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LIVE! Sonia Gandhi to host lunch for Cong MPs on Thursday

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June 03, 2014

21:34  Obama defends deal with Taliban to free US soldier:  President Barack Obama today defended a prisoner swap with the Taliban to free an American soldier, saying his "sacred" trust as commander-in-chief outweighed claims he broke the law and set a dangerous precedent. 

Obama is facing rising questions about the deal to secure the release of US Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl after five years, in return for the transfer of five Taliban prisoners from the "war on terror" prison at Guantanamo Bay.
21:34  Pak hikes defence budget by 10 per cent:  Pakistan today said it would boost its defence spending by about 10 per cent from USD 627 billion to USD 700 billion. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar today disclosed this as he presented the USD 3.9 trillion national budget in the National Assembly.
20:44  Sonia Gandhi to host lunch for Cong MPs on Thursday:  Anita Katyal reports:    

With the Congress recording its lowest tally in the Lok Sabha, Congress president Sonia Gandhi is hosting a special lunch for all party MPs on June 5 in an effort to boost their sagging morale.     

The lunch is being held at the Parliament Annexe and will be attended by the party's Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha MPs. 

In the past, the Congress president would often invite party MPs for a meal at the end of a Parliament session. She has made an exception this time and will host them at the beginning of the session, probably to prep up the demoralised members to play the role of an effective opposition, even though they are hopelessly outnumbered by the ruling alliance.   

The newly-elected MPs are further feeling let down after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi refused  to lead the  Parliamentary Party  in the Lok Sabha. Former railway minister and senior Karnataka MP Mallikarjuna Kharge was named party leader on Monday.   

A section in the party, especially the younger MPs, wanted Rahul Gandhi to take this position and lead the opposition attack against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government. On the other hand, the Congress old guard was keen on Sonia Gandhi shouldering this responsibility.   

Kharge's appointment has not particularly enthused the MPs, who believe he would not be able to put up a good fight against the Modi government. Moreover, they would have liked the party to project a younger face who would appeal to Young India.   

Instead, both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi decided to play it safe. Had either of them been at the forefront, the ruling alliance would have focused their attack on the mother-son duo        
20:28  Badal says he will quit if allegations against Majithia proved:  Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said he would resign if allegations pertaining to involvement of Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia in the drug racket were proved. 

"I will resign if any evidence comes up against Majithia (in connection with the drug racket)," he told reporters here. There was no evidence against Majithia regarding his involvement in the drug trade, Badal said.
20:09  CBI files FIR in Dabholkar murder case:  

Nearly a month after the Bombay high court transferred to CBI the probe into the murder of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabohalkar in Pune last year, the central agency today registered an FIR against unknown persons.        


"We have registered an FIR in the Dabholkar murder case under section 120b (criminal conspiracy) and 302 (murder) against unknown persons," a CBI spokesperson said.        


The case was registered on transfer from Pune police as per the High Court order. The Bombay High Court had transferred the probe to CBI on May 9 on a PIL filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar on the plea that there was no headway several months after the killing of the eminent rationalist.         Dabholkar was shot dead by unknown assailants in Pune on August 20, 2013.        


The CBI was initially reluctant to take up the case with its counsel contending that no allegations had been levelled against the state or its police of conducting shoddy investigation.

19:15  LIVE! Gopinath Munde's body being taken to his residence in Mumbai :  Union minister Gopinath Munde's body being taken to his residence in Mumbai. According to the post-mortem repoert, Munde's liver was ruptured in the road accident and he suffered a cardiac arrest due to shock, a team of doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi said.
19:12  CBI files FIR in Dabholkar case :  CBI files an FIR in the murder of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar who was shot dead by unknown assailants in Pune on August 20, 2013.

