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LIVE! Thackeray turned to Hindutva in 1985 to win polls: Sena leader

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July 07, 2014

23:11  Thackeray turned to Hindutva in 1985 to win polls: Sena leader:  

Former Shiv Sena MP and journalist Bharat Kumar Raut today said the late supremo of the party, Bal Thackeray, embraced Hindutva as a strategy because the politics on the issues of Marathi-speakers was not paying off.        


"In 1985, Bal Thackeray realised that Marathi is a good cause for popularity, but it does not have elective merit. On the plank of Marathi you cannot win elections. Then he realised that the bigger plank would be Hindutva. So it was a well-calculated move and he embraced Hindutva...and won the subsequent elections," said Raut, a former Rajya Sabha member.        


He was speaking at a panel discussion at the release of 'Samrat-How the Shiv Sena Changed Mumbai Forever', a book written by veteran journalist Sujata Anandan.        


Speaking on this occasion, Anandan said Sena did not encourage its young foot-soldiers to study and fobbed them off with low-kill jobs in return for lending muscle to its activities.        


"One generation of Maharashtrians did turn out to be very mediocre and very un-learned because of this policy of Thackeray," she said.  

21:50  Boston bomber's friend's trial begins today:  One month before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly helped his big brother detonate two bombs at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, Tsarnaev told his two roommates he wanted to die a martyr. "As you die with a smile on your face and go straight to heaven," prosecutors said on Monday during the trial  of Azamat Tazhayakov. Tazhayakov,  Tsarnaev's friend, is being tried for obstruction of justice. Tazhayakov has pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges. He is accused of removing a backpack, fireworks that had been emptied of their black powder and a laptop from Tsarnaev's dorm room after the bombings.
21:19  Swiss chopper firm pursued over Schumacher's reports:  France has traced the IP address of a computer belonging to the alleged thief of a medical report on Formula One legend Michael Schumacher to a Swiss helicopter firm in Zurich. Schumacher's manager, Sabine Kehm, said last month that his medical files had been 'clearly stolen' and were being offered for sale. She warned that criminal charges would be pressed if such "confidential files" were bought or published.
20:42  Wanchoo resigns; Margaret Alva to discharge functions of Governor of Goa:  The President has accepted the resignation of Bharat Vir Wanchoo, as Governor of Goa and has appointed Margaret Alva, Governor of Rajasthan, to discharge the functions of the Governor of Goa, in addition to her own duties, until regular arrangements for the office of the Governor of Goa are made. 
20:15  Ashraf Ghani leads in early Afghan count:  Former Afghan finance minister Ashraf Ghani is leading the race to replace Hamid Karzai as president, according to preliminary results. Ghani won 56.44 per cent of votes cast in the June 14 second round, the election commission said. His opponent Abdullah Abdullah had 43.56 per cent, the commission said.
19:48  Egypt to ban violence against women: PM:  Egyptian Prime Minister today vowed to ban all kinds of violence against women with the help of a new and tougher law enforced in the country. Ibrahim Mahlab said his government will strongly confront any attempt of violence against women with the help of law, during a conference of launching "national strategy plan against violence" held here.
19:33  Pratibha Patil's brother an accused in murder case:   In an embarrassment to former President Pratibha Patil, a court in Jalgaon has named her brother -- Gajendra Narayan Patil -- as an accused in a 2005 murder case.

Vishram Patil was hacked to death in 2005. His wife claims to have witnessed the murder. 

19:12  Strong quake hits Mexico, Guatemala; 2 dead:  A magnitude-6.9 earthquake on the Pacific Coast jolted a wide area of southern Mexico and Central America today. At least two people are reported dead and dozens of houses damaged in Guatemala. 

The US Geological Survey said the quake hit at 0453 IST on the Pacific Coast 2 kilometers north-northeast of Puerto Madero, near the Guatemala border. It initially calculated the magnitude at 7.1 but later lowered the figure to 6.9.
18:48  2G: Raja accepts meeting Radia at his residence:  Former Telecom Minister A Raja, an accused in the 2G case, today accepted having met former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia along with then Tata group chairman Ratan Tata at his residence in connection with work of Tata group, but categorically denied having any telephonic conversation with her.

