all 7 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi: BJP:  Claiming that people have lost faith in the Aam Aadmi Party due to "its own problems", BJP's Delhi unit chief Vijay Goel today said his party was likely to win all seven Lok Sabha seats in the national capital.        

The AAP, since it formed the government in Delhi around a month ago, had suffered a number of disputes and none of the promises made in its manifesto could be implemented so far, said Goel.
17:29  India's fundamentals very strong: Finance minister:  The finance ministry today sought to assure investors that the country's fundamentals are "very strong" even as the Rupee slipped to below 63 to a US dollar and the BSE Sensex plunged by over 426 points on global cues, following currency crisis in Argentina.        

"The Current Account Deficit is below $50 billion. Foreign exchange reserves are (at) an all-time high. We have very strong fundamentals. I don't think that there is any cause of worry," Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram told reporters.
16:55  Lalu meets Rahul over poll tie-up:  RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Monday met Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to discuss the possibility of inking electoral alliances in Bihar.

Further details are awaited.
16:53  China downplays Japan PM's visit to India:  China today downplayed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to India as a bilateral issue, even as the State media termed the trip as a failure
for not succeeding in pinning down Beijing.          

"The visit you mentioned is an issue between India and Japan," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a media briefing while responding to a question on Abe's just-concluded visit to India.        

The visit evoked considerable media attention in view of the China-Japan diplomatic stand-off over the disputed islands in East China Sea.
16:45  RSS chief criticises Indian education system:  Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohanrao Bhagwat has criticised the country's education system, which, he claims, has been commercialised .        

"Education in India has been commercialised for which our children have started running after their careers, but not for any social and national obligation," Bhagwat said at a function to celebrate Swami Vivekananda's 150th birth anniversary.
16:40  'Congress will be a flop show in Bihar, UP, Gujarat, MP':   A correspondent from Delhi reports: The Congress party's internal assessment for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls has made some dire predictions. The assessment predicts that the party will not cross a double digit tally.   

The party will do well in Karnataka and Maharashtra, winning anywhere between 13 and 15 seats in these states.   

The Congress will perform dismally in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, where it will not get beyond single digits. 

The survey predicts that the Congress may end up with 75-80 Lok Sabha seats.
16:38  Union ministers plan life after 2014 L polls:  A correspondent from Delhi reports: Four senior Union ministers plan to go back to practising law after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.     

Others will take up party work seriously.   

Many of them may turn into regular columnists for weekly magazines. Few of them will prefer to participate in debates on news channels.   

Others, who have witnessed a controversial political innings, would prefer to spend their  summer vacation in European countries.
16:35  AICC's covert advt operation runs into toruble:  A correspondent reports from Delhi: The campaign of the AICC's media cell has been caught on a wrong foot. 

Many regional dailies were paid cash, not issued cheques, to carry those advertisements. 

Some of them even turned down the cash payment for the advertisements. 

The technique adopted by the AICC's media cell was unique.  

The advertisement managers of these regional dailies were called to undisclosed places to collect their payment.  

In fact, some dailies like Sakshi Telugu have decided to carry a story on the AICC's media policy.
16:18  'AAP government is setting a bad example':  A correspondent in Delhi reports: Union ministers walked up to senior BJP leaders during the Republic Day parade to discuss the way in which the AAP government is going about passing the Jan Lokpal Bill.   

BJP leaders reportedly told Union ministers that it was the duty of the Centre to impress upon the Delhi governor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal not to hold the event in public.   

A bad precedent will be set up if the precincts of the assembly becomes an open venue, they said.
16:05  I am a soldier of Sonia Gandhi's family: Shinde:  Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Sunday conveyed to a BJP leader that he would not contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.    

Shinde also reportedly shared a lot of insights about the bad prospects of the Congress.   

"I am a soldier of Sonia Gandhi's family. I am proud to say this in public," Shinde told the BJP leader.
16:02  Don't encourage angry bureaucrat, minister tells Oppn leader :  A correspondent in Delhi reports: A senior Union minister, during a meeting with the leader of the opposition party, pleaded that the party should not encourage a former secretary to the government of India, who has begun to abuse the central government and the minister in question.
15:59  AIADMK to send 10 MPs to Rajya Sabha:  The AIADMK is all set to send 10 MPs to the Rajya Sabha in April 2014. It currently has 9 MPs in the Lok Sabha.   