On May 9, the Bombay High Court transferred to CBI the probe into the murder.  Earlier, the Pune police was investigating the high-profile case but there was no headway following which a PIL was filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar seeking a CBI probe into the case.
19:08  Susan Rice congratulates Doval on his appointment as NSA:   US National Security Advisor Susan Rice today congratulated her Indian counterpart Ajit Doval on his appointment and said she looks forward to working with him to deepen Indo-US strategic partnership.
19:04  Had general discussions, says Antony on UPA coordination committee meeting :  The UPA coordination committee meeting ends. Former defence minister AK Antony says there was a "general discussion". The party will continue to meet frequently during Parliament sessions.
At the meeting was also Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Dr Manmohan Singh, Sharad Pawar and Farooq Abdullah. And other sombre faces. 
18:59  LS to be adjourned on opening day after tributes to Munde:  The first sitting of the 16th Lok Sabha tomorrow will be adjourned for the day after paying tributes to Union minister Gopinath Munde who died in a road mishap today.

Senior Congress MP Kamal Nath will be the Protem Speaker who will preside over the proceedings of the House till the election of the Speaker on June 6.

Nath will be administered oath by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan before the Lok Sabha assembles for the day.

Immediately after the House assembles, Lok Sabha Secretary General P Sreedharan will read out the notification constituting the 16th Lok Sabha. The House will later take up the obituary reference to Munde, which will be moved by Nath.

After observing a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the departed member, the House will adjourn for the day, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

As per the earlier schedule, newly-elected members were to be administered oath tomorrow and on June rpt June 5.

The House could sit late on June 5 and would continue the exercise of oath taking by members till the afternoon of June 6, he said.

Pic: Gopinath Munde's body reaches Mumbai.
18:38  For whatever it's worth, the UPA Coordination Committee meet at 10 Janpath ends. 
18:30  LIVE! Raj Kamal Jha to head Indian Express :   With Shekhar Gupta moving out, The Indian Express group has elevated editor Raj Kamal Jha to the post of chief editor. Managing editor Unni Rajen Shanker has been made editor.

Jha will directly report to Indian Express chairman Viveck Goenka. Goenka made the announcement in an internal mail to the employees.

He wrote, "With much regret, I accept Shekhar Gupta's resignation as Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express. I truly appreciate his letter to all of us and I wish him the very best.'

About Jha, Goenka said that his leadership is grounded in his commitment to professional excellence and uncompromising integrity. "He brings to the newsroom creativity, clarity and depth, three qualities increasingly rare in our business. This not only inspires his colleagues, it powers them to realise their best potential." Read more
18:17  Gopinath Munde: The man who saw himself as Maharashtra's next CM:  A doughty fighter, Union Minister Gopinath Munde's heart was always in Maharashtra and was seeing himself as the next Chief Minister after the Assembly polls due later this year.

While 64-year-old Munde himself did not say so much in words, he was seeing himself as a top claimant to the top position in the premier state notwithstanding ally Shiv Sena's open claim over the Chief Ministership.

A Deputy Chief Minister in the Sena-BJP Government from 1995-99, the OBC face of BJP had been a stalwart of the papery in the state and was from the beginning known as a detractor of Sharad Pawar.

This was notwithstanding the fact that his brother-in-law, the late senior BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, was known to be close to the Maratha strongman.

Munde had chosen the state as his field of activity with Mahajan looking after the national affairs. The tragic demise of Mahajan in May 2006 forced Munde to come to national politics and was the Deputy leader of the party in the last Lok Sabha.
18:03  Woman judge raped in UP:  Even a woman judge has not been spared in Uttar Pradesh. The judge was raped and an attempt was made to kill her in Aligarh, police said Tuesday.The attack comes just days after the gang rape and murder of two minor girls in Badaun that has caused a nationwide furore.The woman judge was found unconscious in her official residence Monday. She was drugged and badly injured.
17:56  SRK 'overwhelmed' by Kolkata :   Overwhelmed by the support his team received from the fans, Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan today said he has never seen such enormous backing for a team. Close to one lakh people turned up to watch the felicitation of the newly crowned IPL champions by the state government.

"I don't think any other state or country in the world has this kind of support for their sporting heroes. Many many thanks to all of you. Thank you Kolkata for supporting us for our second win," he said at the team's felicitation at the Eden Gardens.
17:31  Jaya on Modi meet: Let's see about Rajya Sabha :  Here's what Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa says on her meeting with PM Modi today when asked whether she would ally with the NDA.  "The BJP won with a majority, they do not need support. We will see about Rajya Sabha when time comes. The PM was very receptive and promised that everything to meet the needs of Tamil Nadu will be done."