"I met her once or twice along with Ratan Tata and thereafter, met her a few times, both in the Ministry of Environment and Forests as well as in the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MOC&IT)," Raja told Special CBI Judge O P Saini while deposing as a witness to defend himself in the ongoing trial in 2G case.
18:46  RSS leaders Ram Madhav, Shiv Prakash join BJP :  Sangh spokesperson Ram Madhav was in the news in May for singing paeans to Mahatma Gandhi. Madhav had said Gandhi was a great leader and his "assassination was wrong".
18:37  Top RSS leaders Shiv Prakash and Ram Madhav have joined the BJP. 
18:26  Coming soon: Gadkari's chip-friendly toll plazas :  There is little doubt that union transport minister Nitin Gadkari is on a work high. He has now acquired software which will allow cars, across India, to drive through toll plazas without any wait.

Speaking to's Sheela Bhatt, Gadkari said car owners will need to buy a chip from banks or approved vendors and stick it on the windshield of the car. When the car passes through the toll plaza, money will be deducted automatically. This scheme will be implemented in three months.

Gadkari also says that he is about to issue the orders to convert the roofs of all toll plazas into solar  panels so that toll plazas can generate electricity for their own needs.
18:10  Jaya says Karuna is 'jealous' of AIADMK's growing clout:  Coming down heavily on DMK president Karunanidhi for his "wrong" statements on river water issues, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today said the 90-year-old leader was "jealous" of her party's growing clout. "Karunanidhi is giving wrong statements (on river water issues including Mullaiperiyar) as he is unable to tolerate the growing clout of AIADMK headed by me. It is a reflection of jealousy and a result of political grudge," she said in a statement in Chennai. 
17:52  LIVE! 7.1 quake rocks southern Mexico, no tsunami threat:  An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1 rattled southern Mexico today, the US Geological Survey said. The quake was centered west-southwest of the city of Tapachula in the state of Chiapas. No tsunami threat was issued.

In Mexico City, buildings and light posts swayed and local news media reported the quake was felt strongly in the Mexican states of Chiapas and Tabasco.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, though there were power failures in the western part of Guatemala. The quake was centred 92.2 kilometres below the surface.
17:04  Raghav Bahl to continue as non executive director of TV18:  After Reliance Industries acquired Network18, a slew of resignations followed. And amongst those was also the network's founder and promoter Raghav Bahl. While there were questions on what was next, the much awaited announcement is finally out.

Though Bahl ends his term as promoter from today, 7 July, he will continue to be the non executive director on TV18's board.  Read more

Also read: Why Mukesh Ambani acquired Network18
16:57  Why is Reliance so angry?:  RIL is shooting off legal notices at the media while government is not yet doing its bidding. Read
16:51  Punjabis trapped in Iraq: Badal to meet Sushma again:  Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said he would again meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to ask her to expedite the process of bringing back 39 people from the State "trapped" in Mosul region of strife-torn Iraq.

An assurance in this regard was given by Badal to a delegation of the family members of those 39 Punjabis, who called on the Chief Minister in Chandigarh.

The Chief Minister said that he is personally keeping a close liaison with the Union Government, officers of MEA and the special envoy of India to Iraq Suresh Reddy to ensure safe return of Punjabis stranded in that strife-torn country.
16:43  Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi emerges from shadows to rally Islamist followers:  Most wanted man in Middle East lays down challenge not only to Baghdad and the west but also jilted mothership al-Qaida. Read
16:27  The Pakistan army's foray into north Waziristan: Get used to disappointment. Read
16:24  George Osborne, Chancellor of the UK exchequer tweets: Indian businesses invest more in UK than rest of EU combined. Met with Ratan Tata & other biz leaders to encourage even more investment.
16:16  Jaitley blames 'original sinners' for price rise; Cong, TMC walk out of RS:  The reasons given by the govt for rail fare hike are not acceptable so TMC decided to walk out after taking part in discussion, TMC MP Derek O'Brien. 
16:07  Welcome homecoming :  The safe return of 46 Indian nurses from Iraq is the result of astute diplomacy and a calibrated exercise of soft power by multiple agencies of government. While External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj engaged her counterparts at the political level in West Asia, including Foreign Ministers of the six oil-rich monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council, sound tactical leadership seemed to have been provided by Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. Read
15:54  Congress stages a walkout from RS over the issue of price rise.