The party is expected to win as many as 25 seats in the forthcoming Parliamentary polls.   

 The DMK's presence in Rajya Sabha is restricted to 4 seats now.
15:35  Expelled AAP MLA ends 'hunger strike' on Anna's advice:  Expelled AAP legislator Vinod Kumar Binny has ended his 'hunger strike'.

Binny claimed that he ended his short-live hunger strike on the advice of activist Anna Hazare.

He had been expelled from his party after he called Kejriwal a "dictator" and accused the party of "betraying" the people of Delhi by backtracking on its election promises.

Binny had gone on a dharna at Jantar Mantar after claiming that the party had failed to fulfill the promises made to people by January 27
15:30  Former French First Lady visits Mumbai hospital :  Former partner of French President Franois Hollande, Valerie Trierweiler, who arrived in Mumbai last night on a charity mission, visited the Nutrition Rehabilitation and Research Centre of the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General hospital in Sion.        

Fight Hunger Foundation, which is being promoted by Trieweiller, will be collaborating with the Centre, which is a part of Division of Clinical Nutrition set up three years ago at the hospital, locally known as the Sion Hospital, said Dr Alka Jadhav of the paediatrics department.
15:29  12 security men injured in Naxal blast in Jharkhand :  Naxals today carried out multiple IED blasts in Jharkhand's Giridih district, injuring 12 security personnel who were on a search operation to trace four people abducted by Maoists.        

Preliminary information revealed that close to seven Improvised Explosive Device blasts were carried out in Dolkata area of the district when troops were out for the search operation.
15:28  Congress creating economic, social anarchy: Ramdev:  Advocating for BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, yoga guru Ramdev today accused the Congress of creating economic and social anarchy, and said only Modi can save the country from corruption.        

"While the country is going through political anarchy, the Congress has created social and economic anarchy. Modi will give a strong government and save the country," he said.        

Ramdev said from March 24, his followers would launch a door-to-door campaign in support of 'Modi for PM'.
14:26  Delhi ranks 2nd among cities people love to HATE:  
So what is it like being hated by the world? 

Ask national capital New Delhi, which has been named as one of the world's ten cities people hate the most.

Travel site A Luxury Travel Blog, has churned out a list of ten cities around the globe having a darker side based on travelers' experience.

According to news.com.au, the top most hated city is ironically Paris associated with romance and charm, but people find Parisian waiters extremely rude, the extremely long lines to the Louvre Museum are difficult to handle, dog poop is everywhere, and the list goes on.

However, it is New Delhi in India, which despite being the capital of the nation and an adventurous place, has been labeled by travelers as 'Scam City', thanks to the numerous rip-offs that can befall visitors.

Add to it the prevalence of sexual violence against foreign women amidst gruesome gang rape cases in the city, Delhi has been placed at number third for being one of the most hated cities in the world.

The ten cities people love to hate are:

1. Paris, France

2. Tijuana, Mexico

3. New Delhi, India

4. Melbourne/ Sydney, Australia

5. Los Angeles, California

6. Belize City, Belize

7. Lima, Peru

8. Timbuktu, Mali

9. Cairo, Egypt

10. Jakarta, Indonesia
14:01  Modi vs BCCI: SC keeps Rajasthan cricket poll results sealed:  
The Supreme Court has once again deferred the opening of sealed envelope containing results of Rajasthan Cricket Association polls in which ex-IPL chief Lalit Modi is in fray.

The Apex court postponed the hearing till March 4 after BCCI opposed opening of the result

Sources said BCCI President N Srinivasan and Modi traded personal charges during Monday's hearing.

The BCCI and former RCA chief Kishore Rungta are opposing Modi's return as association president. 

The Indian cricket Board and Rungta are contesting a Rajasthan Sports Act that enabled the controversial Modi contest the elections on December 19 in Jaipur. 

A new battlefront will open if Modi is officially declared RCA boss. Modi is against the current BCCI regime headed by Srinivasan.

Modi, who has been banned for life by the BCCI and lives in exile in UK, is seeking to return to cricket administration and is fancied to clinch victory. 