Pic: Jaya with the PM with the angavastram she gifted him. 
17:16  Munde's body is expected to reach Mumbai at 5:30 pm:  Gopinath Munde's body is expected to reach the BJP HQ in Mumbai at 5:30 pm. He will be taken by road to Latur at 7 am tomorrow. The funeral will be held at Beed tomorrow. 
17:11  LIVE! Munde death: Indica driver gets bail, cops probe conspiracy angle :   A Delhi court grants bail to the driver of the Indigo car on surety and a personal bond of Rs 30,000. A case has been registered against the driver for negligence and rash driving. A Delhi police Special cell and the IB is probing the conspiracy angle if any in Munde's death.

A senior police official said the Indica car which jumped the traffic signal at Aurobindo Chowk collided with the Maruti Suzuki SX 4 in which Munde was travelling towards Safdarjung road from Prithviraj road.

The Indica was coming towards Tughlaq road, a little over a km from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's official residence, and hit Munde's car toward's the passenger side where Munde was sitting, he said, adding Munde fell on the seat immediately after the car was hit.

The driver of the Indica car was detained from the spot and later arrested by police. After the accident, Munde asked for water and told his driver to take him to the hospital, police said.
17:02  Coming soon from the Lucknow Boy...:  The cover of Vinod Mehta's upcoming book, Editor Unplugged. The 500-page book, priced at Rs 599, will be out in December 2014, three years after his memoir, Lucknow Boy.
16:54  Was it Munde's driver who jumped the signal?:   This is the buzz on Twitter. @news_houndz  Gopinath Munde driver jumped red signal in hurry to reach airport but Indica driver arrested for negligence.

Senior cabinet minister Gopinath Munde's death in a car crash in the capital today has brought into sharp focus once again the alarming number of fatalities on Indian roads with little thought on safety. To put this disquieting data in perspective, almost half the equivalent population of some countries like Iceland or the Maldives is wiped out on Indian roads every year.

As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), under the Ministry of Home Affairs, as many as many as 461 people died and 1,301 more were injured "every day" from traffic accidents in the country during 2012. This makes it 19 deaths every hour or more than one death every three minutes.
16:50  The swearing in of the Protem Speaker will be held tomorrow at 10 am because summons have been issued, says Venkaiah Naidu. 
16:48  LIVE! Munde to be cremated with full state honours tomorrow :  Cabinet passes a resolution condoling union minister Gopinath Munde's death. Munde will be cremated with full state honours at his hometown, Beed in Maharashtra, tomorrow. 
16:40  A special train from CST Mumbai to Latur has been organised for those who want to attend Gopinath Munde's funeral. 
16:34   A stampede-like situation erupted on the fringes of the Eden Gardens here as die-hard fans of Indian Premier League winner Kolkata Knight Riders clambered over police barricades to gain entry into the arena for the team's felicitation ceremony.
16:20  Why Rahul's traumatic past makes him incapable of leading the Congress:  The Gandhi heir is living a contradiction. Rahul Gandhi detests power because it destroyed those he loved. And because he loves them, he must seek to acquire power in order to perpetuate the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Read
16:18  What Gopinath Munde's post-mortem report says :  This is what Gopinath Munde's post-mortem report says. Read
16:08  BJP Cabinet meet set to begin shortly:  BJP leaders arrive for the Cabinet meeting to be held at 4 pm. Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu and Uma Bharti have reached South Block for the meeting.
16:01  LIVE! Guard of honour for Gopinath Munde at Delhi airport :  Gopinath Munde given a guard of honour at the Delhi airport. His body will be flown back to Mumbai in an Indian Air Force plane. At Mumbai, the body will be kept at the BJP HQ for people to pay their tributes. 
15:46  Sonia asks Modi to fulfill promises made by UPA to Seemandhra:  UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to implement the commitments made by the previous Congress-led government to Seemandhra which include grant of special category status to it and execution of Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project.