So far, Arun Jaitley, who is debating the price rise, has heaped all blame on the previous government, calling the UPA, the original sinners.
15:49  Which gate do you use in Parliament?:  In the winter session of Parliament, the entry points of SPG protectees may undergo a thorough change. It is the SPG which coordinates the entry and exit of its protectees -- PM Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh.  A special officer of the SPG coordinates these movements just so. It means that the convoy of the PM gets easy passage within the precints of Parliament House.

Earlier, Sonia Gandhi used to enter from Gate 8, while Rahul entered from Gate Number 4.  What has to be worked out is whether former PM Dr Mannmohan Singh will enter by the same gate as Vice President Hamid Ansari.
15:41  Just in: Officials say 63 girls and women abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria, two weeks ago, have escaped.
15:34  NDA inherited price rise from UPA:   Jaitely says the UPA government failed to check spiraling price rise and it has been inherited by the NDA government. Those who administered railways in the past is to blame for the price rise. They are the original sinners.
15:31  Jaitley responds to debate on price rise in RS:  Finance minister Arun Jaitely debates the price rise in the Rajya Sabha.
15:09  Southern queen Sushma :  If there is one minister in Narendra Modi's cabinet who has a charmed all the southern states -- it is none other than External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

In Kerala, Sushma has a demi-god status after the successful return of the 46 nurses stranded in Iraq.

Sushma is called Chinna Amma in Telangana where locals worship her -- her picture is bathed in milk.

In Karnataka, she is well known as she contested from Bellary.

And in Tamil Nadu, thanks to the Indian fishermen issue, it is well-known that Sushma strived hard to get them repatriated.

Today, inside the central hall in Parliament, Congress MPs from Kerala were seen thanking Sushma Swaraj for her efforts to get the nurses back to India.
14:47  Rail Budget to spell out strategy to shore up revenue:  Having done a pre-budget hike of 14.2 per cent in passenger fares and raised freight rates, Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda's maiden budget is likely to adopt a realistic approach in announcing new trains, lines and survey in view of the cash crunch of Rs 26,000 crore.

With the growth in passenger earnings declining, railways is likely to spell out its strategy to earn additional revenue to reach the target in the current fiscal. While many unviable projects may be scrapped, Gowda will also announce some new projects on priority basis in the rail budget 2014-2015 tomorrow.
14:38  Georgia ex-President Eduard Shevardnadze dies at 86:  Former Georgia President Eduard Shevardnadze has died aged 86, media reports say. Shevardnadze became foreign minister of the Soviet Union in 1985. In 1992 he became the first head of state of the newly independent republic of Georgia. He led the country out of instability and civil war but in November 2003 was toppled in the "Rose Revolution" sparked by opposition allegations of irregularities in parliamentary polls.-- BBC
14:32  Kerala CM will try to rehabilitate nurses back from Iraq:  Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today informed the assembly that a meeting would be held on July 11 to discuss issues related to rehabilitation of 46 Keralite nurses, who returned after being stranded in violence hit region in Iraq.

The nurses and the institutions that had offered jobs to them have been called for the meeting, Chandy said during a special mention on the issue in the assembly.

"If anyone has to get credit for their safe return, it should go to the presence of mind and willpower of the nurses", Chandy said, adding, it was a united effort of everyone concerned.

The Chief Minister said he was in constant touch with the nurses during the crises period and thanked all those who helped the evacuation process.
14:24  Here, debt will kill us, say workers back from Iraq:  The woes of Indian workers who have returned from strife-torn Iraq are far from over. They now face worries of debt amid the struggle to find new jobs.  Read more
14:21  Lok Sabha adjourned for the day. 
14:16  Pallavi's family want death for convict :   The prosecution has examined 40 witnesses, while the defence examined three in the case.

The Crime Branch had filed a 434-page charge sheet on October 30, 2012 against Mughal charging him with trespass and murder.

Earlier, the prosecution had submitted a draft charge against Mughal, accused of murdering the law graduate, who was also an advisor to filmmaker Farhan Akhtar's firm Excel Entertainment, accusing him of attempting to rape.

However, Mughal refuted all the allegations and his lawyer Wahab Khan had argued that it was Pallavi's fianc Avik Sengupta who killed her in their flat.