Thirty-two districts, affiliated to the RCA, voted on December 19 and the Modi faction claims to have the support of 29 units. The elections were held under supervision of two retired Supreme Court judges. The votes are in a sealed envelope which can only be open by the apex court.
13:49  Andhra Pradesh CM seeks rejection of Telangana bill:  
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy's decision to move a resolution in the state assembly seeking a rejection of the Telangana bill has put a question mark over the legislation's fate.
 
Speaker N Manohar will today take a call on the resolution, moved two days earlier by Reddy, but it has already raised the political temperature in the state, provoking the Telangana and Seemandhra MLAs to stall the proceedings of the assembly for half-an-hour this morning.
 
In an abrupt move that stumped the Congress strategists, Reddy had on Saturday invoked Rule 77 while forwarding a resolution stating, "The assembly resolves to request the President not to recommend the AP (Reoganisation) Bill for introduction in Parliament as it seeks to bifurcate the state without any reason/basis."
 
If the Speaker allows Reddy, who heads the Congress government in the state, to move the resolution, it is likely to get the assembly's nod as the chief minister is certain to receive the backing of a majority of the MLAs from the coastal and Rayalseema regions. This may upset the Centre's plans to seek the passage of the bill in Parliament when it resumes its proceedings on February 5.
13:42  Murli Deora files nomination for RS elections:  
Former Union minister Murli Deora and ex-Maharashtra minister Hussain Dalwai today filed their nomination papers for the biennial Rajya Sabha elections scheduled for February 7.

The Congress party, on Sunday, renominated Deora and Dalwai for third and second term respectively. 

The two filed their nominations in presence of Chief Minister Prithivraj Chavan and state Congress president Manikrao Thakre among others. 

Tomorrow is the last day for filing of nominations. 

So far, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, eminent lawyer Majid Memon (both NCP), Rajkumar Dhoot (Shiv Sena) and Sanjay Kakade (Independent) have filed their nomination papers. 

The elections are being held for seven seats from Maharashtra and 287 elected members of the Legislative Assembly form the electoral college. 
13:21  State officials doing their best for release of officials abducted by Maoists: Jairam Ramesh:  
Reacting to the abduction of four officials in Giridih district of Jharkhand, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday said that the he had spoken to the Chief Secretary and the DGP of the state and they had assured him that they will do their best on the matter.

"I have spoken to the Chief Secretary and the DGP of Jharkhand and they assured me that they are on top of the matter," said Jairam.

"They are making efforts to get the officials released. I think it is most unfortunate as these people were working for the benefit of the people," he said.

Suspected Maoists abducted five persons in Giridih district of the state but later released the driver of their vehicle, Rajendra Yadav.

Three of the abducted officials are members of the Prime Minister Rural Development Fellowship programme.
12:57  Kashmir Valley gets respite from cold wave:  
People of Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region got some respite from the cold conditions as the minimum temperature rose at some places, with the mercury in Srinagar settling above the freezing point for the sixth consecutive night.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of 0.9 degrees Celsius, same as the previous night, an official of the MeT Department here said. 

The mercury in Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley, settled at minus 1.2 degrees Celsius, slightly down from minus 0.9 degrees Celsius the previous night. 

Kokernag, in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 2.6 degrees Celsius as compared to the previous nights minus 1.8 degrees Celsius, the official said. 

The mercury in the tourist resort of Pahalgam  appreciated from the previous nights low of minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, to settle at a low of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius last night.

The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg registered a low of  minus 8.8 degrees Celsius, an increase of almost two degrees from minus 10.6 degrees Celsius the previous night.
12:47  Tell us what you think of Rahul's interview to Arnab:  All eyes on Rahul Gandhi's interview with Arnab Goswami on Times Now at 9 pm tonight. What is your take on it? You can log in tozarabol.rediff.com and give us your take on it, using the hashtag #Rahul-vs-Arnab
12:40  More than 300 fall ill on Royal Caribbean ship; cruise cut short:  
More than 300 passengers and crew members fell ill aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, many with vomiting and diarrhea, the Centre for Disease Control said. 

Royal Caribbean confirmed the outbreak of a gastrointestinal illness, saying that the 10-day cruise would end two days early, with the ship returning to its home port in New Jersey. 

"New reports of illness have decreased day-over-day, and many guests are again up and about," Royal Caribbean said in a written statement. "Nevertheless, the disruptions caused by the early wave of illness means that we were unable to deliver the vacation our guests were expecting." 