She said the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, by which Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh, contains various investment and other commitments by the government of India to Seemandhra region.
15:37  Gopinath Munde's body will be kept at the BJP headquarters between 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm before being taken to Latur.
15:36  Jaya to meet Modi shortly, alliance brewing?:  Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa will meet PM Narendra Modi shortly. Speculation is that the BJP is trying to lure her party, the AIADMK, into the NDA-fold to seek its support in the Rajya Sabha where the ruling party is in a minority.
15:30  After the accident, Munde had asked for water and told his driver to take him to the hospital, police said. Munde had only last night attended a meeting of the Union Council of Ministers called by the Prime Minister and was proceeding to Mumbai for work when the accident occurred. 
14:58  Early reports on Gopinath Munde's post-mortem report say that the lower back is broken at C1 and C2, liver ruptured causing internal bleeding. The sudden shock/impact led to cardiac arrest.
14:45  Munde's mortal remains being taken to airport :   This is a huge loss for not just the party but the nation. I hope he (Gopinath Munde) rests in peace: Rajnath Singh.

Gopinath Munde's mortal remains being taken to the airport. The body will be flown on a special flight to Mumbai.
14:39  Gopinath Munde's mortal remains being taken to the airport now.
14:37  "Yesterday at this time I was here to pay last respects to T Sikdar, today this happened, huge loss for us" says LK Advani.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday expressed sadness over the death of BJP leader and former union minister Tapan Sikdar, and said that he will be remembered for his "rich contribution in building the BJP".

Sikdar was a union minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government from 1999 to 2004.
14:32  Narendra Modi '@PMOIndia Extremely saddened & shocked by his demise. His demise is a major loss for the nation: PM on demise of Shri Gopinath Munde
14:30  Munde's body will be flown to Mumbai in a special aircraft. 
14:29  Rahul Gandhi pays tribute :   Rahul Gandhi pays his respects. Gopinath Munde's body is now being taken out of the BJP HQ. The body will be flown to the Mumbai HQ this evening.
14:08  LIVE! Yashwant Sinha jailed for 14 days for assaulting official:  Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and 300 party workers and leaders were arrested on Monday for allegedly assaulting a Jharkhand State Electricity Board official over a power crisis issue in the state. Sinha has been sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

Incidentally, Sinha admitted before the media of "instructing" the party's women activists to tie-up JSEB's Hazaribagh branch General Manager Dhanesh Jha using a rope.

"Yes, I have asked them to tie hands of the GM as women are the worst sufferers for not getting power. Their children's education is also suffering," Sinha told reporters.
14:04  Munde may have died due to internal bleeding, damaged liver :  Union Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde may have died due to excessive internal bleeding and cardiac arrest minutes after his car collided with a Tata Indica at Aurobindo Marg in south Delhi around 6.20 am on Tuesday, claims his post-mortem report.

Though the post-mortem report of the late BJP leader has not been made official, it has been learnt that Munde suffered minor injuries externally and his rib cage got damaged due to the velosity of the collision.

It is also being reported that the minister's liver also got damaged, which resulted in excessive internal bleeding and cardiac arrest that led to his unfortunate death.
14:02  BJP leader Yashwant Sinha sent to jail :  News alert: Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha sent to judicial custody by a Hazaribagh court in a case of alleged assault of a govt official.
13:56  The rise and rise of Gopinath Munde :  Brother-in-law of slain BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, Gopinath Munde hails from a poor family in the backward Marathwada region and was brought into politics by the late BJP leader Vasantrao Bhagwat, who also groomed several others including Pramod Mahajan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the BJP leadership had handpicked Munde to lead the party's campaign in the state where assembly polls are due in four months.

Munde, who was the Deputy Leader of Opposition in 15th Lok Sabha, won the Lok Sabha polls this time despite Pawar making the Beed seat a prestige issue.

He also served as general secretary of the party at the national level and as Chairman of the Committee on Chemicals and Fertilisers in the outgoing Lok Sabha.

Pic: The Niticentral tribute to Gopinath Munde
13:48   PM Narendra Modi pays tribute to Gopinath Munde. Some shoving and pushing as a sea of people try to get a final glimpse of Munde at the BJP HQ.