Police had claimed that Mughal, a native of Jammu and Kashmir, used to ogle at the young lawyer, the daughter of IAS officer Atanu Purkayastha, who was the joint secretary in the Agriculture Ministry at the Centre when the incident took place.

In his statement to police, Mughal had said that he sneaked into Pallavi's flat on August 9 using a set of duplicate keys and tried to force himself upon her.

"However, when I forced myself upon her, she resisted and started screaming and at this time I assaulted her with my knife that I was carrying," Mughal had said in his statement.

Pallavi's family demanded death for Mughal. The victim's father Atanu said, "Two families have been devastated. Death and nothing less than death (should be given)...A positive message will go in the society if death is given."
13:58  Watchman gets life term for killing Mumbai lawyer Pallavi Purakayastha:  Just in: Life sentence for the man who killed lawyer Pallavi Purakayastha.  A Mumbai court sentenced Sajjad Ahmad Moghul, 22, to a life term, for assaulting, molesting and killing the young lawyer in her flat in 2012. Moghul, the watchman at Pallavi's apartment building, was found guilty by the court last week. During the hearing on the quantum of sentencing last week, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam had sought the death penalty for Sajjad.
13:53  No direction from Sonia, Rahul in Parliament :  Even as the proceedings in the Lok Sabha were disrupted twice, the Congress tried their best to put up a grand show. But there seems to be a communication gap between mother and son -- Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. There was no call for unified action and Amarinder Singh, who is the deputy leader of the opposition, was left trying his best to decipher the 'unsaid' language.

13:48  BJP MPs in high spirits in Parliament :  On the first day of the Narendra Modi government's budget session of Parliament, BJP MPs were mostly seen in the Central Hall today, bubbling with enthusiasm at the eve of the budget session of Parliament.

The Congress MPs on the other hand, remained wall flowers, possibly because of the humiliating debacle in the polls. They shied away from the usual meet-and-greet rituals that is part of Central Hall culture.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was active inside Lok Sabha. When the TMC and Other parties went to the well of the house Rahul Gandhi, who is a back-bencher in Parliament, stood up and walked up to his mother who occupied one of the front benches. Keeping his eyes on Prime Minister Modi, Rahul raised his voice against the price rise, but seemingly in vain. 
13:37  Does Jaitley have the cure for India's ailing economy?:  There would be extraordinary pressure on the government against raising user charges, be it for services or actual goods and commodities with controlled prices. So, does finance minister Arun Jaitley have a cure for the economy? Read
13:32  JUST IN: Govt agrees to discuss price rise without voting in Lok Sabha.
13:31  India bans controversial duck liver delicacy -- foie gras:   Activists all over the world have hailed India's move to ban import of foie gras, an enlarged liver of a duck or goose.

Animal welfare organisations were in celebration mode, as they expressed their happiness on Twitter.

In the past, Argentina, Austria, Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland, Israel, Turkey, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and recently California have banned foie gras.

Animal rights campaigners object to foie gras because it involves the forced feeding of birds to engorge their liver, a process activists say is painful for the creatures.
13:30  Congress minister Veerappa Moily on the adjournment motion: It is a boiling issue (inflation) before nation, they must address it first.
13:27  Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweets: The new Golden Rule in Parliament seems to be: "Do Unto Them What They Did Unto You"! Disrupted morning in the 16th Lok Sabha.
13:13  After Goa and Bengal governors, CBI to question another governor :  The CBI is to question yet another governor over the AugustaWestland helicopter scam. The CBI has now obtained records from the Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime, which was when the NDA agreed to buy the helicopter.

While the name of this governor remains under wraps, the CBI has questioned former West Bengal governor MK Narayanan and outgoing Goa Governor B V Wanchoo in the AugustaWestland scam.

The CBI list is also said to have names of two retired senior officials of Intelligence Bureau  According to CBI sources the former Secretary Security and former cabinet  secretary BK Chaturvedi was also questioned recently.  
13:03  Goa tenure was a learning experience for me: Wanchoo:  Describing his tenure in Goa as a "learning experience", outgoing Governor B V Wanchoo has said that the coastal state would always hold a special place in his heart.

"I had the most wonderful time in this beautiful, peaceful and lovely state of Goa, a tenure that was eventful and packed with a variety of enriching and unique experiences. It was also for me personally a learning experience," Wanchoo said in his valedictory press statement.