The CDC said in a statement that 281 passengers and 22 crew members aboard the Explorer of the Seas reported becoming sick during the voyage. The ship was carrying 3,050 passengers and a crew of 1,165. 

The ship was on a Caribbean cruise after departing Cape Liberty, New Jersey on January 21. 
12:38  AAP rebel Binny goes on hunger strike against Kejriwal and Co.:  
A day after being expelled from the Aam Aadmi Party, rebel MLA Vinod Kumar Binny on Monday started his hunger strike at Jantar Mantar against the Delhi government, who he alleges has not implemented the party's pre-poll promises.

Binny had earlier met Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today and apprised him of the ongoing situation and talked about the alleged misbehaviour of Law Minister Somnath Bharti with Ugandan women during the midnight raid that took place in Khirki Extension in South Delhi recently
 
Lt Governor has assured that due action will be taken against those who have violated the law, irrespective of their positions, he added. 

After the visit, he said that AAP party wants the Delhi government to collapse so that it is saved from fulfilling the promises, which it made to voters prior to Assembly elections.

Now, that the AAP government is not able to fulfill its promises, it is now trying that the Delhi government should collapse, Binny said.
12:30  Hit-and-run victim's friends go online to nail his killer:  On January 25 at around 4 pm, Vinit Sancheti was killed in a hit-and-run accident at Panvel, a speeding car flinging his motorbike into the road divider and killing him instantly before fleeing from the scene. 

Another fatal statistic from the killer roads of Mumbai and its satellite regions, so what is new you ask?

What is new is that his friends have rallied together and taken the battle online to nail his killer, in the hope that someone somewhere may be able to identify the perpetrator and have him/her brought to book. Here's the link to Justice4Vinit, please spread the word about it.
12:25  They expelled me to gag other dissatisfied AAP MLAs: Binny:  
Hitting out at AAP for not working on its promises, expelled MLA Vinod Kumar Binny today met the Delhi Lt Governor to take up issues which have not been addressed by the Kejriwal government and demand action against controversial Law Minister Somnath Bharti.

The Lakshmi Nagar MLA also claimed that the decision to expel him was taken to gag other dissatisfied party MLAs. 

Binny, who met Lt Governor Najeeb Jung to discuss issues which he claimed were not addressed by the AAP government and demand strict action against Bharti, said he has been given an assurance that law will take its own course.

"We demanded that action be taken in Somnath-African woman case. The Law Minister assaulted and misbehaved with African women during the midnight raid. The LG has assured me that law is equal for everyone and let law take its course," he told reporters after meeting the LG.

Binny, who is set to hold a dharna against the AAP government at Jantar Mantar, claimed that "The decision to expel me was taken to gag other party MLAs dissatisfied by the party leadership."
12:21  All eyes on the Rahul Gandhi interview with Arnab Goswami on Times Now at 9 pm tonight. What is your take on it? You can log in to zarabol.rediff.com and give us your take on it, using the hashtag
#Rahul-vs-Arnab
12:14  SC notice to Odisha, Andhra over labourers whose hands were chopped:  
The Supreme Court has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports on two Odisha labourers whose hands were chopped off by a contractor from Andhra Pradesh.

The top court issued notices to the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh governments over the incident.

The hands of the two bonded labourers were chopped off in the Kalahandi district apparently because they had refused to work.

Nineteen-year-old Dialu Nial and 35-year-old Nilambar Majhi had allegedly taken Rs 14,000 each from contractor Parame to work at a brick kiln in Andhra Pradesh. But they refused to go.

On October 15, Parame and five of his associates took the two labourers to a jungle in the Kalahandi district and chopped off their right hands. And this incident came a week after they had been held captive at a house by the accused.
12:11   The interviewer interviewed. Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa speaks to Arnab Goswami about his impressions of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi who breaks his television silence with an interview to the combative Times Now Editor in Chief tonight. Read it here. #Rahul-vs-Arnab
12:09  India to seek re-election to UNHRC:  
India has said it will seek re-election to the UN's human rights body this year and would continue to strongly push for early reform of the powerful Security Council.

On the occasion of India's 65th Republic Day yesterday, India's Ambassador to the UN, Asoke Kumar Mukerji said that India would actively participate in the work of the United Nations during the coming year based on its national objectives and priorities. 