Munde is survived by his wife and three daughters - Pankaja, Pritam and Yashashri. Pankaja Palave represents the Parli Assembly seat in Beed district.
13:43  Sea of mourners pay tribute to Munde :  BJP rank and file paying tribue now. Gopinath Munde will be cremated at Beed in Maharashtra tomorrow. He was declared dead at 7:20 am today. The body will arrive at the BJP's Mumbai HQ at 5:30 pm today. 
13:40  Sharad Yadav arrives at the venue as does former speaker PA Sangma.  
13:39  LIVE! PM pays tribute to Gopinath Munde, consoles daughter :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived at the BJP HQ to pay his tributes. He meets Pankaja, Gopinath Munde's daughter and then greets Lk Advani and Rajnath Singh. Modi is probably trying to ask Pankaja what happened as she gestures to her face. Munde survived the accident with just a few abrasions on his nose but died of a massive cardiac arrest later.
13:31  Venkaiah Naidu, LK Advani, Ram Vilas Paswan pay tributes. 
13:27  That's the wreath sent by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee
13:24  Sharad Pawar pays tribute :  Politicians across party lines line up to pay tributes. Sharad Pawar made an appearance a few minutes ago. Munde was a known detractor of the NCP chief and was credited with neutralising the Maratha politician's influence to such an extent that the Sena-BJP combine came to power in the 1995 Assembly polls and he became the Deputy Chief Minister. 
13:18  Kirron Kher, Smriti console Munde's daughter :  Finance minister Arun Jaitley, Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje arrive. Smriti Irani and Kirron Kher console Gopinath Munde's daughter.  Satyapal Singh speaking to her now.
13:15  LIVE! Who's who of the BJP, RSS pay tributes to Gopinath Munde :  A big pandal has been put up outside the BJP's media room at the HQ. Kirron Kher, Shiv Sena leader Prakash Javdekar, Sharad Pawar, the father-son duo of the Paswans, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat are all here.

Venkaiah Naidu holds up a floral wreath sent by Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Wreaths are being laid at his coffin. 

Bhagwat talks to a tearful Gopinath Munde's daughter, who is standing near the coffin.

LK Advani arrives.
13:09  Munde's body placed in glass coffin at BJP HQ:  Gopinath Munde's body will arrive at the BJP's Mumbai HQ at 5:30 pm. The body has been placed in a glass coffin. Munde's wife, who is also the late Pramod Mahajan's sister, is at the BJP HQ. A BJP flag is now being draped on the coffin. BJP president Rajnath Singh and senior leader Venkaiah Naidu also there.
13:07  AIIMS doctors say that Munde died as a result of a cardiac arrest and there were no external injuries on his body except for minor abrasions on his nose.
HRD minister Smriti Irani, Delhi BJP unit head Vijay Goel, senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi, Health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan can been seen at th BJP HQ. Munde's family is also there.
13:04  Shops have been closed in parts of Navi Mumbai and Thane to mourn Munde's demise.
13:03  LIVE! Gopinath Munde's body reaches BJP HQ in Delhi:   Gopinath Munde's body is now at the BJP HQ. His flower-draped body is now being lowered from the army truck at the BJP HQ at Akbar Road. The 64-year-old Rural Development Minister, died today following a road accident in Delhi. He was a five-time MLA and had always harboured the ambition of becoming first BJP Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
13:00   Gopinath Munde's body has been placed on an Army truck, which is on its way to the BJP HQ at Akbar Road. Tributes will paid at the BJP HQ.  
12:44  LIVE! Gopinath Munde's body being taken to BJP HQ:  BJP leaders JP Nadda (pipped to be party prez) and Bhupendra Yadav are organising the arrangements at the party HQ where the body is being taken right now. A big pandal has been put up at the BJP HQ.
12:38  Vasundhara Raje, Rajasthan CM on Munde: It's a shock for me. Hope God gives strength to his family to bear this loss. 
12:35  'If policemen kill criminals who are harmful to society I don't see anything wrong with it':  The Bombay police has been time and again accused of killing inconvenient criminals in encounters. There are also allegations that some gangsters themselves funded police encounters with their rivals. Politicians too have reportedly shunted out policemen who disagreed. Read our 1997 interview with Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister Gopinath Munde. 
12:29  LIVE! BJP prez Nitin Gadkari reaches AIIMS Trauma Centre:   BJP president Nitin Gadkari reaches the AIIMS Trauma Centre with Gopinath Munde's family. 
12:18  And just yesterday, Shiv Sena took a dig at Gopinath Munde over his chief ministerial 'aspirations'. Read
12:15  Gopinath Munde's last interview :  Rural Development Minister Gopinath Munde'S last interview was to ANI. Munde had talked about the Maharashtra cabinet expansion and had condemned the Congress party for keeping many ministries vacant. He had also welcomed Shiv Sena's decision to nominate Uddhav Thackeray as state CM candidate. Watch
12:07  SRK's flight to Kolkata late:  SHAH RUKH KHAN: Sorry Kolkata technical snag on flight. Will be a bit late but will be there. Apologies.