Wanchoo had resigned on Friday, a day after CBI quizzed him in VVIP chopper deal case. He was appointed in Goa on May 4, 2012.
12:55  Congress should get Leader of the Opposition post: Sonia :  Meanwhile, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi says that the party is entitled to the post of Leader of the Opposition. The government says that since the Congress has only 44 seats in the Lok Sabha - less than a tenth of the strength of the house of 543 seats - it cannot get the post of Leader of the Opposition. The decision, it says, will rest with Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
12:46  MP Tapas Pal hospitalised just as BJP, Left were to raise censure motion against him:  Just in: Controversial TMC MP Tapas Pal has been admitted to hospital for back pain. That comes at a time when the BJP and the Left were going to propose a censure motion against him in Parliament.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is facing the heat from intellectuals for downplaying the rape for revenge comment made by Tapas Pal.

Pal had submitted an unconditional apology for his remarks in a Nadia village, where he threatened to send his men out to rape and murder supporters of the CPI(M).

A PIL was filed in the Calcutta high court against the MP and the Opposition upped its ante as it became clear that action against him was unlikely to be taken by the party.
12:31  Government must act with alacrity to revive the railways :  The latest debate surrounding the government's decision to hike passenger fares and freight charges for the railways has dragged a skeleton out of the closet, making the country turn white with fear. As any undergraduate student of economics should be able to explain, the price of a commodity is the sum total of payments needed to induce service providers to transform the raw materials they have paid for into final products meant for different uses. Read
12:24  Lok Sabha adjourned till 2 pm  after Opposition uproar over rejection of notices of adjournment motions on price rise, rail fare hike.
12:23  The Congress is holding a protest rally at Jantar Mantar over price hike. 
12:12  TMC: Is price rise a BJP model or replica of Cong model:  Lok Sabha resumes after a brief adjournment over price rise.

In the Rajya Sabha, Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad says the government has gifted price rise to the people.

In the Lok Sabha, the Congress, SP, TMC, BSP move a notice for discussion of price rise in the Lok Sabha. The Speaker allows a special debate on price rise. TMC on price rise, says, "Is this a BJP model or a replica of the Congress model?"

And the lower house has been adjourned once again.
12:01  Govt says Speaker above party lines, slams Kamal Nath's remarks:  The government today slammed Congress leader Kamal Nath for his remarks that Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's decision on the issue of grant of Leader of Opposition status could be "flavoured" by BJP, saying it is "unfortunate" as the Speaker is above party lines.

The remarks were made by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu even as the government reached out to the opposition ahead of the Budget Session of Parliament, saying it was ready to discuss any issue raised by the opposition.

"Government has no reservation on any issue. We are willing to discuss each and every issue of national importance," Naidu said after the meeting which was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The breakfast meeting convened by Naidu was also attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Home Minister Rajnath Singh and 45 leaders of various parties including Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Prime Minister H D Devegowda.
11:55  What the PIL against the Sharia courts said:  Update on the SC ruling against Sharia courts: The apex court ruling was given on the basis of a petition challenging the legality of the Shariat Courts. The petition had been filed by a Delhi based lawyer Vishwa Lochan Madan in 2005.

In his petition, he stated that institutions like Darul Qaza and Darul-iftaa are operating like parallel courts which take decisions on the fundamental rights of the Muslim citizens.

He also said that religious clerics, qazis and muftis appointed by them cannot take a call on the liberty of the Muslims by issuing fatwas and curtail their fundamental rights.

The petitioner further argued that the Darul Qaza and Darul-iftaa operate in Muslim dominated districts where people cannot oppose the rulings.
11:52  Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag remains next army chief :  The Supreme Court has also refused to stay the Centre's decision to appoint Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag as next Army Chief. The appointment of the next army chief had got mired in a controversy as the BJP, which was in the opposition in May, was strictly opposing it, questioning the "hurry" and insisting that the matter be left to the next government as there is still time left.

However, since the NDA government came to power, it has stood by the appointment.
11:45  No religion is allowed to curb fundamental rights: SC:  The Supreme Court rules that no religion is allowed to curb anyone's fundamental rights. Shariat courts can issue a fatwa if the victims approach them, says the Supreme Court and that there is no legal binding on anyone to accept a fatwa.
11:40  SC: Sharia courts, fatwas are illegal :   In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court today says sharia courts have no legal sanctity and was not sanctioned under the law. The court also said fatwas are illegal if it violates an individual's fundamental rights.