He said early reform of the UN Security Council will continue to be a "priority" for India, adding that maintenance of international peace and security is also a necessary external environment for India's developmental objectives. 

India is currently a member of the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council and its term will end on December 31, 2014. 

It would seek re-election this year when elections are held in October. 

India will compete in the Asia-Pacific category in which four seats will be up for election and so far seven nations have announced their candidature, sources said.
11:28  Now Bharti mocks Prez, tweets, 'If AAP actions were Anarchy, what were 1984 and 2002 riots?':  
Arvind Kejriwal's Law Minister Somnath Bharti, widely criticised for a controversial raid targeting African nationals in his constituency, hit back at President Pranab Mukherjee's comments against "populist anarchy", raising the 1984 anti-Sikh and 2002 Gujarat riots.

"If AAP actions were Anarchy, what would Hon President consider 1984 and 2002 riots as? Agitation? Lol. A good joke Mr President !!!.kamdar," Bharti tweeted today.

His comment seemed inspired by a similar response from filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, who tweeted on Sunday, "Dear Mr President. Activism n Anarchy r not the same. Anarchy was 1984 when mobs went on rampage killing Sikhs. Provoked by State n Police."
 
Mukherjee, in his Republic Day address to the nation on Saturday, said in what was seen as a dig at Mr Kejriwal and his AAP that "populist anarchy is no substitute for governance."

Kejriwal, who attended the President's annual "At-Home" party on Sunday evening, said, "This is one view which was expressed by the President. There should be an open discussion and debate on it. This will also be healthy for our democracy."
11:18  Indian, Lankan fishermen talks underway:  

The meeting between representatives of fishermen associations and officials of India and Sri Lanka to resolve the vexed issue of fishing rights in the Palk Straits has started in Chennai

A total of 26 persons from India and 20 from Sri Lanka are participating in the meeting, official sources said.

The meeting, aimed to find a solution to the dispute over fishing in the Palk Strait, which had seen Tamil Nadu fishermen coming under alleged attacks and detentions by Lankan Navy frequently, was earlier scheduled to be held on January 20

But it was postponed for today after Sri Lanka sought time to finalise the list of representatives for the meeting.

Sri Lanka accuses Tamil Nadu fishermen of straying into their territorial waters, while the latter maintain that they were only fishing in their traditional areas, especially around Katchatheevu, an islet ceded by India to Colombo four decades ago

The two countries had decided to release over 400 fishermen, in the custody of each other, prior to the meeting.

11:14  BJP flays Kejriwal for enjoying VVIP status at Republic Day parade:  
"Was shocked today, AAP CM Kejriwal enjoying RD parade with dozen Delhi Police security in VVVIP enclosure... he is a politician like me"

"Dozen Delhi Police in plain clothes seen in background give VVIP security cover 2 aam aadmi CM Kejriwal in RD Parade."

These tweets from BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy about Arvind Kejriwal enjoying VVIP security during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi has drafted the Delhi chief minister into a new controversy.

On Monday, the BJP accused him of failing to walk to the talk on his pledge to shun VIP facilities.
11:09  We are not here to ensure that we are in power: Kejriwal :  
CNN-IBN reports: Facing criticism from opposition parties and rebel members, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday defended his government, saying that no other party had performed "as much as the AAP government" in the past one month.

"We are here to work for the people and not to ensure that we are in power," he added, in what seemed like a rebuttal of accusations by rebel party members like Vinod Kumar Binny.

Binny, who was expelled from AAP on grounds of indiscipline, has said that he will meet the Delhi Lieutenant Governor on Monday regarding issues not addressed by the AAP government.

"AAP is doing nothing to resolve the corruption allegations against the previous Sheila Dikshit government. They had promised permanent jobs to teachers and ITI workers, but nothing is being done for them. I will meet the L-G today regarding that issue," Binny said.
10:35  AP House plunges into pandemonium over CM's move on T-Bill:  
Trouble broke out afresh in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly today over Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy's move to move a resolution in the House seeking to return the AP Reorganisation Bill-2013 to the Centre, terming it incomprehensive.

Proceedings of the House had to be adjourned for half an hour this morning as legislators from Telangana stormed the Speaker's podium demanding that the notice served by the Chief Minister for moving the resolution under Rule 77 be rejected. 

Simultaneously, members from Seemaandhra demanded that the resolution be taken up and voting conducted to reject the Bill.