Kolkata is all set to accord a "royal felicitation" to IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders Tuesday at the Eden Gardens, with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee altering an important tour schedule to attend the occasion in the company of team owner and Bollywood 'baadshah' Shahrukh Khan and a host of Bengal film celebrities.

The hour-long programme would be attended by a number of state ministers, former cricketers and other sports personalities and cultural icons from the state.

The state government is hoping for a full house at the historic ground where entry would be free.

The programme will begin at 1 pm.
12:03  Rahul passes House buck:  Veteran Karnataka leader Mallikarjun Kharge has been named the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, ensuring that Rahul Gandhi will not have to bear the burden of leading the scrawniest-ever contingent of the party in the House. Read
12:00  Eight politicians who died in tragic accidents. Read
11:52  Rahul Gandhi: Shocked at untimely demise of Shri Gopinath Munde in a road accident, offer deepest condolences to family.

Nirmala Sitharaman: Shocked & saddened by the death of much respected senior leader Shri Gopinath Munde. May God give his family strength to bear with the loss.

Kiran Bedi
: When I was only 7 yrs old my father survived a near fatal road accident. Cant Imagine growing up without him?Tragic to hear of Mr Munde!
11:48  1,500 lovers... and he even made a pass at Princess Diana :  In other news: The picture is a tantalising snapshot of royal informality of the kind King Juan Carlos of Spain specialised in -- a group portrait artfully arranged on a pale sofa.

The sockless king is sitting with a young Prince William at his knee, while a glowing Princess Diana, her arm protectively around Prince Harry, leans in to share a smile with the handsome monarch.

The yawning gap between her and Prince Charles at the end of the sofa speaks volumes about their disintegrating relationship at the time.

But yesterday as the Spanish monarch announced his abdication, 39 years after succeeding to the throne on the death of dictator General Franco, it was his own marriage that was under the spotlight. Read
11:42  Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut on Munde: It's a big loss for Maharashtra's society and farmers,we will miss him.
11:39  Sena Sena's youth wing chief Aaditya Thackeray: Saddened, shocked and shaken beyond the capacity of expressing my feelings in words on the passing away of Munde-ji this morning.
11:38  Condolences to Gopinathji's family. Deeply saddened to hear this news. He was a good friend & well wisher: Asha Bhosle
11:36  MP CM Shivraj Chauhan: Munde-ji was like my elder brother, a leader of the ppl. Can't imagine Maharashtra politics without him-
11:33  Shiv Sena MP and spokesman Sanjay Raut: "In the new regime, he was the top most leader from the state in Delhi. Munde was a grassroot leader and was the most popular. We never saw him losing his temper and he was always found in the midst of party workers."

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh: Shocked to hear the sad demise of Gopinath Munde a personal friend and a great leader. My heartfelt condolences to the family."

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor: Shocking news of demise of Gopinath Munde at his political peak. Sincere condolences to Munde family, BJP & his Government colleagues.
11:30  Munde was one of Maharashtra's tallest leaders and my dad's best friend. Its a huge loss for me: Riteish Deshmukh, bollywood actor and son of former state CM Vilasrao Deshmukh.
11:26  Tarun Tejpal's bail extended to June 27:  JUST IN:  Rape accused Tarun Tejpal's bail has been extended till June 27. Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal on Monday, had requested the Supreme Court to extend his three-week interim bail by six more weeks to enable him to perform 'matri shanti paath', a ritual essential for Saraswat Brahmins who miss out on the last rites of their mothers.