The court said it would come to the rescue of any citizen who felt harassed by a fatwa issued by a Muslim cleric and said such fatwas had no sanction in law.
11:26  And so it begins. Lok Sabha adjourned till noon. 
11:18  BJP ministers Satyapal Singh and VK Singh who debuted as Parliamentarians look around the house. As does Narendra Modi. 
11:16   How different it must be for the BJP to sit in the Treasury benches and hear disruptions from the opposition. The Congress had accused the BJP of derailing Parliament during the 15th Lok Sabha session. The shoe is on the other foot, it seems.
11:13  Ruckus in Parliament over price hike :  As expected, ruckus in the Lok Sabha over the price rise. Members refusing to allow oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan speak.  Pradhan said on Friday that there is no proposal to increase rates of subsidised LPG, kerosene and diesel.
11:06  Budget session begins:   The Congress, which met this morning to discuss its floor strategy, may go to court if the Speaker decides against them. The Congress does not technically qualify to have the Leader of Opposition from the party. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan is likely to take a call on whether the Congress gets this post.

The budget session has begun.

The rail budget will be presented tomorrow.
10:59  Speaker: Ensuring smooth functioning of Parliament is my primary duty :  Speaker Sumitra Mahajan says her primary task will be to maintain order in the house. "The Speaker is above party lines and smooth functioning of Parliament is my primary duty. Will not react to media reports on the leader of opposition," she said.

A Congress strategy meet is underway to decide on the leader of the opposition.

The CPM has given notice to discuss and debate the security of women.
10:55  I'm back, says Modi's old foe :  Narendra Modi's old rival from the Sangh parivar is back in Delhi. Sanjay Joshi says he has returned to pursue "sakriya rajniti' (active politics), although nobody in the BJP quite knows what the phrase denotes in the Modi regime.Joshi, once a fairly powerful general secretary in charge of the organisation, was thrown out of the party's national executive under Modi's pressure in May 2012 and then eased out of the BJP.  Read more
10:50  Can Jaitley meet the aam aadmi's expectations?:  Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's maiden Budget on Thursday is expected to be a tightrope walk of trying to meet demands for tax sops especially from the middle class and pursuing fiscal prudence to spur investment and growth.

Narendra Modi's first budget session in Parliament is set to begin shortly.

Read more
10:34  'Unfortunate that Kamal Nath talks about going to court on LoP issue' :   Briefing the media on the all-party meet ahead of the Budget session, senior BJP leader and Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, "No one raised the issue of the Leader of Opposition."

He added, "It is unfortunate that Kamal Nath talks about going to court on the issue."

With no clarity on the Congress getting the LoP status in Lok Sabha, the senior leader had said the party "must" go to court if Speaker Sumitra Mahajan's decision, which could be "flavoured" by the Bharatiya Janata Party and Narendra Modi, went against it.

Insisting that there is no rule, which says that a party cannot get LoP status unless it has 10 per cent of the total strength of the 543-member Lok Sabha, the former parliamentary affairs minister said in Delhi that while a Speaker is generally neutral when it comes to dealing with Parliamentary processes, it may be different in a contentious situation. 
10:20  Sania Mirza enters top 5 for first time in her career:  Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza achieved a career-best rank of number five in the world as the new Women's Tennis Association doubles chart was released today.

Sania, who turned a pro in 2003 and overcame a career-threatening wrist injury in between, has entered the top-five for the first time in her career.

Sania and her Zimbabwean partner Cara Black could not go deep in the just concluded Wimbledon championships, but a second round appearance fetched her crucial 130 ranking points, enough to push her in the top-5.
10:09  Budget session: Opposition to raise price rise, rail fare issue :  It's a big day for the Narendra Modi government as its first Budget session begins today.  

The Opposition is expected the corner the government on the issue of price rise and rail fare hike.
10:02  Top headlines in the last 24 hours :  
23-year-old teacher raped, videographed in Muzaffarnagar

Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal shifted to Mizoram

Dalai Lama addresses devotees on his 79th birthday at Leh Kalachakra

Modi Cabinet sets deadline for inter-ministerial talks

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