Both sides raised slogans, creating din in the House and forcing Speaker Nadendla Manohar to adjourn the proceedings for 30 minutes. 

Earlier, on Saturday, the CM questioned the very validity of the Bill, saying it was violative not only of Parliamentary procedures but also the Constitution of India. Terming it incomprehensive, the Chief Minister said such a Bill could not be discussed in the assembly. 
10:06  Kannada film industry bandh today:  
The Kannada film industry has called for a bandh on Monday to voice its protest against dubbing of other language films into Kannada. 

Briefing reporters, film industry members said the main intention behind the bandh was to save the Kannada film industry. 

Producer Sa Ra Govindu said: We will hold a protest at the Mysore Bank Circle and no films would be screened at theatres across the State. Many Kannada organisations will join the protest.

Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj stressed the need for unity among artistes during the protest. All artistes should come forward and protest against dubbing. A few producers are indulging in pro-dubbing activity and we will not allow them to succeed, he added.
10:03  Sensex tumbles over 335 points on global cues:  
The benchmark BSE Sensex today plunged over 335 points in early trade, extending losses for the second session as funds and retail investors engaged in reducing positions amid a weak trend in global markets.

The 30-share barometer, which had lost 240.10 points in the previous session, fell by 335.33 points, or 1.58 per cent, to 20,798.23. 

Stocks of banking, capital goods, metal, auto, power and consumer durable sectors declined due to profit-booking.
Similarly, the wide-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 80.80 points, or 1.29 per cent, to 6,185.95.

Brokers said a weak trend prevailed in the Asian region and markets remained under pressure as the US Federal Reserve is poised to continue tapering its stimulus programme. The market sentiment was also dampened by tighter credit conditions in China, raising fears of a slowdown, they added.
09:36  HC hearing on Thackerays' property dispute today:  
Bombay high court will be hearing the multi-crore property dispute between sons of late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray on Monday. 

The legal battle between the sons of late Shiv Sena patriarch started after his 'disputed' will, made in 2011, did not mention leaving any share of his property to the families of his elder sons Bindu Madhav and Jaidev, as per reports. 
 
While Bindu Madhav had died in a road mishap in 1996, Jaidev had never got along with his father and did not stay in the Thackeray's Bandra residence. 

The will reportedly mentions the names of Jaidevs ex-wife Smitas son Aishwarya and Uddhav who were given first and top floor of 'Matoshree' respectively. 

However, no property was left for Bindu Madhavs son Nihar as he didnt approve of his daughter in-law Madhavis erratic behaviour. 

Upset at being left out in the will, estranged son Jaidev questioned the truthfulness of the will and had moved the court against Uddhav for the control of property worth crores.
08:48  'Cheated' former French First Lady in India on charity mission:  
Valerie Trierweiler, the ex-partner of French President Francois Hollande, arrived in India on Monday on a charity mission despite an announcement two days earlier that the couple have split. 

Trierweiler will promote a French charity in the financial hub Mumbai during the two-day trip, in her first public appearance since it emerged that Hollande was having an affair with a French actress. 

She arrived at Mumbai international airport on an Air France flight just after midnight from Paris for the mission organised by Action Against Hunger (Action Contre la Faim, ACF), despite no longer being France's first lady.

Trierweiler, wearing a navy coat, did not speak with some 50 media gathered, and instead walked from the terminal building to a waiting car which was expected to take her to the luxury Taj Mahal hotel
08:45  Google, Samsung announce global patent agreement:  
Google Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, which are frequently involved in patent infringement lawsuits but not against each other, have announced that they have reached a global patent cross-licensing agreement. 

The deal covers patents currently owned by the companies, as well as any filed in the next 10 years, the companies said in a release. Financial terms were not disclosed.
 
The companies said the deal "would lead to deeper collaboration on research and development of current and future projects." 

"By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation," said Allen Lo, deputy general counsel for patents at Google, in a statement. 

The companies have been at the centre of the smartphone patent wars, though more as allies than foes. 

The majority of the litigations -- which have sprawled across three continents -- has been between Apple and the various companies involved in making smartphones based on Google's Android software, including Samsung and Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility.
08:43  Modi to share dais with Lata Mangeshkar in Mumbai today:  
Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will share dais with legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar on Monday in Mumbai. 