Tejpal, accused in a sexual assault case, was released on interim bail after five months in jail to enable him to perform the last rites of his mother who died on May 18. But he could not perform the last rites due to delay in his release from Sada Jail in Goa on May 19.
11:18  SC dismisses plea, Campa Cola residents have to vacate:  In other news: The SC has dismissed the plea of Campa Cola residents association against the eviction and demolition of 102 illegal flats. The deadline for Campa Cola compound residents to vacate and surrender the keys to their illegal flats ended Monday.
11:16  Shocking news.He was a grassroot leader, nation has lost a great public servant: Sharad Pawar on Munde's demise.

The picture that's doing the round on Twitter: Gopinath Munde with Pramod Mahajan and Vilasrao Deshmukh. None of them are alive today.
11:12  Leaders across parties tweet condolences :  Chhattisgarh CM Dr Raman Singh: ‏My heartfelt condolences on death of Shri Gopinath Munde.He was a great leader & his sudden demise is an irrepairable loss to party & nation

BJP leader Varun Gandhi‏: Shocked to hear about Munde ji's death. He was a wonderful human being and a political giant.

Sonia Gandhi
: Heartfelt condolences on the sudden demise of Shri Gopinath Munde in an unfortunate road accident

Jay Panda, BJD
: Pray for his soul,was shocked to hear Mundeji's demise.Would like Govt to seriously look at road safety:

Arun Jaitley
: ‏Shaken at the News of Gopinath Munde passing away. I have lost a friend.

Rashid Alvi, Congress: Very painful news,I can't believe it. Munde ji was a senior and hardworking leader

Omar Abdullah: ‏Very sorry to hear about the tragic & untimely death of Gopinath Munde. May his soul rest in peace & I pray  his family find strength.

Ramvilas Paswan: I can't believe this, just yesterday evening Munde ji was talking to me about farmer issues

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi: ‏Heartfelt tribute to mass leader and my friend Munde ji' saddened demise .my condolences to his family 'we stand with them in hour of grief.

Arvind Kejriwal: ‏V sad to hear the demise of Sh Gopinath Munde. Heartfelt condolence to bereaved family. May his soul rest in peace
11:05  Munde's body will be handed over to his family at 11:30 am:  Gopinath Munde's body will be handed over to his family at 11:30 am today after the post-mortem. His family will take the body to his village, Parli, in Maharashtra for cremation. He will be cremated tomorrow. He was declared dead at 7:50 am.
10:52  LIVE! Last respects to Gopinath Munde at BJP HQ at 12:30 pm:  Union minister Gopinath Munde's body will be kept at the 12:30 pm at the BJP HQ today. The PM will also be present there. The post-mortem is on at AIIMS right now and is expected to take at least 30 minutes more.

The Union Cabinet will meet at 4 pm to condole his death.
10:49  Munde had only minor abrasions on his nose:  Police said Munde had some minor abrasions on his nose. After the accident, Munde sought water and asked his driver to take him to the hospital, police said. Munde, 64, died in a road accident in Delhi this

Munde had only last night attended a meeting of the Union Council of Ministers called by the Prime Minister and was proceeding to Mumbai for work when the accident occurred.

He is survived by his wife and three daughters, one of whom is an MLA from Parli in Maharashtra's Beed district.
10:31  Extremely saddened and shocked by Munde's demise: PM Modi:   Prime Minister Modi tweets: "I am extremely saddened and shocked by demise of my friend Gopinath Munde."

"Mundeji was a true mass leader. Hailing from backward sections of society, he rose to great heights & tirelessly served people."

"My tributes to a dynamic leader whose premature demise leaves a void hard to fill."
10:30  Munde's death: Sushma shocked, Maharashtra BJP leaders want CBI probe:  
Sushma Swaraj tweets: 'I am shocked to know about sudden demise of my senior colleague Shri Gopinath Munde. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.'

Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP leaders have raised suspicion and smell conspiracy over Munde's car accident. They have called for a CBI probe. 
10:23  Driver of Indica car which hit Munde's vehicle arrested:  Joint Commissioner of Police Mukesh Kumar says that investigations are under way and confirmed that driver of the Indica car which hit Munde's vehicle today morning has been arrested. 
10:06  National Flag will be flown half mast today across India: Govt:  As a mark of respect to Gopinath Munde, the government has decided that the National Flag will be flown half mast today in Delhi and capitals of states and Union Territories
09:39  Munde's heart had always been in state politics:  
A former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra, Gopinath Munde, the OBC face of BJP in the state, had made his entry in the Union cabinet for the first time.