Mangeshkar had earlier endorsed Modi's nomination saying that her vote will go to Gujarat Chief Minister. 

She endorsed him as a preferred PM choice at a function in Pune. 

"I hope Narendra Modi becomes the next Prime Minister," Mangeshkar had said.

Modi and Lata will share dais for a event in Mumbai, which will mark the end of the golden jubilee celebrations of one of India's famous patriotic songs, "Ae Mere Watan ke Logon".

Nearly 1 lakh people are expected to gather and sing the tune to mark the occasion.
08:42  Thackeray FB post row: SC to hear PIL challenging Sec 66(a) of IT Act:  
The Supreme Court will on Monday hear a PIL challenging Section 66(a) of the IT Act filed by the girls from Palghar in Maharashtra who were arrested for posting a status on Facebook after the death of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.

Shaheen Dhada and Rinu Srinivasan were arrested for posting a comment on Facebook on the bandh after the death of Bal Thackeray on November 17, 2012
08:38  Karnataka tells Volvo to redesign its buses for safety:  
CNN-IBN reports: Two months after more than 50 people were killed in two fire incidents in private Volvo buses, the Karnataka government has told the bus manufacturer company to make design changes in its vehicles.

The Karnataka transport department has told Volvo to incorporate design changes that could enhance passengers' safety and bring down the risk of fires. The company has, however, said that the design changes may not be immediate as it meets global and national regulations.

Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said, "Earlier, a diesel tank measured 300 litres. Now it is increased to 600 litres. Because of that, the tank is next to the engine and after accidents, buses get burnt. Also the tank is made of fibre. It is inflammable material. So we advised Volvo to make design changes."

Another ultimatum given to private tour operators is to add a third emergency exit mandatorily by February. Volvo, however, says its buses meet global standards and the impact of the crash was so high that the other issues such as driver behaviour and operators' functioning should be looked at more closely.
08:29  Mumbai: Sanjay Nirupam ends fast for power tariff cut:  
Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam has called off his four-day old fast after an assurance from Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan that a decision on his demand to reduce power tariff in Mumbai would be taken in the next two days.

The MP from Mumbai North had been on a hunger strike outside Reliance Energy office in suburban Kandivali since Thursday seeking lowering of rates for power consumers in the metropolis, which was excluded from the just announced cut in tariff.

Sources close to Nirupam said Chavan spoke to the Lok Sabha member and asked him to call off his fast as the government will take a decision on reducing power tariff in the financial capital in a couple of days. 

State Congress President Manikrao Thakre on Sunday met Nirupam, who is also AICC Secretary, and conveyed Chavan's message. After this, Nirupam ended his fast. 

Nirupam, however, warned that he would start his agitation again if the decision was not taken in the given time-frame.

Mumbai was excluded from the government's January 21 decision to slash rates by 20 per cent for domestic consumers, industries and powerlooms served by the state-run Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MahaVitaran).
08:29  If Modi is PM, Muslims will move forward: Ramdev:  
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev has attacked the political parties for projecting Narendra Modi as an "enemy" of Muslims and claimed that under his leadership both majority and minority communities will progress. 

"Some political parties, which have been using Muslims as a vote-bank, are trying to confuse the community by projecting him (Modi) as their enemy. These parties are spreading the word that Muslims will face injustice (if Modi becomes the Prime Minister)," Ramdev told reporters without giving names of the parties here. 

The Yoga guru, who has extended his conditional support to the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate, said that Modi has leadership qualities and his intention was to develop this country. 

"That's why if Modiji becomes Prime Minister, Muslims will move forward along with their Hindu brethren. Those parties which have been using Muslims as vote-bank will not succeed in their propaganda this time," he said. 

Muslims should not be viewed with suspicion. What they need is employment, right to live with honour and dignity and good education and this can happen only if India has better universities than Europe and US, Ramdev said.
08:29  Pakistan denies violating LoC ceasefire on R-Day:  
Pakistan's military authorities have denied that the country's troops had violated a ceasefire along the Line of Control in Kashmir. 

Our "troops had not violated the ceasefire agreement", Pakistani military sources said. 

On Sunday, Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing for three hours on to the Kaman post in Uri sector on the Indian side. 

General Officer Commanding of 19 Infantry Division Maj Gen Anil Chauhan said the aim of the firing was apparently to disrupt the peace and tranquility along the Line of Control. 

The ceasefire violation by Pakistan occurred on a day India celebrated its 65th Republic Day.
08:26  Pak actress Veena Malik retires from masala films:  
Pakistani actress Veena Malik has announced her retirement from the commercial film industry but said she would continue to act in movies with religious and social messages.

Malik announced from Mecca after performing Umrah that she would no longer act in masala films. 

"As far as the entertainment industry is concerned, I will continue to engage in any project which aims for welfare or social development. But I will not be part of any new films from here on," she said. 

"Well-wishers from all over the globe, whether east or west, India or Pakistan, have been congratulating and blessing us with their prayers." 

Malik, who married Dubai-based Pakistani businessman Asad Bashir Khan last year, performed Umrah with her husband and his family. 

Malik recently appeared on a television show in which she announced that she had changed her lifestyle after coming into contact with Maulana Tariq Jameel.
08:25  Delhi: Married woman raped by friend in moving car:  
A 28-year-old married woman was allegedly raped by her friend in a moving car in East Delhi on Sunday, police said.

The incident came to light when locals found the woman crying near Anand Vihar Bus Terminal on Sunday evening. 

"She was taken to the local police station where she told the police that her friend raped her in a moving car in front
of two other men. As per the woman, they also thrashed her when she tried to resist," a police official said.

The woman was taken to a nearby government hospital were doctors confirmed the rape, police said. 

Police have registered a case and a manhunt has been launched to nab the perpetrator. 

The victim told the police that she had come to meet her friend as he promised her of a job in some factory.
08:25  Mass grave unearthed in Balochistan:  
A mass grave has been unearthed in Pakistan's troubled Balochistan province, authorities said.

The grave which was uncovered in the Tutak area of Khuzdar district contained an unspecified number of bodies, most of which  were decomposed and beyond recognition, said Afzal Sarpara, Assistant Commissioner of the district.

"They appear to be a month old," he said. 

Meanwhile, a local official quoting medics said the bodies appeared to be mauled by wild animals. 

"We do not know who they are and who killed them. It's inhuman. We have started investigations," the official said.

The daily Express tribune reported that relatives of missing persons in the province have started speculating that the bodies could be of their loved ones. 

"We fear these bodies are of the missing persons. The judiciary and rights activists should press the government to carry out a transparent investigation," said Nasrullah Baloch, the chairman of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons. 
08:25  5.8 earthquake hits Greek island; minor injuries:  
A strong earthquake with a preliminary 5.8-magnitude hit the Greek island of Kefalonia today, with local media reporting minor injuries to some residents and damage to buildings and roads. 

The temblor's epicenter was about 280 kilometers west of Athens, near the town of Lixouri on the island, and its depth was 17 kilometers, the Athens Geodynamic Institute said. 

A local news website, kefaloniapress.gr, reported some damage on roads and buildings in the towns of Lixouri and Argostoli, the island's largest. There have been some slight injuries from falls, and falling objects inside apartments. 

Local media reported several rock falls as well as damage to the local airport's control tower. 

One of the injured inhabitants, Kleon Moros, said that many of the local hospital's windows had been damaged and, as a result, patients needing X-rays had to be moved to another building.
08:25  Punjabi singer wins lifetime achievement award in UK:  
Punjabi singer and actor Surinder Shinda has been presented with the Lifetime achievement award by the Punjabi Circle International during a cultural event here. 

Dominic Grieve, Britain's Attorney General and Seema Malhotra, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, jointly presented the award to Shinda at the inaugural Punjabi Cultural Awards 2014 at Riverside Venue yesterday night.

"Shinda is an Indian singer of Bhangra music with traditional Punjabi roots who is considered a grandfather of modern Punjabi music has numerous hit songs to his credit such as Putt Jattan De, Balbiro Bhabhi, and Kaher Singh De Mout," the citation said.

Shinda has also appeared in Punjabi films such as Putt Jattan De and Uccha Dar Babbe Nanak Da. 

British-Indian Channi Singh, a bhangra musician known as the Godfather of Bhangra in the West, Sathi Ludhianvi, a multi-lingual socio-political radio broadcaster and Chaman Lal Chaman, a London-based Punjabi poet, lyricist and radio broadcaster were among others awarded. 
08:24  
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