Munde, who was the Deputy Leader of Opposition in 15th Lok Sabha, had won this time despite NCP chief Sharad Pawar making the Beed seat a prestige issue.

A five time MLA, Munde's heart had always been in state politics and harboured the ambition of becoming first BJP chief minister of Maharashtra.

A brother-in-law of slain BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, Munde hailed from a poor family in the backward Marathwada region and was brought into politics by the late BJP leader Vasantrao Bhagwat, who also groomed several other youngsters including Pramod Mahajan.

A general secretary of the party at the national level, he was chairman of the committee on chemicals and fertilisers in last Lok Sabha.
09:17  AIIMS doctors: Tried in vain to revive Gopinath Munde :  AIIMS doctors: Munde was brought to AIIMS trauma centre at 6:30 am by personal assistant and driver.

Car hit by another vehicle at 6:20 am. He collapsed in the car.

There was no BP, no pulse, no cardiac activity.

For the next 15 minutes, CPR was administered. But he could be revived, and was declared dead at 7:20 am.

There were no major external injuries on his body.

Body sent for post mortem after which we can tell you about the actual cause of death.
09:09  Munde to be cremated in his village on Wednesday:   Nitin Gadkari: Munde's body will be taken to his village; cremation on Wednesday.

Munde's family is rushing to Delhi. 

The senior BJP leader's body will be taken to his native village on Tuesday evening.  
08:47  Russia lifts arms embargo to Pakistan: Report:  
Russia has lifted its embargo on arms supplies to Pakistan and is holding talks on supplying Islamabad with combat helicopters, the head of state-owned Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, said today. 

"Such a decision has been taken. We are holding talks on supplying the helicopters," Chemezov said, adding that the negotiations were about Russian Mi-35 Hind attack helicopters, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported.

Russia has long been the largest supplier of arms to India, which is the world's top arms buyer. 

But Moscow's move to supply Islamabad came as New Delhi is seeking to modernise its armed forces' ageing hardware and has recently chosen to buy arms from Israel, France, Britain and the United States. 

Leading Russian defence commentator Pavel Felgenhauer said the lifting of the embargo that had been in force since the Soviet era marked a sea change in Russian policy on arms sales, which until now have been focused on India amid difficult relations between New Delhi and Islamabad.
08:42  Jaya to meet PM Modi today with list of issues:  
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa will on Tuesday meet Narendra Modi for the first time after he became the prime minister on May 26. 

The Tamil Nadu CM will submit a list of issues concerning her state at Modi's office in South Block. 

According to an official statement, the memorandum will include long-pending issues crucial to Tamil Nadu and on which the central government needs to act. 

Jayalalithaa didn't attend Modi's May 26 inauguration after Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was invited to the event. 

Jayalalithaa is a bitter critic of Rajapaksa, whose regime is accused by critics of killing thousands of innocent Tamils during the final stages of the war that crushed the Tamil Tigers in 2009. 
01:37  Apple unveils iOS 8, OS X Yosemite:  Apple kicked off its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday with a keynote that provided the first glimpse at updates to its operating system for iPhones and iPads.

Image: Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the IOS 8 operating system during his keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. Photograph: Robert Galbraith/Reuters

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00:08  Yashwant, BJP workers arrested for 'assaulting' JSEB official:  Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and 300 party workers and leaders were arrested today for allegedly assaulting a Jharkhand State Electricity Board official over a power crisis issue in the state.

Incidentally, Sinha admitted before the media of "instructing" the party's women activists to tie-up JSEB's Hazaribagh branch General Manager Dhanesh Jha using a rope.

"Yes, I have asked them to tie hands of the GM as women are the worst sufferers for not getting power.

Their children's education is also suffering," Sinha told reporters. According to the police, Sinha and around 300 BJP activists including 50 women, locked office of JSEB, Hazaribagh unit, around 9 am and staged a sit-in and did not let any employee enter the office.
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